surprises (positive: team):
LVG: though I don't think it will last
LAK: solid Quick, star Kopitar again, Doughty - could last
COL: not sold yet, but they are playing well right now
NJD: loved their off-season, but 14.7% shooting % not sustainable, will revisit
Surprises (postive : player)
Auston Matthews is a legit beast, two way player. I thought as a rookie he obviously excelled offensively, but watching a few Leafs games so far, I'm amazed, I don't think he's better than McDavid - just doesn't have the speed, but man with his size he could be Mario to McDavid's Gretzky.
Ovie and Backstrom: starts off at a blistering pace. once again breathing false hope into the Caps faithful
Zibanejad: shows offensive chops I didn't think he had, not sure if it's just a mirage fast start or not
Gostisbehere: took a lot of crap for a sophomore slump, comes back with a vengeance and is anchoring one of the best young D groups in the league.
Jesper Bratt and Will Butcher: it's early and Bratt probably falls off, but both expected to be back seat to Hischier, and both outshining him (on the scoresheet at least). Butcher of course is much older.
Victor Mete: 19 year old Habs defenseman looks like he'll stick, playing top pair minutes with Weber and so far playing flawlessly. Breathing life into the "small defenseman" theory - McAvoy, Butcher, etc.
Negative suprises: team:
MTL: though their 3.7% shooting % is a "positive" since that would be historically low, literally I believe a record by a mile, their results are bad and tied to middle pair D and Price.
NYR: I think they turn it around, it's early, and from games I've watched the effort is there and they too have a low shooting % - while I'm not a huge fan of analytics like Corsi being predictive of anything, I do believe shooting % will normalize eventually.
DAL: I loved their off-season. Can't say I have watched them much, but I expect they turn it around soon too.
EDM: the trendy pick to make the WCF, off to slow start.
Not going to give my opinion on too many disappointing players, but there's quite a few of them.
One trade topic: Canadiens and Islanders trade talk burning like wildfire in Montreal. Not Tavares I heard Leddy and Barzal, so who knows. Galchenyuk and Juulsen going the other way.
What do you think so far?
Oh, and I have seen some incredible games so far, but holy shit the slashing calls and face-off police need to end (as I mentioned in the Rangers thread)