The first month of the 2013-2014 NHL season has come to a close. After a dozen or some games, it is possible to start making judgments about the teams and players that we see on the ice. What exactly have we learned about the NHL through the month of October?
The Sabres Are Terrible
The Buffalo Sabres are assuredly going to be the worst team in the league this season. They have resorted to starting teenagers and have traded Thomas Vanek to the Islanders. Although Matt Moulson had a great first game in Buffalo, they still lost. At 2-13-1, Buffalo can at least claim to be number one in the draft if not number one in the league at the end of the year.
Philly, New Jersey And The Rangers Are Huge Disappointments
The Flyers, Rangers and Devils are battling to stay out of the basement in the Metropolitan Division. It has been a slow and steady fall from grace for teams that were going deep into the playoffs just two years ago.
Colorado, Tampa Bay And Toronto Are Surprise Leaders
Tampa Bay is 10-4 on the season and are on top of the Atlantic Division. Toronto is tied with Tampa Bay with 20 points and is averaging roughly 3.5 goals per game. Colorado has to be the most shocking team in the league last year. After finishing among the bottom five in the league last season, they have the second most points in the league at 24. Only San Jose has more with 25 for the year.
Alex Ovechkin Is Starting Hot
Alex Ovechkin has scored 10 goals in only 12 games to begin the year. At this rate, he will score almost 70 goals over the course of 82 games. For a player with so much talent, he tends to disappear at times. It is good for himself and the Washington Capitals to see him playing so well to start the year.
Good Goaltending Is Keeping Teams Afloat
Why is Colorado playing so well this year? You should look no further than their stellar goaltending. Semyon Varlamov has a save percentage of .945 and backup J.S. Giguere has a .985 save percentage in three games. In Minnesota, Josh Harding has a GAA of 1.00 to help him get off to a 5-2-1 start. Overall, the Wild are 8-4-3. It looks like Harding is going to see a lot of action this season.
The NHL season has gotten off to a strong start in 2013. For fans, this is going to be a great season because players are competing for spots on Olympic national teams as well as spots on their club rosters. Combined with a condensed schedule, the fans are going to get a lot of great action on a nightly basis until the NHL players head to Sochi in February.