NHL 2017/18: Top 10 Teams Entering Week 7


It seems as if there is no room for error in the NHL. With the standings getting tighter every week, every team is basically forced to step up their game. Despite it only being the regular season, there are some games that feel like playoff matches.

These are my top 10 NHL teams entering week 7.

#10 Winnipeg Jets: The Jets didn’t have a bad week, but they are only listed at 10 because other teams had more impressive weeks than them or simply because they are just better than them. Winnipeg are still frustrating teams however. They have a 9-4-3 record with 21 points and the Jets currently sit in second place in the Central Division.

#9 Washington Capitals: It looks as if the Capitals are finally starting to get it together. They got off to a slow start but just needed some time to find quality chemistry. Alex Ovechkin has scored 13 goals and recorded six assists in 18 games so far this season for the Capitals. They are 10-7-1 with 21 points. Braden Holtby has been good too, but the defence needs to get it together.

#8 Pittsburgh Penguins: With a 9-7-3 record and 21 points, the Penguins seem like they are getting chances but the road hasn’t been very kind to them. Sidney Crosby hasn’t scored in 10 straight games, but it isn’t for a lack of trying. He just needs to shoot more. Meanwhile, Phil Kessel leads the Penguins with 22 points this season.

#7 Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets had a rough week, but the win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday Night helped them salvage a spot in this week’s top 10. Sergei Bobrovsky continues to be the necessary backbone for this team. Cam Atkinson coming back from injury is a huge plus for this team. Columbus’s record is 10-7-1 with 21 points.

#6 Ottawa Senators: The Senators swept the Colorado Avalanche in the Global Series which was held in Stockholm, Sweeden. Ottawa have scored 59 goals in 16 games so far this season and their offence hasn’t been challenged so far this season which is a good thing. Their record is 8-3-5 with 21 points so far this season.

#5 New Jersey Devils: In year’s past, the Devils would have never come back from a 4-1 deficit against the Chicago Blackhawks. However, they are a different team this time around. New Jersey scored seven goals in that game and won 7-5. The Devils have scored 61 goals so far this season which is the third most in the eastern conference. They have a 11-4-2 record with 24 points.

#4 Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs have been without Auston Matthews for the past few games with an upper-body injury and other players are stepping up like Mitchell Marner ( 2 goals and 11 assists) and Patrick Marleau ( 8 goal, 5 assists). Toronto lead the league in goals scored with 72. However, the main concern is that the Leafs have given 63 goals this season which is the third most in the NHL. Toronto’s record is 12-7 with 24 points.

#3 Los Angeles Kings: The Kings continue to play consistent hockey which is a good thing. Los Angeles are 11-4-2 with 24 points so far this season and have only given up 41 goals in 17 games. That means they are getting quality goaltending from Jonathan Quick. (9-4-1 2.27 GAA .933 save percentage and 2 shutouts).

#2 St. Louis Blues: The Blues continue to cause headaches for opponents night in and night out. They are taking advantage of a watered-down western conference. Jake Allen (9-4-1 2.59 GAA .914 save percentage) continues to be a work horse between the pipes for the Blues. The Blues are 13-4-1 with 27 points so far this season.

#1 Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning’s first line comprising Nikita Kucherov-Steven Stamkos-Vladislav Namestnkiov are unstoppable right now and are playing at a championship calibre level. Tampa Bay have the best goals scored/goals against differential in the league (+25, 71 goals scored 46 goals given up) and their record reads 14-2-2 with 30 points which is the best in the NHL.

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NHL 18,Thrills on the ice

8 Meet EA Sports’ latest addition to the world of ice hockey gaming – there’s plenty to talk about.

It’s clear NHL 18 is an attempt to hold onto the core factors of the franchise while simultaneously opening up new facets of the game to entice a new generation of players.

With a tiered system of short sharp and helpful levels the tutorials teach you each facet of the game with ease. They weren’t just there to help me figure out the buttons – the levels were actually fun to get through.

From the roster the draft and the morale of your players through to finances game days and even upgrading the stadium toilets (which isn’t as bad as it sounds) there’s a mountain of stuff to keep you busy if you want a break before or after hitting the ice.

The expansion of options centred around the arrival of the Vegas Golden Knights creates a whole new realm of customisation to your Franchise settings and experience.

Adding a mountain of time and effort into your pre and postseason isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but you can’t say the entire package isn’t there for the die-hards.

The new 3-on-3 mode works perfectly for what it’s designed to be: an arena for the casual player or fan to knock the puck around and score more goals than they would in a normal game while also being a serious game mode that incorporates single player multiplayer and online gameplay.

The arcade-style set up of the new mode gives it a real energised feel with the commentators constantly going ballistic. The fast-paced style of the game is based on entertainment pace and excitement rather than strategy.

The hits are bigger and the goals come quicker while the ‘money puck’ system adds further excitement and opportunity to win every single game.You can even play as the mascots!This is all well and good for the casual player but it’s so much more in-depth than that.

It’s not just a one-game thing. There’s an entire season and national series built around it in the game where you can play by yourself or with and against anyone online.

The system of unlocking new teams and challenges players to strengthen your team and even new jerseys to fit your bill works perfectly. It’s all based on which difficulty you’re playing on and how well you perform in the actual game as measured by a points system.

In terms of the overall gameplay NHL 18 has introduced a fancy new skill stick that is in line with the skill moves set up in the FIFA franchise.

You can dip dance and throw your hockey stick around all over the shop in any number of ways with the analog stick allowing you to create and pull off some crazy new moves to get past the opponents defenders and goalie.

It also comes in handy in defence as well: instead of just trying to lay down bumper hits and checks all the time and miss by a mile you can use the stick to win the puck in much less embarrassing fashion.

And then there’s the fighting.

The reason most casual players get onto the game (me being one of them about five years ago) is the fact you can pretty much play a boxing game inside an ice hockey game.

Not much has changed in this regard. The fighting is still very much a big part of the game but it doesn’t overshadow it which is very good.

You can grab the jersey duck punches throw a few different kinds of punches in return. It’s pretty much as good as you’ll get for a non-fighting game with in-game fighting.

The lack of a story-driven career or journey mode which has been tried with varying levels of success in NBA FIFA and most recently NFL games is a bit of a miss – simply because it’s a common and popular feature to include these days.

That said it’s not enough of a downer to take anything away from the overall game – it’s merely something they should consider in the future even if now isn’t the time.

Ultimate Team and online play have been the highlights of many recent EA Sports games and this one is no different.

The depth is insane and there’s no limit on how much you can do in the online arena. It’s almost scary how addicting it can be to continue building your Ultimate Team.

The look feel gameplay and variation of modes makes this a winner for me and while it’s not blindingly different from last year there are some really really strong changes that separate it from the past and keep the franchise rolling confidently towards future releases.

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NHL 18 Review: Customization adds replay value

Marc Bergevin has said on many occasions that acquiring a top centre is only possible on PlayStation. This off-season, he also said that if you want loyalty, get a dog.

Well, I have good news for the Montreal Canadiens GM. You can get loyalty on PlayStation, too.

The newest iteration of EA Sports’ annual NHL game allows you to take over the Vegas Golden Knights (or any other team) the date of the expansion draft. And that opens up a whole lot of possibilities. In fact, both times I have taken over an expansion team and re-done the draft, both Andrei Markov and Alex Radulov re-signed with the Canadiens before July 1.

Of course, because it happens at the expansion draft, it means you can’t undo anything that happened before such as the Nathan Beaulieu or Jonathan Drouin trades.

That’s just one aspect of the replay ability that previous games just didn’t have. On top of re-doing the Vegas expansion draft, you could even customize the protection lists, and add a 32nd team to the league and have two teams drafting from the pool of players made available.
At release, this feature didn’t work that well as it put my Quebec No Dekes team in the Western Conference. However, the first update added the option to have a custom realignment before any new franchise – with 31 teams or 32. It also allows you the option to customize the 31st and 32nd AHL teams – even creating their mascot.

NHL Threes

The biggest addition to the game this year was NHL Threes. If you haven’t seen it, think NBA Jam on ice. It’s a three-on-three arcade style game with game-changers such as Money Pucks which count for multiple goals (either added to your score or removed from your opponents’).

While it’s not personally my cup of tea, it is fun from time to time and some people will probably love it.
Season’s Greetings

Another new addition was the Champions Hockey League. If you aren’t familiar with that, think Champions League in soccer but with hockey teams. The game not only has the teams that were in the most recent tournament, but you are able to play your own tournament in season’s mode.

You could also play a season with many other leagues in the game, including the AHL, Liiga, SHL, and others. Again, it is something that gives you another option to keep the game fun and fresh.

The game is a more polished version of last year’s but if it wasn’t for the extra teams, you wouldn’t really be able to tell at a glance that the game was updated. The actual game play does look and feel like last year’s version.

Having said that, last year’s version was good so there weren’t many changes that needed to be made and this year’s version is worth especially if you enjoy the possibilities that customization gives you, either re-doing the expansion draft, or creating a 32nd team.

You could even take over the Canadiens and add a 32nd team and see how that shakes up the league. Of course, you could also take over the team right before this season if you want.

The game is not perfect, but at least the options and the new Threes mode will keep the game from getting stale. If you can’t find a way to play NHL 18 and have fun, it’s not for a lack of options.

Final Score: 8/10
While there are customization options, franchise mode is essentially the same as previous years, but with the addition of mid-season contract extensions. However, when previously the only way to shake up the game was with a fantasy draft, the expansion options are very welcomed additions

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NHL 18: How to Perfect Your Passing

Passing is an indispensable part of hockey and EA EA SPORTS NHL 18 is no exception. Passing allows a team to move an ice ball faster to the ice and Allow a team to maintain the ownership of the puck over a long period of time. Passing is an art. It can be creative, open up new paths and scoring opportunities, or it will not be there.

NHL 18

There are five ways to improve your performance in NHL 18:

In order to perfect your passing in NHL 18, it is important to understand the basics of the pass. To make an on-ice pass, aim the Left Stick at the player you want to pass the puck to and press ‘R2’ on PlayStation or ‘RT’ on Xbox. The longer you hold the pass button down, the more power your pass will have. Click on the pass button to execute a shorter pass and hold it for longer passes.

The key to passing is to make sure you have a clear pass route.The passing route is the path between the player you are passing and the player who is passing. By removing obstacles on the pass line, your teammates will have a greater chance of receiving your pass.

Sometimes there are no available channels. If you can’t find an open channel to pass the puck to the player, you can create one in a variety of ways.

To create a passing lane, you can try skating to an open spot on the ice to change the angle of the pass and force the defender out of position. Also, using the Right Stick, you can change the angle of the pass by pulling the puck onto your backhand side or forehand before making the pass. Using a combination of these techniques will allow you to create new passing lanes and hit your targets more effectively and efficiently.

Saucer passes are one of the more difficult mechanics to master but they allow you to thread the needle and connect with passes that otherwise would have been intercepted. Saucer passes are completely manual however they allow you to lead your teammates so they receive the pass in full stride and get a step ahead of defenders. You can do a saucer pass by using ‘R1’ on PlayStation or ‘Right Bumper’ on Xbox.

The use of a flying saucer can create a new pass, which will lead to more shooting and scoring opportunities.Learn how to effectively use a UFO pass to a target player who has a pass through the pass line that is critical to improve your passing in NHL 18.

One of the most important things about passing is to make sure you don’t do exactly the same every time. If you make your passing lanes and patterns predictable,Your opponent will begin to cover more of these lanes.Make sure you are changing your passing routes and habits in order to keep your opponent guessing your next pass.

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NHL 18 Tips: Defending the Blue Line

In EASHL, One of the biggest skills a team needs is defending the blue line. It is difficult for a top team to enter the offensive zone and the game can win or lose in the neutral zone. This is a very simple thinking process. And blue line defense reduce scoring opportunities.


All 5 skaters play a role in defending the blue line. Top Clubs have very good forechecks but when they realize it won’t work in some situations, they’ll usually drop to the 1-4, where 1 player challenges the puck carrier and the rest protect the blue line. Even when you’re on the Penalty Kill it’s still very possible to protect the blue line.

The backbone of the Blue Line Defense is the defenseman. They have to read the opposing skaters AND see where their teammates are to figure out where the gaps are and close them.

If you notice your defensive partner step-up to make a play on the blue line, its important for the weak side defenseman to move towards the middle of the ice. This will put them in good position to defend a 2 on 1 should your defensive partner miss AND you’ll have a head start if the other teams tries a dump and chase.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO FOR THE BIG HIT!! A defenseman’s job is to ‘get in their way’. If you can’t take the puck away in your 1 on 1 battle don’t worry. Stay close and slow them down until a forward can help on the backcheck. Slowing the puck carrier down can also be enough to force a teammate of theirs offside.
Adapt to your teammates. In a club you should get used to what your defensive partner likes to do. If you play with help, it will be more difficult. Depending on what they are doing, you may need to adjust your style. If they like to attack, you will want to back more. If they are willing to back down, you have to be more aggressive than traditional against your hockey player.
Hopefully these NHL 18 Tips helped you guys out, any comments or feedback are welcome. The easiest way to show your support is a simple like and comment on my video. Special thanks to SGO for giving me this opportunity and happy hockey!

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