Halftime Sports

The State of Hockey Thus Far

November 21, 2014

Welcome to the 2014-15 Regular Season of the NHL! We’re about a quarter of the way into the season thus far, long enough that success isn’t a fluke and failure isn’t bad luck. Let’s dive right into it:

The Unexpected

Ladies and Gents, I present to you the Central Division leaders, the Nashville Preda-wait, what? As it turns out, the entire Central Division is topsy-turvy; for example, if the playoffs were today, the 4th place Chicago Blackhawks and their 21 points would not make the playoffs. Weirder still, Nashville, with it’s 26 points and second place spot in the West, has played two fewer games than the Anaheim Ducks, who lead the Pacific Division and Western Conference with 27 points.

The Predators aren’t the season’s only surprises so far: we’ve also seen exceedingly strong performances from the Calgary Flames, the Winnipeg Jets, and the New York Islanders, none of whom qualified for last year’s playoffs and all of whom are in strong positions in their divisions now. If the playoffs began today, 7 of the 16 teams receiving berths would not have been in last year’s opening round, an astonishing number. On the flip side, you have teams like the New York Rangers, last year’s Eastern Conference Champions, who are playing an even 7 wins and losses right now.

And the Expected

Montreal, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh are all having very good seasons so far, to nobody’s surprise. Sidney Crosby is leading the NHL with 26 points, Blues Defenseman Jake Allen is leading the NHL with an insane 1.67 Goals Against Average, and Habs Goalie Carey Price is tied for second in the NHL with 11 wins (behind the Predators Pekka Rinne, with 12). Other notable teams include Tampa Bay, apparently still smarting after their four-and-out exit from last year’s playoffs, and my own Boston Bruins, who got off to a poor start but have made great inroads since then.

What to Look Forward to

More Hockey! Can there be anything better?

Photo: clarksvilleonline.com

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