It’s not rocket science if you want to win score. There are some NHL teams that are lighting the lamp and some that can’t find the net. Not surprising the league leaders have figured that out. In this post I will take a look at goals for, and the team’s goal differential.
The regular season is young, but there are some teams that just don’t have the talent needed to score. The GM’s of those teams will tell their fan base that this is a process, and it will take time. Here’s the thing fans don’t want to hear it. Fans for the most part are not uneducated; they know their sport, and their teams. As the season progress I expect that some teams current on the bottom will make their way to the middle of the pack, and some teams on the bottom will just stay on the bottom and hope for a high draft pick to save the day next season. Let’s take a look at the leaders, and the teams that are living in the basement as of today’s NHL.com numbers.
The top teams all prove what we already know. You need to score, but you also need a strong defense and goaltending. When judging a team by numbers I always look at the goal differential. It gives a quick glimpse of the picture. Teams are listed 1-5.
Winnipeg Jets: GF 12, Diff +2, Leading Scorer: Andrew Ladd G2 A1. 4th place in the West
Vancouver Canucks: GF 12, Diff +2, Leading Scorer: Henrik Sedin A5. 5th place in the West
Calgary Flames: GF 12, Diff -1, Leading Scorer: David Jones G2 A2. 7th place in the West
Toronto Maple Leafs: GF 12, Diff +4, Leading Scorer: Mason Raymond G2 A2. 1st place in the East
St. Louis Blues: GF 11, Diff +9, Leading Scorer: Alexander Steen G2 A1. 1st place in the West
Welcome to the basement. These teams just can’t seem to score. Some of them are not taking a lot of a shots. The New York Rangers are here, but that is in part to the number of games they have played (1). I know that numbers cannot tell us everything we want to know about a team. They do not give us how, or why a goal was scored. They cannot tell us if there was an amazing save, or a goal called back. But, numbers do not lie. Teams are listed 30-26.
New York Rangers: GF 1, Diff -3, Leading Scorer: Marc Staal G1. 14th place in the East
Buffalo Sabres: GF 2, Diff -5, Leading Scorer: Thomas Vanek G1. 15th place in the East
Nashville Predators: GF 3, Diff -4, Leading Scorer: Mile Fisher G1 A1. 13th place in the West
Philadelphia Flyers: GF 3, Diff -6, Leading Scorer: Vincent Lecavalier G1 A1. 16th place in the East
New Jersey Devils: GF 3, Diff -4, Leading Scorer: Damien Brunner G2. 13th place in the East
It’s not hard to see how this league works. But, you can also see the league has a problem. It needs scoring. The West can score and the East doesn’t know how to find the net. Hopefully your team in not in the basement, but don’t freak out if they are we are only a few games in.