The NHL's first month is nearly done, and though COVID-19 postponements have dominated the news, there has been some good action on the ice.
So what have been the biggest surprises of the early season? USA TODAY Sports' hockey experts weigh in.
New York Rangers: Last season, they ranked fifth in goals per game and now they're 25th. It's puzzling because they have lots of talent. Artemi Panarin is producing as expected, but Mika Zibanejad has one goal this season and one point in his last nine games. Second-year Kaapo Kakko, a No. 2 overall pick in 2019, hasn't taken the step forward that 2019 No. 1 pick Jack Hughes did with the New Jersey Devils this season. No. 1 overall 2020 pick Alexis Lafreniere has been limited to one goal. The team has only three goals from its defense, and the power play ranks 24th in the league. The Rangers are 1-3-3 in one-goal games. — Mike Brehm
Florida Panthers: It took the 7-1-2 Panthers until their ninth game to lose their first game in regulation. What's even more surprising for the Central Division's second-place team is that there has been an early split of goaltending: their big-money goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who is 4-0, has an .899 save percentage, while backup Chris Driedger, who is 3-1-1, has posted a .937 SV%.