3 Early Surprises in the NHL

Even this early into the NHL 2015-16 season, there are a multitude of interesting story lines to follow. Teams have experienced early highs and lows, certain key players have yet to find the scoring sheet and everything in between has happened in a few short weeks. Let’s take a moment and delve into three of the NHL’s early storyline surprises thus far.

Montreal Continues To Look Dominant

The Montreal Canadiens may currently be the best team in the entire NHL. Currently, they have started off the season by going an astounding 7-0 and have looked like a team possessed in each of their games. Who deserves credit for the hot start?

Could it be Carey Price, the Vezina and Hart winning goaltender? He has looked unbelievably poised and calm in between the pipes. How about the new captain? Max Pacioretty has been a constant scoring threat whenever he steps on the ice. Was it an off-season overhaul that saw a bevy of new faces introduced? Maybe it was a coaching change?

The answer to both of these final questions is no. Alex Semin and Tomas Fleischmann are the only new additions and Michel Therrien remains the head coach. The team is playing well together. They have found their groove early on and have worked it beautifully to their advantage. Everyone has had a hand in the early success of the Habs. If they continue to play well, the sky could be the limit for how far this team could rise.

Sidney Crosby Finally Records Some Points

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Crosby aims a shot. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Sidney Crosby is arguably the best hockey player in the entire world. With that much talent comes a boatload of pressure every time the Penguins captain steps on the ice. Inevitably, people expect Crosby to score regularly. This is why it was so alarming to see the Nova Scotia native held pointless through the first five games of this season.

He had his chances,  but they just weren’t finding the back of the net. It was an odd sight considering how much talent Pittsburgh has up front. The doubters can now officially go back into hiding since, as of Tuesday night, Crosby has finally recorded his first goal of the season.

His rocket of a shot found the twine behind the Florida Panthers’ netminder Roberto Luongo. Crosby also finished the game with two assists, giving him three points on the night. Fear not fans, despite the slow start, Crosby can still light the lamp and put points on the board.

Chaos in Columbus Leads to Coach Firing

(Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)
John Tortorella when he coached the Vancouver Canucks. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

The Columbus Blue Jackets have a very talented roster. They boast the likes of Nick Foligno, Ryan Johansen, Brandon Saad and goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky. Despite all these skilled players, the team has dropped the first seven games of their season and are in full out panic mode.

Currently, the Blue Jackets are the only team in the NHL that has yet to win a single game. The decision came down and head coach, Todd Richards, was fired and replaced with the highly entertaining, although polarizing, John Tortorella. The American born coach has experience in the NHL where he worked the bench with the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

It’s still early in the season and the Jackets could easily turn it around, but starting off the year 0-7-0 makes many question exactly what is going wrong within their organization.