The NHL Report: First Quarter 2021

I probably should have divided up like periods and done thirds, but as promised I waited until the Avalanche reached game 12, aka 25%ish, to file a report on how the NHL season is going. Twelve games. The season started in early January so my math would have the Avalanche playing game 12 on February 4th. Nope – make that February 14th.

Why the delay? COVID. Five games postponed. I guess since they played Game 12 on Valentine’s Day COVID now stands for Colorado Valentine’s Isolation Day.

“My bloody Valentine…” Sing it with me now.

On another aspect, isolation made sense. The morning temperature on V-Day was a whopping -6˚F at my place. Deep freeze people, deep freeze. COVID has thrown the whole schedule into a blizzard. I wish it were a Dairy Queen one which actually sounds kind of good and my local DQ stays open until midnight and is the size of a Culver’s which is crazy, but alas that is a negative. How is the schedule playing out you ask? Bwa, Ha and Ha. The Vancouver Canucks have played 18 games, the Avalanche 12. The New Jersey Devils? 9.

Not that the Devils playing 9 matter, they suck. Ice melts just to prevent this clumsy team from ruining its sheen. As we are on the East division, AKA the MassMutual East, I believe I said the vaunted Penguins would struggle to make the playoffs. At the 25%ish mark, they are 5th so they’d be out. Top 4 not a surprise – Boston, Philadelphia, the Washington Hockey Team, and the New York team known as the Islanders. I’m going to call the Washington Capitals the ‘Hockey Team’ as after the impeachment vote in the Senate, the word ‘Capital’ should not be used.

Taking a look at the North division, pardon me Scotia North division, AKA the All-Canada division, we have a hot Toronto, nearly as hot Montreal, then Edmonton and Winnipeg. Calgary and Vancouver are certainly in the running, and apparently Ottawa forgot to lace up their skates as they are tripping all over themselves. Man, that is a bad team. What can we expect really? They’re the Senators.

Shall we do a rush over to the Discover Central division? Heck yes. Pardon my not-so-subtle reference, but there is quite a bit to discover. While, as expected, the defending Stanley Cup champs Tampa Bay are on top, there’s quite the donnybrook underneath them. Florida, Carolina, Columbus and Chicago are right on their heels. The Chicago Blackhawks are definitely the surprise, having garnished 18 points in 16 games all the while defending their goal and their name. Dallas, which should be way up there are languishing, barely able to stay ahead of Trashville and Detroit. Good gravy, Detroit is as bad as they were last year. Go eat one of your square pizzas and take the rest of the season off Red Wings.

The last division, Honda West, is certainly not the least. However, their top 4, while not in the order I expect, are as predicted by most. St. Louis, Las Vegas, Colorado and Anaheim.  Colorado and Las Vegas play four games this week which started last night and the K-nigg-its bested the Avalanche 1-0. This will certainly help develop how the division shapes up the rest of the way. The Avalanche are five points behind the leading Blues, but the Blues have played four more games. The real leader right now is Las Vegas – and BTW NHL it is ‘Las Vegas’ not sure why you just call them ‘Vegas’ but whatever. Right now, the Knights are four points up from the Avalanche and have only played 12 games. As for the rest of the division? It’s a tight division with only nine points separating top from bottom, but who cares. Screw ‘em.

All total, there are a select few teams that seem to be skating and scoring better than others: Toronto, Boston, Tampa Bay, Montreal and Las Vegas. Right now the créme del la créme is, sadly, a team where French only means old people kissing in an awkwardly sad-sack manner, Tampa Bay. Here’s hoping for the love of Lord Stanley that changes. See you at the 50% mark – whenever Colorado gets there – which at this rate will be April. Thanks COVID.

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