If there’s one thing we know about hockey, it is extremely unpredictable. Teams rocket up the standings or collapse with little to no warning, often due to nothing more than bad injury luck or a hot goaltender. Getting deeper into analytics has only made me understand that more.
With that in mind, I thought it might be a good idea to identify some of the more consequential hinge points for the coming season, the x-factors that could prove to make or break each team’s performance in 2022-23. While “injury luck,” “shooting luck,” and “goaltending” could feasibly be the right answer for all of these, I’ve tried to be a bit more thoughtful and consider some of the real spots to watch for all 32 squads.