The NHL season is now a month old, and most teams have played a total of 10 to 13 games. The season has been fast paced, and very exciting thus far. Games have been filled with big time highlight goals, huge hits, and most of all some surprises.
THE GOOD SURPRISES!
1- Nashville Predators
The Predators have Pekka Rinne back and under new coach Peter Laviolette they have been on fire. Nashville is 6-2-2 (14 points) in ten games. That is a pretty good winning percentage for a team that was predicted to be mediocre this season. Strong positional play, and great goaltending has been the key to the early season success.
2 – Vancouver Canucks
Well last season everything fell apart for the Canucks. So as this season started there was not much hope for success. Many predicted them to not make the playoffs, and talked that the Sedin’s were past their prime. Wrong! The Canucks have posted 16 points in their first 11 games (8-3-0). Newly acquired goaltender Ryan Miller has rattled off a league leading 8 wins, and both Henrik and Daniel Sedin are both in the top 25 in points with 12 each.
THE BAD SURPRISES!
1 – Colorado Avalanche
The 112 points that the Colorado Avalanche posted last season will be very difficult to repeat. Most thought that they would take a step back, including myself. The early season drop off for the Avalanche has been a little worse than expected. In their first 12 games, the Avalanche has posted 11 points. This actually does not seem so bad, but they have only won three games in regulation (3-4-5). Injuries have played a role, but the biggest downfall has been a terrible lack of scoring. Without drastic improvement in scoring the Avalanche will have difficulties even making the playoffs.
2 – Columbus Blue Jackets
Hopes and expectations were very high for the Blue Jackets at the start of the season. Unexpectedly it has been a train wreck from the start. Columbus has posted just 8 points in their first 11 games (4-7-0). It is slightly ironic that the preseason problem of having Ryan Johansen unsigned, and now newly signed Johansen has been the only bright spot of the regular season. The biggest problem that the Blue Jackets have experienced this season is injuries, and boy do I mean injuries. Honestly the injury problem is so bad that there is simply to many to list. It will take a stretch of injury free days and a quick recovery to get the Blue Jackets back on track. It’s time to turn it around now before it is too late.
* Photo by Getty Images