Top Three Teams on the Rise in NHL

Alex Ovechkin

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL season is getting even more exciting as the playoff race continues, and some teams are quickly climbing through the rankings. Teams that have started slow are doing all they can to finish strong, and other teams are turning from decent teams to some of the best in the league.

It was extremely disappointing to see the Los Angeles Kings awful start this year after their inspirational playoff run. There was no denying the team had the skill, but it simply wasn’t working early for the Kings. Their play lately has been close to perfect winning nine of their last 11 games. Jeff Carter has been one of the best snipers in the league. His team leading 15 goals is second in the league. Anze Kopitar has continued to be a dependable center for the Kings with 20 points in 20 games. After their early struggles, the Kings are sitting at fourth in the Western Conference.

The Washington Capitals were at the bottom of the league earlier this season, and there looked to be no way out. Although their start was horrible, the team had enough skill to be at least contending for the top eight in the East. When all hope seemed to be lost, the Capitals went on a run and have won eight of their last 11. The team’s stars have started to regain their normal playing level. Nicklas Backstrom has put up 19 points so far, and Alex Ovechkin has 20. Mike Ribeiro has been good all year leading the team in points with 28 in 22 games. Braden Holtby also looks to be playing back to his playoff form from last year. With the team continuing this successful run, they might slip into the playoffs after all.

Although few people expected it, the Toronto Maple Leafs have continued to play well this season. The team was won seven of their last11 games and continue to climb the standings. Young gun Nazem Kadri has been one of the Leafs best players leading the team with 25 points in 25 games. After struggling to stay in the league in the past, it is nice to see Kadri playing like a star. James Van Riemsdyk has also looked good after being traded to Toronto in the off-season.