The NHL season is in full swing and the ice is getting slick. The Zambonis can’t keep up with the blazing fast pace of the skates, but that’s what the game’s all about. As league teams get settled in and work out their kinks, it’s time to take a look at what’s happening around the rink.
— The New Jersey Devils aren’t off to a good start this year. During the offseason, a lot of chatter had them on a pedestal, but their performance so far has knocked them right off. In the six games they’ve played so far, they’re still sporting a goose egg, unable to find victory a single time. It should have been a queue when they blew their very first game, losing after having secured a four-goal advance while taking on the Winnipeg Jets.
— The Vegas Golden Knights came into the season third in the Pacific Division and favorites in the Western Conference – not bad for a newish expansion team. The team is looking relatively strong so far this season, even if its defense is showing signs of miscommunication. Give the Knights a little bit of time to get organized and let Marc-Andre Fleury work his magic. They’ll be on top in no time.
— Just ahead of the Golden Knights surprisingly sits the San Jose Sharks. That lead has already been wiped out and the team now sits in last place in the Pacific, thanks to a 2-4 record. Losing key players like Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi, as well as Justin Braun, hasn’t helped. What also hasn’t helped is keeping two other players – Aaron Dell and Martin Jones – that are the worst goaltenders in the league. The good news is the Patrick Marleau is back in town on a one-year deal, so the Sharks have that going for them.
— The LA Kings are off to a rough start this year. Like the Sharks, they’re 2-4 but, if you ask them, it’s not their fault. It can all be blamed on Taylor Swift. The Staples Center is displaying a banner for the pop star’s record number of sold-out concerts, and that banner is bringing the team bad luck. The display has been in place since 2015, which just happens to coincide with the downfall of the team after winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014.
— The Winnipeg Jets might be getting a little help on the defensive side of the puck. They currently sit in the middle of the Central Division with a 4-4 record, and the word on the street is that Dustin Byfuglien is coming back to the lineup. Nothing official has yet to be released, but, were it to happen, it would give the team a welcome boost. The team has allowed four or more goals in five games – not a great way to keep the pressure on.
— David Poile, the GM for the Nashville Predators, is scratching his head, trying to decide if he got a raw deal when he agreed to pick up Kyle Turris on a six-year contract worth $36 million. Turris has not been his old self and is only off to a mediocre start this season. His four points in six games isn’t enough to leave a permanent mark and is much lower than expectations. If Poile had his way, he would most likely trade Turris out, and it’s possible he’s shopping around for some potential buyers now.
— This past Saturday, the Colorado Avalanche took on the Arizona Coyotes. Everything was relatively tame – considering it’s hockey – until Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson took a puck to his fibula. He’s now out for three months and the Coyotes are out one of their strongest defensive players. To cover the loss, the team has recalled Kevin Capobianco, who had transferred to the American Hockey League. That could have been a nice call, as the Coyotes went on to beat the Jets 4-2.
There’s still a lot of time left in the season and the player juggling will continue. The puck-slinging action is getting hot and there’s no shortage of excitement in the league this year.