Above are the bottom 11 NHL teams in terms of regulation/overtime wins. Some of them, like Calgary and Florida, were expected to be there. But two of them, both of which made the playoffs last season, have been pretty major disappointments so far this season:
— The Islanders, with just five R/OT wins. Only the Sabres have fewer. What a letdown New York has been. I tweeted last night during the Isles’ 3-2 loss to Winnipeg that Jack Capuano “has absolutely rocketed to the top of the Next Coach Fired Power Rankings.” That’s pure speculation on my part, but how much longer can general manager Garth Snow watch his team slide? The Isles have now lost nine of their last 11 in regulation. They showed a bit of life in coming back to make it close against the Jets, but plays like this…
…have become all too common this season.
— Washington, with just seven R/OT wins. Today, Caps fans are thankful for family…friends…good health…but most of all, the shootout. What they’re not thankful for? Realignment. Last season, Washington went 15-3-0 versus a weak Southeast Division and 12-15-3 versus everyone else. Let’s face it: this is not a good team, let alone a Stanley Cup contender. Alex Ovechkin is a great goal-scorer and he puts people in the seats — from a business perspective, he’s earned his contract — but he’s not a 200-foot player, and recent history shows the importance of those types come playoff time. This is not a new question, but it still needs to be asked: Who’s going to be the Jonathan Toews/Patrice Bergeron/Anze Kopitar for the Caps? Because sorry, I don’t think it’s going to be Nicklas Backstrom, Mikhail Grabovski or Brooks Laich. And that’s not even mentioning the blue line.