While there have been some NHL teams who’ve sparked dominating hot streaks as of late. There are also a few squads who’ve been immune to winning during this most recent stretch of the 2018-2019 season. Whether the team started out strong and then drastically cooled off or have been merely poor performers the entire season, the amount of loses they’ve taken in the past 10 or so games is an important statistic to look at. Here are five teams who are stuck in a heavy slump.
5: Detroit Red Wings (last 10 games: 2-6-2)
It has been yet another frustrating year for the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings have failed to even come close to a playoff spot at any part of the season so far.
The Red Wings began the season with the worst record in the league at 1-7-2 according to Hockey Reference. Even though they were able to improve their record to around .500, the team has since slipped back down the standings. As of right now, the Red Wings are 17-23-7 and third worst in the Eastern Conference.
Although forward Dylan Larkin is having a career year with 44 points in 47 games, the Red Wings offense as a whole has been flat. Their minus 27 goal differential sits at seventh worst in the NHL.
The single piece of good news for Red Wings fans is that their prospect pool looks promising. 2017 ninth-overall pick Michael Rasmussen has been getting valuable NHL experience this season as a rookie and 2018 sixth-overall pick Filip Zadina should be on the roster full-time by next year.
For Red Wings fans who have seen their team miss the playoffs the last two years. The only thing they can do as of right now is be patient and trust the process.
4: Ottawa Senators (last 10 games: 2-7-1)
Before the season began, the Ottawa Senators were predicted to be the worst team in the NHL. After 46 games into the 2018-2019 year, the Senators sit very close to that prediction.
Although the Senators started out decent and were even a game or two above .500 at one point. Their true colors have shown these past 20 games. The Senators are currently 17-24-5 and their 39 points is tied for second least in the league.
A major problem with the Senators has been their defense. Their minus 35 goal differential is second worst in the league and the team has given up more goals than any other squad so far at a whopping 178.
The most frustrating part for the Senators is that they are losing games despite the fact that they have multiple players performing very well. Forward Matt Duchene is on pace for his best season yet with 42 points in 37 games so far. Right winger Mark Stone has been great as well with 48 tallies in 46 contests.
Finally, 2015 first-round pick Thomas Chabot has been a tremendous replacement for Erik Karlsson on the back-end. The 21-year-old currently has 38 points in as many games.
The sole goal for the Senators during these final 36 games is to win as much as possible. If they end up giving the Colorado Avalanche a top three pick in this year’s draft after deciding to keep their fourth-overall pick in 2018, they will look pretty silly.
3: Philadelphia Flyers (last 10 games: 1-7-2)
The Philadelphia Flyers were suppose to be one of the best teams in the Metropolitan Division. So far, they have been severely underwhelming.
Even at the beginning of the season, the Flyers were merely hovering around .500 and in and out of a playoff spot. The team has since taken a complete nose dive these past 20 games. At the moment, the Flyers have a 16-23-6 record and their 38 points puts them at dead last in the standings.
Although captain Claude Giroux has been solid again this season with 48 points in 45 games, the rest of the Flyers’ stars have drastically underperformed. Right winger Wayne Simmons only has 19 tallies in the same amount of contests. Top defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has notched merely 17 points in 45 games. Finally, 2017 second-overall pick Nolan Patrick has not satisfied expectations as he only has 11 tallies in 38 contests.
The Flyers have also had major goaltending problems. They’ve started seven different goalies this season which is the most of any other team according to NHL Discussion. At the rate the Flyers are going at, expect them to have another high pick in this year’s draft.
2: Colorado Avalanche (last 10 games: 1-7-2)
The Colorado Avalanche are definitely the most interesting team out of the bunch. Despite a convincing 15-6-5 start which placed them among the top five teams in the league. The Avalanche have gone 5-11-3 in their last 19 games and are now desperately clinging on to a wildcard spot.
An intriguing aspect about their slump is that the team’s issues change game by game. There will be nights when the offense is clicking but the goaltender can’t stop a puck to save his life. Then there will be nights when the goaltender is having a solid performance but the offense is completely silent.
For instance, the Avalanche put up four goals and 41 shots against a talented Winnipeg Jets squad. However, Philipp Grubauer surrendered six goals on just 20 shots as the team fell 7-4 on Tuesday night.
A contrasting example would be two games later when the Avalanche played the Montréal Canadiens on Saturday night. Despite Semyon Varlamov stopping 28 of the 30 shots he faced. The offense failed to score a goal as the Avalanche were shutout 3-0.
It appears that every team has found a strategy for beating the Avalanche who rely heavily on their first-line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog to produce the bulk of the scoring. Head coach Jared Bednar needs to configure a counter strategy before it’s too late. With the way the Avalanche are playing right now, they may have two top five first-round picks by the end of this season.
1: Anaheim Ducks (last 10 games: 0-6-4)
The Anaheim Ducks are another example of a team that started strong but has significantly fallen as of late. At one point, the Ducks were 19-10-6 and close to the top of the Pacific Division. 11 games later, the Ducks still have 19 wins and have fallen to 19-18-9 according to Hockey Reference.
A statistic that stands out for the Ducks is that despite having a winning record, they have the sixth worst goal differential at a minus 28. This proves that the team’s victories have been narrow but their loses have been by huge margins.
This statistic can be attributed to the Duck’s lackluster offense. At the moment, they have the second least amount of goals scored at a lowly 112. The Duck’s top goal scorer at the moment is right-winger Jakob Silfverberg with only 12.
Despite not recording a win in their last 11 games, the Ducks are still tied for the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference. However, if their slump continues, the Ducks will quickly fall further down in the standings.