There is no official “quarter mark” of the NHL season, but now that 31 out of 32 teams have played 20 or more games, it’s time to grade them all on their starts.
We broke down what has gone right and what has gone wrong for each team, and also compared their current pace in standings points against what the bookmarkers forecast for them in the preseason, before serving up a letter grade.
Who’s at the head of the class? Who’s in danger of failing? Read on for our appraisals.
Note: Ryan S. Clark graded the Pacific and Central Division teams, while Kristen Shilton graded the Metropolitan and Atlantic Division teams. Preseason over/unders are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
ANA | ARI | BOS | BUF
CGY | CAR | CHI | COL
CBJ | DAL | DET | EDM
FLA | LA | MIN | MTL
NSH | NJ | NYI | NYR
OTT | PHI | PIT | SJ
SEA | STL | TB | TOR
VAN | VGS | WSH | WPG
Preseason over/under: 80
Current points pace: 48
What’s gone right: Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras. They are both on pace for what would be a pair of 30-goal seasons. Terry scored 37 goals in 2021-22 during his breakout campaign, while Zegras would be in line for his first 30-goal effort. Both of them are players who are central to the Ducks’ long-term goals, and what they are doing comes as they are also pending restricted free agents.
What’s gone wrong: Nearly everything else. They’ve lost Jamie Drysdale to a season-ending injury. They have a lack of consistent secondary scoring. They lead the NHL with the most penalty minutes by a team. Their goalies have a combined goals-against average of more than 4.00 while they allow nearly 16 high-danger chances per 60 minutes, which is among the highest rates in the league. Maybe the most damning detail of all could be that the Ducks were the last team to win in regulation, which did not come until Nov. 24.
Concentrating on the future appears to be the Ducks’ priority barring a major turnaround. They have pending unrestricted free agents like John Klingberg and Kevin Shattenkirk. It is possible the Ducks could look to move some of those pending UFAs to gain additional draft capital in a season that could see them contend for the No. 1 pick.