Every team starts out the season full of hopes and dreams. A blank slate where all things are possible. April 16, 2014 -- the day the playoffs begin -- is circled on your calendar. Everyone is in the running to win the Stanley Cup, right?
Well, not really.
There is tons of parity in the league. Every year there is at least one team that wins against all odds. I still don't know how the Ottawa Senators survived with all of the injuries they faced last season.
But at some point, reality will have to set in. Not everyone can win the Cup. Not everyone has all of the pieces or the right chemistry or the luck needed to separate themselves from the pack.
Some teams will have to focus on April 15, 2014 -- the day of the draft lottery.
The Coyotes seem like an odd fit in that group. They are only one year removed from the Western Conference finals, and Dave Tippett has proved he knows what he is doing. Plus the team finally has an owner, so it can actually seek out players via trades and free agency.
I think the New Jersey Devils are going to have a rough season. Since going to the Stanley Cup finals in 2012, they lost Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. Now they will be depending on 41-year-olds Martin Brodeur and Jaromir Jagr. If this were 1997, there would be reason for optimism, but it is hard to see their talents holding up over an 82-game season at this stage of their careers.
It is your turn: Who will be the worst team in the NHL this season?