After the jump are the full numbers for the entire league.
On the whole, it's easy to see that the numbers are down across the NHL and that's likely due to the economic climate in North America. I don't think anyone expected to see many drastic jumps in numbers, if any at all, and these numbers certainly agree with that. But let's take a look at some of the teams putting up some interesting numbers:
Phoenix Coyotes (6 Games, -32.78 percent, -4,876 fans/game): Not surprisingly, the Coyotes have some downright abysmal numbers so far this season. Given what happened over the offseason, these numbers go to show that the team's bankruptcy proceedings helped to destroy the fan base. These numbers are especially awful considering the team claimed a sellout on opening night.
Tampa Bay Lightning (7 games, -13.14 percent, -2,168): The Lightning are off to a decent start, 5-4-4, and Steven Stamkos is starting to look like the real deal. At the gate, the team is struggling. It's hard to say why exactly that is. Perhaps finishing 14th in the conference last year has some carryover to this season. It would help to explain why they and the Islanders (15th last year) are struggling at the box office in the early going.
Colorado Avalanche (4 games, 1.73 percent, 263): Let's take a moment to focus on a team that isn't getting destroyed at the gate. The Avalanche are off to a scorching start, 10-3-2, and currently sit atop the conference. However, they have yet to see the fans come back. The team averaged 15,429 last year, down from 17,612 two years prior. This probably has more to do with small sample size than anything else. The Avs finished dead last in the West last season and got beat up at the gate. They have only played two games at home this year since Oct. 4, playing on the road much of the month. Things will probably turn around this month. Their last home game on Oct. 24, a Saturday night against the Red Wings, drew 17,690 according to the NHL.
Things have been bad in a few other places as well. Anaheim (7 games, -11.45 percent) and Nashville (6 games, -10.74) are seeing some heavy losses early. Anaheim stumbled out of the gate this season (4-7-2) so some of their issues could be attributed to that. However, Nashville has fared better (6-6-1) and is seeing nearly the same losses. It's tough to say what exactly is affecting the gates in those two locales but for a team in the situation of the Preds, it could make for a tough winter.
Another surprise on this list is that Atlanta, which has historically had attendance issues, is up the most of any team in the league at +1.83 percent. Los Angeles is also down slightly after a very hot start (9-4-2, -3.14 percent) but that could easily pick up in the coming months.
It's clear that very few teams (i.e., Canadian teams) are escaping the wrath of the down economy. Take another look at the numbers, let them wash over you and check back at the end of the month when we take a look at November's numbers. Maybe they'll start to pick up a bit for the many teams that need more fans in the seats.