NHL: Which Five Teams Need a Wake up Call?
The NHL season is in full swing and there have been some teams that are already underachieving. There are teams that always have high expectations, but there are teams that always seem to falter and that is just the nature of sports.
There are some teams that are already overachieving this season or they are meeting expectations. Which five teams so far this season need a wake-up call within the first month of the regular season?
New Jersey Devils
The first team that comes to mind is the New Jersey Devils. This team has played in eight games already so far this season. New Jersey currently sits in last place in the NHL Metropolitan Division with a 2-4-2 record with eight points. The Devils had high expectations heading into the season after the offseason moves they made. New Jersey traded for defenseman P.K. Subban and forward Nikita Gusev. They drafted Jack Hughes and they signed Wayne Simmonds. Will John Hynes keep his head coaching job as the season goes on or will he get fired by General Manager Ray Shero? This team has a ton of talent and Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier need to step it up.
The second team that comes to mind is the Dallas Stars. This is a team that was one win away from the NHL Western Conference Finals last season. Dallas had a 3-2 series lead on the St. Louis Blues and the Stars lost Game 6 at home and they lost in double overtime on the road. It is clear that this team still does not have enough offense. The pieces are there to be a playoff team, but they are still lacking things. Dallas has already played in 12 games so far this season. They had a heavy schedule to start the season. The Stars currently sit in fifth place in the Central Division with a 4-7-1 record with nine points. The good news for Dallas is that the Western Conference isn’t as strong as the Eastern Conference.
The third team that comes to mind is the Philadelphia Flyers. This team got a new head coach in the offseason in Alain Vigneault. It seems to be clear that coaching isn’t a problem. It seems to be that Claude Giroux is a coach killer and he needs to be traded. He has a no-trade clause in his contract. Giroux has an $8.275 million cap hit for the next couple of seasons and he will be a free agent after the 2021-2022 NHL season. Claude Giroux is not the answer at captain for this team in the long run. He is holding this team back. Their record so far this season is 4-3-1 with nine points and they currently sit in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division.
Detroit Red Wings
The fourth team that comes to mind is the Detroit Red Wings. Even though there is a rebuild going on over there, Detroit has not made it to the playoffs since the 2015-2016 NHL Season. The Red Wings are off to a slow start once again this season. Detroit currently sits in seventh place in the Atlantic Division. The Detroit Red Wings are 3-7 so far this season. Will Jeff Blashill stay the head coach or will Dan Bylsma potentially take over later on in the season?
San Jose Sharks
The fifth team that comes to mind is the San Jose Sharks. San Jose made it to the playoffs last season and they made it all the way to the NHL Western Conference Finals and the Sharks lost to the St. Louis Blues in six games. San Jose lost a lot of key players in the offseason, but a lot of p[people expected them to be good this season and I was actually not one of those people. They currently sit in sixth place in the Pacific Division so far this season with a 4-5-1 record with 20 points. The good news for them is that they play in the NHL Western Conference and the Pacific Division might be the worst division in the NHL. Peter DeBoer is a very good head coach, but they do not have the workhorses like they used to. Losing Joonas Donskoi and Joe Pavelski in the offseason hurts and Logan Couture is still trying to adapt to the captain’s life.
What five NHL teams do you see that need a kick in the pants? Leave a comment below.
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