Someone is going to have to alert the parity police stationed at NHL headquarters that the model is broken and there are more bottom feeders than at any time since the salary cap was adopted in 2005-06.
For the first time in this era, there are three teams playing with a . 326 percentage or less, and they are the cellar dwellers located in Columbus, Chicago, and Anaheim. For the second time—and for the second season in a row—five teams are playing fewer than . 400 clips.
There have only been two seasons prior to 2021-22 where three clubs have not been able to reach the .400 BAR. In fact, in 13 out of 14 seasons from 2006-2007 through 2019-20, no more than one team fit in that season.
The Blackhawks, an organization as tainted as ever in the NHL, is At the bottom as per design Achieve the deformed management’s intention to dive as deep into the reservoir as possible. The Ducks actually spent some cash in the off-season adding a cadre of vets who might have made the club more presentable, but failed to do so. The Blue Jackets signed Johnny Goudreau with no conceivable idea that they would not only be in the running for Conor Bédard, but also be in pole position past the halfway mark.
The cover was supposed to soften the stragglers. The NHL was supposed to be an Any Given Sunday League. Instead, the league is in its second straight season with a subset of historically bad teams.
This is despite the proven theory that there is no upper limit to bad or outstanding management.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Bruins (32-5-4 before Saturday play) play at a 0.829 pace that would top the legendary 1976-77 Canadian 0.825 mark, which represents the NHL’s highest winning percentage in the modern era that began with the introduction of the central redline. In 1944-1945. This was the Canadian team that went 60-8-12 in winning the second of four consecutive Stanley Cups to cap off the decade.
The 1977-78 Habs, who went 59-10-11 (. 806), are the only other team in the modern era to bat. 800 in a full season, though the 2012-13 Blackhawks finished at . 802 in a 48-game schedule with an asterisk that was snapped by the Owners’ Lockout III.
It’s safe to say that the Devils are the league’s greatest pleasant surprise. But the Bruins, who didn’t have Brad Marchand or Charlie McAvoy for nearly the first month of the season, are very close to second place.
At this juncture, the only sure-fire award more than Connor McDavid’s supposed Hart Trophy would be Jim Montgomery’s Adams as Division Two coach of the year.
The all-time winning record seems elusive. The Bruins would have to go the equivalent of 36-1-4 the rest of the way to reach 144 points and .878 to surpass their predecessors’ 1929-30 record of .875 achieved with a 38-5-1 season.
This was the Boston team that included Eddie Shore, Ditt Clapper, Tiny Thompson, Connie Weiland, and Lionel Hitchman. Everyone except Hitchman is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. By the way, those B’s never won a Stanley Cup. They were beaten by the 21-14-9 (. 579) Canadian regulars twice in a row in a best-of-three final.
No, the history lesson is not over yet.
I came across a YouTube clip of a Rangers-Canadiens game at The Garden from the 1935-36 season in which the players lined up east-west, facing boards, for face-offs.
That amazed me. I had no idea this sort of thing ever was, let alone the league instructing players to line up north-south for a tie. So I sought help from the NHL, whose staff was initially baffled before tracking down useful information; and from Stan Fischler, who reached out to the famous historian Erich Zweig.
According to the league and Zweig, the change was made prior to the 1942-1943 season. Zweig referred to a 1996 book The Rules of Hockey by James Duplessi with Dan Diamond.
This is from page 116-117: “A significant change to the facing rule affected the position of the players who took the lots and coincided with the introduction of the red line in 1942-43. Prior to that season, the players taking lots would line up facing the sideboards. Many coaches used a strategy that required Players taking the tackle are required to discard the puck instead on the other facing man, allowing a teammate to come in and take the puck.Under the amended rules, players taking the tackle were rotated 90 degrees so that they were facing the ends of the arena with their backs to their targets.The intent of this legislation was to speed play from By focusing more on winning the tie.”
There is a slight discrepancy here, given that the red line was introduced a year later in 1943-1944. So it seems as if the change of confrontation was not activated in 1942-1943, but rather in 1943-1944.
An article sent by Zweig from the August 17, 1943 edition of the Montreal Gazette, by Owen Griffith, says the following:
“While the main element was the two-inch red line through the center of the ice… players must face their opponents’ goal rather than turn their left flank into the opponent’s net for face-offs.”
Now you can relay this information to the bar and win a bet or be as clever as Matt Damon’s character in “Good Will Hunting”.
in appreciation of Jake Lechien’s expected Rangers debut On Garden Sunday, he ranks the top five of our three teams in 15th place.
1. John McClain, Devils (The Rangers); 2. Jim Nelson, Rangers; 3 – Billy Harris, Islanders; 4. Anders Hedberg, Rangers; 5. Jamie Langenbrunner, Devils. Honorable Mention: Cal Clutterbuck, Islanders; Recall: Jeff Taffy, Rangers.
Finally, it’s just a shame how quickly Henrik Lundqvist descended into obscurity in his retirement, right?