The 2019-20 NHL regular season is now a little over two weeks old and already there has been talk of coach firings, long-term injuries to star players and surprising performances from some young talent. In a league that never gives you exactly what you expect, things have gotten off to an exciting start.
It’s hard not to start with the Buffalo Sabres, who are currently leading the entire NHL with a 6-1-1 record through their first eight games. You can’t ignore a team that has been so dominant, but can they keep it going? The Sabres are getting solid goaltending and have a powerplay that is converting at a scorching 35.5%—thanks, Victor Olofsson. They don’t show any signs of slowing down.
At the other end of the spectrum have been the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks, both expected to compete for the playoffs this season—even penciled in as Stanley Cup contenders by some. Both teams started the season dreadfully, though the Sharks have now won three straight to at least stay out of the basement in the Pacific Division. The Stars can’t seem to score a goal when they need one and are now 1-6-1 through their first eight, barely staying ahead of the tumultuous mess that is the Minnesota Wild.
The Sabres aren’t the only team that failed to make the playoffs in 2018 off to a great start this time around. The Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks lead the Pacific with excellent records to start the year, each relying on different strategies to emerge victorious. The Oilers are leaning heavily on Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl who lead all forwards in ice time this season, while the Ducks have a goaltending tandem that has allowed just 12 goals on 212 shots (a .943 save percentage through seven games).
Which team has surprised you the most through the first few weeks? Cast your vote and make sure to jump into the conversation down below.
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