The first week of the NHL has come and gone, and wow what fun it was. There was a reason the season was so highly-anticipated, and an electric week like this proved it.
Here we discuss the storylines making the headlines in these very early stages.
Connor Bedard was able to enjoy his first career game at the earliest opportunity, and he and the Chicago Blackhawks upset the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 4-2. Bedard was able to earn his first career point in this game to help inflict a tough loss on Pittsburgh in their home opener.
Tuesday's opening night also saw the Tampa Bay Lightning take down the Nashville Predators 5-3 in their home opener as one of three games.
Tampa Bay are beginning the season without ace goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, and the speculation has been on how much they will miss the Russian as he recovers from back surgery. Jonas Johansson had a decent enough night though, making 28 of 31 saves for a save percentage of .903, and the Lightning were off to a fast start.
To end the night, the Vegas Golden Knights raised the Stanley Cup banner, before beating the Seattle Kraken 4-1. Their Stanley Cup-winning strength has carried over into this season.
Wednesday offered up a slate of six games. There were three all-Canadian matchups, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs won a thrilling 6-5 shootout against the Montreal Canadiens, the Vancouver Canucks blew out the Edmonton Oilers 8-1, and the Calgary Flames won their home opener 5-3 against the Winnipeg Jets. These games caused lots of drama between these rivals.
The Oilers and Maple Leafs have lots of defensive issues to fix up quickly, and the Flames had a great start to what they hope to be a bounceback season.
The Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes also kicked their season off, and in a back and forth game, the Hurricanes defended home ice in a 5-3 win. However, the young Senators already look electric.
The Bedard show then made its way to Boston, where he scored his first career goal. However, the Chicago Blackhawks were bested by the Bruins 3-1. With a 1-1 record, the Blackhawks have still been impressive so far.
Finally, the Colorado Avalanche and LA Kings went to battle, resulting in a commanding 5-2 win for the Avalanche. The Kings may need to get a strong starting goaltender sooner rather than later.
The busiest night of the first week of gameplay was Thursday, giving us seven games with the day kicking off with three Eastern Conference showdowns.
The Philadelphia Flyers opened their season with a win, earning a road victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 4-2.
The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres also faced off with the Rangers dominating in a 5-1 win. They seem to have a vengeance this year after a disappointing playoff result last season.
Then, the enticing New Jersey Devils also began their campaign with a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Some Western Conference teams also took to the ice. The Seattle Kraken and Nashville Predators each played their second game, and with the Predators earning a 3-0 win, the Kraken have slumped to an 0-2 start. They will need to fix that quickly.
In another shutout result, the Minnesota Wild won their home opener by a score of 2-0 over the Florida Panthers. Not the way the Stanley Cup runner up Panthers wanted to start their season.
The Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues also began their campaigns with an exciting tilt, in which the Stars defended home ice in a 2-1 overtime win.
To close out a jam-packed Thursday, the Vegas Golden Knights continued to show their dominance, taking down the San Jose Sharks 4-1. They are now 2-0, and have outscored opponents 8-2. It is a great start for Vegas.
A classic rivalry between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins was one of two Friday's games, but in Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals’ season opener, they were blanked 4-0.
In the second game of the night, the New Jersey Devils lost on home ice to the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 4-3.
With the fun just beginning, little has changed on the futures front with the Maple Leafs still the favorites at +800 to win the Stanley Cup, ahead of the Avalanche, Hurricanes, Devils and Oilers at +900.
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