Monday, November 7, 2022

Weekend rankings: Five teams that have already gone from good to bad this year

We’re a month into the season, having closed the book on October. The season’s first month is usually a time for sorting teams into vague tiers, with the good and bad and the mushy middle. The intriguing part is that sometimes the results don’t match expectations, and a team and its fan base are faced with having to reckon with what might be a new reality.

That said, it’s only one month, so there isn’t room for all that many twist and turns. A team has time to settle into a tier, let the rest of us form an impression, and then spend the season figuring out if we were right.

Or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. But this year feels different. It’s been strange, right? There seem to be a whole lot of teams that, just a few weeks into the season, have already gone through at least two phases, if not more. And while we talked about the Devils ascent from also-ran to (maybe?) unstoppable powerhouse in last week’s rankings, there are also a whole lot of teams going in the other direction.

How many? Enough that I’m not sure I can even fit them all this list…

Top five teams that have already been both good and bad this year

5. Ottawa Senators – We’ll get into the Sens down in the bottom five section, but they’ve gone from winning four straight to get to 4-2-0 while looking like they could be right in the early playoff mix in the Atlantic to five straight regulation losses and staring up at everyone other than Columbus.

4. New York Rangers – You could argue that the Rangers have already had three or even four distinct phases. They looked good early on, including wins over the Lightning and Wild. Then they lost four straight. Then they won three. Now they’ve lost their last two, so who knows. Maybe the Rangers don’t even belong on this list, but I want to include them just for the sheer weirdness of it all. Pick a lane, guys.

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