case scenario for the Flames' record this year?"
A handful of elite teams are already looking ahead to the possibility of a deep playoff run. Others are left to contemplate trade deadline fire sales and wonder where it all went wrong. Here's a look at the winners and losers from the first half of the season.
Winner: Calgary Flames - The struggling franchise continues to draw comparisons to the 2008 Maple Leafs, which is great news since it means they're only a few years away from being able to trade all their worst players to the Calgary Flames.
Loser: Pittsburgh Penguins - Have had to deal with a ridiculous string of significant injuries, we think, although it's hard to say since their guy in charge of reporting injuries is currently injured.
Winner: St. Louis Blues - Goaltender Brian Elliot has put up outstanding numbers ever since new coach Ken Hitchcock broke down film of his time with the Senators and suggested he try the slight adjustment of turning his goalie mask around so that the eyeholes are in the front.
Loser: New Jersey Devils - In hindsight, the team probably could have recognized Patrik Elias for reaching the 1,000 games milestone without showing that scoreboard message that said "Congratulations on playing almost as many games as Ilya Kovalchuk still has left to go on his contract".
Winner: Anaheim Ducks - Swirling trade speculation can often leave a star player tearing his hair out, so it's probably just as well that it's happening to Ryan Getzlaf.
Loser: Tampa Bay Lightning - May be relying too much on their patented 1-3-1 defensive system, in which one player forechecks deep, three clog the neutral zone, and one fishes the puck out of the net while Dwayne Roloson tries to show it picture of his grandchildren.
Winner: Colorado Avalanche - Are a miraculous 7-0 in shootouts so far this season, although it's probably unfair that they get to keep bringing in Tim Tebow to play net.
Loser: Toronto Maple Leafs - Phil Kessel is slowly starting to realize that there was something strange about that preseason bet where he promised to spend the entire year setting up Joffrey Lupul if he'd agree to wear a jersey with his name spelled backwards.
Winner: Boston Bruins - Thanks to the excellent play of Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask, the team's goals against average is so ridiculously low that it was recently mistaken for a Brad Marchand body check.
Loser: Ottawa Senators - Their forwards may seem to be putting up impressive scoring totals, but a closer look reveals that almost all the goals are the result of Erik Karlsson banking the puck in off somebody who wasn't paying attention because he "wanted to make it more challenging".
Winner: New York Rangers - Were able to get a win at the Winter Classic, which is great because playing in that game is a rare opportunity that the Rangers will likely only have four or five more times this decade.
Loser: Winnipeg Jets - Will be stuck in the Southeast Division for another season thanks to the NHLPA blocking the league's realignment plans, meaning they'll be forced to make multiple midwinter trips to Carolina and Tampa Bay and Miami and wait I think I may have figured out which players voted against this.
Winner: Phoenix Coyotes - Shane Doan recorded the first hat trick of his 17-year career on Saturday, which was a nice moment because it gave the fans in Phoenix a five-month head start on throwing away Coyotes merchandise.
Loser: Columbus Blue Jackets - General manager Scott Howson has been so inundated with around-the-clock phone calls about trading star winger Rick Nash to a contending team that he eventually had to tell Rick Nash to stop phoning him.