We started our series on surprises in the NHL with a look at Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils, who continue the play that took them to the Stanley Cup Finals last season. Loads of pundits called the LA Kings to roll roughshod over the Western Conference in defence of their championship, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one who thought the Devils would be the class of the East at the quarter pole after the lockout.
If we’re going to discuss head-scratchers, we have to talk about the Washington Capitals. They sit dead last in the league with just nine measly points after 13 games. Four years ago, this team was poised to become a perennial contender. They had an explosive core of offensive talent and an owner in Ted Leonsis who was willing to spend the bucks necessary to bring a Cup to DC.
Like any year in any sport, the shortened 2013 NHL season has provided some yawns, some gimmes, and some head-scratching surprises. Yawns: Despite throwing buckets of money at Zach Parise and Gary Suter, the Minnesota Wild are still a snoozefest every single night. Gimmes: No one is shocked to see the Calgary Flames and New York Islanders near the bottom of the standings. Head-scratchers: the apotheosis of Martin Brodeur and continued success for the New Jersey Devils.
Why would we scratch our heads for Marty rattling off a few more wins, you ask? Read why after the jump.
The Vancouver Canucks signed Alex Edler to a six-year, $30-million contract extension on the eve of the shortened 2013 season, according to General Manager Mike Gillis.
The move means two big things for the Canucks: 1) the team medical staff is confident that Edler’s back is 100%, despite spasms and pains that kept him out of a number of games over the past two seasons. And 2) Vancouver will continue to have one of the deepest bluelines in the league for the foreseeable future.