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NHL review: Red Wings among red-hot starters, Canadian teams struggle

The second week of the NHL has come and gone and there is lots to talk about so here we will take a look at the game results as well as the storylines that have developed.

Difficult week for Canadian teams

This week was not a good one for the Canadian teams as they went 7-10-2 overall. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs have endured a very slow start to the season and went 1-2-0 this past week. Before a puck was dropped , the Leafs had been the favorites to win the Stanley Cup but they have been giving up a lot of goals and do not look in sync. 

Another one of the early Cup contenders, the Edmonton Oilers, have struggled more than Toronto, going 1-1-1 this week, and are perhaps starting to feel the panic early into this season. 

Although with less lofty Cup aspirations, Winnipeg and Calgary also didn't do anything special this week. The Jets went 1-2-0 while the Flames went 1-1-1. Those are stretches those teams definitely want to improve on.

The Montreal Canadiens went 1-1-0, the Ottawa Senators went 1-1-0, and the Vancouver Canucks went 1-2-0, and collectively, the Canadian teams have struggled to get going.

Detroit the surprise among perfect teams

There were some perfect teams in the NHL this week, with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and Detroit Red Wings winning every game. 

The Bruins, Avalanche, and Golden Knights are all expected to be Stanley Cup contenders this season, and they are showing their strength early on.

The Red Wings are defying little expectation and surprised most this week by winning all three of their games, scoring 15 goals and giving up just five along the way. 

They have now gained a 4-1-0 record this season, and have proven to be a sneaky good team early on. Despite little hype, Detroit could be a team to keep an eye on as the season progresses, because you never know what can happen.

Little wonder in winless woes

There were also some winless teams from this week. The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks lost all of their games to combine for a record of 0-5-0. 

Both of these teams are in the Pacific Division, and are considered rebuilding teams, so this was an expected outcome.

Reinhart, Larkin stand out

Other than team play, there were some incredible player performances to be worthy of a mention. 

Looking on the offensive side of things, there were many who showed up. Sam Reinhart led the way in goals for the week scoring five, while adding one assist. He was a pivotal piece in the Florida Panthers going 2-1-0 this week. 

Dylan Larkin led the league in points for the week, accumulating two goals and five assists for seven points in three games. He could really be a problem for teams this year. He also had six power play points. 

An underrated player of the week was Logan O’Connor for the Colorado Avalanche, who helped his team have a great week by chipping in on three shorthanded goals. He finished the week strong with four points while he was +3.

Big guns struggling to fire

As for disappointing players, Auston Matthews was held pointless, and was a -4 in three games. He has cooled off after two straight hattricks to start the year. 

Mitch Marner was also -4, scoring just one goal. These two need to pick it up to get the Leafs going in the right direction. 

Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin's slow start also continued, as he has just two assists and is a -1 in four games this season. These weren't necessarily the only players to struggle but they will be expected to bounce back, and soon.

Net gains for Avs, Flyers

Finally, in net we saw some super play from Alex Georgiev for the Avalanche (3 wins, 1.67 GAA, .940 SV%, 1 SO) and Carter Hart for the Flyers (2 wins, 0.50 GAA, .979 SV%, 1 SO). 

By contrast, great players like Thatcher Demko, Darcy Kuemper, and Connor Hellebuyck were perhaps not at their best. However, this is not untypical this early into the season as players and teams alike try and find their rhythm.

With only two weeks gone in the new season though, the fun is just getting started.

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