It’s never too soon to panic in the NHL. Never!
Check out some of the early carnage:
The Bruins lost three of their first four games, scoring just seven times in the process. Coach Claude Julien has detected a serious Stanley Cup hangover.
“If you show up at the rink a certain way, you can’t just turn the switch off and then decide all of a sudden you’re going to change your attitude,” Julien told reporters. “It’s how you wake up in the morning. It’s how you see the game. … If you come to the rink unprepared, then it shows.”
The Lightning stumbled to a 1-2-1 start, allowing 16 goals in the process. Guy Boucher offered the Tampa Tribune some classic coachspeak in response to the poor showing: “You have to embrace adversity because they are the building blocks for success. So, if you panic and can't see the sun behind the clouds, that's where you drift off and you become worse. This is a great opportunity for us to live the adversity and know why we are good and what we need to do on a consistent basis.”
The Canucks opened the seasons without two key forwards, Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond. While they are recovering from repairs, Vancouver isn’t able to roll four lines. That, plus a slow start by goaltender Roberto Luongo (3.90 GAA, .855 save percentage) doomed the Canucks to a 1-2-1 record during this young season.
Vancouver scored just 10 goals during those four games. “Last year when we were winning, we were rolling four lines,” Daniel Sedin observed. “We weren’t really tired after games because we played a smart game. Right now it seems like we’re working extremely hard, but it’s not the same feeling. We’ve got to get back to that same mentality.”
The Canadiens lost two of their first three games and featured a patchwork lineup missing injured veterans Mike Cammalleri up front and defenseman Andrei Markov on defense. The Habs were horrid in their home opener, losing 4-1 to the flickering Flames.
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howsom’s seat gets hotter all the time. Columbus started 0-3-1, badly missing suspended defenseman James Wisniewski. The team is 0-for-20 on the power play during this young season and attendance is lagging. The official attendance for a Thursday night game against the Avalanche was 8,986.
Old friend Paul MacLean is off to a choppy start in Ottawa. The Senators lost three of their first four games and allowed 21 goals in the process. Goaltender Craig Anderson has a 5.07 GAA and ugly .853 save percentage. “I think as a team our play has been inconsistent,” MacLean told the Ottawa Sun. “That includes everybody.”
The Jets are still in their honeymoon stage, so the fact they are 0-2 doesn’t sting as much. But they have been outscored 9-4 while putting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec under tremendous duress.
“I felt a little bit better than the first game,” Pavelec told reporters after the Blackhawks scored four times against him. “It’s a little bit about luck. In the first game, I didn’t have any (luck). They were great shots but I didn’t even touch the puck in the first game on those goals.”