Every now and then, PHT will glance at the teams who changed the most during the 2011 off-season in Renovation Watch.
With 2012 rapidly approaching, let’s take another look at how the NHL’s most radically changed teams have fared since the last edition on Dec. 17.
Record last time: 20-8-4 for 44 points
Current record: 20-12-6 for 46 points
Last time we checked, the Wild were on top of the NHL with those 44 points. There were signs of trouble, though, as Mikko Koivu just got injured. They’re 0-4-2 since the last update and have lost eight games in a row overall. Now they’re in second place in the Northwest Division, although they only trail the Vancouver Canucks by two points.
Record last time: 20-7-3 for 43 points
Current record: 21-10-4 for 46 points
Philly has stumbled a bit too, going 1-3-1 in the five games since we last took a look at their situation. Claude Giroux is already back in action, but perhaps they’re starting to miss Chris Pronger. Either way, they’re now in second place in the Atlantic behind the surging New York Rangers.
Record last time: 17-9-6 for 40 points
Current record: 19-11-7 for 45 points
Some believe that the Panthers are starting to run out of steam a bit. That might be the case, as they’ve gone 2-2-1 in their last five games. Still, they’re fighting through a tough schedule and remain atop the Southeast Division at the moment. The important thing is that they’re still in a good position to break their playoff slump.
Record last time: 16-12-3 for 35 points
Current record: 17-16-3 for 37 points
Things just keep getting worse in Buffalo, it seems. They’ve gone 1-4-0 in their last five games and haven’t won consecutive contests since Milan Lucic clobbered Ryan Miller in November. Buffalo currently ranks fourth in the Northeast Division and 11th in the East, so they have a long way to go.
Columbus collapses, then crawls
Record last time: 9-18-4 for 22 points
Current record: 9-22-5 for 23 points
Things were going better for the Blue Jackets – relatively speaking – last time we checked in. Since then they’ve gone 0-4-1 to affirm the fact that they are the worst team in the league. It doesn’t help that Curtis Sanford is banged up, but it only seemed like a matter of time before he wouldn’t be able to save the team.