When the Coronavirus pandemic struck, and the World Health Organization declared it a worldwide pandemic, the National Hockey League paused its games for about five months. After a while, people learned how to take precautions and protect themselves from the virus. That paved the way for the league resumption in early 2021.
There was one strict rule of social distancing, and teams were only to participate in different tournaments after numerous Covid-19 tests on the players. The fans could not watch the games live to reduce crowding in the arenas and curb the virus’s spread.
Most teams like the Ottawa Senators say that they are working hard to see the fans’ return to watch the games in person. The Senators’ founder Eugene Melnyk is also prepared to welcome back the fans. However, he didn’t give a specific time of when we should expect it to happen.
NHL Teams that Dominated the Headlines in 2020
Despite the Covid-19 news and the NHL break, the American sports resumed, and each team ranked according to their performance. Here are some of the NHL teams that dominated the American Sports Headlines.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The team won the Stanley Cup amid the pandemic. Tampa Bay won four games against Dallas Stars, which gave them a win in their second championship match. Tampa won 2-0, playing against Dallas Stars, a game played two months after they entered the NHL bubble.
Braiden Point, the team’s centerman, made the first score during the first period. Andrei Vasilevskiy owes the team a shout-out for making 22 saves for them during the game.
Blake Coleman is another recognized player for scoring for his team during the second period. Victor Hedman is already famous for winning the Conn Smyth trophy after being recognized as the playoffs’ most valuable player.
The Lightning defenseman says they knew their capability and were glad for being offered an opportunity to play. Their determination and focus have finally paid off fruits after winning the Stanley Cup.
The team’s captain, Steven Stamkos, says that he is proud of his fellow team players for the participation and determination to win, which ticks one of their goals of 2020. He also scored a goal for the team, from the only shot he shot on game three.
The year 2020 was a tough season for the Boston Bruins. Although they still rank at a top position, the team had a tough time. Their defenseman Torey Krug left in free agency, and he has not been replaced yet. Boston is NHL’s best team, but Tampa Bay Lightning beat them in the Stanley Cup final.
They didn’t make it to the top because of the lack of a good defense. That was the opposite with Tampa, who worked on their defense, making it more powerful to win many matches. That helped them secure many close opportunities near the goalpost, leading to the scores’ continuous rise.
Boston had many breakdowns and lapses in coverage that cost them the chance to score. Their forward depth was also weak, and Tampa took advantage of that. Tampa selected the best players to represent the team, and each of them played with the determination to win.
Despite these challenges, Boston Bruins remain at the top of the list. We hope they are well-prepared for the 2021 NHL season.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights are known to be one of the NHL’s strong upcoming teams. In their last leagues, they won 10 out of 12 of their games and have set the record bar high, an improvement that was noticeable after they hired peter DeBoer, their new coach.
Golden Knight’s recent results and their dominance on the other teams are why the big teams feel threatened. One of the most significant improvements on this team is their defense. The new coach continues to better things up defensively.
Although their goaltending is still not where they want it to be, the team’s players work as a team, and they will take it up there soon. This team also has a very talented player, Max Pacioretty, who recently featured in MVP Power Rankings.
Max is significantly improving in his career, scoring at a goal pace of close to 40. Their six forwards are also saving them a lot, as they record a scoring goal pace at over 20.
The Flyers were not frequently on the top of the list until last season when they hired Alain Vigneault, a veteran coach. Since then, the Flyers have improved significantly from finishing in the fifth position to finishing at number two in the Metropolitan Division.
Flyers’ offense ranking has also greatly improved, especially their forwards. Despite their biggest forward star Scott Hartnell getting an injury on his foot and staying away from the field for three months, they have somehow maintained their position.
Wayne Simmonds also suffered concussions and was away for a few months. Captain Claude Giroux’s has helped the flyers improve much on their game, although he is less than a year old in the team. Hopefully, he will take the Flyers to greater heights.
St. Louis Blues
In 2019, it was all a shock in the hockey world after the Blues shot from the 30th position to be Stanley Cup’s champions. Before the NHL paused, St. Louis was at number two overall in the NHL. In their previous ten games, they rode an 8-2-0 run.
They have a solid defense, and their goalie, Jordan Binnington, is famous for the wonders he is doing in the team. This strongly upcoming team has secured a place at the top, and they are working hard to remain there or move forward.
Jack Allen, who was used as a backup of Binnington when he left for a season, was not doing well last season. However, he seems to have bounced back after winning 12 of 21 starts. The Blues are aware that to win a cup, you have to take advantage of the breaks that come along the way and practice more.
Despite the pandemic that hit the world hard and sent most people home, NHL players kept training to help improve their teams’ performance. It was an excellent opportunity to prepare for the upcoming tournaments upon resumption of the NHL.