The break is over and festivities are part of the past now, meaning it’s time for the 31 NHL clubs to start hunkering for the home stretch. With the trade deadline getting closer each day, the battle for the post-season positioning is expected to heat up, with each passing game being more important than the last. That makes you wonder which teams are primed to make the biggest moves in the upcoming weeks.
Here’s a look at three risers and three fallers who could move in standings as the battle continues being fierce in the coming weeks:
Since Geoff Ward took the flames’ bench, Calvary has shown a significant improvement in their performance. The Flames were standing at .481 points percentage with Bill Peters at the helm and Ward’s tutelage has increased the rate to .674%.
The Flames inspires the confidence of punters with the bet365 bonus code as they’ve been a top-15 team since Ward took over. That gives you further reason to believe they have what it takes to push the Pacific Division standings and book a comfortable spot during the post-season.
Toronto Maple Leafs
With Jake Muzzin expected to return on action Monday after staying out for ten games, Maple Leafs are set to take a step forward. However, that’s not only because of the return of one of the top defenders on the team.
Despite their modest success before the break, Maple Leafs are among the best teams in the league in terms of tilting the ice and driving play in their favor. The Leafs will undoubtedly benefit by suppressing opposition opportunities better, giving Frederik Andersen the chance to get back his form.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Before the all-star break, it was clear that the Bolts were back. Tampa Bay has been showcasing some of the best hockey moves compared to any other NHL clubs and they had already started pushing the Atlantic Division standings up before their mid-season exhibition.
There are more reasons to believe their fortunes will continue improving. For a start, the Lightning has some of the best numbers in the NHL and they will be in the post-break schedule with one of the league’s easiest slate.
Considering the points percentage, the Nashville Predators are not actually far from the Western Conference final as they may seem. However, the Predators seem to have a hole too deep for them to get out of in the tough schedule ahead.
Speaking of performance, the Jets haven’t been very productive over the last 25 games. Only five teams are averaging lower points that Winnipeg and the underlying numbers aren’t very impressive. Even worse, the Jets have some of the lowest attempt shares in the league and the lowest-scoring percentage with high-danger chance percentage.
While the Flames stand tall on the other side of the list, the Edmond Oilers are struggling on the other side despite having the strength of the schedule. However, the Oilers were sixth in the lowest expected goals percentage over the last 25 games.