A lot of things are happening! Now that the NHL season is really starting to shape up we are starting to see the form of the 2019-2020 campaign.
The Bruins are bashing their way through the Atlantic Division, the Capitals are the new odds on favorites to win the Stanely Cup at Bovada, and Boudreau is on thin Ice.
The Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are running away with the lion’s share of points in the Atlantic Division. At this point, many are beginning to question if there will be anyone that can catch them. The Tampa Bay Lightning were the odds on favorites to win the division this year, but as we move into the season it is starting to look like they were wildly overrated. They are not bad; don’t get me wrong. The Lightning are a good team, just not the best in the division, let alone the conference like it was thought.
Boston has won 15 games has only taken 3 full losses and has racked up a few extra points with 5 OTLs. With 35 points, the only team better than them in the East is the Caps who are riding 16 wins and hold 37 points. In fact, in the last five games, the Caps are the only team to hand the Bruins a loss. And it was a close one. At that.
Today, Tuesday the 26th, the Bruins have a tough one against the Canadiens in Montreal. Then they get the Senators and the Rangers which should both go down in the books as wins. So even if they happen to take a loss to the Canadiens while on the road, they are likely to take two of three there. After that, they face the Hurricanes and the bottom of the barrel Blackhawks which should be a pair of wins more. More or less, with their next five games, they are on track to go either 9-1 or 8-2 out of their last ten.
The Caps Attack!
John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin are on fire. They each rank in the top 10 in scoring and the Caps are looking like true Cup contenders in 2019-2020. The Leafs and the Lightning were the two teams that sat atop the odds boards at the beginning of the season. Pundits abound thought that those were the squads that would skate their way into the playoffs easily, and make deep runs at the Stanely Cup. But both of those teams have had incredibly slow starts and are starting to trail significantly when it comes to accruing playoff points.
The Caps have a tough matchup on Wednesday against the Atlantic Division’s second-place unit, the Florida Panthers. Then they get the Tampa Bay Lightning who are heading into their game against the St. Louis Blues on a three-game winning streak – and by no small margin. They have dominated, beating the Blackhawks 4-2, the Ducks 6-2, and the Sabres 5-2.
So, could the Lightning be finally finding their skates? The Caps are coming off a loss to the Vancouver Canucks after winning three straight. But they have a couple of tough games ahead and it could give the NY Islanders the opportunity needed to pull up even in points if the Caps drop one … or both of these games.
The Maple Leafs should have been winning … and for their unexpected failure, Mike Babcock got canned. Now, it looks as if the Minnesota Wild’s Bruce Boudreau is on thin ice as well. It’s so thin that Las Vegas has lined him out as the ‘favorite’ for the next NHL Coach to the can. The Wilds are horrible, winning just 9 games so far, losing 11, and taking 4 OTLs. This tally gives them the second-fewest points in the West, just ahead of the Kings – who are now more like surfs.
But it isn’t just Boudeau who is on the hot seat The NJ Devils have had a horrible start, they have only won 8 games, and Hynes could get handed a severance check as well … But, he might get a pass … after all, the Devils are relying on Blackwood and Domingue to mind the net, which isn’t something you can just fix with better coaching.