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?
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.