It’s Dan Mount again, and I’m here with a spooky edition of the Three Periods blog. It’s Halloween time, and I’m going to take a look at the tricks and treats of the opening month of the season.
Tricks: The horrid starts by the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Anaheim Ducks. I projected both teams to make the postseason in my season-opening projections. (I even had the Ducks making the Stanley Cup final.) However, bad starts by both clubs have put them in the dungeon to start the 2015-16 campaign.
The Jackets terrible opening stretch cost Todd Richards his job. (He was replaced by John Tortorella.) Columbus was supposed to be a trendy pick to make the postseason, but they’re now in a little bit of trouble.
If the Jackets were a disaster, than the Ducks have been an epic flop… so far. All of this talk has their coach Bruce Boudreau on the hot seat. Anaheim is 1-7-2 and in last place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks have not been able to score, and are only staying in games due to the strong play of goalie Frederik Andersen. If things don’t turn around soon, Boudreau will be out of a job.(Dishonorable mention to the Calgary Flames for their floundering start.)
Sidney Crosby has also given fantasy owners headaches with only one goal so far this season, as he only has one goal and four assists in nine games this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins star is still getting used to life with Phil Kessel on his team. The Pens have put together a winning streak despite the early struggles. If Sid the Kid can get rolling, look out for Pittsburgh. (Let’s give a dishonorable mention to this clod that stole a puck from a little kid at Thursday’s Pens game against the Sabres.)
Treats:Let’s give it up to the play of the Montreal Canadiens. They may have lost two in a row in Western Canada, but started out the season with nine straight wins. I mentioned last week that the Habs have a solid group of forwards, dynamic defensemen and arguably the best
The Central Division is looking to be the toughest division in hockey. Both the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators have gotten out of the gate quickly despite playing opposite styles. The Stars use offense and have used late-game comebacks to get an 8-2-0 record, while the Predators use solid defense and the goaltending of PekkaRinne to get to a 7-1-1 mark as of Halloween. If these two meet up in the playoffs, the contrast of styles will be amazing.
As long as we’re talking about the Stars, the duo of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn have been a great fantasy duo. I’m lucky enough to have both of them on one of my teams. Benn leads the league in points, with Seguin tied for second with David Krejci of Boston as of Friday night. These two are great together and have made Dallas a great story.
Honorable mention to the Penguins for making things right with the kid that got the puck taken from him. He got another puck and a Crosby jersey. Even if you’re not a Pens fan, it’s cool to see.
Let’s also not forget some of the cool costumes we see on Halloween from NHLers. I’ve written things previously about hockey players embracing the Halloween spirit by wearing silly costumes.
There are all over social media as we see guys like Alex Ovechkin dressed as Batman. Other Washington Capitals like EvgenyKuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Brooks Laich have been seen in some cool costumes. The Calgary Flames went as The Avengers, and we’ve seen other costumes too numerous to mention.
It’s cool to see the NHLers having fun with this. The game can be serious, and it’s nice to see people unwind during the long grind of a season. I can’t wait to see what the 2016 crop of costumes bring us.