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Best and Worst NHL Teams to Start the Season

Best Team of the Month: Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens are right now the best team in the NHL with a record of 7-1-2 and they have been on fire. This Canadiens team is stacked throughout, with a deep forward core, strong defense and elite goaltending. Their first line consists of Johnathan Drouin, Nick Suzuki and Josh Anderson who all have proven their haters wrong this season by putting up great numbers. A key addition to the Canadiens is forward Tyler Toffoli who currently leads the league in goals with nine and eight of those goals come against his former team, the Vancouver Canucks.

On the back end, they are led by captain Shea Weber who is playing well on both sides of the ice. Jeff Petry is another key defender on the team with 13 points in 10 games. Lastly, newly signed defensemen Alexander Romanov is having a stellar rookie year. In net, the Canadiens are protected by Carey Price who arguably is one of the best goaltenders in the league. Overall, the Montreal Canadiens are a complete team, exceeding expectations, are leading their competitive North Division, and are at the top of the NHL.

Most Surprising Team of the Month: New Jersey Devils

There were many choices for who is the most surprising team so far, however based on the number of games played and everyone’s expectations, the Devils are right now the most surprising team. At the start of the season, everyone predicted the Devils to finish last in the hardest division, the East Division. This wasn’t because the Devils were a horrible team, but because of the number of elite teams in the division. The Devils are currently fifth in the East which isn’t the best, by all means, however, they are doing without their best forward Nico Hischier, defensemen Sami Vatanen and young players Jesper Bratt and MacKenzie Blackwood only playing a few games. Currently, the Devils are being led by former no. 1 pick Jack Hughes who is having a breakout sophomore season, rookie defensemen Ty Smith, and forward Miles Wood. When everyone comes back healthy for NJ, they could be a scary team and could do some damage in the East.

Worst Teams of the Month: Ottawa Senators

It’s unfortunate to see, but the Ottawa Senators are the worst team in the NHL to start the season. The Senators were seen as a very promising team this season, with a blend of young guns and veterans, however, their start to the season was very unexpected. After being the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first game, they followed it up with nine straight losses for a record of 1-8-1. Their newly acquired stars, Evgenii Dadonov, Derek Stepan and Alex Galchenyuk have been very disappointing along with goalie Matt Murray who has been horrible. There is still a ton of games remaining in the season for the Senators to turn it around. Fortunately for the Senators, some of their young stars including Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and Josh Norris have looked solid to start the year. If the Senators make a couple of changes to their roster, they could climb back up the standings. 

Most Disappointing Team of the Month: New York Rangers

One of the most promising and highly anticipated teams for this season, the New York Rangers, have been extremely underwhelming to start the season. This offseason, they made some major moves, drafting Alexis Lafreniere with the first overall pick and buying out long time Ranger, Henrik Lundqvist. With these moves, the Rangers were heading in a different direction and some believed they would be one of the best teams next year. However, that wasn’t the case at all, as the Rangers are dealing with a ton of on and off ice issues. Along with that, many of their young players are struggling to start the season. The Rangers have plenty of time to solve their problems and meet their expectations for this season.

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