The NHL’s newest franchise is the best team in the league and the Colorado Avalanche are on a nine-game win streak. Those are two headlines no one thought would be true at the beginning of the 2017-18 season. After Colorado had one of the worst seasons in league history last year, they seem to have turned things around this year. Nathan MacKinnon is leading the Av’s with 59 points this season (second most in the NHL) and 18 points on Colorado’s current nine-game win streak. The streak has vaulted the Avalanche in to the final Wild Card spot in the West, and while there is still a lot of time left in the season, Colorado is no longer the laughing stock of the league. The other big headline is that the Vegas Golden Knights have jumped over the power house Tampa Bay Lightning for the best record in the league (for the time being) at 31-11-4. It’s never expected that a new franchise will even be able to compete in its first few seasons but the Golden Knights have caught on quickly and are looking to be a Stanley cup contender. Vegas is being led by young players like Jonathan Marchessault (43 points) and James Neal (32 points) as well as strong goaltending from veteran Marc-Andre Fleury after returning from injury. The Boston Bruins have also been on a roll lately, getting at least a point in their last 16 games (12-0-4). All those points have them sitting comfortably in second place in the Atlantic Division behind the Lightning. North of the border there is not a whole lot going on. The Calgary Flames had their seven-game win streak come to an end at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets last Saturday during a thrilling shootout finish on Hockey Day in Canada. The Flames still sit third in the Pacific and, along with the Jets, are the Canadian hopefuls for a playoff berth in the west. Toronto is the only Canadian team in the East with real hopes of making the playoffs as they sit third in the Atlantic Division.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are going to the Super Bowl once again. This will be Brady’s 8th appearance in the big game as he looks for his sixth title ring. The Pats had to come back from a 20-10 deficit in the fourth to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars and book their ticket to the Super Bowl. A four-yard TD pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 left in the game sealed it for New England as they took the win 24-20 in the AFC Championship Game. In the NFC Championship the Minnesota Vikings came out strong looking to have home field advantage in the Super Bowl with a quick TD just five minutes in. The momentum shifted though after a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown tied the game. The Philadelphia Eagles dominated the rest of the game on their way to a 38-7 victory and their first Super Bowl appearance since 2005, where they also played the Patriots. The Pats took that one 24-21 with Tom Brady behind center, but can history repeat itself 13-years later? We will find out February 4th as the teams take a break for Pro Bowl weekend before they meet up in Minnesota for Super Bowl 52.