It seems in every NHL season, there is at least one team that does much better than all the analysts predict.
This is what makes it such a fun league to watch, as any team can win on any given night. A perfect example are the Vegas Golden Knights. Almost everyone expected them to be the worst team in the league during their inaugural 2017-18 season. Instead, they finished the regular season with 109 points and advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
While no one this season will shock like the Golden Knights did that year, there are still a few teams who are easily exceeding preseason predictions early on. Here are the top three…
Top 3 surprise teams in the NHL in 2020-21
3. Los Angeles Kings
Look, the L.A. Kings aren’t tearing up the league by any means. Their record of 9-6-3 sounds quite average. However, given how last year’s season went, along with their aging core, they seemed like a lock to be a bottom three team in the league this season. Instead, they have played quite well in the Western Division, especially as of late as they are currently riding a six-game win streak.
Reasons for Success: Leading the charge for the Kings this year, as he has in many seasons, is Anze Kopitar. At 33-years-old, the Slovenian forward continues to get results, and is currently sitting with 21 points in 18 contests this season. He has only scored four goals however, but has had Dustin Brown able to carry the weight in that department. Brown looks as good as ever at 36-years-old with 11 goals and 17 points thus far.
On the blueline, Drew Doughty looks like his old self with 15 points. Prior to the season he said he wanted to prove to everyone he was still one of the best in the NHL, and he has certainly done that early on. The main other piece getting things done for the Kings is goaltender Cal Petersen. While he has split starts with Jonathan Quick this season, he has been the far superior of the two thus far. In 10 games played, he has a 2.28 Goals Against Average (GAA) and a .931 Save Percentage (SV%).