In the NHL, handing out midseason grades is a tricky proposition.
Entering Monday’s games, there are 15 teams that have yet to hit the 41-game mark, including the New York Islanders, who have played just 34 of them.
There have been 104 games postponed due to players and coaches entering the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, and another 25 games were rescheduled to accommodate those postponements. The league claimed the material changes to the schedule were significant enough that it needed to opt out of the Beijing Olympics to use the scheduled February break for make-up dates.
Some games weren’t postponed, and teams played significantly short-handed, either in missing key players or not icing complete lineups.
Keep all of this in mind in checking out our grades for the 2021-22 season thus far. Some teams have clearly exceeded expectations, while others have subverted them. Plus, the first-half MVPs, as well as players who want to hit the “do over” button right about now.
Note: Kristen Shilton assessed the Atlantic and Pacific Division teams, while Greg Wyshynski handled the Metropolitan and Central Division clubs. Stats are from Hockey-Reference.com, Natural Stat Trick and Evolving Hockey, unless otherwise noted.