Last night was a busy one in the NHL. In all, 22 teams hit the ice in pursuit of precious points.

At the start of every season, there are always a few surprises – “I can’t believe Team A hasn’t won yet,” or “I can’t believe Team B is doing so well.” (Went with “Team A and B” because the blanks aren’t filled with “Winnipeg” and “Toronto” every year.)

We don’t always know what we can chalk up to the schedule. Sometimes a squad just drew an easy first few games, and sometimes we’re seeing a team genuinely breakout (or fall off).

But usually, within some level of reason, we’re able to say “okay, that can’t last.”

For me, the Bruins sitting in 11th at 2-4 (now 3-4) is one of those things. That ship will eventually get righted.

And, as of today Dallas and Colorado are sitting at #1 and #2 in the Western Conference. Sorry fans of those two teams, but both teams would need a few extra caroms off the glass on dump-ins for goals to have a legit shot at playoffs.

So things just look a little wonky in the standings early on, you know?

Well, last night was one of those nights where The Great Evening Out starts to take place and we go “right, that makes more sense.”

Of the 11 games, eight were won by the team who finished with more points last season, and another two were games between teams who finished one point apart. Oh, and Ottawa beat Atlantapeg, who finished one spot ahead of them in the East.

Look at those eight games:

Wins by Boston, Washington, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota.

Losses by Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Florida, Colorado, the Islanders, Phoenix, Nashville, and Philly (kind of the exception).

***

My Islanders were due to take one off the chin. The Leafs had it coming too. Avs? of course. Hell, Ovechkin scored two while guys like Tavares and Kessel sat one out. Crazy outliers are regressing back to the mean.

The league has more parity that ever, and points aren’t easy to come by. But in the end, most teams are who we thought they were. Last night doesn’t prove everyone’s pre-season predictions right, but it certainly started moving thing in a more familiar direction.

Comments (6)

  1. So tonight’s expectations based on last season’s standings:

    San Jose (1-3-0) def New Jersey (3-1-0)
    Detroit (4-0-0) def Columbus (0-5-1)
    Carolina (3-2-1) def St. Louis (2-4-0)
    Anaheim (4-1-0) def Dallas (5-1-0)

    San Jose and New Jersey are having opposite starts to their seasons from a year ago. Detroit should steam-roll Columbus. Carolina and St. Louis finished very close in points last season so this game could actually go either way. Anaheim and Dallas are both off to great starts, but Anaheim’s average level of play should be higher than Dallas’s, but will it be higher than Kari Lehtonen’s is the real question.

  2. Nice. It’s obviously not going to be the case every night, but last night really threw a little water on the fire of fans like me who were in full ISLANDERS FOAR TEH CUP!!!1!! mode. Reality check of a night for a lot of fanbases.

  3. FYI…the Kings also won…did you go to the game?

  4. The reason I ask is I was watching the game here in LA and wondered if you had any plans to attend games as a reporter and give us some behind the scenes dirt like you’ve done in the past?

    I know your writing load has probably grown exponentially, but I would think to be able to live and work in AZ and still be able to report live from NHL games would be the the best possible situation to be in as a hockey writer.

  5. AND SPEND TIME AWAY FROM HIS CATS ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!?!?!

  6. …you’re right…that boy is pussy crazy!!!

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