Which team has the most problems?

More than a month of NHL activity to analyze and break down is enough to start judging teams based on their 2021-22 campaign start.

For some, the year has been full of surprisingly positive results. The unlikely winning streak for groups like the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings makes their fan base hopeful that their teams are ready to compete.

For the seven teams listed below, the extra activity of the first month has not provided such a rosy outlook.

The Chicago Blackhawks, the Colorado Avalanche, the Dallas Stars, the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Islanders, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vancouver Canucks have been largely lower at the start of the year, which begs the question: whose supporters should panic?

The Penguins hope Sidney Crosby's return will heal the ice.  (Photo by Scott Taetsch / Getty Images)
The Penguins hope Sidney Crosby’s return will heal the ice. (Photo by Scott Taetsch / Getty Images)

Freak Out mode

Freak Out Mode is reserved for the teams that seem to be in the most turmoil right now. Not only do these teams play poorly, they have also faced tremendous criticism and scrutiny from fans. While most have only played twenty races, the season already looks off the shelf.

Chicago Blackhawks

Record: 4-9-2 (7th in Central Division)

Panic meter rating: 10/10

If you had asked 100 Blackhawks fans before the season and asked them to start a “worst case scenario,” none of them would have responded worse than what has been played in Windy City.

Truthfully, the ice races have been the franchise’s least concern to open the seasons 2021-22. Outside of the ice, the team is entangled in a horrific cover-up of sexual violence that led to the resignation of CEO Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac, who is in charge of hockey operations, as both were considered a shameful secret and did not act. properly. To make matters worse, both top stars in the series, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, were very contemptuous of Bowman and MacIssac.

Chicago also fired head coach Jeremy Colliton after a rough start as the team started the year 1-9-2.

While the move appears to have yielded positive results, as the Blackhawks have won three games in a row since then, it is unlikely to be permanent. One of those wins came in one goal against Arizona Coyotes, so it really doesn’t matter, and the other two had extra time against Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins. According to Natural Stat Trick, Chicago is the eighth worst league in the league with 29.98 goals per 60 minutes, and its 2.13 goals per game are the third worst. While the attack may accelerate, the defense remains completely dilute outside of Seth Jones and is likely to prevent the team from reaching the next season.

Vancouver Canucks

Record: 5-9-2 (7th Pacific Division)

Panic meter rating: 8/10

No other team in the NHL has been bad at the Blackhawks level when starting the 2021-22 season, but the Canucks season is in full swing.

Vancouver has had terrible ice at both ends. The team’s 2.50 goals per match are the seventh worst in the league, while its 3.38 goals per match are the sixth worst. For a team that had post-season hopes for the year and plenty of offensive abilities for the young, the team’s lack of goal-setting must be the most worrying development.

Fan anxiety is directed at the front office – especially CEO Jim Benning. Benning is now in his eighth season in the organization and has failed to survive the five years since his lead at the helm. Fully responsible for the abilities of the ice, Benning has been locked into some bad contracts, most notably Oliver Ekman Larsson, who will have to pay $ 7,260,000 a year in Vancouver for the next six seasons, and Tyler Myers, who owes $ 18,000,000 over the next three years.

It’s a mess, and with so many players playing below expectations, it’s worth panicking.

Montreal Canadiens

Record: 4-12-2 (7th in the Atlantic)

Panic meter rating: 7/10

The Canadiens have actually got the worst start of all the teams on this list, but it looks like the fan base has made peace with the fact that this team isn’t going anywhere.

Well, if only CEO Marc Bergevin had the self-awareness to realize that before that, the team would actually have been placed very favorably in the tank. Instead, Bergevin shared the first-round selection donated to him by Carolina Hurricanes on the Jesperi Kotkaniemi Troll Offer Form, and the second-round selection for Arizona Coyotes in 2024 to Christian Dvorak, who is literally an encounter expert-plus.

Instead of Montreal having two first-round selections strong in the 2022 draft class, Montreal has only one (probably its own).

It wasn’t hard to see that this year will be tough for Montreal as well. Neither of its main skaters in last year’s playoffs, Phillip Danault or Shea Weber, returned, making this team’s margin of error ever so small. So when goalkeeper Carey Price boldly joined the NHL Player Utility, this team’s chances of making the playoffs in the highly competitive Atlantic division were significantly reduced. Most importantly, however, Price has since rejoined the team and is working to get back on the ice.

Cole Caufield’s struggles are also worth mentioning, but they are Montreal’s least concern. The selection for the first round of 2019 scored zero goals and one entry point in 10 games, after which he was promoted to the AHL. He will do well in the long run, but how much was expected of the 20-year-old still shows how fragile the Canadiens had a chance to compete in 2021-22.

Overall, since the Stanley Cup performance, it has been quite disappointing for the Habs. Bergevin’s tough offseason, which also includes questionable contracts with David Savard and Mike Hoffman, should be examined.

Floor synchronization mode

You’re not ready to panic yet, but it’s bubbling beneath the surface and you’re consuming the land under your feet without even noticing it.

You are in floor sync mode.

Things haven’t been well, and you’re a little nervous, but you have something to show that will give you enough temporary comfort to alleviate the reality of the first month of the 2021-22 season.

The fan base on these teams ranges between “everything is going to be fine” and “a few bad games yet and I’ll click”.

Dallas Stars

Record: 6-6-2 (5th in Central Division)

Panic meter rating: 6/10

Stars was considered the best return candidate after several roadblocks disrupted the team’s efforts to reach the next season of 2020-21.

The team’s start to this year couldn’t be further from it. It took 13 games for Dallas to earn their first rule win, and the team has shown some signs of despair at the start of the season.

First, its players gathered to host a player-only meeting, according to Sportsnet. You’ll never hear teams that play well hold these types of rallies, so it was a little eye-opening. In addition, Dallas expelled assistant coach John Stevens from the bench and told him to go upstairs as a coach, which feels like the NHL’s equivalent of your parent’s order to go to your room.

However, if there is hope for Stars fans, it is that the team is really good. On paper, it’s full of offensive abilities, strong defensive, but has a blatant lack of online. None of the team’s three healthy online guards – Braden Holtby, Anton Khudobin or Jake Oettinger – have risen to the job. Ben Bishop seems to be coming back, but he hasn’t played hockey since the 2019-2020 season.

Dallas is likely to do well, but the Central Division has proven to be full of quality teams. Stars have to turn things around pretty quickly if they want to avoid a second year in a row between seasons.

New York Islanders

Record: 5-6-2 (8th in the Metropolitan)

Panic meter rating: 5/10

The Islanders get a mini-pass from me because they had to open year 13 on the way, but I’d certainly be a little nervous if I relied on them.

The team has not yet played a home game as it awaits the opening of the UBS Arena, but the opening trip of the season cannot be considered a great success in any way. The team has 0.500 and its huge collection of attacking players has not produced a result. New York’s average is the fourth-lowest place to score 60 per point with a score of 25.43, which has resulted it to score the fourth-least number of goals per game at 2.33.

In addition, although the young network guard Ilya Sorok has opened the year excellently, Semyon Varlamov has looked shaky on his return from any of the mystery injuries he has dealt with. With two starts, Varlamov holds a 0-2-0 record and a 0.8 percent savings percentage.

For a team considered defensively scarce, the islands have not been it. They have allowed 11.72 high-risk odds per 60, the ninth highest on the NHL. When you combine it with their scoring problems and the Metropolitan division, which is full of competing teams, you get reasons to worry.

Still, they haven’t played at home, and I’m willing to give this team a little more time.

Should be a great space

Ok, so your team isn’t playing as well as you thought, but there are logical reasons and clear decisions for it.

You are not completely satisfied, but you are not that worried about how things have gone. It means being in “should be well” mode.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Record: 5-6-4 (in the 7th Metropolitan Division)

Panic meter rating: 3/10

Injuries and illnesses have been the main reasons for the storm of the 2021-22 campaign in Pittsburgh.

The team’s top players Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust and Kris Letang have played 24 missed games together, not counting Evgeni Malkin, who hasn’t agreed at all when recovering after a seasonal knee surgery. Despite all these absences, Pittsburgh has managed to get a decent 5-5-4 record.

With Crosby back and the provision of a supervisory right to himself he seems to be fine (or at least better than what Martin Fehervary felt after that). His return is a huge lift for the team at both ends of the ice and should help stabilize the Penens.

One really positive development for the team is how well Tristan Jarry has played. According to MoneyPuck, the online man revealed in the 2021 playoffs owns a respectable 0.918 bounce rate and 1.0 more goals saved than expected.

Now almost completely healthy, the Penguins should be fine.

Colorado Avalanche

Record: 6-5-1 (6th in Central Division)

Panic meter rating: 1/10

We’re still at the point where opposing teams should be more concerned about Avalanche than Colorado’s own fan base, even though the team has stumbled out of the gate.

Like Pittsburgh, Colorado has handled several skipped games from its best players. Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar have missed a total of 11 games, which has prevented the team from playing the full line-up most evenings. MacKinnon is expected to miss more than two weeks due to a lower body injury, while his alternate, JT Compher, is absent for about a month due to an upper body injury.

What gives me little reason to worry about Avs is their recent results. The team has won four of their last six matches, and goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper has been much better. Ex-Coyote has won three of their last four rounds and has posted a savings rate of 0.927 or better in each race.

When Colorado is completely healthy, it wreaks havoc in the Central Division, and everyone knows it.

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