NHL Week 1

Jon Alfano, Sports Reporter

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The 2017-2018 NHL season is only about a week and a half old, but there has already been a plethora of exciting games and history made.

The biggest story line of the season thus far has been the Vegas Golden Knights, the newest expansion team to the league. After an underwhelming expansion draft, and some questionable trades, many hockey experts predicted that Vegas would be a basement dweller in their debut season, but their performance so far has shown quite the contrary. As of right now, the Golden Knights are 4-1-0, and are second place in the pacific division behind the Los Angeles Kings.

Junior Madison Zapf said that she thought the fans should have expected the hot start, “I think that the fans were expecting them to start the beginning of the season off hot. Being a new team, they knew they had to prove themselves and show the league that they belonged and mak[e] sure other teams didn’t overlook them. Also, since they got to draft a player from each of the other NHL teams, I think fans were expecting them to succeed.”

Vegas did recently encounter their first major bit of adversity in the season, as star goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was recently placed on injured reserve by the team. The Knights will now have to rely on backup Malcolm Subban to fill the void. Subban was picked up on waivers from the Boston Bruins prior to the season.

Another noteworthy change this season is the increase in scoring seen across the league, including a total of four hat tricks within the first two days of the season. Junior Lucas Ciotoli thinks that the rise in goals will be a good thing for the league, “The increase of scoring is definitely a good thing, it gets the fans hyped up and the other team angry, which can lead to more competitive games.”

Chief among those goal scorers is Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin. He leads the league to this point with nine goals, with seven of those coming in his first two games. Ciotoli thinks that Ovechkin can do something special this season, “If Alex continues to play like he’s been playing, yeah, he could definitely finish with the most goals this season.”

As with any season, there have been teams that have lived up to expectations, and those that have fallen short. Zapf has been disappointed in her favorite team so far this year, “The Edmonton Oilers have definitely kinda let me down so far this season. After last season I expected a whole lot more from them at the beginning of this season but they haven’t been doing too great.” On the other hand, Ciotoli has been impressed with Toronto thus far, “The Maple Leafs got a lot of new young guys last season but this season the young guys are looking promising.”

While it is still far too early to start narrowing down the contenders for the Cup, the season is sure to be full of twists and turns at every point in the season.

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