With the new NHL season under way, some might say that this is one of the most surprising starts for some teams, including the Colorado Avalanche and the Buffalo Sabres.
Now that the season is, for most teams, an eighth of the way done, teams have had to make choices as to keeping rookies or sending them down to juniors.
Teams have also been making trades and mixing things up with coaching staffs.
My biggest surprise is the Colorado Avalanche, but in all honesty it really wasn’t far out from happening. After a miserable 16-25-7, they fired head coach Joe Sacco and hired former Colorado goalie and NHL Hall of Famer Patrick Roy.
This, along with the play of Colorado’s young all-stars Matt Duchene and former Erie Otter, Ryan O’Reilley, has made the difference. The Avalanche are led by the youngest captain in the league Gabriel Landeskog and have exploded to a 10-1-0 start.
Being one of the more skilled and enjoyable teams to watch, I look forward to seeing the Avs making a strong playoff push. I am excited to see what has to be a Jack Adams candidate, Patrick Roy whom I expect to finish strong in his first year as a National Hockey League head coach.
Another shocker is the Buffalo Sabres. With the star power that team has or had including Vanek, Myers, and Miller, the team should not be 2-10.
However, to be taken into consideration is the fact that they fired the longest-tenured coach in NHL history as they entered the rebuilding stages.
With two first rounders and countless rookies in their system, Buffalo also traded Co-Captain Thomas Vanek late Wednesday for two early draft picks, and Matt Moulson, who scored a goal Monday in his first game.
With the season being so young, I am hard pressed to make predictions. But look for teams like Colorado, San Jose and Anaheim to make strong pushes all year.
Look for Buffalo to shop around Ryan Miller as he enters the last year of his contact before becoming an unrestricted free agent. The Islanders seemed to be a likely destination for Miller, but the Moulson trade changed this possibility.
As always, the biggest thing in the NHL is consistency. Next week, everything can be different.