We're three weeks into the 2013 NHL season, and the teams rising to the top of the two realigned Western Conference divisions are a bit of a surprise. In the Central division, the Colorado Avalanche - led by rookie coach and NHL Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy - have won eight of their first nine, racking up five of those wins against the seemingly over-matched Eastern Conference (including road wins against perennial favorites the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins). Roy has always been known as a fiery competitor and has most of the notoriety behind the boards, but the Avalanche product on the ice is quickly proving to be difficult for other teams to catch. Led by young captain Gabriel Landeskog, No. 1 overall pick Nathan MacKinnon, and a pair of dependable goalies, the Avalanche have surpassed the expectations of draft-loaded teams like the Edmonton Oilers. Colorado Avalanche ticket holders have seen their team's youth movement proceed ahead of schedule, and they certainly have the talent to make noise in the Stanley Cup playoff hunt. They still have to hold off more experienced teams like the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks over the long 82-game NHL season.
In the NHL Pacific division, the San Jose Sharks aren't necessarily a surprise in first place. The Sharks have demonstrated an ability over the years to have dominant stretches in the regular season, only to earn the moniker of "not having what it takes" in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The last few seasons, however, have seen the Sharks fall back a bit in the standings with the ascendance of the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. Already stacked at center, including young superstar Logan Couture, the Sharks have welcomed young goal-scoring machine Tomas "Teenage Mutant Ninja" Hertl into the mix, and all he's done is score seven goals in eight games. Four of those goals came in one game against the Rangers, and the San Jose Sharks have ridden the wave of youthful energy and excitement to an eight game points streak. It's the longest streak in the league this year, though this veteran team and impact youngsters has a way to go before they match the historic run of the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Whether either of these teams are your favorite squad, or you're simply looking for an exciting matchup to catch at your nearby home arena, it looks like San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche tickets will both be hot commodities for hockey fans around the country all season long.