Remember last season? The San Jose Sharks leapt to an incredible 7-0-0 start, turning in a perfect first month.
The 2013-14 Sharks look every bit as prepared for puck drop. Undefeated after three games and owners of the league’s 19-year-old leader in points and goals (it’s early, we know), there is terrific buzz in San Jose.
They know not to get ahead of themselves, however. That 7-0-0 Sharks team from last season won just two games the following month.
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The Sharks have been busy chasing Henrik Lundqvist from his net, jumping off to a 3-0-0 record and introducing the world to Calder candidate Tomas Hertl. “It’s a good start,” GM Doug Wilson understates. “We had a good camp and everything. We’re playing the way we finished last season, which is good.”
Despite the roster changes, the 2013-14 Penguins remind us of the 2012-13 Penguins. They get hit with injuries to key players – currently James Neal and Tomas Vokoun – yet have the depth to do nothing but win.
New faces in the lineup, but the Bruins have picked up where they left off, outscoring the Lightning and Red Wings 7-2 combined. Welcome to the East, Detroit.
Sure they’re looking up at the Winnipeg Jets in the standings, but the champs are just easing into their season. With two games coming up against the Central rival Blues, expect Chicago to move in next week’s rankings.
Hard to judge this defensive juggernaut yet because they’ve faced bottom-of-the-barrel competition in the Predators and Panthers, but they’ve won decisively by a combined 11-2 score.
The Canucks won the games they were supposed to (versus non-playoff teams Devils, Flames, Oilers) and lost the one they needed to (Sharks). Sedins looking prime for a twin re-signing.
Jason Spezza’s health issues are a concern, but the early look of Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur – now free from Randy Carlyle’s terror – is promising.
Taking two of three games against their new opponents in the East, Detroit (now with even more Swedes!) is looking like a solid middle-of-the-pack playoff team.
Are the Avalanche for real for real? They’re off to their first 3-0-0 start since relocating from Quebec, and new coach Patrick Roy is perfectly intense. Would not want to cross the man.
They haven’t faced a real test yet, but John Tavares’ Isles have taken five of a possible six points to open their season.
Patrick Roy must’ve lit a fire under Bruce Boudreau and the boys. After getting embarrassed (and nearly squashed) in a opening-night road loss, the Ducks stole games in Minnesota and Winnipeg.
“We’re 3-1 to start the season. I bet most of you wouldn’t have guessed that,” said Leafs centre Tyler Bozak, looking at the media Tuesday. He’s right. But if the Leafs’ defence doesn’t improve quickly, we could be looking at a .500 team by the end of the weekend.
Just how jet-lagged were the Winnipeg players last year? The move to the Western Conference has seemingly done their shooters wonders as the Jets are averaging four goals a game through three.
Two pieces of good news for the Kings: They always finish the season better than they start, and Jonathan Quick’s worst goal allowed of the season – a 163-foot shorthanded dump-in by Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh – is behind him.
The Habs split their opening home stand, but a four-game road swing through Western Canada should reveal whether last season was a fluke or if the Habs are a playoff team.
Brad Richards – nearly bought out — looks like a player again and Alain Vigneault got his first victory out of the way. But a head injury to leading scorer Rick Nash spells trouble.
Were it not for a dramatic, Ovechkin-fuelled, come-from behind victory over the Flames, the Capitals would still be searching for a win. Washington has a relatively soft schedule for the rest of the month. Now is the time for this bubble team to make ground.
The Jackets have won their only game against an Eastern Conference team, a good sign for how they might adjust to realignment.
Even without Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos haven’t lost a step. Coming away from an opening-week road trip with four points is a big positive.
A good sign that you’re not quite a playoff team? You lose to the Florida Panthers. At home. To a goalie that took a year off.
The surprising Flames earned at least a point in each of their first three contests and currently sit in a playoff spot. We won’t waste time calculating their magic number, but the strong start has put the Bob Hartley/Jay Feaster firing watch on hold.
No Nashville Predator has more than two points, so the scoring-by-committee approach seems to have survived the summer intact. Rookie Seth Jones, already seeing top-pair time, looks a keeper.
Locking up Jason Pominville before his contract expires was wise. The Wild need all the help it can get as it plays a lot of one-goal games and have lost all three so far. Goalie Nicklas Backstom’s knee injury doesn’t help.
Surrendering a hat trick to a player, Jussi Jokinen (now with Pittsburgh), they put on waivers last year is kinda embarrassing, but with healthy goaltending the Hurricanes should rebound.
It took four ties, but Dallas Eakins finally has his first victory as an NHL head coach. Looks like a better group with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins back in the fold.
New Jersey is loving the loser point right now. Despite being winless, the Devils have three points in the standings. Off-season acquisition Damien Brunner is looking like a wise pickup.
A 7-0 mangling by the Blues and an injury to old man Tim Thomas provides clear evidence that this team is miles from contending.
The Coyotes’ mini road trip saw them outscored by the Sharks and Islanders 10-2, setting the new owners’ expectations for the season.
Their coach was axed three games in, their GM thinks they had a horrible training camp, and captain Claude Giroux has yet to get on the scoreboard.
Oh, boy, this is going to be a long season in Buffalo. Good thing they have two captains to share the burden of holding players-only motivational meetings.