It’s fair to say things have not gone to plan for Colorado this season thus far.
After a remarkable turn around saw them go from basement dwellers to divisional winners last season, the Avs have slumped to the foot of the Western Conference again, with just 1 win from their opening 7 games.
So what’s knocked Patrick Roy’s upstart Avalanche on their ass this season?
Phil Kessel equalled his career best 37 goals last season. He has three other 30+ goal seasons under his belt and has 4 goals and 8 points in 7 games so far this year.
He is someone I, and many others, believe can break the 40 goal barrier.
And yet one of hockey’s most respected pundits described him as a ‘support player’ today.
Leading up to the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, one question dominated discussion – Taylor or Tyler?
Rugged winger Taylor Hall had 40 goals and 106 points in 57 games for the Windsor Spitfires, while Tyler Seguin potted 48 goals and 106 points in 63 games for Plymouth.
Ultimately Hall’s contribution during the post season tipped him ahead; recording 5 goals and 9 points in 4 games as the Ontario outfit won the Memorial Cup – demolishing Brandon 9-1 in the final.
Now entering their fifth season in the NHL, the careers of Taylor and Tyler have taken very different paths.
A little over a fortnight in to the new NHL season, and Anaheim have resumed their place at the top of the Western Conference.
With a 5-1-0 record to start the new campaign, the California outfit has established its Cup credentials early – thanks in no short measure to 25-year old netminder Frederik Andersen.
Named one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week today; Andersen has won all 5 games in which he started, posting a .950 save percentage and 1.38 goals against average.
Part of a wave of young Danish players in the NHL, the Herning native and his country men have come along way since they faced off against Team GB at the Under 18 World Championships in 2007.
A summer of change saw Nashville part with the only man they’d ever called ‘Coach’ and give their forward lines a much needed upgrade.
Leading the Central Division with a 2-0-1 record, the Predators head to Winnipeg tonight with renewed vigour under new coach Pete Laviolette.
But the Tennessee organisation’s most notable story this year may not be the change of coach, the arrival of some big(ger) name forwards or the return of Pekka Rinne – but the true arrival of Filip Forsberg in the NHL.
With Carolina sinking towards the NHL basement, the future of star centre Eric Staal has come under increasing speculation over the past few months – with the trade rumours coming to a head yesterday.
TSN’s Darren Dreger implied Toronto would be willing to pay an ‘enormous’ price to acquire the Team Canada forward; sending the hockey media in to something of a frenzy.
While Staal’s future remains largely in his own hands; a deal involving the Hurricanes Captain could lead to significant improvement for both sides of any potential trade.
The new season may only be three games old, but for the Edmonton Oilers this season has a remarkably familiar feel to it.
A shoot out loss to Vancouver provided the clubs solitary point thus far, as their much hyped top 6 struggled with injuries and their much maligned defence gave way once again.
The Oilers blue line is horrible – it’s no secret – but heading in to the new season with two unproven netminders seems to further exacerbate the situation.