Which struggling NHL teams need to hit the panic button?

sports.yahoo.com
6 min read
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We take a look at five teams around the NHL that are off to slow starts and which ones should be hitting the panic button.
Earlier this week we looked at some NHL teams that have maybe exceeded expectations in the early part of the season and tried to determine which ones are for real.

This is the opposite end of that spectrum.

Here we are taking a look at some teams off to rough starts and which ones need to consider hitting the panic button. Nobody wants to panic a week-and-a-half into the season, but sometimes you can get a sense for when things are just not going well with your team and the roster is all wrong. Some teams might already be there.

Montreal is a mess

Not only did they fall to 0-5-0 with Thursday's loss to Carolina, continuing one of the worst starts in franchise history, they got embarrassed on home ice with offer sheet twins Sebastian Aho and Jesperi Kotkaniemi combining for three goals in the 4-1 decision.

There is a lot going on here because the 0-5 start just after a trip to the Stanley Cup Final is definitely staggering. But a lot of things had to go right for Montreal to reach the level it reached a year ago. They had to play in the right division to allow them to even make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Get the right playoff matchups (again the result of the division). Get the white-hot goaltending for three rounds.

Now they are back in a division and conference loaded with Stanley Cup contenders, and a lot of players that helped make that run possible a year ago are no longer on the ice. Carey Price is sidelined. Shea Weber is done for the season, and maybe for his career. Phillip Danault, Kotkaniemi, and Tomas Tatar are playing for new teams. The result has been four goals in five games, zero wins, and a lot of ugliness.

Story continues

Is it time to hit the panic button: In the sense of them making the playoffs? Yes. That was always going to be a struggle and it is clear this team has some issues. But it is not THIS bad. You hope that Price is able to return soon. Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki are great young talents that will be better. There is some…
Adam Gretz
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