Photo by Sean Berry.

After one full week of the NHL season beginning, there remain only four undefeated teams. Of those four teams, only one made it to the playoffs last season. Will this be the start of a championship season for these teams, or is it luck?

Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars stand strong at the top of the league’s leaderboard with a 3-0 record, but what puts them on top is the goal differential. This is the difference between the number of goals scored by the Stars and the number of goals scored against them. Over the three games they’ve played so far, they’ve only allowed one goal to be scored against them in each game. 

Since the previous season the Stars have made some serious changes to their team. On May 15, their head coach Rick Bowness decided to step away as well as the assistant coaches. A change to coaching staff can change a team completely and bring a whole new dynamic to the organization. On June 16, they named their new head coach, Pete DeBoer. DeBoer previously coached the Florida Panthers, the New Jersey Devils, the San Jose Sharks, and most recently the Vegas Golden Knights. DeBoer has yet to coach a Stanley-Cup-winning team but seems to be on the right track with the Dallas Stars. 

Another notable change made in the offseason was acquiring forward Mason Marchment on a four-year deal. Marchment is the leader in points thus far with three goals and two assists. The Stars also signed goalie Jake Oettinger to a three-year deal. Oettinger has started all three games and has a combined 84 saves. Marchment and Oettinger are great additions to the team giving strength to both offensive and defensive sides of the puck. 

Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes stand second in the league but hold the top spot in the eastern conference. Their goal differential is at a +8 with also only three goals scored against them in the three games they’ve played. The Hurricanes clinched their division last year and went on to lose against the New York Rangers in round two of the playoffs, where they sadly ended their playoff run. 

In early August, the Hurricanes agreed to terms with center Martin Necas on a two-year contract. Necas was drafted by the Hurricanes in 2017; he played one game then was loaned back to his professional debut team in the Czech Republic. At the time Necas wasn’t the player he is now; he currently has five points under his belt with two goals and three assists. 

It’s no shock the Hurricanes are at the top of the leaderboard this season, but it will be interesting to see if they can stay there and make their return to the playoffs.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers come in third in the league and have the first spot in the metropolitan division. This is mind-blowing considering the Flyers are in a 47-year drought when it comes to hoisting the Cup. 

Since January, the Flyers have made a number of necessary changes to their roster in order to be in this position. The most notable trade being the acquiring of defense, Tony DeAngelo—but it came at a cost. They exchanged him for a fourth-round draft pick, a 2023 conditional third-round pick, and a 2024 second-round pick. Although, it’s safe to say he is holding up his value at four points this season with one goal and three assists. 

Last season the Flyers recorded a whopping 57 losses throughout their 82-game season. So far, this season is going their way and they fought to remain undefeated in their game Wednesday night against the Florida Panthers at 7:30 p.m. 

Calgary Flames

Finally comes the Calgary Flames at number four in the league and number one in the pacific division. Last season the Flames finished sixth in the league and clenched their division where they fell to the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the playoffs. 

The Flames signed a seven-year contract with center Nazem Kadri, who is currently leading the team in points with four points, one goal, and three assists. Last season, Kadri played for the championship winning team, the Colorado Avalanche. With the Avalanche, he racked up a total of 87 points with 28 goals and 59 assists in the regular season, and 15 points in the playoffs with seven goals and eight assists. It was definitely a smart move to sign Kadri and help the offensive front for the Flames. 

Game Times

Dallas Stars vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, October 20 @ 7:00 p.m.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Edmonton Oilers, October 20 @ 9:00 p.m.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Calgary Flames, October 20 @ 9:30 p.m.

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