How will the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs shake out? Is this the year the Toronto Maple Leafs end their championship drought? Can the Pittsburgh Penguins repeat? Will the Chicago Blackhawks keep their decade-long dynasty going? Keep reading to find out.
It took seven days to wipe the drool from the keyboard when Columbus traded Rick Nash to the N.Y. Rangers. We’re salivating in excitement, a sensation of blissful ecstasy. We feel like Will Ferrell running to the gymnasium in Old School.
It’s not because Nash makes the Blueshirts instant Cup favorites. And it’s not because NBC Sports Network will carry more Rangers games, and thus, more John Tortorella exposure.
Last Saturday, I attended my first NHL game in two years, which is considered sacrilegious in my family. I went on a road trip with my fiancée up to see the NHL-leading St. Louis Blues take on the NHL’s worst team, the Columbus Blue, Jackets to analyze the disparity between the two teams and it was evident before the puck even dropped.
You’re probably thinking ‘Ryan, you already wrote a column talking about the Blues and their rise to the top.’ (True.) You’re also probably thinking, ‘Ryan you already wrote a column about how bad the Blue Jackets are and how they are trying to appease season ticket holders with hot chocolate.’ (Also true.) This might seem redundant, but it’s hard to gauge just how good or how bad teams are until you see them up close, so I thought I’d see how far off I was in my original assessments.
Things have hit rock bottom in Columbus, where the Blue Jackets still have the worst record in the league at 13-31. They are last in goals scored with 115 and are currently on a three-game slide. Tuesday, the Jackets were shelled by San Jose, 6-0.
The NHL is made up of a wide variety of franchises. Some have numerous Stanley Cup titles and legendary players. Others have had decent histories, but haven’t quite achieved the glories of some of their competitors. Finally, there are teams so bad that they haven’t amounted to anything at all or haven’t accomplished anything in years.
These teams are the ones that fascinate me the most. What is it that keeps some teams at the bottom for decades or causes them to choke whenever an opportunity comes along? There are many teams that could take the top prize of the worst in the NHL, but I’ve narrowed it down to a few.