It’s Thanksgiving in the United States of America! Time to gather around the dinner table and see what each NHL team can be thankful for this season.
Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s arguably one of the best holidays of the season — mostly because of the food and the football. The NHL will play just one game on Thanksgiving this year, meaning hockey fans will have to find other ways to entertain themselves this holiday.
As Thanksgiving is a holiday based on self-reflection, among other things, we thought it’d be appropriate to take a look and see what each NHL team can be thankful for about the state of their clubs a quarter of the way into the season. Some teams have less positivity to go around than others, as is often the case in life, but we managed to find something to be thankful for with each of the 31 NHL teams.
So sit back, relax, enjoy some good food and take a look and see what your favorite NHL team should be thankful for this year.
Anaheim Ducks: Sure-fire eventual Vezina Trophy winner John Gibson just started the first year of an eight-year extension. Everything else may be a wash in Anaheim, but Gibson’s future is bright.
Arizona Coyotes: “Boring hockey” has never looked so good out there in the desert.
Boston Bruins: Without the Bruins’ top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, it’s hard to see where Boston would be. Thankfully, they don’t have to wonder!
Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel is on pace for a career season in Buffalo, showcasing that there is so much more to come from the Sabres’ captain.
Calgary Flames: Bill Peters’ ousting was likely coming sooner rather than later due to the team’s poor play. Time to make amends and move forward on the ice.
Carolina Hurricanes: The Bunch of Jerks are young, fun, and still one of the best stories in the NHL. Seriously, the Storm Surge is the absolute best. God bless you, Carolina.
Chicago Blackhawks: Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach are the stars of the Blackhawks’ future, and it’s been a treat to see them blossom before our very eyes.
Colorado Avalanche: Cale Makar is something special, is he not?
Columbus Blue Jackets: Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins has the best hockey name in the league. Period.
Dallas Stars: After a rough start, the Stars have just two losses in the month of November. And hey, those Winter Classic threads are sick.
Detroit Red Wings: Top-rated draft prospect Alexis Lafreniere is going to look great in red and white.
Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. That is all.
Florida Panthers: Second place in the Atlantic? With Toronto and Tampa Bay behind them? I think the Panthers will take that result at the first quarter mark any day of the week.
Los Angeles Kings: Anze Kopitar is putting together a nice season in a year the Kings have… not.
Minnesota Wild: This was always a rebuild year for the Wild, and they’re likely going to end up with a solid player in the draft once the year is done. Plus, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is a treat.
Montreal Canadiens: Montreal’s offense has been a high point this season, and that’s helped them to a third place standing in the Atlantic so far this year.
Nashville Predators: Viktor Arvidsson will actually return to playing hockey after the Robert Bortuzzo hit! It’s all about those small victories.
New Jersey Devils: The Devils will no doubt get a better return for Taylor Hall this season than what they gave up to the Oilers in their original trade. One for one, baby.
New York Islanders: Barry Trotz’s defensive system has done the Islanders wonders over the last few seasons. In a season and change, Trotz’s Islanders have gone 64-31-9 and have won over many with their style of play.
New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist has aged like fine wine. That is all.
Ottawa Senators: The Senators will have two first round picks in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft thanks to their deal with San Jose that sent Erik Karlsson to the Sharks in 2018. Something to look forward to!
Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are injured? No problem! They’ll always have an army of depth guys like a Teddy Blueger or a Dominik Kahun you’ve never heard of to keep the lights on.
Saint Louis Blues: Who needs Vladimir Tarasenko? Not the Blues right now, as they’re doing just fine without him as the Central Division’s top team.
San Jose Sharks: A 9-1-0 record in their last 10 games! The Sharks… may be good again.
Tampa Bay Lighting: A bit of humility may do the Lightning good after last season’s playoff debacle. And they’re not out of it completely just yet!
Toronto Maple Leafs: Sheldon Keefe seems to have given the Maple Leafs new life. With a healthy Mitch Marner likely back soon, Toronto is poised to make a run.
Vancouver Canucks: Despite a bad stretch of 10 games, a 12-9-4 record so far this year is a great sign for a young team.
Vegas Golden Knights: Their backups may not be good but Marc-Andre Fleury still is!
Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin is on a nearly 50-goal pace, and all he has to do is just stand at the left circle and fire them home.
Winnipeg Jets: Connor Hellebuyck is good, maybe even Vezina Trophy good.