October In Review

October In Review

With the month of October coming to a close last night and Vancouver beating Chicago 4-2, let’s take a look at where the NHL is right now…

In the Atlantic Division, the expected, and unexpected, have occurred. As expected, Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Boston are the top three seeds. However, what was not expected was the early success of Montreal, Ottawa, and Buffalo. In fact, Montreal and Buffalo currently hold both wild card spots in the Eastern Conference.

Along with this, Florida has not been able to find their groove, as they are currently 2-4-3 and last in the division.

Toronto’s Austin Matthews is expected to miss at least a month with a shoulder injury. This will be felt greatly by the Maple Leafs, although after his return, Toronto should be set again.

Tampa Bay is off to a good start outscoring Eastern Conference opponents 25-9, and recording a record of 5-0-0 against them.

In Boston, backup Goalie Jaroslav Halak has started six games recording a record of 4-0-2, goals against average of 1.52, and a save percentage of .947%. Along with this, Bergeron has seven goals, and twelve assists. Marchand has four goals, and eleven assists. Pastrnak has eleven goals, and five assists.

In the Metropolitan Division however, things are still just starting to fall into place.

Pittsburgh has found their way back to the top spot of the division in ten games, along with being ranked sixth in this weeks power rankings.

Carolina and the New York Islanders are off to strong starts. They will have to continue to play at a high level and find the back of the net in order to stay on pace with explosive offensive units like Pittsburgh and Washington.

While Washington is currently fourth in the division, a Stanley Cup hangover is inevitable.  However, I feel with their roster primarily the same as last year, they will find themselves back in the top of their division.

The Capitals are currently first in the league on the power play with a percentage of 37.1%, but their penalty kill is lacking, currently 25th in the league at 72.5%.

Columbus, New Jersey, and Philadelphia all still seem to be trying to find their ways.

The Devils did get off to a good start at 4-0-0, but have only won one game in the last five.

The Rangers are in rebuilding mode this season, as expected.

Over in the Pacific Division, the Vancouver Canucks have gotten off to a hot start and are first in the division at 8-6-0.

This division does appear to be the weaker of the divisions in the league this year, in my opinion.

After playoff appearances last season, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Las Vegas are all struggling early in the season, holding the last three spots of the division.

For the Kings, this could be a little expected. An older core group, now with Quick out indefinitely after needing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, there is not much optimism in Los Angeles right now.

Was Vegas a fluke last season? Let’s wait and see.

Lastly is Anaheim. This is also a little expected because when comparing lineups, Anaheim just doesn’t match up against contenders like Nashville, San Jose, and Winnipeg.

Both Edmonton and Arizona have had solid performances and are not far out of the top three in the division at all.

As expected, San Jose is looking strong, although Evander Kane has not had a goal in eight games.

Calgary appears to be on track and are currently third in the division. They have won four of the five past road games.

James Neal needs to find a way to produce more as he only has two goals and an assist in thirteen games after signing a five year contract with the Flames this offseason.

Now, the Central Division. This division is the deepest in the league right now, in my opinion. Nashville is currently sitting atop not only the division, but also the entire league at 9-3-0.

The Predator’s top line of Forsberg, Johansen, and Arvidsson, is proving to be one of the most lethal lines. Forsberg has ten goals, and four assists. Johansen has two goals, and eleven assists. Arvidsson has eight goals, and four assists. A total of 39 points in twelve games for one line. Not bad at all.

Rinne is currently out with a concussion, however, Saros has proven he can do the job with Subban, Josi, Ekholm, and Ellis in front of him.

In second behind Nashville, is Colorado. This team has the best line in the NHL right now.

Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog have a combined total of 55 points in just twelve games played. Rantanen, currently leads the league in points, with five goals, and sixteen assists. He also tied Joe Sakic’s franchise record for most points in the month of October with 21. Nathan MacKinnon has nine goals, and nine assists, and Landeskog has ten goals, and six assists.

Winnipeg is finding their way in this division, but it is still early in the season. Laine has not scored a goals in five games.

Chicago, led by Patrick Kane with eleven goals, and seven assists, are improving from last season’s disaster. Their special teams could improve as they are currently 18th in the league on the penalty kill (77.5%), and are 26th in the league on the power play (14%).

Dallas and St. Louis appear to be facing some difficulties early in the season, however, both have the ability to turn the page.

Photo Source:

Featured: http://www.NHL.com

Nashville: http://www.atozsportsnashville.com

Colorado: http://www.thestar.com

Boston: http://www.nbcsports.com

Washington: http://www.NHL.com

Vancouver: http://www.thecanuckway.com

Quick: http://www.NHL.com

Calgary: http://www.sportsnet.ca

Florida: http://www.littleboxcats.com

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