5 Must Watch Teams in The NHL

5 Teams You Need To Watch

Patrick Brown
October 03, 2018 - 7:59 pm

Alright, I have a confession to make to everyone. I don't think I have stopped celebrating the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup. I mean, when you have been a supporter of a team for more than twelve years and they finally win the big one after so much heartbreak, yeah I am still celebrating. However, the regular season is upon us and we need to take a look at who to watch in the 2018-2019 season. There were so many ridiculous off season moves that took place, which for me makes this season even more unpredictable than last season. So with that being said lets go with five teams to keep an eye on, for good or bad reasons.

5. Washington Capitals

Did you honestly expect that we weren't going to start with the defending champs? There is a lot that I can talk about this team, but let's keep it short for the time being. The Caps didn't really make a lot of moves as in acquiring new people. The made a trade with the Avalanche to give them Brooks Orpik and Philipp Grubauer in exchange for a 47th pick in this years draft. We also had the resignation of Barry Trotz, which to most Capitals fans wasn't all that shocking. We knew that this was probably going to be Trotz last season with the team regardless of the outcome, but we were thankful for the run. The one person missing that will be a huge loss for the team is Jay Beagle, who signed a 3 year, $12 million dollar contract with the Canucks. Even after all of that, there is still something about this team that can give Caps fans and hockey fans excitement. This team still has Ovi, Kuznetsov, Willson, Oshie, and more that has been the core of this team for years. Capitals look to make good on their statement on going back to back this season, but for me they are not my favorites to win the Cup this year. 

4. Ottawa Senators

Yeah, this has not been a great off season for the Senators. Dealing with the whole Mike Hoffman situation since the season ended, it really didn't turn positive for them. They ended up trading Mike Hoffman to the Sharks and then to the Panthers and we thought that everything would be nice and calm the rest of the way. We were thinking of watching them the whole season just so we can watch and see where Karlesson is thinking about going. Except, nope we were robbed of that when they traded Karlesson to the Sharks. My head exploded because now, it seems like the Senators have lost their minds in trading two of their best players and leaving a bad taste in Senators fan's mouths. Keep an eye to see how not only the team bounces back but how the organization bounces back.

3. Golden Knights

Not going to lie, I am so happy to not have to talk all about the greatest inaugural season in sporting history. Everything fell right into place for the Golden Knights last season, and this was going to be the real test to see how they are going to look in the future. So what do they do, they let James Neal and David Perron go. Now this isn't that bad compared to the Senators, but for me it kind of left me a little confused. Neal and Perron where cornerstones for the Golden Knights last season so to let them go in free agency was concerning. However, the added Paul Stanstny and resigned Fleury to a nice little extension. All of the pieces are still there for the Golden Knights, however, that new team feeling is gone. Time to see what they can do in year two of this franchise. 

2. San Jose Sharks

So when this off season started, I already had the Sharks high on my list on teams to watch. Evander Kane signed an extension with the team, after being traded from Buffalo near the end of the season, this off-season and you still have the bearded vets of Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, who are still some of my favorite players to watch in all of the NHL. With this and for me not a huge pressure for them in the Pacific Division, I had the Sharks as early playoff favorites. Then September 13th happened. When we thought that the off-season was just winding down, the Sharks made a trade to get defenseman Erik Karlsson. They got the captain of the Senators team for, as one of my former coworkers put it, a bag of chips and a soda. This adds on of the most dynamic defenseman in the league with one of the most hard nose hockey teams. Erik's presence makes this team better, and with a whole season to get acquainted with the team, there is so much that this team can do and that is the scary thing.

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

Right, so I have been on the Maple Leafs bandwagon for a while now and have been wanting this team to succeed. They have a lot of really good pieces in place for the team going into the offseason and I thought that in a few years that they can be a team to highlight for the Cup. Then the Tavares sweepstakes decided to happen. Jonathan Tavares was one of the best players on the Islanders and decided to test the free angency market this offseason. There were a lot of teams that were in the hunt including Sharks, Leafs, Bruins, Stars, Lightning, and the Islanders. Then on July 1st, Tavares announced that he signed with the Leafs. 7 years and 77 million dollars later, and the boy who grew up and loved the Leafs is now an assistant Capitan for them. They have so many offensive weapons on this team that they can easily score an average of 4 goals per game. However, this offseason didn't help one thing for the Leafs and that is their defense. Last season they allowed 34 shots per game, which was the highest of any playoff team last season, and to rely on Frederik Andersen to do more work in between the posts. All in all, I think that there is a lot of potential in this team that I can't find in other teams. Powerplays are going to be a key factor for this team and that is going to be something that they will try to take full advantage of. I am more interested on the expectation of Tavares with the Leafs and how everyone handles the pressure. 

Comments ()