Canada's Teams Disappointing This Season
By Patrick Hoffman
I do not mean to stereotype, but in Canada, it really seems like hockey is everything.
In Canada, fans love absolutely everything about the sport, watch the game at all hours of the night, and are the most passionate puckheads in the entire world. I may be an American, but I say all of this proudly.
Unfortunately, the NHL's teams that are based in Canada have really struggled this season. After the likes of the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers made the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, there are several teams that are in danger of missing out this season.
Let's take a brief look at the Canadian teams that could miss the postseason this year:
Simply put, this team has disappointed many after having a great season last year.
As of this writing (January 29, 2018), the Oilers are 24th in the league. Much of this is due to the fact that they only have a few guys who can put the puck in the net and have also struggled to keep the puck out of their net.
It looks like it is going to be another playoffless season for this franchise and one has to wonder if any major moves organizationally will be coming at the end of the season.
Simply put, the Senators have been absolutely awful this season.
As of this writing (January 29, 2018), the Senators are the third worst team in the league. They have gotten subpar goaltending this year from both Craig Anderson and Mike Condon and have also been extremely inconsistent offensively.
After getting to within a goal of a Stanley Cup Final berth last season, it appears that the Senators will miss the playoffs this year. I wonder how that will impact attendance moving forward.
When looking at this team, it appears that everything has gone wrong for them.
As of this writing (January 29, 2018), the Canadiens are the sixth worst team in the league this season. They have trouble scoring goals, are getting below average play from their star netminder Carey Price, and appear that most of their lines lack chemistry.
Come April, it will be interesting to see if either general manager Marc Bergevin or team head coach Claude Julien are able to keep their jobs going into next season.
After getting off to a respectable start this season, the Canucks have come crashing down to earth in a big way.
As of this writing (January 29, 2018), the the Canucks own the league's fourth worst record this season. The club has had inconsistent goaltending, injuries to their key players, and a new head coach in Travis Green that is trying to get his team to play the way he wants to.
It will be another playoffless season for this franchise. With that said, this team may have a bright future with the likes of Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and Jake Virtanen if he ever learns how to give a consistent effort night in and night out.
It's clearly been a tough year for the above-mentioned teams. Canadians should hope that the likes of the Winnipeg Jets, Flames, and Leafs continue to play well enough to make it to the 16-team dance and may be even win a round or two when it matters most.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.