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February 8, 2024

Which NHL Teams Will Under perform and Which One’s Will Surprise Us?

Source%3A+https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nhl.com%2Fnews%2Fnhl-bye-weeks-fantasy-schedule
Source: https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-bye-weeks-fantasy-schedule

The NHL season is already underway and I wanted discuss which teams will surprise us and which teams will be at the bottom of the standings.

Good: Florida Panthers

While they have a two game losing streak, the Panthers are still looking like the Stanley Cup caliber team they were last year. Center Sam Reinhart is having a breakout season. He is currently 10th in points and 2nd in goals. While Matthew Tkachuk was slow to start off the season, he is picking up the pace. He is currently 19th in assist and 32nd in points. This team is almost certain to make the playoffs and I don’t see them slowing down.

Bad: San Jose Sharks

The Sharks were supposed to be bad but golly, they are terrible. They have exactly 10 wins with 31 losses which is a catastrophe. Their point leader is Tomas Hertl who is only 95th in the league with 30. He and Mikael Granlund are the only upsides for this team and it looks like the offseason acquisition of Anthony Duclair looks to have been a mistake as he only has 16 points and a plus/minus of -11.

Good: Arizona Coyotes

Even though they have appeared to struggle in the past week, the Coyotes still look like they can make it into the playoffs. They have a pair of young guys in Matias Maccelli and Logan Cooley. Clayton Keller is still controlling this team with his 17 goals and 30 points overall. They also have a strong defensive core with Goalie Connor Ingram, who is having the best season of his career, leading the entire league with 5 shutouts and is in the top 10 in wins with a 15-8-0 record. They also have a solid backup in southpaw goalie Karel Vejmelka and a good defensive player in Matt Dumba.

Bad: Calgary Flames

Despite having a similar record to the Arizona Coyotes, the Calgary Flames are under performing. Their points leader is Blake Coleman, who shouldn’t be leading this team. Their leader should be Jonathan Huberdeau, who the flames appear to have ruined. They Acquired the veteran from the previously mentioned Florida Panthers. He is one of the biggest busts of the year, not being anywhere near atop of even one stat on the Flames.

Good: Detroit Red Wings

Detroit might be in a tough division (The Atlantic) but I think they can get a spot in the playoffs. There is a three way point battle between Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond. While DeBrincat is dominating as a Red Wing, I think Larkin and Raymond are bound to give him a run for his money. Especially Raymond, who is one of the youngest players on the team at 21, will be an incredible prospect for them. The only way  I can see this team slowing down is if there goalie situation comes back to bite them later in the season.

Bad: Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who won back to back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021 while also making another appearance in 2022 appear to be slowing down. Their strategy of buying in players like Tanner Jeanot seems to be falling apart as Jeanot is at a whopping 12 points. With the slow start of star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, they don’t look like they can come back and look like they will be missing the playoffs.

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About the Contributor
Marcus Fortugno, Sports Editor
Marcus Fortugno is an 11-year-old boy who enjoys video games, go-karting, writing, reading, football, hanging out with friends, drawing his future racecar, and most of all, watching his favorite sport, NASCAR

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    Kamran ZarisfiJan 31, 2024 at 2:59 pm

    Nice article! I’m an Islanders fan!

    Reply