October is over, and with the close of the seasons inaugural month we can finally start to get a handle on which teams are for real and which are just pretenders.
Anaheim Ducks: When will they turn one or more of their wealth of goaltenders in future assets or skater to improve them for the playoffs?
Boston Bruins: Which is the real team here, the one that beat both the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks or the one that lost to a severely under-performing New Jersey Devils squad?
Buffalo Sabres: Has the front office identified their first overall pick yet, will it be the right shooting defenseman Aaron Ekblad or savvy center Sam Reinhart?
Calgary Flames: Can’t this team even get tanking right, don’ they know a team that’s tanking isn’t supposed to be tied for 20th after a month?
Carolina Hurricanes: How in the world is it possible to have a team with Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Alex Semin, Jeff Skinner, Jiri Tlustly, and Ron Hainsey still have the NHL’s 22nd best powerplay?
Chicago Blackhawks: If Joel Quenville’s squad didn’t have the worst penalty kill in the NHL they might be a tear similar to last year’s rampage through the NHL so how can they be so, so bad at the PK and still in the top half of the league for goals against?
Colorado Avalanche: Will the Semyon Varlemov situation affect the chemistry in the room and topple a team that has been a force of nature through the first 30 days?
Columbus Blue Jackets: When will the team figure out they need to either score more or stop more and do so if the want to see the playoffs?
Dallas Stars: Can one of the few rosters in the NHL without a player on injured reserve taking advantage of this window of health to climb the standings?
Detroit Red Wings: Can this team stay in the range of its current 19th in goals for and remain a playoff level team?
Edmonton Oilers: How in all the worlds did this team offend the Hockey Gods so much that they can be on the cusp of 60 goals against while most teams are in the 30’s and no other team has even allowed 50?
Florida Panthers: When Dale Tallon wakes up in the morning is his first question “How in the world can those teams be worse than mine?” or “How is this roster doing so well”?
Los Angeles Kings: Is the entire roster wondering if they didn’t accidentally trade the real Jonathan Quick in the off season for the slob who currently has a .896sv%?
Minnesota Wild: Are any of the Wild’s rivals even mildly concerned that the team holds a playoff spot and haven’t gotten any viable contributions from Dany Heatley, Charlie Coyle, nor had Josh Harding or Niklas Backstrom healthy for two straight weeks?
Montreal Canadiens: Is anyone gonna acknowledge the incredible start Carey Price is off to, 12 starts in 15 games and a .932 sv%?
Nashville Predators: When will the answer to the question “What’s holding the Predators back?” not be “lack of scoring”?
New Jersey Devils: So this is what $63,473,577 buys when a general manager looses touch with the NHL, right?
New York Islanders: The lowest cap hit in the NHL and a playoff spot might be what it takes to inspire a hockey edition of Moneyball, huh?
New York Rangers: Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash are on injured reserve and the team has won three in a row for half their wins on the season is a bit eye opening isn’t it?
Ottawa Senators: Daniel Alfredsson’s old team is actually outscoring his new team, it’d be nice for what is now Jason Spezza’s squad if they could stop pucks as well this year wouldn’t it?
Philadelphia Flyers: For the first time in years goaltending isn’t the biggest problem for the Flyers, is that why the whole roster looks so befuddled on the ice?
Phoenix Coyotes: Did anyone expect the Coyotes to be fourth in goals for a month and three days into the the season?
Pittsburgh Penguins: What’s more surprising about the 2013-14 Penguins, the fact that Fleury is playing above his normal zone, or that defenseman Matt Niskanen has a better points per game number than Kris Letang?
San Jose Sharks: Exactly how many of this teams players will be on their nations Olympic roster in Sochi Russia?
Saint Louis Blues: If 18 points in 12 games isn’t surprising enough to get you to take David Backes and crew seriously, does the fact that the team is second in scoring do it for you?
Tampa Bay Lightning: Is it too late to place a healthy bet on this team to make the playoffs and bring in a very nice return?
Toronto Maple Leafs: Now that it is no longer October and Phil Kessel who is off to a 9-9-18 start will inevitably cool off, can the Leafs maintain their lofty perch in the standings?
Vancouver Canucks: With a stat line of 4-6-10 through 16 games Mike Santorelli has to be one of the best NHL players per cap dollar in the league this year right?
Washington Capitals: Do you think if Adam Oates adds fellow former Capital Donald Brashear to his coaching staff he can beat some consistency into this roster?
Winnipeg Jets: Is there any more damning statement that could be made about this team than that they might actually be overachieving since they’re best team statistic is an 11th ranked penalty kill?