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Early season takeaways

October 10, 2018, 1:25 PM ET [37 Comments]
HockeyBuzz Hotstove
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Todd Cordell

I couldn't be more impressed with Toronto's offense.

They have potted 20 goals in four games and are averaging better than 35 scoring chances/60 at 5v5. For perspective, only two teams (Toronto, 30.04; Chicago, 30.26) averaged more than 30 a year ago. And they're doing this without William Nylander.

The guy out-scored the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Vladimir Tarasenko, Nicklas Backstrom and Blake Wheeler at 5v5 last season and he hasn't even peaked yet. (Related: he's right to want a lucrative deal). Imagine how terrifying they'll be when he rejoins the team.

Individually, Henri Jokiharju has really opened my eyes. He leads Blackhawks in 5v5 ice – and deservedly so. Jokiharju ranks 1st on the team in Corsi For% and may already be the best puck mover on the roster. He looks like he's going to be a star.

Sean Maloughney

Well, the Oilers have played only one game while other teams have already played 4 so not much I can give off the Oilers one poor performance.

The Leafs have scored a bunch of goals which shouldn't surprise anyone. Their goaltending and defence have also been below average which also shouldn't surprise anyone. The biggest surprise so far for me has been the Hurricanes ability to score.

The Hurricanes have the second most goals in the league so far with 17 and lead the league in EV scoring. Svechnikov has himself a couple goals in 4 games, Ferland has fit in well with 5 points in 4 games. Before the season began I had the 'Canes as a darkhorse playoff team if their young talent was ready to step up and so far they are proving they are.

Also, their post-game celebration is different and fun and anyone who thinks otherwise is just plain wrong.

James Tanner

Oh dear Jesus the Leafs are insane. They have Tavares, Matthews, Rielly, and Marner for four elite players. It's unstoppable. Sure, the defense is laughable, but they are 50% on the PP and while that's sure to regress, their goalie's save percentage is going to go up to too. What's craziest about the Leafs though, is that they are going to add a fifth elite player to their roster when Nylander signs. Kadri and Andersen (a top ten goalie) are their sixth and seventh best players. A fifty point defenseman is their eighth best player and the fastest player in the NHL who isn't McDavid probably doesn't crack their top ten (Kapanen). They should be Stanley Cup favorites by double the next best team. They are the most fun to watch, offensively talented team in the NHL in the salary cap ear and their outlook is to be better than recent Penguins or Blackhawks dynasties. That's my first-week takeaway.

Peter Tessier

How about them Ducks? Who saw them 3-0 and a plus 5 goal differential? I don't think anyone denied that Gibson can be a great goalie but who saw the offense and team coming alive with injuries and the Ritchie hold out.

Is it sustainable probably not but for the fans of the team starting its 25th season, it has to be mildly surprising.

The other thing is Carolina is finally getting some praise from folks other than stats geeks. They look good and perhaps adding a guy who likes to be smart will have an effect on the overall team? Only the Leafs have scored more goals but is anyone cheering for them? Go Hurricanes!

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