Poll: Which of these 0-3 starts is most concerning?
First off -- yes, we know it’s early.
Each of the teams we’re about to mention still has 79 games left to play, so plenty can change. Seasons can be salvaged. This isn’t the end.
Still, there’s something to be said for starting an NHL campaign 0-3, and it’s not something good.
Two years ago, Peter Laviolette was fired in Philly after going winless in his first three; this year, Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen blasted his team for going “off the rails” following a third straight loss to start the season.
So yeah, 0-3 is a bad place to be.
Here’s a look at the teams currently in that position, and their most glaring issue.
Pittsburgh: Just three goals for. Last year’s highest-scoring forwards -- Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist -- have combined for one point.
Los Angeles: Even less offense -- just two goals for -- and all their losses came at home. Kings have already burned through 60 percent of their five-game home stand to open the year.
Boston: NHL-worst 16 goals allowed. Tuukka Rask’s save percentage is .846. First 0-3 start in 16 years.
Columbus: Beaten soundly by the Rangers, twice, to open the year. Then gave up three power-play goals to Buffalo on Monday.
Edmonton: Like Pittsburgh, just three goals scored -- except one of the Oilers’ goals was actually scored by the Blues (see here).
Carolina: Nobody expected the ‘Canes to be very good, so not a huge surprise. Still, this is a team that went winless in October last season and could be in danger of doing so again; Carolina has a big seven-game road trip coming up, with some very difficult stops.
New Jersey: Like Carolina, nobody expected the Devils to be very good. They’ve also been without No. 1 netminder Cory Schneider for the last two games, so there’s a built-in excuse at the ready. Still, the club can’t be pleased with scoring just two goals in its first two home games.
Anyway, go have yourself a vote.