The NHL season is underway and people are overreacting to teams’ hot starts or in some cases the not-so-hot starts. Just like in other sports that have long regular seasons, you have to let things play out. The regular season is not a sprint it is a marathon. However, getting off to a good start can certainly help a team make the playoffs come the end of the season. As the old saying goes, you can’t make the playoffs in October, but you sure can put yourself in a position to miss them. There are definitely some interesting trends at the start of the season despite teams only playing two or three games. And in some cases just one game. Let’s go around the league with some NHL Insights and Observations.
NHL Insights and Observations: What We Know Thus Far
New York Islanders Slow Start
Look the Islanders are off to a slow start, what else is new under Barry Trotz. Since he has taken over the Islanders always get off to a slow start. But this feels different with expectations being a lot higher. There is no need to press the panic button just yet. The Islanders played two good teams in the Carolina Hurricanes, which give them fits, and the Florida Panthers, another team with expectations. With the Islanders beginning the season on a road trip before they open their new building, this will allow them to bond as they did in the bubble in 2020. But if they do not finish this road trip with a decent record, questions will start to be raised about this team. Again it is early, good teams find a way to turn things around. Plus the Islanders are built more for the playoffs than the regular season anyway.
Here We Go Again With The Dallas Stars
Another season brings something very familiar for the Dallas Stars. Rick Bowness again has to call out his top players. Prior to their loss in Ottawa, the head coach of the Stars wanted more out of his top six players. This should not happen this early into the season. But it is the same old story with the Stars. Every year, they need a kick in the pants to play better. Having a healthy Tyler Seguin should help them offensively. While I agree they need more from Jamie Benn, now is not the time to be calling out your top players, especially when a guy like Joe Pavelski has been the Stars’ best player since arriving in Dallas. This is a story worth watching.
Can The Winning Continue?
Two teams that are off to good starts and there are others are the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres. Both teams were predicted to finish near the bottom of the standings in the Atlantic Division. However, both have gotten off to really good starts. Buffalo is 3-0 and Detroit 2-0-1. And Detroit should be 3-0 if they didn’t blow that 6-3 lead to the Lightning. But both teams are playing with identity now. And keeping the focus on Buffalo, while I do not think this will continue, they will be better than many predicted. Don Granato has continued to be great for the Sabres. He has got the young players buying in and they have put the Jack Eichel stuff aside and focus on what is going on the ice. This most likely won’t last but it is good to see Buffalo playing so well.
Ep 12: Biting, Montreal, COVID, and Penguins Sale Updateby Full Press Coverage on December 1, 2021 at 5:52 pm
Mike, Jim, and Chris […]
Montreal Has Problems
This one might not be much of an overreaction as the Montreal Canadiens are struggling and badly. We all know it was going to be tough this season with no Carey Price and Shea Weber. But clearly not having Phillip Danault is hurting this team as well. They have lost their identity as well. The Canadiens are not the same team that went to the Stanley Cup Final last season. Everything is just a mess for Montreal right now. And with general manager Marc Bergevin‘s contract set to expire at the end of the season, outside factors could be playing a role in their early-season struggles.
Stay Tuned for another edition of NHL Insights and Observations next week.