Joel Embiid Should be Considered an MVP Candidate
It is only January and a lot of people are talking about either James Harden or Giannis Antetokounmpo to win the MVP, but what about Joel Embiid?
The competitive nature in the NHL is fantastic so far this season. Some teams have been surprises and some teams have been disappointments. Who are the top 10 teams in the NHL so far this season?
10. Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks play a very well structured game under Joe Green. They are young and fast. Elias Petterson and Brock Boeser are their two best young goalies. Goaltending is also very good for them. The Vancouver Canucks sit in second place in the Pacific Division so far this season with a 10-8-2 record with 22 points. They have given up six more goals than they have scored.
9. San Jose Sharks: The Sharks sit a top the Pacific Division standings with a 10-6-3 record with 23 points so far this season. San Jose has been getting good depth play again and Brent Burns leads the team with 21 points. Goaltending has been inconsistent.
8. Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres had one of the worst rosters in the league last season and they fixed their mess overnight. Buffalo has had different guys step up each night. Jack Eichel isn't doing it all by himself. Carter Hutton has been very good between the pipes and back up goalie Linus Ullmark isn't bad either. The Buffalo Sabres record so far this season is 10-6-2 with 22 points.
7. Columbus Blue Jackets: They currently lead the Metropolitan Division with a 10-6-2 with 22 points. The Blue Jackets have a championship caliber roster, but will they sustain this success? Sergei Bobrovsky and Joonas Korpisalo have split the goaltending duties this season and Bobrovsky is out playing him. Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc Dubois each have scored eight goals so far this season. Artemi Panarin leads the team with 18 points.
6. Minnesota Wild: Whenever teams are coached by Bruce Boudreau, they always have good regular seasons but they have early playoff exits. Mikael Granlund leads the team with 10 goals and Mikko Koivu leads the team with 10 assists. They have one of the better rosters in the league. The Minnesota Wild sit in second place in the Central Division with a 11-5-2 with 24 points so far this season. Devan Dubnyk has been solid between the pipes with a 8-4-2 record with a .927 save percentage and a 2.34 GAA.
5. Boston Bruins: The Bruins play much better in front of Jarsolav Halak than they do in front of Tuukka Rask. Rask returned from his leave of absence a couple of days ago. Maybe he will play better. Boston is one of the most dangerous teams in the league. They have a defense that doesn't make a ton of errors. The Boston Bruins have very good top lines, but the bottom lines could use a shake up. Boston's record is 10-6-2 with 22 points.
4. Winnipeg Jets: The Jets continue to pose problems for opponents. Blake Wheeler has 21 assists so far this season and Mark Scheifele has scored 10 goals and recorded 10 assists. The defense is anchored by Dustin Byfuglien and he has scored two goals and recorded 11 assists so far this season. Patrik Laine has been held in check this season with eight goals and two assists. Connor Hellebuyck is the backbone of this team. His record is 8-5-1 with a .915 save percentage and a 2.72 GAA. Winnipeg's record so far this season is 11-5-1 with 23 points.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning not having Andrei Vasilevskiy in net for a while will hurt this team. His record so far this season is 9-3-1 with a .927 save percentage and a 2.30 GAA, along with one shutout. They also have one of the best offenses in all of hockey. They sit in first place in the Atlantic Division with a 12-5-1 record with 25 points. Their speed and skill is lethal.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs: The Maple Leafs continue to get the job done without having some key players. This team is really deep and when everyone is healthy, Toronto might be impossible to stop. Will William Nylander get traded, sign with the team, or sit out the year? The defense has not been great, but Frederik Andersen has. The Toronto Maple Leafs have a goal differential of 16. Their record so far this season is 12-6 with 24 points.
1. Nashville Predators: The Predators continue to rake up wins. Viktor Arvidsson will be out the next six to eight weeks and that will be a major loss to this team. He has scored eight goals and recorded five assists so far this season. Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen each have 18 points so far this season. Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros is a solid goaltending tandem.