Florida Panthers: A+
The Florida Panthers are lightning the NHL on fire. Their offense is scoring a whopping four goals per game this season, and the team’s goal differential is +50 (tied for the best in the NHL).
The Panthers have overcome the early-season departure of coach Joel Quenneville, and they haven’t skipped a beat in doing so. The goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky has been markedly improved, which has also been great for this team.
Special teams could certainly be better for Florida, but at this stage of the season, what more could a team ask for?
Montreal Canadiens: F
The Canadiens surprised everyone last year, and in a very different way, they’re doing it again this season. I don’t think anyone saw Montreal as a Cup contender entering the 2021-2022 campaign, but I don’t think many fans saw them as a basement dweller either.
From the moment that Game 5 of the Cup Final concluded, it’s been downhill for the Habs. Shea Weber is out, Carey Price is out, other players have been limited, and management has changed. This team looks very different than it did only six months ago, and that hasn’t been a good thing.
It’s a sad day in Montreal when the Canadiens are the worst team in hockey, which is the unfortunate reality right now. The nosedive that this team has taken this year can only be given an F.
Ottawa Senators: C-
The Senators won’t get the dismal grade that the Habs received, but that doesn’t mean that the Sens have had a pile of success. Ottawa has been about as bad as expected, but it hasn’t been a team that just rolls over and gets blown out.
The Senators have shown some fight at times this year, and the young stars in the lineup make this team interesting at the very least. The Sens have several games in hand thanks to a flurry of postponements in recent weeks, so Ottawa has the ability to move up the standings as it enters the second half of the season.
It’s going to take some time for the Senators to be good, but there are some positives in this challenging season, which prevents them from earning a lower grade.