Change, chaos, and crushed expectations are the only constants in the NHL. This year will be no different. Their are a fistful of players, coaches, and general managers who might not be in the same position next year. For some it s the hand they were dealt, for others they were the dealer.
The Flower needs to bloom like never before this season. Yes he won a Stanley Cup, but he also allowed more goals than any other keeper that year. Since then he’s been a consistent disappointment in the playoffs, even losing the starting job in one year. This is the last year of his contract, there’s a new general manager, a new coach and some important departures on the blueline. As of now, only 3 of his 8 playoff appearances have ended with a saves percentage over .900.
Not only has he had the captaincy of the San Jose Sharks stripped from him, the last week or so of camp he was skated with players who would have trouble holding onto a second line job in the AHL. I don’t know if the messages is coming from coaching alone or if it has the blessing of management behind it. While Joe Thornton is not the MVP level player he was five or six years ago, he’s still a top shelf player, but who knows how long he’ll put up with the disrespect in the building, on the other hand management could decide he either accepts a trade or he doesn’t play.
The general manager of the Winnipeg Jets has taken “more of the same only different” to a new home. Specifically the general manager who took over when the Jets set Atlanta firmly behind the afterburner and headed true north. Since landing in Manitoba the Jets have sputtered, muttered and done little else. Any objective observer has to question his personnel decisions, his long term strategy, and even his hockey sense.
In the topsy-turvy world of the NHL, it is a little hard to believe that Garth Snow has been on the job since 2006. That’s a pretty long time in NHL time, more than dog years almost technology years. While its hard to tell how much of the failure to thrive of the Islanders is his doing and how much is Wang’s this team has not won a playoff round in his tenure. They have in fact only won three playoff games. The recent moves should make the team measurably better both in the regular season and the playoffs, that still may not be enough to keep him in place once ownership changes.
This is a feature that will run about every two weeks with improbable stats and situations in the National Hockey League.
- The Philadelphia Flyers would be the first team to fire their head coach promoting Peter Laviolette to customer and banishing him from the land of misfit toys.
- The Colorado Avalanche would not only have the first head coach (Patrick Roy) fined in the regular season, but lead the Central division with almost three weeks gone and less game than three of their rivals.
- Despite the addition of not one, but two former 30 (or more) goal scorers the Boston Bruins would be 18th in scoring.
- Almost three weeks into the season four teams would have a goals against average under 2.0 per game; the San Jose Sharks, The Colorado Avalanche, The Boston Bruins, and Montreal Canadiens and yet only two would lead their divisions.
- The Ken Hitchcock led Saint Louis Blues would have outscored everyone in their division and be third in the league in scoring ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- While nestled at the bottom of the standings with the Philadelphia Flyers the Buffalo Sabres would have a top 5 penalty kill?
- The most penalized team in the NHL would be the Saint Louis Blues, and they’d be the only team over 20 PIMs per game, and lead the Montreal Canadiens who were second by over four minutes.
- To date, the Montreal Canadiens would have the most major penalties at 9, followed by Toronto, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay.
- Alexander Steen would lead not just the St Louis Blues in scoring, with 11 points in 7 games, but be in second place in the NHL race.
- Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes would have identical stat lines of 8gp 2 goals 6assists, while their team were each second in their division’s.
- Of the seven rookies from the 2013 entry draft, two would be on point per game paces Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche
- Seth Jones of the Nashville Predators would lead all rookies in time on ice per game with 23:46 a night through seven games and 2:37 a night short handed.
- Radko Gudas would lead the NHL’s rookies in hits and blocked shots as a member of the Tamp Bay Lightning.
- Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, and four other San Jose Sharks would be on a point per game pace or higher.
- that a goalie with a .935 s% through 6 games, Ryan Miller and only have one win.
- that Martin Biron, Braydon Hotlby, and Martin Brodeur would all have worse sv%’s than Ondrej Pavelec
- Tyler Seguin would win just 25 of 78 faceoffs in six games, and no one would be talking about it.