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NHL Season Update: Bruins remain in pole position

The Boston Bruins remain in first place in the NHL standings with an outstanding 39-8-5 record and .798 points percentage.

It's been a historic season for Boston who began the season with a record 14-game winning streak at home and more recently became the quickest ever team to reach 80 points doing so in 47 games.

Boston are on pace to better the NHL record of 132 points set by the 1976/77 Montreal Canadiens and are aiming to beat the all-time wins record in a season held by the 1995/96 Detroit Red Wings and 2019/20 Tampa Bay Lightning who each had 62.

The Bruins are seven points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes (34-10-8) in the race for the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's best regular season team and they are -400 to win it and gain valuable home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Boston have lost just twice in regulation time at TD Garden all season (22-2-3) and so the importance of that prize can't be understated for the team who are +525 to end the season as Stanley Cup champions.

Below the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning sit comfortably in the automatic playoff places and appear likely to be matched up in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second season running.

Wild Card battle in East

Carolina currently hold top spot in the Metropolitan Division but the title is still up for grabs with New Jersey Devils three points behind and the in-form New York Rangers six points from first place. The Hurricanes are -240 To Win the Metropolitan Division, the Devils are +300 and Rangers +550.

The trio are unlikely to be knocked out of the Metro's automatic playoff positions which means Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders will battle it out with the Atlantic's Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres for the two Wild Card places from the Eastern Conference.

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The Capitals (-140 To Reach the Playoffs) currently hold the first spot with Pittsburgh Penguins (-320) one point behind in second position.

The Islanders (+280), Panthers (+150) and Sabres (+300) are all within five points of a Wild Card spot and with differing games played it's set to be an exciting race for the post-season.

Stars continue to shine

Over in the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars continue to shine and top the Central Division with a 30-14-10 record. The Stars, who are -190 To Win the Central Division title, are three points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets who are +333 to finish first.

The reigning Stanley Cup Champions Colorado Avalanche have finally moved into an automatic playoff spot after spending much of the season out of one, mainly due to injuries.

Getting their health back, the Avalanche have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games which has pushed the Minnesota Wild into the Western Conference's Wild Card battle where they face stiff competition from the Pacific Division.

Oilers on the charge

The Edmonton Oilers spent the first half of the NHL season bemoaning defensive issues for their inability to stabilise themselves in a playoff position.

However, after going 9-0-2 in their last 11 they have moved into second place in the Pacific Division and have their sights set on top spot which is currently held by Vegas Golden Knights.

The Oilers (+220 To Win the Pacific Division) are just one point behind the Golden Knights (+210) whose form has dipped recently, not helped by losing Captain Mark Stone for the season through injury.

Edmonton’s Captain Connor McDavid is on a 15-game point streak and continues to lead the NHL in goals (42) and points (97). The 26-year-old is -700 To Win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.

The Los Angeles Kings and Seattle Kraken (both +375) are also in the hunt for the Pacific Division title, with each being within three points of top spot.

Calgary Flames are just below and the two who don’t make the top three in the Division will most likely need to better the Wild’s points tally from the Central Division to get into the playoffs via a Wild Card place. 

Seattle (-800 To Reach the Playoffs) currently hold the first Wild Card spot from the Western Conference, with the Wild second (-300 to qualify), but the Flames (-330) are level with Minnesota on points.

Trade deadline upcoming

The NHL trade deadline is on March 3rd and with plenty of teams in the market and big business already done it's set to be an intriguing time for the league.

The New York Islanders' move to acquire high-scoring centreman Bo Horvat from Vancouver Canucks is the headline move so far and certainly boosts their chances of winning a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The 27-year-old Horvat immediately committed to an eight-year contract with the Islanders and has started strong scoring four points (three goals, one assists) in four games.

The Islanders' close rivals, the Rangers, have also made a significant forward addition by trading for Vladimir Tarasenko from the St. Louis Blues. With a goal already on his debut, the 31-year-old adds further depth to a side that have won five in a row.

San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier is another big name expected to move before the deadline but the destination of the 30-goal scorer remains unknown.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is the highest profile defenseman available and was a healthy scratch on Sunday due to 'trade related reasons'.

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