Phoenix surprised a lot of people last season and this year I think they fall back a bit. Not much but a little. Losing Michalek is going to hurt quite a bit but I never bet against a Tippett team’s ability to be competitive. They had a lot of luck last season (esp. in shootouts) and so expect a backslide but they are for real.
A few people picked the Yotes to backslide and they have. Of course its still early and interesting to note - three Bettman points. Last year this club won a lot of shootouts. They have those three points and they are tied for seventh, three points out of first. Instead they are in fourteenth.
This is where it gets iffy and you could probably slot any one of six or seven clubs. Injuries and luck are going to play a role here as none of these clubs really stand out from the rest.
Someone has to come out of the Northwest other than the Canucks, right? Right? I guess so although I’m not sure who. I guess we’ll say Calgary even though the loss of Langkow is going to hurt. Unless they implode (which is possible) they just have too many solid players at every position to ignore. It wil be tight but they will sneak in.
A brutal start for the Flames but since then they have taken off as their long list of injuries had shortened. They have a deep roster and the gambles on Tanguay and Morrison have worked out very well so far. Jokinen? Not so much. And Bouwmeester has also underwhelmed. Still, they may be better than advertised. Six and three is a nice start.
I look at the Preds and see Arnott and Hamhuis gone and I think they can’t do this but I never bet against Barry Trotz. He always gets it done with whatever he is given and he has enough talent to lift these guys into the last spot in the playoffs.
First in the conference so far. They'll come back but a fast start can get you a playoff spot. I look at their roster and have no idea - Cal O'Reilly? Barry Trotz.
St. Louis bounces back from a year where everyone expected them to rise into the cream of the conference. Still a couple of years away but the addition of Halak is going to help a lot.
Nice start for the Blues - Halak has a .929 SV% and a GAA of 1.81
Colorado had a lot of luck last season. A lot. I love Craig Anderson but to expect these guys to get on a run like they did last fall that will propel them into the playoffs again is highly unlikely. They’re going to fall back to earth a little.
Running in place over nine games and now Anderson is out. Might be a freefall if he is gone for any length of time.
They’re not your dad’s Dallas Stars, which is great, because I hated them, those bunch of fuckers. The whole old gang is gone now, Zubov and Hatcher and Modano and Turco and Lehtinen too and these guys are just another mediocre club now. They have enough up front to push them ahead of a lot of the other turtles but not much. This might be Crawford’s last year coaching, which means we can look forward to him being back on the CBC again soon.
Reasonable start for Dallas and Brad Richards has been tremendous. I don't think it will last because I hate Dallas. No other reason.
Seriously who cares now? We’re getting to those dreary teams that are really stuck in no man’s land, neither on their way up nor even rebuilding. Just boring and crappy.
Like Anaheim. The Ducks have fallen fast and hard but they still have some serious quality up front and Jonas Hiller so they should stay out of the basement. They are thin enough that if they are hit by injuries they could really plummet though.
The Ducks were terrible their first few games but Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan have all come along and Selanne can still produce on the PP. Their resurgence coincided with Tony Lydman's return. Coincidence? How the hell should I know?
I miss Wild on Jack Lemaire. Well, not really. God what a dull club that was. But they were good. Now they’re a little more exciting, I guess, but shitty. Or maybe they’re good? Don’t think so, don’t really care.
The BJs looked like a team on the rise a couple of years back but it seems to be coming apart at the seams a little and one wonders if Howson might be in jeopardy here. He made some smart low risk bets early in his tenure but now one looks at this roster and other than Rick Nash there’s not much going on anywhere. Of course they could finish seventh what with the mess that is the bottom of this conference but I’m thinking this is about where they end up.
Columbus has had a decent start. They don't score at all but they don't give much back either. Five (soon to be six) and three isn't too bad though.
Your Edmonton Oilers. Hey if they remain injury free they could creep up a notch or two but you cannot ignore that they have a ton of kids learning on the job, their D is really quite bad and their goaltending is likely going to be poor. That’s not a good combination at all and remember they finished way up the road in last this season past. They’re going to need a lot of breaks to go their way and a few clubs to get riddled with injuries (looks like the Islanders are getting a headstart on this) just to get out of the lottery. At this point of the rebuild its probably not a bad thing if they add another blue chip prospect.