So this is Christmas, and what have you done?
That's the question every NHL team should be asking itself as the league enters its abrupt, COVID- and Christmas-induced pause to the 2021-22 season. With most squads roughly over a third of the way into the schedule, each team has a pretty good idea of what it has and what it doesn't.
While there are certainly some really solid teams in the league, you'd be hard-pressed to find one that's perfect. With it being the holiday season and all, here's one thing each NHL team should be putting on their wish list.
Anaheim Ducks: More of this.
this Zegras dude's from another planet, complete extraterrestrial pic.twitter.com/9bCxIdQBSb
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) December 8, 2021
Arizona Coyotes: A place to play hockey games after this season ends would be nice.
— jeffmetcalfe (@jeffmetcalfe) December 21, 2021
Boston Bruins: Some depth scoring.
Buffalo Sabres: Where do I start?
Calgary Flames: Maybe we could get Darryl Sutter to crack a smile?
👉 Hlavní trenér Darryl Sutter a útočník Trevor Lewis, se do LA vrátili poprvé od jejich odchodu ... oba dva s tímto týmem získali SC v letech 2012 a 2014 ...
👉 Flames si vylepšili venkovní záznam na 10-2-2 a vyrovnali tak záznam ze sezóny 2009-10 ... pic.twitter.com/1ppB91Igqv
— Calgary Flames 🇨🇿/🇸🇰 (@Flames_CZSK) December 3, 2021
Ever since Darryl Sutter called the Flames Dopey I can’t stop thinking about how he’s literally Grumpy pic.twitter.com/2nVklJF7PI
— Julia Tocheri (@juliatocheri) March 28, 2021
Huge news for fans of funny faces when things go wrong, as Darryl Sutter frequently looks like the most whimsical Laurel & Hardy antagonist. pic.twitter.com/24EuSWOeqI
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) March 5, 2021
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) April 2, 2021
Carolina Hurricanes: Good health is about all this team needs. It's pretty loaded!
Chicago Blackhawks: How about some offense? Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews get paid a combined $21 million, and the two have teamed up for 38 points in 30 games. Only the Coyotes, Canadiens, and Islanders have scored fewer goals per game than the Hawks, which is a concerning group to be among.
Colorado Avalanche: It'd be great if the top line could actually skate together. In 27 games this season, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog have all been on the ice in just 10 contests.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Cole Sillinger to show that he can play in the top-six. The 18-year-old rookie has had an OK first campaign, but he was one of the team's three first-round picks from the 2021 NHL Draft and figures to be one of the cornerstones of the Blue Jackets' rebuild.
Dallas Stars: A resurgent Tyler Seguin. Now back from knee and hip surgeries, the Stars forward has just eight goals and 14 points in 29 games.
Detroit Red Wings: A Moritz Seider or Lucas Raymond Calder Trophy. Both rookies have been great this season, and are among the betting favourites for the award.
Edmonton Oilers: A healthy Mike Smith would be nice. When your fanbase is debating who's better between Stuart Skinner and Mikko Koskinen, you know things are getting pretty rough.
Stuart Skinner > Mikko Koskinen pic.twitter.com/EETszEreDi
— Nathaniel Borody (@NathanielBorody) December 17, 2021
Florida Panthers: Sergei Bobrovsky to start being "the guy" again. The Russian puck-stopper has faltered since his red-hot start to the season, owning a poor .867 save percentage over his last seven appearances.
Los Angeles Kings: Can Dustin Brown score some goals, please? This man has taken 92 shots, which sits top-30 in the NHL, yet he only has four goals to show for it.
Minnesota Wild: Some better goaltending would be great. Cam Talbot has been OK while Kaapo Kahkonen has seen mixed results when given opportunities. If this team wants to be a Stanley Cup contender, the play between the pipes will need to be better.
Montreal Canadiens: #PainForShane. It's been a pretty brutal year to be a Habs fan.
— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) October 30, 2021
Nashville Predators: Can we get this team a better Stadium Series jersey, please?
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 2, 2021
New Jersey Devils: A Jack Hughes breakout. The 2019 first-overall pick is in his third season, and it's about time he starts to consistently showcase the high-end potential that landed him such high draft capital in the first place.
New York Islanders: Some semblance of offense. The Isles' 2.19 goals per game is third-worst in the NHL. The squad has never been an offensive dynamo under Barry Trotz, but New York has been a tough watch for hockey fans this season.
New York Rangers: More Jacob Trouba body checks. He's lowered the boom on several opponents this season.
Gabriel Landeskog and Jacob Trouba drop the gloves after Trouba lays a hit on Nathan MacKinnon. pic.twitter.com/agtCdM63BL
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 9, 2021
Jacob Trouba looked like he was gonna do the Spider-Man landing pose after that hit. 🕷️ pic.twitter.com/AOTths8VX4
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 13, 2021
Oh man. Jacob Trouba with a massive hit on Michael Dal Colle pic.twitter.com/pE5lVR2aMu
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 26, 2020
Ottawa Senators: A goalie. Definitely could use someone who is good at stopping pucks.
Philadelphia Flyers: A good ol' fashioned rebuild. The Flyers have tried to win with this core, they really have, but it seems unlikely this team's next championship window is going to include players like Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Getting this first line healthy. Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and Bryan Rust have all dressed in just six of Pittsburgh's 30 games this year. Not to mention, Evgeni Malkin hasn't laced them up at any point this season, either.
San Jose Sharks: I honestly couldn't tell you what the Sharks want. I can't figure out if they're trying to make the playoffs or tank.
Maybe that explains why they're stuck in standings purgatory.
Seattle Kraken: An identity.
St. Louis Blues: Charlie Lindgren to be Jordan Binnington 2.0? The career minor-leaguer owned an 8-1-1 record and a .925 save percentage with the AHL's Springfield Thunderbirds and has been just as good in the NHL, posting a 5-0-0 record and a .958 save percentage for the Blues.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Some salary cap circumvention to revamp that third line.
Toronto Maple Leafs: A playoff series win.
Vancouver Canucks: They already opened their present.
— NHL (@NHL) December 17, 2021
Vegas Golden Knights: A happy and healthy Jack Eichel.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) December 14, 2021
Washington Capitals: More Ovi goals and more Ovi records.
ALEX OVECHKIN TIES THE ALL-TIME RECORD FOR POWER PLAY GOALS pic.twitter.com/Sqbr779ALc
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 16, 2021
Winnipeg Jets: A winning father-son duo. Interim head coach Dave Lowry is the father of longtime and current Jets centre Adam Lowry.
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