The 2015-16 NHL season got underway this week. While most teams have only played two or three games, we can already see some early trends developing.
East Contenders Still The Same
It’s just one week into the season but it looks pretty clear that the Eastern Conference race will feature many of the same characters. Tampa Bay has won both of their games to start while scoring seven goals in the process. Meanwhile, Montreal is also 2-0 and has allowed just three goals. As for the New York Rangers, they’ve won all three of their outings already. Those teams are still going to stay strong and be the frontrunners in the East. Sure, the Detroit Red Wings are off to a pretty good start but keep in mind that they’ve defeated Toronto and Ottawa. It’s hard to get excited about them but winning both of their outings is a good start.
New Season, Same Story With The Flyers
Seriously, it’s a new season yet two games in and it already looks like the Philadelphia Flyers is the defense/goaltending of old. After losing 3-2 to the Lightning in their opener, they were bombed in a 7-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. Through two games, they’ve already allowed 10 goals. We’re two games into the new season and the Flyers have already had a players-only meeting. Ouch.
Leafs Will Be A Work In Progress
Although there was a lot of optimism surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs with the addition of Mike Babcock, it’s become fairly clear after one week that this team will be a work in progress. They’ve lost three times already and have allowed a league-high 12 goals. Although they did score four goals against Ottawa on Saturday, they only scored one other goal in their two other contests. Careful betting this team early on in the season as they’ll be an unpredictable one for NHL picks.
Kings Remain A Mystery
Everyone agrees that the Kings could be a Stanley Cup contender if they start playing to their potential, the reality is they’ve been an enigma over the last season or so and that appears to have carried over into 2015-16. The Kings were a big favorite on the NHL odds in their first two games – at home to San Jose and Arizona – yet they’ve been blown out each time. They’ve scored a total of just two goals so far yet they’ve allowed nine. It’s hard to understand why this team isn’t playing to its potential but a coaching change is likely if this continues.
Oilers Still Can’t Figure Out The Offense
For all of the offseason changes the Edmonton Oilers made, not much is showing on the offensive end so far. The Oilers have scored just one goal through two games, which was a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins unassisted tally. Yes, the two losses were against quality defensive teams (St. Louis and Nashville) but if this team is to ever get out of the NHL’s basement, they’re going to have to find a way to get more out of their young forwards.