On This Day Over The Past Three Years

Jonathan Willis
October 26 2009 11:42AM

It's early.  Still, teams that get off to strong starts can protect themselves against injuries and late season slumps, while teams getting off to weak starts can dig themselves a hole that's extremely difficult to climb out of.  Are there examples of teams leading the league or dwelling in the basement at this point turning their seasons around?  Let's look back over the past three years.

In 2008-09...

  1. The Minnesota Wild were undefeated and in command of the Northwest Division, with nearly twice as many goals scored as allowed.  They would go on to miss the playoffs.
  2. The Columbus Blue Jackets were dead last in the Western Conference.  They would rally to make their first-ever playoff appearance.
  3. The New York Rangers were the toast of the league, well ahead of their nearest rivals (Buffalo and San Jose).  By the end of the year they would fire their coach and then bow out in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

In 2007-08

  1. The Nashville Predators sat dead last in the Western Conference.  They would make the playoffs.
  2. The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers sat 13th and 14th in the Eastern Conference.  They would play each other as the 4th and 5th seeds in the playoffs.
  3. The Ottawa Senators sat first in the Eastern Conference, with but a single loss to their credit.  They would end up firing their coach and bow out in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

In 2006-07

  1. The Atlanta Thrashers were the second-best team in the NHL.
  2. The Edmonton Oilers were off to a strong start and boasted a perfect home record.  They'd finish the year three games under .500 at home and pick Sam Gagner in the entry draft.
  3. The Minnesota Wild were the best team in the Western Conference.  They finished the year in seventh.

 

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 jayoilfan
October 26 2009, 11:47AM
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Just goes to show you that anything can happen, With the Oil doing okay right now does that mean we'll see a play off date? I sure hope so! I hope they get the guys back from injury soon and they shake this flu bug.

I hope they can show Colorado up and win on Teusday. They really need it.

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#2 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
October 26 2009, 11:47AM
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So you're saying there's a chance?

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#3 Chris.
October 26 2009, 12:11PM
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Then again there's the Leafs who need to go 42-22-9 or something like that to make the cut after their start as per the CBC hotstove...

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#4 Librarian Mike
October 26 2009, 12:15PM
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OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM wrote:

So you're saying there's a chance?

I think he's referring to the 'Triple N' theory:

Nobody kNows Nuthin'

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#5 I'm a Scientist!
October 26 2009, 12:24PM
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Wow...so my money is on the Wild to win the cup this year! First year they haven't started with a bang! Watch out for Clutterbuck!

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#6 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 26 2009, 12:28PM
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Great give leaf fans hope.

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#7 Ender
October 26 2009, 01:15PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

I think he's referring to the 'Triple N' theory:

Nobody kNows Nuthin'

Nope. Old joke on the Nation, referring to a cute Jim Carrey clip they ran way back from Dumb and Dumber.

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#8 freeze
October 26 2009, 01:17PM
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Perspective and context are everyone's friend. Thanks JW.

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#9 DrPow
October 26 2009, 01:45PM
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It is reads like this that keep me coming back to the Nation. Thanks Willis, keep up the awesome.

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#10 Heazues
October 26 2009, 08:19PM
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perfect perspective.

there is alot of season to go.

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#11 Harlie
October 27 2009, 01:03PM
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i need Professor Langdon to decipher that picture for symbols that will lead to the secret hiding place of the Nation called "Wanye's basement".

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