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Early look at five NHL teams

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A couple of weeks into the new season, let’s check in on five teams.

 

Philadelphia Flyers

 

On the surface, everything seems fine in Philadelphia, as the Flyers are off to a 2-1-1 start. But due to the luck factor in hockey, things aren’t always as they seem, and the Flyers grade out as one of the worst teams in the league in some important categories. According to hockey stats website Natural Stat Trick, the Flyers are 25th in shots for and against and 29th in scoring chances for and against at five-on-five. If this team is good at anything, it’s playing possum. But I’m not sure that’s intentional. The Flyers don’t control play because they aren’t a good hockey team. The team is on a three-game trip through western Canada and won’t return until November. Don’t be surprised if the Flyers come back with a losing record.

 

Calgary Flames

 

Calgary didn’t get off to a great start at 0-2. But since then, the Flames have looked like a team that’s really finding its rhythm. The Flames have a very strong forward group and good goaltending. They’ve shown a commitment to team defense that I didn’t see last season, and they’ve been great in transition. In other words, it’s been very hard for the opposition to move the puck up the ice against Calgary. It’s still a long shot, but this team could very well win the Pacific Division if injuries continue to impact the Golden Knights and the Oilers slow down enough for them to catch up. The Flames have a light schedule in terms of the quality of competition coming up, so maybe now is the time to buy in on this team at 50-1 at DraftKings. I did.

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