Monday, October 24, 2022

Five early success stories I'm not buying yet, plus a disastrous start in Vancouver

Welcome to week two of the still-way-too-early rankings, in which we try to sort through all the noise of the first few games to figure out if they’re telling us anything at all that’s useful.

First things first, if you somehow missed it then go check out the Friday power rankings, which dropped their first edition last week. It’s a nice counterpart to these rankings – we’re the long-term view, focused on figuring out who’ll finish first and who’ll come dead last, while Dom and Other Sean are more of a snapshot of right now. We’ll disagree sometimes, and when we do I’ll be right, but for the most parts it’s two distinct views of one unpredictable league.

Speaking of predictions, in last week’s column I listed five teams off to slow starts that I wasn’t all that worried about. Four of those five teams ran off multiple wins this week, and even Minnesota at least got their first victory of the season, so I think the list held up well. But there was one team that I conspicuously didn’t list, because I kind of was already worried even after two games, and that was the 0-and-2 Canucks.

One week later, they’re now the 0-and-6 Canucks, and oh boy, we are officially at a full-blown crisis in Vancouver. A couple of loser points aside, it’s been six straight losses featuring blown leads, missed assignments, bad goaltending, and simmering panic. What it hadn’t featured until this weekend was a home game, and the Canucks finally got that on Saturday against Sabres. You probably heard how it went. Not great!

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