Things change quickly in the NHL.
Momentum can change in the blink of an eye, and teams that seemed doomed for years of failure could prove to be successful without much transition time.
Last season we saw the Boston Bruins turn things around after the new year. Who will it be this season? Let's take a look at some candidates to turn their season around in 2012.
The Tampa Bay Lightning can't be as bad as they have played to start the season, can they? Just months after taking the Boston Bruins to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals, Tampa has been unable to rekindle any of their magic.
With Dwayne Roloson struggling between the pipes, the Lightning will need to find more reliable goaltending. But if they manage to do that, a drastic turnaround in 2012 is not out of the question.
This season is not the season that the New York Islanders will put it all together, despite the high hopes during the preseason.
However, next season could be much more kind to a team ripe with young talent at all positions. The Islanders are not as far off as their record would indicate. It's just a matter of time before there are two playoff bound teams in the city of New York.
The Edmonton Oilers have seen some bumps in the road of the development their young roster is undergoing. Those types of ups and downs are to be expected when teenagers are carrying the load for your hockey team.
2012 figures to be another step in the right direction for the Edmonton Oilers. Whether or not they sneak into the postseason this year is irrelevant. The strides they make in the next calendar year will define how successful this team can be in the future.
The Kings imagined the first quarter of the season going far more pleasantly than it has. After acquiring Mike Richards, signing Simon Gagne and agreeing to terms with Drew Doughty, there didn't seem too much standing in the way of the postseason for Los Angeles.
The season has been a struggle, though. With coach Terry Murray fired, the Kings are hoping to salvage their season. Currently sitting just three points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot, there is no reason for the Kings to panic.
With quick playing like a Vezina caliber goaltender, L.A. will have a shot to turn things around.
Will the Washington Capitals ever put it all together?
It remains to be seen, but it appears the coaching change has the Capitals heading in the right direction. The team has a new attitude under coach Dale Hunter, and that will prove to be beneficial as the calendar turns to 2012.
The Buffalo Sabres spent tons of money this offseason and haven't gotten the results they had hoped for. With new ownership in place, however, things are heading in the right direction in Buffalo. The willingness to spend money and the talent on the roster are reasons for continued optimism in upstate New York.
The Calgary Flames had another bad start to the season this fall. The Flames are back on the right track again, and if history tells us anything, this team could be in for a hell of a second half of the season.