Dallas isn’t alone when it comes to stumbling out of the gate – but a lot of their problems likely have more to do with the number of games postponed and the consequent inability to get into any kind of “game groove.” They do sit 4 back of Columbus – but they have FIVE games in hand. Nashville is another in that division expected to do better than they’ve shown so far.
The only one in the East that can be regarded as stumbling are the Rangers as they figured to be closer to the top of the pack than they are. But again, having Zibanejad dealing with Covid – and obviously still suffering some effects – hasn’t helped, while # 1 pick Lafrenière is finding it tough to find his niche. So far.
Minnesota in the West also looked to be much better than they’ve shown to date, while in the North the Canucks have to be the big disappointment from expectations. Ottawa, too, to a lesser degree, although they are showing signs of being a much tougher 2 points than in their first 10. Probably a combination of teams taking them for granted and the development of some team cohesion.