Not So Fast: Three Emerging NHL Teams That Have Slipped Of Late.

The 2010-2011 season looked like it would be a year in which three overhauled teams would be leading the pack. Two of them were long term draft building teams, and the other has seen numerous facelifts over the past couple of seasons, these teams being the St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, and the perennially reconstructed Tampa Bay Lightning. Through October, these teams looked certainly like potential conference final material. The Blues had a rock solid defense with a nearly impenetrable goaltender, the Kings had countless young players looking like they were going to all mature to All-Star status overnight, and the Lightning’s offense was one of the most dynamic in the league. But not so fast.

The Sharks proved they can still handle the Kings. Photo courtesy of

Since taking charge of their divisions, both teams have been knocked down the ladder a bit. Los Angeles was the dominant team in their division and close to the entire league until they went up to San Jose to see if they could knock off the long reigning division champions. In a short answer, no, the Kings didn’t and the Sharks proved they still can run atop the Pacific. As for Los Angeles, they have gone into a three game slide, allowing 15 goals over three games after they originally were only allowing barely over one goal a game.

St. Louis ran into an even worse skid in November. After starting the month only giving up one goal over three games, the Blues ran into a freight train. More specifically, it appeared Jaroslav Halak had walked in front of a freight train. Halak and the Blues let up eight goals to their division rival Columbus Blue Jackets, and then proceeded to go on a five game slide. Additionally, the Blues’ solid defense had completely evaporated, and the goaltending was far from infallible. Of four games of the five lost, the Blues allowed five or more goals against, and the long time power wielders of the Central division...

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