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2023-24 NHL Mid-Season Superlatives

We have officially passed the halfway mark of the 2023-24 NHL season and with the All-Star break coming up, it’s the perfect time to assess how different teams are doing by assigning teams a “yearbook” superlative. So let’s see what mid-season superlatives some of the NHL teams would earn if the league had a yearbook.

Courtesy of Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

Most Improved: Vancouver Canucks

If you told any hockey fan last year that the Vancouver Canucks would be the best team in the NHL this season, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t believe you. Because last season, the Canucks finished with a 38-37-7 record which was good for 83 points, a sixth place finish in the Pacific Division. Flash forward not even a whole 365 days and Vancouver sits atop the league with a stunning 33-11-5 record for 71 points in just 49 games! It’s safe to say that the Canucks are the most improved team at the halfway mark. This team is turning heads and putting everyone on notice that they are legit Stanley Cup contenders. With a stacked roster including one of the best defensemen in the league, a new 30-goal scorer, and several great playmakers along with an outstanding goaltender, the Canucks have truly turned it around and have shown an astronomical amount of improvement.

Courtesy of @anaheimducks on Instagram

Best Dressed: Anaheim Ducks

Alternate or third jerseys are a regular occurrence in the NHL now, but there are always a few that stand out among the rest. One of the best in the league this season is the Anaheim Ducks 30th Anniversary jersey. Dubbed the “eggplant” unis, these jerseys are fantastic both on the ice when the players wear them for specific games and for fans wearing them in support of their favorite team. While many would argue the Ducks home and road jerseys aren’t anything special, or their least favorite among all 32 teams, this alternate makes the team one of the best dressed teams this season. Even though the Ducks are struggling this year and are continuing to rebuild, these jerseys earn them the best dressed superlative. 

Courtesy of @edmontonoilers on Instagram

Most Likely to Succeed: Edmonton Oilers

At the beginning of the season, the Oilers would not have even been close to being in the running for this category. But after firing head coach Jay Woodcroft and hiring Kris Knoblauch in November, the Oilers are back to their old selves and are climbing their way up the standings and into the Stanley Cup contender conversation once again. Entering the All-Star break, Edmonton is riding a 16-game win streak, tied for the second longest in NHL history. They have a chance to both tie the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest win streak ever at 17 games and could set a new one if the team’s victorious ways continue. While the Oilers are still getting plenty of offense from stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the depth scoring has stepped up too which is a major key to succeeding in the NHL when it comes to winning it all. But only time will tell if Edmonton reaches the ultimate pinnacle in hockey.

Courtesy of @flapanthers on Instagram

Most Creative: Florida Panthers

Despite the NHL mandating that specialty jerseys can no longer be worn on the ice for warmups this season, teams across the league have still been hosting a wide variety of theme nights that sometimes include beautifully designed jerseys that players sometimes wear in for arrivals before they are auctioned off for charity. This season, the Florida Panthers have been the team with stunning theme nights that feature amazing creativity through the specialty jerseys.

Courtesy of @flapanthers on Instagram

So far, the Panthers have done a Pink In The Rink night, Hockey Fights Cancer night, Cats N’ Cowboys night and Pride night. The jerseys for Pink In The Rink and Pride night were gorgeous designs that caught the attention of fans all across the league. Florida has plenty of theme nights left this season, but so far they earn the most creative superlative for showing up for these initiatives that matter in the most beautiful way by featuring one-of-a-kind designs on specialty jerseys.

Courtesy of @coloradoavalanche on Instagram

Best All-Around: Colorado Avalanche

No surprise here. The 2022 Stanley Cup Champions are back better than ever and are proving that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with both in the regular season and the playoffs this year. After being knocked out in the first round last season, the Colorado Avalanche added some important pieces to the roster in order to remain a dominant team. Nathan MacKinnon is having the most insane season of his career, Cale Makar is still one of the best defensemen in the league and Mikko Rantanen continues to show up and show out. Pair all of that with the additions the team made in the offseason, the gritty bottom six who have stepped up and team determination that never falters, the Avs earn the superlative for best all-around. Colorado has remained in the tight race for the top spot in the Central and has everything it takes to win another Cup.

There is still a lot of hockey to play in the regular season, but these superlatives are locked through the first half of the 2023-24 campaign. Let’s see if the Oilers make history or if the Canucks continue to put the league on notice among many other things that could happen before the playoffs begin.

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