Surprises, disappointments of first 41

The emergence of some young talent is just one of the highlights of the NHL's first 41 games.

Updated: January 8, 2004, 1:42 AM ET
By Jim Kelley | ESPN.com

Reaching the halfway point of any project is always a mixed blessing at best.

Is it going poorly or well? Is the glass half full or half empty? Will the rest of the season be all that one can hope or something less than expected?

All that is especially true concerning the National Hockey League. Most teams will reach the 41-game mark this week, and though there have been several noteworthy accomplishments, there is still no clear indication of how the rest of the season will play out.

That's ...

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