NHL: The Good and the Bad

Nelson SantosCorrespondent IOctober 12, 2011

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 06:  Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on April 6, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL season is just under a week old but some events have wondering what teams, coaches and players are thinking early on.

For example, New Jersey under Lou Lamoriello just can't stop going back to the past instead of moving to the future. The Devils not only sign and award a roster spot to Petr Sykora, but they also started the season with the much older, and much slower winger on the top unit alongside Patrik Elias and Zach Parise.

If you're the Devils and you've missed the playoffs for the first time in well over a decade, don't you think now is the time to move forward with the handful of young and NHL ready forwards?

Doesn't Mattias Tedenby or Nick Palmieri look a lot better with Elias and Parise than Sykora?

In Colorado the top line is an even worse scenario. The Avalanche have decided that Paul Stastny should center the top unit ahead of the much better Matt Duchene. And to make matters worse, they've awarded the left-wing position to the ever-underachieving Chuck Kobasew. This is a player has who has spent a career disappointing his employers and yet, is constantly handed great opportunities.

Toss in the horrible skating and unskilled David Jones on the right-side and you've just created the worst No. 1 line in the league. Way to go coach Sacco.

RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 07: Jeff Skinner #53 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against  the Tampa Bay Lightning at the RBC Center on October 7, 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Lightning defeated the Hurricanes 5-1.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In Toronto Phil Kessel's skating after the puck like it's covered in BBQ sauce but, enough about the Maple Leafs.

Ilya Bryzgalov has added the one intangible the Flyers have been missing for over two decades: A goalie so good the entire team is playing with more offensive confidence. Make no mistake, a great goalie can be the biggest asset to better offense.

Wayne Simmonds will be the biggest sports celebrity in the City of Brotherly love by the end of the NHL season.

The Buffalo Sabres spent a ton of money in the offseason to become one of the elite teams in the NHL and so far it's looking great.

The Florida Panthers spent a ton of money in the offseason to reach the salary cap floor and so far it's looking exactly as you'd expect it to.

In Carolina Jeff Skinner, last season's Calder Trophy winner, has started this season right where he left off last season. The kid is a fireball of energy, is a magnificent skater and has the biggest smile in the NHL. The 'Canes might be captained by Eric Staal, but it's Skinner's team.

In Winnipeg, the Jets have the loudest and most rabid fans, but they've got the leagues ugliest Power Play.

Johnny Oduya chose the worst night to have his worst NHL game of his career and his two gaffs led to Montreal's first two goals and all, but took the wind out of the sails for the entire Jets team.

Lastly, in New Jersey, Martin Brodeur looks old and in Philadelphia Jaromir Jagr looks young again.