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First Quarter Grades

With the first quarter of the season in the books, Scott Burnside (East) and Pierre LeBrun (West) evaluate each team’s performance:

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins- Grade: A-plus
Summary: OK, so the hangover is officially over. The Bruins were 11-0-1 in their past 12 at the time of writing this and, with Tyler Seguin emerging as a bona fide star, there is no reason to think the Bruins can’t be a force again next spring.
Trending: Can this team get better? Why not? Trending up.

Western Conference

Minnesota Wild- Grade: A
Summary: The Wild have been out of the playoffs three straight years. But, GM Chuck Fletcher was a busy man in the offseason, replacing his head coach and making a pair of huge trades while inserting some youth from the AHL level into his lineup. Fletcher’s offseason elixir worked wonders through the opening quarter of the season.
Trending: Perhaps downward? Scoring woes suggest the Wild might come back down to earth unless the offense wakes up.

more at ESPN….


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


redxblack's avatar

Detroit is #1 in the West with a game in hand. Grade? B+


Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/01/11 at 06:16 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Detroit is #1 in the West with a game in hand. Grade? B+


Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/01/11 at 03:16 PM ET


B+ is more than fair.  The Wings haven’t been just Jekyll-Hyde.  They’ve been Jekyll-Doormat.

There are still issues, serious ones.  Questions on the blueline (most of them involved E52), bad penalties taken every single game by #44, a Zetterberg who looks completely lost still, Franzen disappearing for games at a time.  Howard and the 4th line are the only consistent things so far…

This upward trend of late… I’m afraid I’m waiting for the downward correction yet again.  The team just has issues…

Posted by Primis on 12/01/11 at 06:25 PM ET

awould's avatar

The team just has issues…

Yes it does.

But they’re first in their division and have a shot to be first in the league so it’s hard to complain. That losing streak was hard to watch though and could easily happen again if they don’t fix some things.

Posted by awould on 12/01/11 at 06:35 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The problem is, the West is so tight right now that a small skid and they could be right back out of the Top 8 again.

The conference is still too fluid.  Until I start to see some teams pull away and show consistency (including the Wings) I’m not excited.  This first quarter of the season has been disappointing if you’re a Wings fan, there is no argument against that or way around it.

Hey remember when WAS beat DET badly and it was a sign of how bad DET was and how good WAS was?  Stuff changes quickly…

Posted by Primis on 12/01/11 at 06:41 PM ET


I think a B+ is pretty fair.  If I were judging the time right now, over the past week, I’d give them a better mark, but on the first quarter as a whole I don’t know to justify anything higher than that grade to a team that lost six straight, even if they’ve also won five, four and six straight.

I’m very interested to see what happens in the game after their next loss…

Posted by Garth on 12/01/11 at 06:49 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I’m very interested to see what happens in the game after their next loss…

Or 2 or 3 in a row, we’ve got some miles to cover the next 2 months and have been “so-so” on the road this year.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 12/01/11 at 07:27 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Detroit is Fine! as Usual ! I respect the Hell out of that OrganIzation ! they will be a force come playoff time & did people catch this about Flyers

Trending: Down. Claude Giroux is having an MVP-type season, but injuries to top players and the uncertainty surrounding the goaltending may mean rough waters ahead.

Uncerttainty surrounding Goaltending? Holmgren, Clarjke & Snider better hope not LOL

Posted by Evilpens on 12/01/11 at 07:30 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

I have no issue with the B+ that Det got.  I just don’t get the Wings get the B+ and Boston gets an A+.

As of the end of October both were out of the top 8.  Now they have identical records.  They both have had slumps with Bos at the beginning of the season and Det more recently.

Don’t really care, just an observation.


Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 12/01/11 at 07:44 PM ET


Why would the wings get a B+, the Bruins get an A+, and we just not only beat them, but have the same record as them.

who cares about anything other then W’s and L’s.

Posted by Paul from downriver on 12/01/11 at 07:48 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I am more than happy with a B-plus grade for Detroit. It’s probably half a letter grade too high, actually.  Like Primis, I am waiting for the “correction”. They’ve been too streaky so far for me to get too comfortable.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/01/11 at 08:27 PM ET


Heh.. The wings can be “streaky” till the end o the season, if they keep winning

Seriously, the only thing that actually concerns me right now, is when jimmah is gonna get some rest
Best case cenario, Conklin got hurt and no one knows
Worst case, Babs lost fate on him

But really, other than that, what can you actually complain about the wings, right now?
They are winning, and for me, the best teams are the ones that can get a win, no matter what adversities they face

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 12/01/11 at 08:54 PM ET


Grades seem pretty reasonable overall. Lots of hockey left.

At this point I still believe the conferences basically breakdown like this:
Western Conf.
everybody else

Eastern Conf.
everybody else

Posted by godblender on 12/01/11 at 10:28 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

That was what I meant - the wings are at a B+, but that grade does not seem relative to anything other than a feeling about the wings. It isn’t based on any real comparisons. I’d grade this team a B+ relative to other Wings teams in recent years, but not against other current NHL teams.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/02/11 at 11:14 AM ET

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