This week’s question is:
Which of the teams who are off to poor starts are going to make the playoffs?
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Michael: The Vegas Golden Knights got off to a poor start as they were 1-4 in their first five games but have turned things around as they are now 5-5-1 this season. The Golden Knights went from14th in the 15-team Western Conference to 11th with the win on Sunday and a couple of wins in a row will help that. Vegas has not had much production from their blueline and really miss the suspended Nate Schmidt. Their bottom-six need to help out scoring as well as the Golden Knights have only 26 goals in 11 games.
Ryan: I'm somewhat pessimistic about the Golden Knights this season. I was a fan of them in 2017-18 because they were a fun story, but just about everyone on that team over performed. I do agree that they're going to make the playoffs, but I think it's going to come down to the wire this year. I think that Los Angeles might actually be a better team than Vegas to be honest, so the Kings will be the team I'll highlight. They couldn't have gotten off to a worse start at 2-7-1, but I think it's just a matter of time before they start to click. The return of Dustin Brown should help and I'm still holding out hope that Ilya Kovalchuk will be more productive once he settles back into the NHL. Jonathan Quick has also struggled has also struggled since returning from injury and that shouldn't last.
Brian: I think the St. Louis Blues are a much better team than they've showed so far. They were 2-4-3 going into last night's game against Chicago, and there were rumors that if they didn't play well coach Mike Yeo could be fired. Well, they just destroyed the Hawks 7-3, with well-balanced scoring now that the team has a potent second line featuring newcomers Ryan O'Reilly and David Perron. It all comes down to Jake Allen. If he is just slightly above average, the Blues will have no trouble making the playoffs.
Corey: The Florida Panthers finished the 2017-18 season on a 25-5-3 run, but have gone 2-4-3 out of the gate this campaign. Roberto Luongo's injury woes hit them early, but once the team gets him back I could see them playing very well again. They have a talented forward group and have only permitted 27.7 shots against per game, which is third-fewest in the league. Once the Panthers get better goaltending, they should be a team on the rise.