An Absolute Disaster


There are several NHL teams who have been surprising in the standings, both positively and negatively. The New York Islanders and Arizona Coyotes, for instance, have so far exceeded their expectations and have showcased their true potential. However, there are other teams who are simply underachieving.


1. Tampa Bay Lightning

Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning tied the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for the all time season record of 62 wins. They finished their regular season with a record of 62-16-4, but their playoff performance was less than satisfactory. The Lightning are currently 18-13-4 and are not positioned in a playoff or wild card spot as we approach the halfway point of the season. It would be unfair to expect them to achieve the same level of success as their previous season, but only few could have predicted they would be in 23rd place in the league.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs have been dynamite lately with their 8-2 record in their last 10 games. However, their frustrating start to the season began to look like years past. Under Mike Babcock, their 9-10-4 record was atrocious when considering the level of talent on their roster. The team record has improved to 21-14-4 since Sheldon Keefe has been hired as head coach. If they continue their recent success, they could perhaps vanish from this list. But for now, the 9th place Maple Leafs are underachieving from the perspective of their ambitious management team and starved fan base.

3. Nashville Predators

This roster is filled with superstars and high profile veterans. Their fans were ecstatic when Matt Duchene signed as a free agent during the offseason. The Predators are currently 18-13-6, which is an unacceptable record with the likes of their roster. This has been a cup contending team and will continue to chase their 2017 success where they played in the Stanley Cup Finals. Perhaps they should follow the example of last year's St. Louis Blues and make a mid-season coaching change.

4. San Jose Sharks

It seems easy to forget that the San Jose Sharks finished last season with 101 points with a 46-27-9 record. They are currently 16-20-3 this season, and are in 29th place in the standings. This roster features the talent of Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson, along with the veteran core of Joe Thorton and Patrick Marleau. The pre-season expectations for this roster were quite high and most fans assumed they would be within playoff contention. Even with a coaching change, this team has continued to struggle over the first half of the season.

5. New Jersey Devils

After drafting Jack Hughes 1st overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the New Jersey Devils thought their woes were over. With the addition of P.K. Subban and Wayne Simmons to their talented roster, it seemed that Ray Shero had saved their organization. 12-19-6 is far below the expectations almost everyone had of this team. They are in 30th place in the standings, leading only the Detroit Red Wings. This team has not only traded the former Hart Trophy winner, Taylor Hall, but they have also made changes to their coaching staff. Despite these transactions, their luck has not improved. Perhaps they will have better success in the latter half of the season.

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