3 Surprises From The NHL Opening Weekend

The puck has officially dropped on a new season, and the opening weekend didn’t disappoint.

For just the sixth time in NHL history, all 30 teams were in action on Saturday – with a spread of games either side of that bumper night keeping fans entertained.

Whilst it’s hard to get a true measure of how teams are going to measure up for at least 10 to 20 games, there has been no shortage of talking points through the opening days of the new season.

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Brock Nelson is the Leading Points Scorer

The 22-year old New York Islanders forward had 3 goals and 6 points in the clubs back-to-back wins over Carolina.

Whilst the Minnesota native is technically tied for the lead with Sidney Crosby, the Isles youngster averaged (marginally) more time on ice through two games, and converted three of his four shots on goal – which is, to say the least, unsustainable…

One of the few high points of the Islanders disastrous 2013/14 season, Nelson is considered to be one of the clubs best two way players and formed strong chemistry with sophmore Ryan Strome and new addition Mikhail Grabovski on the clubs second line.

While bigger tests are to follow, early success for Nelson and the Isles powerplay have provided plenty of positives for the clubs long suffering fan base early in the new campaign.

How Nelson was not one of the weeks Three Stars is mind boggling.

Colorado Shut Down

Whilst the Avs defence was (still) under scrutiny heading in to the new season, it was their offence that let them down against Minnesota at the weekend.

Wild netminder Darcy Kuemper faced just 16 shots in Thursday’s 5-0 win, and was perfect again on Saturday as he turned away all 30 shots faced.

The clubs goalless streak extended in to the second period of their game against Boston tonight, with Jamie McGinn’s tight angle shot beating Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg just over three minutes after the restart.

Danny Briere grabbed a late (LATE!) winner to get Colorado off and running, the teams woes in front of goal thus far will do little to dissuade those that believe last seasons remarkable effort was nothing more than a fluke.

Fans Eager to Waste Their Money….

Edmonton and Toronto both had fans hurl jerseys on to the ice, as their campaigns got off to stuttering starts.

Apparently spending $200+ for a ticket to see the Maple Leafs play wasn’t enough for one fan – upset at the clubs shoddy effort vs Pittsburgh on Saturday, he launched his jersey on to the ice.

While there is little doubt Toronto’s performance left much to be desired, it seems to be a bit of an overreaction in game 2 of the new season…

The Leafs went on to chase Henrik Lundqvist and topple the Rangers 6-3 win on Sunday.

Edmonton, on the other hand remain, Edmonton. Despite generating 40 shots on goal, the Oilers went down 5-2 to provincial rivals Calgary (in front of their 1984 Cup winning side no less) on Thursday – triggering the seasons first ‘jersey toss’ (albeit technically it was a hoody).

Despite both clubs struggles over recent years, to throw the proverbial towel in in games 1 and 2 of the season (respectively) seems a little excessive…


About Rob

Software engineer by day, Elite League Media man by night, Rob also blogs about cricket for One Stump Short, hockey for In Goal Magazine and video games for Outpost Delta as well as hosting the One Stump Short Podcast.

Posted on October 13, 2014, in Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Hockey, New York Islanders, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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