One week after the NHL has returned, what is happening to our teams?

Kings 0-2-1? Blackhawks 4-0? Canucks 2-1-1? Sharks 3-0? Are these stats what we expected?

1/26/13 in NHL   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

Blog Photo - One week after the NHL has returned, what is happening to our teams?I'm not an expert in any sport, really.  I don't analyze statistics like shots on goal, minutes on the ice, penalty minutes or anything like that.  I just really like watching the game and yelling at my TV.

However, this season truly isn't starting out the way I had envisioned.  First, there really wasn't a season for the last three months.  There was no preseason.  There was no training camp and there was no bonding among players for weeks before the season began.  

Has it affected our teams? 

The quick answer, judging by the stats, would be yes.  The defending Champions, Los Angeles Kings, have come out a little slow, with not one win just yet.  However, they have lost Matt Greene to a herniated disk, requiring surgery.  Word is he will return earlier than expected, possibly as soon as 8 weeks from now, but one has to question whether it will be the same Matt Greene.  Jonathan Quick is as impressive as ever in goal this year, but the Kings' defense hasn't been there to back him up the way they did en route to the 2012 Stanley Cup. 

Should they and their fans be worried?  No, I don't think so.

Honestly, of the games I've seen on TV so far, I haven't been very impressed with any team's play.  Certainly, my Calgary Flames haven't done any better than the Kings.  Sure, Mikka Kiprusoff has been excellent in goal, but again, the players have struggled a little to come out of the box.  I'm not going to worry just yet, as the Flames have often done much better in the season when they have struggled a little early on.

In fact, of the games I've seen, only a handful of plays have really stood out, and including Quick's save in the game against the Oilers.

I haven't seen the San Jose Sharks or the Chicago Blackhawks play yet this year, and those two teams have the most wins.  So I ask you, have they played that much better than the teams who are at the bottom of the standings?  Or has it just been the matchups?

Vancouver sits at 2-1-1 (the same as the Winnipeg Jets!) and I have seen them play.  Maybe it is my extreme dislike of the team, but they haven't been pretty, in my opinion.  I didn't see last night's win of 5-0 over the Anaheim Ducks, but I'm sure Jess could tell us if they played really well, or if the Ducks just played that poorly.
Blog Photo - One week after the NHL has returned, what is happening to our teams?
And speaking of the Winnipeg Jets, would anyone have thought they would be sitting second in their Division?

Last night, however, the Jets were able to triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins, even though that team had Canadian Sidney Crosby on the ice.  In fact, Crosby scored twice in the first period, making it look as though Penguins were going to waltz out of Winnipeg with the win.  Winnipeg dominated the second and third periods, however, handing Pittsburgh their second loss of the season.  Should their fans be worried? Again, I think not.

We can all pretend to be experts. We can all make predictions based on one week of games, but really, are they realistic?  Can we honestly predict the Chicago Blackhawks as 2013 Stanley Cup Champions, based on their 4-0 record so far in this shortened season?  As a fan, are you worried about your team's progress so far?  Or are you prepared to sit back and enjoy the season, as I am?

When do we make our 2013 Stanley Cup predictions?
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1/31/13   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

kramer wrote:
Tied atop the Atlantic Division with 9 points are the Devils and the...ISLANDERS?!indecision

Maybe there is an extra spring in their step now that they know they will soon be out of the Nassau Coliseum?

1/31/13   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Tied atop the Atlantic Division with 9 points are the Devils and the...ISLANDERS?!indecision

1/31/13   |   Jess   |   34627 respect

ML31 wrote:
It's great to see the Sharks without a loss in their first 6.  But the concern is the bulk of the offense is coming from the top line...  In particular Thornton and Marleau.  This can't go on forever.  The other lines need to really get cracking if they expect the points to keep piling up.  Newcomer Burish has help the defense and the return of Brad Stuart has been better than expected as well.

I generally don't complain about the refs but in the games i have seen thus far the Sharks have both benefited and been hurt by some pretty bad calls and missed obvious ones.  It looks to me like it's the refs who need time to get in game shape.

I agree with you re: refs. It's pretty even across the board in both beneficial and calls against, but it's been consistently bad either way.

1/30/13   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

It's great to see the Sharks without a loss in their first 6.  But the concern is the bulk of the offense is coming from the top line...  In particular Thornton and Marleau.  This can't go on forever.  The other lines need to really get cracking if they expect the points to keep piling up.  Newcomer Burish has help the defense and the return of Brad Stuart has been better than expected as well.

I generally don't complain about the refs but in the games i have seen thus far the Sharks have both benefited and been hurt by some pretty bad calls and missed obvious ones.  It looks to me like it's the refs who need time to get in game shape.

1/28/13   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

Chicago is 6-0 after the weekend while San Jose is 5-0.  They put a hurtin' on the Canucks cool and I enjoyed every minute of it!

Flames beat the Oilers.  Final score was 4-3 but that is deceiving as they were ahead 4-2 until 1.6 seconds before the final whistle.  They really dominated on Saturday night and I thoroughly enjoyed that game as well.

1/28/13   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

The Tank is a one man wrecking crew for the Blues.  If they can stay healthy, St. Louis looks very much ready to take that next step this season

1/27/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

Just about as expected... Kings will come around.. its tough to catch up with the 48 game schedule...

1/26/13   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

Just saw some recaps:  Chicago is 5-0 for the first time EVAR.

Sharks look together, strong and organized.

There are some really hard hits happening out there.  Some are being called, some aren't.  

I've really, really missed hockey and I'm sitting at home on a Saturday night, watching my Flames play.  What could be better?

1/26/13   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

The opening game in Philly was a beautiful defensive clinic.  The next game night they took advantage of sloppy play and a tired Lundqvist.  They made a ton of mistakes in the home opener and just kinda sat back at one point last night, ended up getting burned.  I am still leery about this defense, and apparently so is the uppser management.  There's rumors that they're open to trading former 1st rounder Simon Despres for a scorer, he's already been put in the doghouse.  The Pens have also resigned Mark Eaton to the Baby Pens team, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's back up in Pittsburgh again soon.  The way I look at it, they need to get all this garbage play out of the way now and improve as this short season progresses.

1/26/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

Players are out of shape.. Timing is off... Lines are not set... some will get hurt,.,, goalies are not prepared... so this can only get better!!!

1/26/13   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

(Edited by Debi_L)

I'm looking at the first month of play as a preseason of sorts.  If the Flames haven't gained a couple of points at least by mid-February, then I'll worry a little more, but right now I'm content to watch for improvements on a game to game basis

"Because I've seen some improvement each game (which gives me hope), I'm not panicking yet. I also believe in Lombardi and Sutter"

I promise your comment wasn't even showing when I wrote mine, but interesting that we all seem to be looking at these games the same way.......

1/26/13   |   kteacher   |   34350 respect

(Edited by Debi_L)

Aside from the banner raising game, I don't believe that it's the defense that is the problem for the Kings . Drewiske and young Muzzin have done quite well in replacing Greene and Mitchell (Mitchell is the heart and soul of this team.....IMO). Plus the system is still in place. Their penalty killing is still pretty strong.

The problem I see is the top 6 and their continued lack of a power play....not to mention their inability to NOT give their opponent less than 5 power plays. Mike Richards, though getting better each game, is still ice fishing at his home in Canada somewhere. As for their power play. It's become obvious that their lack of scoring in this area was NOT Kompon's fault, since the new guy isn't getting anything out of them either. 

Because I've seen some improvement each game (which gives me hope), I'm not panicking yet. I also believe in Lombardi and Sutter. 

Here's a little prayer courtesy of Surly Jacob from lakingsnews.com

Our Kings, whose fans art upset, hallowed be thy game
Thy wins need come, else our wills may be done,
In this season, like it was in the 45 before last.
Give us this game some f**king goals, and forgive no Doan its ugly face,
As we don’t forgive the s**t he pulled last May,
And lead us not to a 4th loss,
But deliver us from suckage,
Amen

1/26/13   |   Jess   |   34627 respect

I think of right now as being kind of a "preseason" and don't expect the teams to really get into their groove for at least another week or so. 

1/26/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

I know it's only four games, but I'm very worried about the Caps. After four games, they look awful. The CW was that team with new coaches would struggle without a preseason to implement the coach's new system, and that has very much been the case for Washington. Defense has been lacking (and lazy), the top line doesn't have a goal yet, and the special teams have been awful. It's a mess so far.