Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/29/13 at 11:44 AM ET
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
The only squad in the eight-team Metropolitan currently above .500 is the Pittsburgh Penguins. The only team besides Pittsburgh to score more goals than it has allowed is the Columbus Blue Jackets and their whopping plus-2 differential. A trio of clubs—the Rangers, Flyers and Devils—have three or fewer wins this year.
Should we all have seen this coming? Probably, to some degree. New Jersey has just lost too many ‘A’ players the past two summers to compete, while Columbus, Carolina and the Islanders were viewed as clubs that would, to varying degrees, be kicking and scrapping for a playoff sniff. We knew Philadelphia and Washington were wild cards coming into the season, but in the case of the Flyers, we had the formula all wrong. Philly is actually getting strong goaltending from Steve Mason and its goals-against average is right in the middle of the NHL pack. It’s the offence that’s been the Flyers’ downfall, with only the lowly Buffalo Sabres and banged-up Rangers scoring less frequently per game. Captain Claude Giroux is still being outscored 1-0 by Phoenix goalie Mike Smith this season.
The Caps, meanwhile, have been their usual carefree selves when defending, and thus far are worse than all but six squads in terms of five-on-five goal differential. The worst outfit in that category—by a mile—is the Rangers, who seem bound and determined to make the Sabres feel better about themselves.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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