The NHL season is only a week old, but already we have seen some impressive performances. Who would have expected Bobby Ryan to lead the league (tied with Travis Konecny) in goals at this point, scoring four times in his first three games? What about Jack Hughes, the disappointing first-overall pick that has burst back into the limelight with an outstanding three matches. Hughes is tied for the league lead in points and is averaging 20 minutes a night for the 2-0-1 New Jersey Devils.
That record is one of the early storylines, as the Devils sit in an East Division playoff spot through the first week. It’s far too soon to jump to conclusions, but that has never stopped hockey fans before. The Florida Panthers have had their season interrupted twice now by COVID-19 outbreaks on other teams, though the 2-0 start they managed to fit in between certainly has new GM Bill Zito smiling. The Chicago Blackhawks decided to go without a proven starter in net and have so far given up the most goals in the entire league as they continue to search for their first win.
The New York Islanders, like they always seem to do, have seen some incredibly low-event hockey through their first few matches. Five goals for, five goals against in three games—can that stingy play lead them down a long playoff road? What about Kirill Kaprizov’s Minnesota Wild (it seems we may be able to call them that already), who have two wins and a positive goal differential after week one? Has the Russian star turned the perennially-mediocre into must-watch television?
Before the games get started this evening, give us your thoughts. Vote below on which team (or teams, you can select more than one) is better than you expected after seeing them a few times this season. Share your reasoning in the comment section!
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