Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend wrap: Celebrating the best and worst... and most mediocre

A look back at the biggest games and emerging story lines of the NHL weekend.

Theme of the Week: Taking a Moment to Celebrate Mediocrity

Every week of the regular season, we’ve made sure to take a look at the league’s very best teams and its very worst. We’ll do it again this week. But first, what about the teams that don’t stand a chance of making either list? What about the ones that are firmly stuck in the dreaded middle of the pack?

These teams aren’t all that good, nor are they especially bad. They win about as often as they lose. They score about as often as they’re scored on. They don’t seem like a threat to win the Cup, and right now they have no chance of being Connor McDavid’s next home. They’re just … there.

Through the first six weeks, here are the league’s five most mediocre teams.

5. Ottawa Senators (8-5-4, plus-2 goals differential) They’ve won eight and lost nine, and are also well over .500 because the loser point is stupid.

4. Winnipeg Jets (9-7-3, minus-5) They’re just on the outside of the wild-card race. That’s either an accurate description of the standings, or the team’s new marketing slogan.

3. San Jose Sharks (10-8-2, plus-3) Going into the season we had no idea what the Sharks would be, but we knew they wouldn’t be boring. Twenty games in: 10 wins, 10 losses, 56 goals for, 53 goals against, and 49 percent possession. That’s … kind of boring, no?

2. Philadelphia Flyers (7-7-2, minus-2) They’re painfully mediocre, and yet somehow not even the most mediocre team in their own division. The Metro: Feel the excitement!

1. Washington Capitals (7-7-3, plus-1) They’ve got 17 points in 17 games, and the most even goals differential in the league.1 Mostly out of force of habit, I blame Alexander Ovechkin.

Now let’s never speak of these teams again. On to the good and the bad.

>> Read the full post on Grantland

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