5 – Florida Panthers
Florida is the one team on this list we need to be aware of. They won’t get hot until later this season, so if they can play even halfway decent hockey in the early stages, they will be set to make a run a few months from today.
4 – Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning is another team that has struggled with injuries, but they have held their own early. Like Florida, if they can play even 0.500 hockey until their star goaltender returns, then the Bolts should be just fine when the playoff race heats up a few months from today.
3 – Detroit Red Wings
The “Yzerplan” might actually be working here in October, but let’s not openly praise the Detroit Red Wings just yet. It’s still early, and we’ll see if Detroit has an answer when opponents eventually start to figure them out.