I think the first month or so of this season was one of the stranger starts to the season we have seen in recent years. Chicago and Columbus surprised everyone with great starts. Ottawa put up an unbelievable start. Pascal Leclaire had 5 shutouts in his first 10 or so games. Anaheim and LA started the season in London, England and Anaheim struggled early. New Jersey started the season with 9 straight road games and only won 2 of them. Sidney Crosby got off to a slow start (for him) as did the Penguins. Atlanta and Washington changed their coaches early and Dallas fired their GM. A lot has changed since the first month of the season so lets take a look at how teams have done since then. So if we threw out approximately the first 6 weeks of the season, how have each team played since then? Here are each teams record after November 15th.
Detroit has been good all year so no surprises there but New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Calgary have really picked up their games since. If you still don’t think that the NHL is a goaltending league, take a look at Phoenix’s record since November 15th. Sixth best in the league. Incidently Ilya Bryzgalov’s first game for the Coyote’s was November 17th and he has been the key cog in their 19-11-2 record since. Another turnaround story is the Washington Capitals who fired coach Glen Hanlon on November 22nd with a 6-14-1 record and have posted a 17-8-4 record since that point and have the 10th best record in the NHL since November 15th. A playoff spot looks to be in their future if they can keep it up.
Going the other direction are the Ottawa Senators, who had the top record as of November 15th but have just the 18th best record since while early surprises Columbus and Chicago have fallen to 19th and 26th best records since November 15th. St. Louis, Carolina, and the Rangers have also taken steps backwards after good starts to the year.
Just for fun, here are each teams records since December 15th.
Detroit is still on top but look at how Pittsburgh, Anaheim and Phoenix have played over the past month or so.