While it is still very early in this 2021-22 NHL season, there are some shocking hot starts, and some worrisome slow paced beginnings to the regular season for teams and players alike.
Teams that were at the bottom of the NHL last year, or projected to be middling this year have been hot, and teams that were supposed to be near the top of the NHL have failed to meet that expectation.
The same has applied to players. Some have burst onto the season with stellar single game performances and point totals.
The question is however, which couple out of all of these situations will persist, and which ones will subside and the teams/players will return to their expectations or drop below their current production.
Here is my first edition of the KnupSports NHL Buy or Sell.
Status: Buy the Hot Cats
The Florida Panthers are the real deal, and it is finally their time to get the respect that they deserve. The duo of Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau is one of the best in the league, and the entirety of their team has stepped up to compliment them.
At 7-0-0, they own the best record in the league, and they sit atop the competitive Atlantic Division.
St. Louis Blues
Status: Sell the Swaying Blues
St. Louis is a good team. But not 5-0-0 to start the season good.
They do have an insane goal differential of 14 through their first five games, and Jordan Binnington has looked stellar. However, we do know that Binnington has been one of the most on and off again goalies in the league, and I anticipate that to happen again.
Status: Buy the GR8
When does the success ever end for the “Great Eight”.
He once again is atop the league in goals scored, and is second in points only to the greatest player in the league, Connor McDavid. He and the Capitals top line, where he is joined by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson, have been uber productive, and that won’t change as long as Ovechkin continues to skate and move the way he has.
He is also getting all of this production without his biggest compliment in Niklas Backstrom who is still out with an injury. Ovi is on a tear.
Slow Out the Gate
Status: Sell the Plummeting Avalanche
There is absolutely no reason that this team should be as pitiful as they have been on the power play, and no reason they should have an overall record of 2-4-0 through six games.
They just recently lost to a Golden Knights team that was on a four game losing streak and missing a ton of their stars, and they have been outshot a ton in their contests.
But this team is led by a first line of Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog. They will not stay quiet for the rest of the season, and eventually they will put it all together.
They are missing the services of Phillip Grubauer, but Devin Dubnyk is known for his hot stretches.
Vegas Golden Knights
Status: Sell, Sell, Sell
The Golden Knights got back on track with a 3-1 win Wednesday night versus the Avalanche, but that does not change the fact that they still sit with a record of 3-4-0 on the season.
However, they have more of an excuse than the Colorado Avalanche. They are missing both Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty to injury currently, and Alec Martinez has missed some time as well.