Connect with us


The Most Disappointing Teams of 2024

It’s been a tough season for these teams this year.

Every year, many teams in the NHL surprise us in both positive and negative ways. While teams like Vancouver, Winnipeg and Philadelphia have exceeded everything expected of them this season, there are others who’ve gone through equally disappointing campaigns. When looking at the bottom of the standings right now, there are three squads that stick out to me in this sense. Of course, everything could change with a stretch of great play and a postseason push, but currently, these three from the Eastern Conference are the most disappointing teams of 2024. 

Ottawa Senators

The young Senators had been slowly but surely improving over the last four years before this one, but somehow, they’ve gone backwards in 2024. Many people thought Ottawa would take another step this year, and for good reason. Guys like Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle, Drake Batherson and Jake Sanderson are all young, talented players. Unfortunately, they haven’t found the winning formula in the NHL just yet. D.J. Smith was fired after just 26 games, but the team’s record hasn’t been much better under Jacques Martin, and it’s becoming clear that coaching isn’t the issue in Ottawa.

Like with many disappointing teams, the injury bug has certainly played a part in their lack of success. However, Ottawa’s best forwards have all played in more than 60 games this season, yet none of them have reached 60 points. Thomas Chabot’s absence has been the most detrimental, but the defensive unit still should have been better than it was without him.

Overall, though, the worst position group for Ottawa this season has been their goaltending. It’s very tough to win a lot of games in the NHL without solid play in the crease, and Ottawa isn’t the only team on this list who hasn’t gotten that this year. Starter Joonas Korpisalo has a better save percentage than Anton Forsberg, but it sits at a very mediocre 0.889%. If Ottawa wants to make a legitimate move up the standings next season, they’ll need to find more consistency in net.

New Jersey Devils

It’s been a VERY tough season in New Jersey, especially after their surprising success last year. I don’t think any team had to go through as many injuries this year as the Devils, but even then, they’ve been well short of expectations. In recent weeks, New Jersey fired head coach Lindy Ruff, traded away Tyler Toffoli and Colin Miller, and brought two new goalies in before the trade deadline.

Acquiring Jake Allen and Kaapo Kahkonen wasn’t a huge surprise given how bad their goaltending has been this year. Like Ottawa, New Jersey hasn’t been able to rely on anyone in the crease, and three different guys were given plenty of chances to win the starting job. Between Akira Schmid, Nico Daws, and the now traded Vitek Vanecek, the best save percentage for the season is just .895%.

Out on the ice, New Jersey struggled with many of their star players missing time due to injuries. Dougie Hamilton, Simon Nemec, Jack Hughes, Timo Meier and Nico Hischier have all missed significant time this season, and after a while, that’s going to wear on any team. Even with the injury issues, though, the Devils have been one of the league’s most disappointing teams. After last year, many people expected them to be fighting for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Instead, they’re on the outside of the playoff picture looking in with a lot of work to be done in the final stretch of the year. 

Pittsburgh Penguins

Finally, we’ve got the Pens. Over the last eighteen years, no team has been better than Pittsburgh, but it’s starting to look like their days of being a perennial contender are over. Despite Sidney Crosby’s continued excellence, the rest of the team has not been up to par this year and it’s showing in the standings. The Pens are currently ahead of only Columbus in the Metro, and to make playoffs, they’ll have to finish the season on an absolute tear. For a team with just one win in their last eight games, that doesn’t seem super realistic. 

One of the biggest issues for the Penguins this year was their powerplay. On paper, the Penguins should be one of the best teams in the league with the man advantage, but it simply did not work that way on the ice. In fact, despite having some of the most talented players in the world on the first unit, the Pens’ powerplay ranks fourth worst in the NHL at 14.6%.

The arrival of Erik Karlsson was a big reason for optimism going into the season, but he simply hasn’t found the success that he did last year. His stat line of 44 points in 64 games is a far cry from the success he found last year, where he put up 101 and won the Norris. He, like many of the Penguins, are simply getting older. Without young talent helping out on the scoresheet, the aging stars are being asked to do too much. It makes you wonder, will Sid stick around forever? Or will they make a trade at some point in the next 18 months to give him one more chance at the Cup?

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Must See

More in Hockey