We have made it a full week through the start of the '09 - '10 season and there have been a few surprises. It's still too early in the season for these to be permanent trends, but the good and bad starts have certainly raised eyebrows.
Phoenix Coyotes' quick start. The Coyotes weren't expected to do much this year, with their coach pushed out and the franchise in danger of moving to southern Ontario. But Dave Tippett may have got this team concentrating on playing more than worrying. They started with two big wins over division rival Kings and shut out the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. They have cooled a bit losing their last two games.
Vancouver's slow start. Roberto Luongo did start the season on a good foot, allowing 13 goals through his first 3 games. The Canucks have since turned it around, but he has a mortal .865 save percentage and a dismal 3.52 goals against. Not good for a team that believes they are Cup bound.
Ray Emery's return to the NHL. It started off pretty good, but in the last 3 games Emery has let in 13 goals. The Flyers see something in Emery that the rest of us can't see. But team mate Mike Richards is off to a great start, scoring a hat trick against the Capitals.
Montreal's slow start. I really thought the Habs got it right in the off season, re-vamping the team, making the right moves and getting a new coach. But that hasn't translated to wins. They lost an ugly one to Vancouver 7-1. With all that talent, they still don't have a consistent goaltender.
In a month we will see how this all shakes out, but there are some interesting storylines developing in the NHL. There are a few more interesting starts to the season for some teams, the Capitals' slow start and the Blues' big wins in Europe.
It is always nice to talk about what is happening on the ice, rather than the stuff that happens off of it. So far, the season is off to a great start.