The NHL has hit the quarter-season mark, and already we’ve seen some turmoil. Some of the season’s biggest early disappointments have not wasted any time making changes to salvage their seasons; four teams (the Blackhawks, Blues, Kings and Oilers) fired their coaches, and the Flyers dismissed GM Ron Hextall. The Golden Knights are missing the juju from their inaugural season, and injuries have piled up for many teams (but it seems especially bad for the Ducks).
Then we have the pleasant surprises: The Sabres were a trendy sleeper pick this preseason, but who would have thought Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner & Co. would produce one of the best records in the Eastern Conference? (With 34 points, cheap nhl jerseys
Buffalo enters Tuesday ahead of both the Maple Leafs and the Bruins). The Flames are atop the wide-open Pacific Division. The Preds reign in the Central, though last year’s ahead-of-schedule surprise, the Avalanche, haven’t shown much sign of drop-off. The Hurricanes seem to love being the plucky, young underdogs and celebrating as such.
The past five seasons, 62 of the 80 teams in playoff spots as of American Thanksgiving have gone on to clinch playoff berths. Who will help cement that trend, and who will buck it? Here’s a glance at where all 31 teams stand, including their biggest concerns and a bold prediction for how the season will finish.