As the calendar turns the page, let’s look at the winners and losers from the wide world of sports.
Winner: Clayton Keller
The rookie has been one of the few bright spots on an Arizona Coyotes team that had one win in the first month of the season. Keller is an earlier front-runner for the Calder, an award given to the most outstanding rookie for a season.
Keller contributed nine goals and fifteen points in Arizona’s first thirteen games of the year. The 2016 seventh overall pick has been flying somewhat under the radar as his team has been performing poorly. This is his first season with the club after playing at Boston University for one year.
Although his play has not translated to success for the Coyotes, his play provides a glimmer of hope for the team’s future.
Winner: New Jersey Devils
Jersey’s team is off to its fastest start in over twenty years, going 8-2-0 in its first ten games of the NHL season, putting them atop the Metropolitan Division standings. The Devils are coming off one of their most disappointing seasons, where they finished dead last in their division. They made some positive offseason acquisitions, but were expected to be one of the league’s bottom feeders once again in 2017-2018.
The Devils’ onslaught of youth has created a winning formula for the club, which has not made the playoffs since 2012. 2017 First overall pick Nico Hischier, 2016 draft pick Jesper Bratt and reigning Hobey Baker Award winner Will Butcher have led the way. Their speed and skill have infused the lineup with a dynamic it has lacked in recent years.
Combined with the experience and abilities of Adam Henrique, Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, and Cory Schneider, the Devils have emerged as a possible threat to do damage sooner than anticipated. It will be interesting to see if they can continue their dominance as the NHL season rolls into November. New Jersey’s ability to win without two leaders, the injured Travis Zajac and ailing Brian Boyle, is encouraging as the team may only improve when they return.
Winner: George Springer
The UConn alum shined in baseball’s brightest light, tearing it up throughout the World Series. Springer was one of the best players for either team in the series, compiling four home runs through the first six games. This included the game winning homer in a wild Game 2 at Dodger Stadium.
With the Astros built to contend for years to come, Springer could become a household name in the next few years. The budding star led his team while sporting the UConn Husky inside his spikes.
Loser: UConn Men’s Hockey
The Huskies have struggled a bit early on, going 2-5-1 to begin the season. While UConn plays some of the best teams in college hockey, they have still underperformed so far this year.
Their only two wins came against American International and Maine, neither of which are formidable opponents. They have played poorly since their two victories, especially this past weekend when they lost two games at Miami University of Ohio. They fell 3-0 on Friday, and then 7-1 on Saturday.
UConn will look to change their fortune this weekend with two games at the XL Center against Vermont.
Loser: MLB Managers
MLB dugouts will be home to many new faces come 2018, as many of baseball’s managers were let go by their teams. Joe Girardi, John Farrell and Dusty Baker were all dismissed despite leading their teams to the playoffs.
This shows that front offices are looking beyond the success of the team on the field these days, as they attempt to heighten the inclusion of analytics in their systems. Front office executives are looking for a greater input into how the team operates on the field. Instead of the mentality of having a trusted general in charge, they want a loyal pawn.
The days of characters and old school managers like Lou Piniella, Tony LaRussa, Jim Leyland, Bobby Cox and Bobby Valentine are long over. The big names that were once scattered across baseball, managing different teams, are dissipating. Might baseball be losing something in losing these personalities?
Dylan Barrett is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.