Just over a month into the NHL Season teams are still trying to find their groove, while the wait for the hot starters to fade out continues as well.
On the flip side, there are some other teams who were expected to be performing better than they have that are still continuing to struggle.
Here are the three teams with the worst starts to their 2019-2020 season; by no means is this saying that their seasons’ are done, this is simply a look at their performances thus far.
San Jose Sharks:
Heading into the season San Jose was expected to pick up right where they left off last season, with many people predicting them to contend for the Stanley Cup, some even Presidents’ Trophy.
However, now fifteen games into the season the Sharks are 4-10-1, and sit not only last in the Pacific Division but also the entire Western Conference.
Currently the Sharks have a goal differential of -20, and have lost five consecutive games.
These include a 4-1 loss to Toronto, a 5-2 loss to Ottawa, a 5-1 loss to Boston, a 3-2 loss to Winnipeg, and a 5-2 loss to Vancouver.
San Jose is experiencing what it is like to have shaky goaltending in Martin Jones, and Aaron Dell, along with their stars not producing as much as they need to.
Brent Burns leads the team with 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists), followed by Evander Kane, and Tomas Hertl each with 12 points. The only other players with 10 points or more are Logan Couture, and Erik Karlsson with a goal, and nine assists each.
What’s the scariest thing about this team is the fact that all of San Jose’s top players have the team’s worst plus-minus; Karlsson at -13, Hertl at -12, with Burns, and Labanc each at -11.
In net it does not get much better, if at all.
Jones has a goals against average of 3.52, along with a save percentage of .887; Dell has a goals against average of 3.83, and a save percentage of .878, each with two wins.
Set to host Chicago tonight at 10:00 PM ET, the only thing San Jose has going for them is their Special Teams with the league’s best Penalty Kill (89.7%), and twelfth best Power Play (22%).
New York Rangers:
The Rangers had arguably one of the best off-seasons acquiring Panarin, Trouba, and drafting Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko second overall in the draft, just to name a few additions.
This led many to believe that with a solid season of development, and building chemistry the Rangers may in fact clinch a Wild Card Spot.
Twelve games into the season, and New York is struggling with a record of 5-6-1, going 3-6-1 in their last ten games including an embarrassing 6-2 loss at home to the Ottawa Senators, a common laughing stock of the NHL.
No one has really hit a hot steak on this team as Panarin leads the team in points with 12, followed by Strome, and Zibanejad with 11.
Kaapo Kakko has just five points in twelve games played thus far.
On Special Teams the Rangers simply are not where they need to be as both their Penalty Kill, and Power Play are ranked 20th in the league.
In net 23 year old Alexandar Georgiev is outperforming the aging Veteran Henrik Lundqvist as Georgiev has a goals against average of 2.86, and a save percentage of .913, while Lundqvist has a goals against average of 3.58, and a save percentage of.906.
The Rangers will look to bounce back from their 6-2 loss to Ottawa when they host the Detroit Red Wings tomorrow at 8:00 PM ET in an Original Six Matchup.
New Jersey Devils:
Another team with a lot of excitement this off-season were the New Jersey Devils as P.K. Subban was brought in, Jack Hughes was drafted first overall, Taylor Hall returned from a season ending knee injury, along with other additions such as Simmonds, and Gusev.
About the same was expected of the Devils as was the Rangers, a solid rebuilding season leading to a Wild Card Spot at best.
Twelve games into the season and New Jersey is 3-5-4, and are last in the Metropolitan Division.
The largest area of concern for this team has to be goaltending.
Cory Schneider was expected to have a bounce back year after struggling last season with injuries, and sub-par play.
We have seen just the opposite of that this year from Schneider. Zero wins, a goals against average of 4.71, and a save percentage of .847.
Backup MacKenzie Blackwood has been better, but still nothing that will get a team to .500 let alone back to the playoffs.
Blackwood has earned each of New Jersey’s three wins, along with recording a save percentage of .878, a goals against average of 3.19, and a shutout.
New Jersey is also severely struggling on Special Teams with the 23rd ranked Power Play (14.9%), and the 25th ranked Penalty Kill (75%).
Kyle Palmieri leads the team with six goals, while Taylor Hall has recorded twelve points in his two goals, and ten assists.
Hughes still appears to be adjusting to the NHL with the season still early as he has added three goals, and four assists in twelve games.
New Jersey will take on the Winnipeg Jets tonight at 8:00 PM ET as the Devils look for their fourth win of the season.
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