NHL Season Update


Photo Courtesy of NHL

Cam Ingram

With the NHL season hitting the one month mark it is time for a quick recap and early Stanley Cup predictions. The season has been off to a wild start with history being made in Boston, teams going up for sale, and more.

One big factor this season is the upcoming draft. The top five is debatably the most loaded we have seen in a long time with multiple franchise altering players and all but guaranteed future stars which means that bad teams, are trying very hard to be bad for the best shot at the likes of Connor Bedard, Matvei Michov, and Adam Fantilli.

Currently (As of 11-18-22), the top teams in the league are:

  • Boston Bruins 15-2-0, 30 points: The Bruins are off to an extremely hot start. They just broke their franchise record for most consecutive wins at home, currently 9-0-0. They have been excellent on both ends of the ice with a + 33 goal differential (69 GF, 36 GA). They have yet to have their full team as right when Marchand and McAvoy returned, Jeremy Swayman went out, however he just returned to the bench against the Flyers.
  • New Jersey Devils 14-3-0, 28 points: The Devils look like they are back. They are having breakout seasons from much of their young talent and are succeeding even without Ondrej Palat and Mackenzie Blackwood. It looks like the rebuild is over and it is time to win, especially after their 3-2 victory over the Leafs.
  • Vegas Golden Knights 14-4-0, 28 points: The Golden Knights were a team where no one knew what to expect. They got a brand new coach in Bruce Cassidy after his release from the Bruins. They lost Robin Lehner before the season started and were heading in with two relatively untested goalies who have shown up ready to play. Between that and Jack Eichel finally fully healthy and looking like the player everyone expected, the Knights are looking scary out in the Sin City.

Some of teams are on the opposite end however, falling well below expectations. One of those is definitely the Ottawa Senators. They made a ton of major moves, loading up on talent including Claude Giroux and Alex Debrincat. They are currently sitting at 29th with a 4-8-0 record below the likes of obvious tankers such as the Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes, and Chicago Blackhawks. The season could take a major swing when they get Josh Norris and Alex Formenton back from injury. It turns out that they had a trade lined up for a defenseman, but ownership vetoed the trade. They are also up for sale and Ryan Reynolds on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon stated “I am trying to do that, It’s very expensive. So I need a partner with really deep pockets.” He was also spotted at the Senators game against the Canucks, receiving a standing ovation. 

Despite some cup favorites getting off to slow starts, I believe many will bounce back. I would say the five teams with the best chances are the Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins. Some dark horses are definitely the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and New Jersey Devils.