NHL season off to surprising start with new teams leading the league


Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer

Washington Capitals forward, Jakub Vrana scores beatiful shootout goal to defeat the Boston Bruins on October, 16.

by Alex Vicinanza, Social Media Manager (Snapchat)

As the NHL season comes closer to the All-Star break, many teams are surprising their fans with impressive records. 

Local favorite teams, the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, are not playing as well many expected. Before the season, analysts and experts predicted both teams would have strong seasons. 

Before the season, NBC Sports insider, Joe Haggerty, said “the addition of Jacob Trouba and Artemi Panarin instantly kicks the Blueshirts up a couple of notches. This could be the real surprise team in the Eastern Conference this year” about the Rangers. 

Now, however, the Rangers are third-to-last in the Metropolitan division with eight wins and eight losses. The Devils are last in the same division with seven wins and eight losses.

With the first two picks in last year’s draft, the Devil’s picked Jack Hughes and the Rangers picked Kappo Kakko. So far, both players are underwhelming fans. Hughes has ten points this year and Kakko has eight.

The top of the league is filled with teams many didn’t expect to be there. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl lead the league in points and are leading the Edmonton Oilers to the first spot in the Pacific Division. The Oilers have not made the playoffs in two years. 

The Oilers are trailed by the Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks. The Coyotes have not made the playoffs since 2012. The Canucks have not made the playoffs since 2015. 

Unlike their tri-state neighbors, the New York Islanders have played very well this season. They are currently second in the league. The Penguins snapped the Islanders 10-game win streak with a 4-3 win on Thursday, Nov. 7. 

With head coach, Barry Trotz, the Islanders have been playing great hockey. Trotz won the Stanley Cup in 2018 with the Washington Capitals, who currently have the most points in the league.

Washington has a 15-3-4 record and 34 points. Captain, Alex Ovechkin, and John Carlson have been forces this year. John Carlson won the NHL’s first star of the month of October. As a defenseman, he put up seven goals and a total of 23 points in the month. 23 points in a month is a franchise record for defenseman. 

The Florida Panthers are also off to a hot start. With additions of forward, Brett Connolly, and All-Star goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, the Panthers have meeting their high expectations. Florida has been to the playoffs twice since 2000 and hopes to make a push for the cup this year.

The season is still young, and there is a lot of hockey to be played.  Remember, the Saint Louis Blues were in last place halfway through last season, and they ended up winning the Stanley Cup.  From worst to first–there is still hope for New Jersey and New York hockey fans!