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Poll: Which team is off to the worst start?

Oct 11, 2013, 12:11 PM EDT

It’s still early in the season and there’s no need to panic, blah, blah, blah, but let’s do a poll anyway. Here are the candidates:

New York Rangers (1-3-0): Have been outscored 15-2 in their last two games. The only bright spot has been a 3-1 win over the Kings in Los Angeles. The bumbling Blueshirts still have five games left on their nine-game, season-opening road trip, and in some pretty tough rinks, too. St. Louis, Washington, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Detroit are their next stops before they finally get home to a renovated Madison Square Garden (which better be pretty damn nice, Rangers fans are probably thinking).

Buffalo Sabres (0-4-1): One of only two winless teams in the NHL (the other being the Devils, who at least have only lost outright once.) The Sabres have scored five goals in five games. That’s it. Last night’s 4-1 home loss to Columbus may have been the low point. Apparently there was a “fire Darcy” chant from the disgruntled crowd. No word if owner Terry Pegula participated.

Edmonton Oilers (1-3-0): This was supposed to be the season the Oilers finally turned the corner. Of course, so was last season. Edmonton lost again last night, 4-1 at home to Montreal. Starting goalie Devan Dubnyk had his least tough start of the season, but it still wasn’t very good. He’s now allowed 13 goals in three games and has a GAA of 5.28, with a save percentage of .847.

Florida Panthers (1-3-0): It started so well for last year’s worst team in the NHL, with a 4-2 win in Dallas. Since then, the Panthers have been outscored 16-3, including last night’s 7-2 loss to in-state rivals Tampa Bay. “We didn’t respond well to pressure,” Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. No, they didn’t. The Panthers play their first home game tomorrow versus Pittsburgh. Yes, cheap tickets are available.

Editor’s note: I somehow forgot the Flyers. Yeah, the team that’s already fired its coach. Maybe because we so rarely mention Pennsylvania teams on PHT? Anyway, Philly’s on a one-game winning streak, so things are looking up!

  1. withseidelinn - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    In terms of record, its the Sabres. However – not much was expected out of that team so it isn’t much of a surprise. I voted Rangers because of they are perennially over rated and ranked WAY too high in power rankings only to disappoint. I’ll get a lot of thumbs down from Rags fans but that’s my opinion. The 2 blowout losses are VERY ugly and they were both with Lundqvist as their starter. It’s almost unheard of for a team to get blown out 9-2 then the following game endure the same treatment. Long road trip – yes but this team is supposed to be good!! Pretty concerning for fans of that team.

  2. jkaplan11 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    My vote: The Flyers.

    • joey4id - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      Hmm! Flyers really shouldn’t be a surprise. Anytime a team starts with the coach on the hot seat the season after not making the playoffs is in a very precarious position.

      • biasedhomer - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        You forgot the part that last season wasn’t a full season, Flyers ended the season strong, and they made some key additions in the offseason.

  3. trabbit55 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Option 5: My very own Philadelphia Flyers. 5 goals in 4 games? No points from G? 1-3 start? Coach already fired? It’s a pretty easy choice.

    • macjacmccoy - Oct 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      yea but I think the reason they werent a choice is bc they have had pretty good goal play and defense. Unlike the other 4 teams.

  4. joey4id - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Has to be WSH. Veteran team with a returning coach has to be the biggest disappointment. Oilers are immature, and with a rookie coach it’s going to take time. Devils have been through a lot of changes so it will take them time to gel together. Rangers have a new coach and they are still adapting. Will take them some time to get their stick together. Panthers? They may just be, in the words of “99”, the “Mickey Mouse” organization of the NHL.

    • ibieiniid - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      how is it the Caps though? i’ve watched all but one of their games so far and none of them were that bad. disappointing? yeah. worst? not even close. hell, my Flyers look like half the team the Caps are so far. the caps looked pretty beastly against the canes last night until late in the game. they’ll come around, and if they keep playing like i saw last night, they’ll be one of the better teams in the East, as much as you probably disagree.

      • jpelle82 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        i agree not the worst but they couldve made the list for the most “surprising” bad start. losing games they should win is not a good way to start. dallas and carolina? the only win they do have is against calgary…in a shootout. they’ve been in it though, the goal differential is slim but the fact ovechkin is on a tear and they arent winning is a little scary, what happens if he slows down?

      • ibieiniid - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        idk, Fehr, Laich, and Brouwer all looked like they’re getting their hands warmed up. Laich almost finished a 1 on 1 last night that woulda been up there with, but not above, Hertl’s goal. I think the guy got his stick in Laich’s skates a bit and he lost the puck, but they look more poised to have a good season than I’ve seen in the past several years…. even after all the sh** talking i was doing this preseason.

      • joey4id - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        I agree that the Caps should be one of the better teams in the east. OV is off to a very good start, but Holtby was slow out of the gates. (the team’s goal differential is -3) It is early, but it’s so important for a team to start strong. Because the window of opportunity to win the cup for the Caps is closing, they can ill afford a slow start. The expectations for the Caps, at least in my mind, was higher than for the Flyers, or for the other teams listed in this survey. The weekend before opening night they were still uncertain about who their bottom six forward would be. There are players not happy in that room, and that could be a distraction. Anyway! For me it’s all about where the team is with respect to expectations based on how the team changed between the end of last year and puck drop this year. I’m as surprised to see the Caps at 1 & 3 as I am to see the AVs at 4 & 0.

      • withseidelinn - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        Caps had a huge advantage in the southeast up until this year. They are going to face a lot of tougher opponents now. Very possible they wouldn’t have made the playoffs last season if it weren’t for all those games against CAR, TB and FLA.

      • ibieiniid - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        It’s interesting though. the Caps tend to beat the teams they shouldn’t beat, and lose to the teams they shouldn’t lose to. I think if they find a way to the playoffs, they’ll have better results this year. along with playing harder teams comes more preparedness for the playoffs.

  5. xdj511 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Rangers fan who voted Rangers. I agree that based on their expectations and the veteran leadership they have, they should not have been blown out of the water twice in a row. Somebody needs to step up and get things turned around fast.

  6. govtminion - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    I went with the Oilers, because… what gives, guys? The Panthers and Sabres, we expected they’d be bad- and they are. The Rangers are a surprise, but they’re getting a whole new coaching system learned, so I expect that they’ll be right back in the playoff hunt by the end of the season. Edmonton though…

    Let’s start with goaltending. Dubinyk (sp?) has been awful. Just awful- so that doesn’t help any. When you have great young talent, that’s great, but if they’re scoring five a game it doesn’t matter since the goalie lets in six. Either he needs to get better, or they need to make a change in net.

    But… that young talent up front, let’s look at it. Nugent-Hopkins, Hall, Yakupov… It’s been a mixed bag early from the Oilers overall on that front, but look at that list. It’s like a who’s-who of great young players, and yet… the Oilers not only keep underachieving, they keep finding ways to compete for the #1 pick the following season again. Really? At some point, this much talent on one roster should be producing results. It still isn’t- and from that standpoint, several years of wasted potential all adding up to (so far) another failure of a season, I’d have to say it’s the Oilers who are the biggest disappointment so far.

    • withseidelinn - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      Completely agree with your point about Dubnyk. MacTavish says that all his young guns are untouchable. Well I have news for you buddy, you want a good goaltender – you have to give value to get value. Until then they will continue to struggle.

  7. pxland - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Judging by the hype I’m going to go off the board and pick the St. Louis Blues….

    Sure, they haven’t lost yet, but are they really outscoring their opponents as much as many have predicted? I mean, Chicago almost pushed them to overtime the other night.

    • hockey412 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Well played…..very well played….

    • 11111111111a22 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      That is, hands down, the most moronic thing I’ve ever read. It made me cringe on behalf of all functioning human beings just knowing that people like you exist so much so that I actually created an account just so I could tell you how dumb you are.

      “Sure they’re undefeated but they haven’t out scored opponents as much as predicted.”

      WHAT!?! That’s like saying, “sure, they’re undefeated but their hot dog sales are low…”. It doesn’t freaking matter!

      Can you tell me the goals for/goals against numbers for any Cup winner? No? Exactly, no one can because the only thing that matters is winning, you bumbling moron.

      And, “the Blackhawks almost pushed them into overtime.”

      Uhh…based upon the intellect you’ve shown, I’ll assume you were born in the last couple of months and clue you in. The Hawks won the Cup last year, they’re pretty good. And “almost” doesn’t count for anything. See example: you’re “almost” intelligent.

      For the record, I’m a Wings fan, I’m not even trying to make a point for or against the Blues, just wanted to point out that you’re an intellectual midget.

      • pxland - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        “For the record, I’m a Wings fan”

        I didn’t understand until then, but that made everything clear.

      • Jason Brough - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        Sometimes when you read something on the internet and you think, “That is, hands down, the most moronic thing I’ve ever read,” you have to step back and wonder, maybe he’s joking?
        /steps back, wonders if you’re joking

      • ibieiniid - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        Brough pwn.

      • barkar942 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        Hi, 11111111111a22.
        Welcome to PHT, more affectionately known as Pennsylvania Hockey Talk.
        Rule number one. Don’t get upset at what you read on the comments here. There are quite a few of us posters here that are pretty rational about what we type here, and then there are others that are trolls, irritating, immature, or sometimes sarcastic which others don’t quite get.
        It is obvious by your post that you have committed the first sin of posting here on PHT- Letting someone’s post get your blood pressure up. Personally, I have learned that not all people that are allowed to have a computer really have the proper credentials to be allowed to use them (see Beer Can Army, GenoWeiner, et all). Come join us here and enjoy all of the Penguin and Flyer bashing, Ranger hating, and the poor Toronto fans who have to suffer year after year. Enjoy!

      • Stiller43 - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        how are you SO dumb to presumably be able to read and not be able to understand sarcasm? what a moron

    • 11111111111a22 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Additionally, who “predicted” the Blues were going to be an offensive powerhouse and out score opponents by a large margin? Do you even know who their coach is? (idiot checks google).

      They’re a defensive-minded team that is built from the backend.

      Dude, no one knows who you are, you can simply admit that your statement, upon further review, was misguided. Or, engage in any other hockey related debate. Please. I’m traveling so I’ve got time to kill and you’ve been highly entertaining thus far.

      • pxland - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        I’ve got nothing to prove to you, Socrates.

        The fact that you don’t understand jokes and completely fly off the handle because you misinterpret a comment on a blog tells me that “entertaining you” should not be my primary function for today.

      • ibieiniid - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        hey 111111111111a22, take a nap or something. talking hockey clearly isn’t for you.

    • 11111111111a22 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. I’d love to have a friendly debate if you’d like. Cup favorites, underrated players, etc…?

      • pxland - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        You don’t want a “friendly” conversation. You want to save face by having me make assertions which you will then try to shoot down (probably by calling me names and questioning my intelligence).

        I made a joke, you made a fool of yourself. I’ll leave it at that, thank you.

  8. ltcompton - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    In terms of expectations heading into this season its got to be the Caps but in my mind the Rangers look ABSOLUTELY LOST, the two lopsided losses were more than just defeats they showed a total lack of effort and teamwork which makes you wonder whether the culture in that locker room is just corrupt with this group of guys, wow they should be horrified right now at their start.

  9. sjsharks66 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    We all expect more from the Rangers and Flyers to have them fail this bad, this early. The devils have a bit of an excuse. Losing so many star players very quickly. No one expects much from Buffalo and the Panthers.

  10. Sport Follower - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    I think Chicago has the most disappointing start because they only win 1 game in 3. That not good start for NHL champions.

  11. travishenryskid - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Sabres are doing what they said they would. Sam Reinhart, I hope you like chicken wings.

    • ibieiniid - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:08 PM

  12. avfanforlife - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Just glad my AV’s are not on the list! 4 – 0 start and most likely 5 – 0 after we handle the Caps next.

    • pxland - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      There’s probably a better place for me to put this response, but…

      The Avs have a lot of growing to do. If you think this start is an indication of how their season will go (82-0!) you are setting yourself up. I love their play and I absolutely adore seeing passion in their game again, but there are too many holes yet to be rejoicing and claiming them to have attained some other level.

      On the other hand as an Avs fan….WooHoo! (cautiously….)

  13. ibieiniid - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    why is everybody answering the question “who’s the most disappointing team so far” instead of the one Jason asked. Who is off to the WORST start?

    I don’t know the answer though. I’ve only watched maybe a dozen teams games so far, and only like half the teams included in the poll.

    • pxland - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      Couldn’t you see those two as related. I think in many peoples’ minds most disappointing=worst start.

      • ibieiniid - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        eh, I don’t think so. you’re right, that might just be my opinion though. i mean, it’s not THAT many more letters to where Brough wouldn’t have just typed “disappointing” if that was the question he was asking. I think what they’re asking is “who’s the worst team so far?”

        idk why i brought it up to be honest. I’m enjoying reading some of these funny comments on here anyway, even if they’re answering the wrong question.

  14. matt14gg - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    It’s definitely the Flyers, but of the teams listed I go with Edmonton, because all that talent should have started to figure things out by now. The Sabres and the Panthers just stink and the Rangers are on the mother of all road trips to start the season and I think they will turn it around.

    The Caps will figure things out also. They started last year the same way and were one of the better teams by the end of the year. And Holtby will definitely be better.

    • jpelle82 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      besides the chicago game the caps were handed a good start on a silver platter…calgary, dallas, carolina…colorado next. should be 3 -1 with the way ovechkin is playing, he’s the only one who picked up where he left off. you dont want to see a team that improved so much during the season last year regress to start this season.

  15. jpdoc26 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    If the question was which team is off to the most disappointing start it would be the Flyers all day. But they’ve won a game and are talented enough to have some hope at a lower seed in the playoffs. The Sabres are clearly off to the worst start. They don’t have a win and they are terrible with no chance of making the playoffs.

  16. bruinspaw - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Has to be Rangers. losing 3 of 4 games 2 of which have been blow outs is brutal and it has been brutal to watch! Also losing Nash couldn’t have come at a worse time.

  17. blackandorangeforlife - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    All the 1-3 teams
    Rangers – 14
    Panthers – 11
    Sabres – 9
    Oilers – 7
    Preds – 7
    Devils – 6
    Flyers – 5
    Caps – 3

    • blackandorangeforlife - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      Sorry the Sabres was an oversight 0-4

  18. bullwinkle88 - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    It is absolutely the Sabres, hands down…no questions asked. How could anyone look at another team and think that their start was worse?

    At least those other teams have the hope of turning things around. Not us.

    • mjw9326mjw9326 - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      As long as Pegula keeps that idiot Regier who made the mess in the first place, this team will go nowhere. Good luck on the marketing end if this keeps up. They will go through the season ticket waiting list in no time and within a year, start looking like the Coyotes arena-empty.
      all together now: “Ooh Aah Sabres on the golf course…”

  19. jimw81 - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Flyers has already put the PHT staff into writers fatigue mode.

    I think it’s a tie btw Flyers and rangers. both teams arent scoring, poor defense and both team are making poor mental mistakes. plus i think the new goalie pads has hurt king Hedrik.

  20. surfoside4life - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    the kings could, and very well should be on that list. we all knew that the panthers were gonna suck and i think we all didnt expect buffalo or edmonton to be that good either. as far as disappointing starts go the kings deserve to be near the top of that list

    • surfoside4life - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      the fact that the kings not only lost to, but got manhandled by the rangers, should be reason enough to say they’re off to a terrible start

  21. girouxed - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    People just love to hate us in Philly.

    Notice the Flyers arent even mentioned in this article yet the hate still is there.

  22. thesportsjudge - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Just be glad it isn’t a poll about fighting. Oh wait….

  23. thesportsjudge - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    I voted for the Panthers. I mean, after that “preseason game” with 12 fans, well, there are a LOT more at their games now.

  24. ralphwilsonisrich - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    The loser sabres and that loser GM!

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