We are only five days into our 116 consecutive nights of hockey, and already a lot has happened. In my eyes, there are a few things that stuck out to me while watching a handful of games over the past few days.
Kirill Kaprizov is for real
Kirill the thrill is finally here and Wild fans are absolutely loving it. Two games in with the Wild, Kaprizov has 4 points including an OT-winning goal and a primary assist on another OT winner. Kaprizov was drafted back in 2015 and he’s been in Russia with CSKA Moscow for the last three seasons. Wild fans have been patiently waiting for Kaprizov to make his NHL debut, and I think it is well worth the wait. If Kaprizov isn’t the favorite for the Calder trophy right now, then I don’t know who is.
The Blackhawks are going to be worse than expected
Blackhawks fans: you are in for a long season.
This team is not good at all. Their biggest weakness lies between the pipes. A tandem of Malcolm Subban and Collin Delia is not a recipe for any amount of success. They have been outscored a staggering 10-3 in their first two games. You could argue that they faced strong teams like Tampa, but allowing 10 goals in two games shouldn’t happen regardless of who you play. They get the Panthers tonight, so maybe there will be a slight change in fortune. But if the Panthers drop another 5 spot, then it is time for Blackhawks fans to throw in the towel for the season.
The North is going to be wide open
Winnipeg is the only team that hasn’t played a second game so I haven’t gotten the best read on them, but they did win their first game against Calgary in comeback fashion. Vancouver split with Edmonton, Ottawa split with Toronto, and Montreal looks pretty good. Even with this, Toronto is still probably the favorite to win the division. However, These teams will battle each other to a pulp come the season’s end, so anything can happen.
The Penguins kept the wrong goalie
The Pittsburgh Penguins are 0-2 after losing their first two games to the Flyers. Tristan Jarry got the start in both games and has allowed nine goals on 33 shots. He was promptly pulled in the 2nd game after allowing three goals on six shots. The Pens traded Matt Murray to Ottawa in the offseason. In two games with the Sens Murray has a .905% save percentage and picked up a win against the Leafs. It’s still early, but the eye test says the Penguins kept the wrong goalie of the two.
The Bruins need a spark before its too late
The Boston Bruins split a series with the New Jersey Devils the past few days and both games went to OT. Watching this Bruins team is simply not pretty. They don’t look like the Bruins of the past few years. This team had high expectations going into the year and are just a few years removed from a SCF appearance. I don’t know what needs to be done, but if the Bruins want to make it back to the Cup Finals, they’re going to need to wake the fuck up.