2-Month Mark: Eastern Conf.

7 Dec

Let’s talk about something serious for a minute.  The 2010-11 NHL season is officially 2 months old today.  With 60 days of hockey under your skates, what surprises you so far?  What is going exactly as you expected?

NJ Devils:  Even without beating the dead horse that is Kovalchuk (minus 17!), the Red Cross is about to start handing out tin foil blankets.  The most optimistic of Devils supporters are ready to give up (read this).  They’ve scored 2 goals or less in 20 out of 27 games.  Brodeur will be back in the ice Friday, but unless he’s taking Parise’s spot up front I don’t see how it can help.

Toronto Maple Leafs – Pretty sure it’s not cool in Toronto to be at the bottom of your division.  Just saying.  They came back from 4-1 down to win vs. Washington last night, so maybe that will give them some momentum.  Phaneuf (say it out loud) is expected back in about a week, he has been out since 11/2 after being cut by a skate blade.  The Leafs have won only 5 of 16 since.

Atlanta Thrashers – We knew the addition of Byfuglien would be a boost, but putting him back on defense has proven to be a masterstroke.  (My fantasy team FTW!)  Pavalec’s been super in net, 2nd only to Tim Thomas in GAA and Save %.  He’s cut his GAA by 50% from last season.

Tampa Bay Lightning – If the Bolts put someone in net who could stop the puck, Stamkos might take the whole League by himself. Tampa Bay gives up more goals per game than any team but the Oilers.  They are certainly putting it in the net enough, if only they could keep it out.  Stammers hasn’t scored in 5 games and people are calling it a “drought.”  More like a momentary letup in a downpour.

NHL Leaders – The Penguins, Flyers and Capitals all have more points than any Western Conference team.  If this keeps up we’ll have a fight on our hands right through till April.  That’s the way I like it.

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