They play hockey everywhere, but they play real hockey in Canada. We don’t say it out loud, but we know it’s true.
Everywhere they are still trying to figure out the offside rule, but here we get the specifics of the game. Little things matter. It’s the big things – say, winning – that avoid us.
This makes this moment, hours before the start of the NHL season, the most wonderful time of the year. This is the time when the range of each Canadian team is theoretically unlimited.
Sure, it hasn’t worked out since Dieffenbaker was prime minister, but why not this year?
The Tampa Bay Lightning is proof that any team can win the Stanley Cup (if they draft at all right, sign all their stars to under-market deals and do business in a state that believes income tax). A communist conspiracy.)
The Montreal Canadiens were total crap last season for a long time, and look what happened to them – they lost. but they lost Announcement. On the professional Canadian hockey scene, losing in style passes to victory.
So who’s to say Ottawa can’t do the same thing this year? People, put your hands down and dream a little.
Unusually, as well as a ceiling, this year the Canadian teams also have a floor. They must all be better than the Seattle Kraken. Anyone who can’t beat an expansion team put together using the same template as the ball club main league His vote should be cancelled.
That said, some of the ones listed here are going to be much closer to the floor than to the ceiling.
In this league, there are established organizations, rebuilding teams, basket cases and anarchic neutrals. Canucks are the latter.
Do they have young stars? They do. Are they fun to watch? They. Do they win the game? They do not.
The portions are good, but they don’t add much to the overall. Unfortunately, the team is too good (on paper, at least) to tear up.
You know what that means? Three or four years more, “You never know with these guys. They may have surprised some people, “It was no surprise, followed by a much-hyped spread about chemistry, followed by plenty of opportunities for the nervous executive team to play crap with the roster (Braden Holtby) , we barely knew you), followed by Alike But More Than That.
Canucks are caught in the NHL Twilight Zone chakra – too bad to be good; It’s too good to be bad. It’s a sure thing.
So obviously, they will win the Stanley Cup this year.
It seems that the Edmonton Oilers is a massive operation involving dozens of moving parts whose sole purpose is to torture Conor McDavid.
Six years later, you go back to the night the Oilers won the pick to be McDavid and consider the ways it could have been different. He may well be in the middle of being tortured by the Buffalo Sabers. Or Arizona Coyotes. Or – and it would have been a special kind of pain – the Toronto Maple Leafs.
We’re out of position to wonder whether McDavid will continue to suffer measurable pain, and are well in the process of weighing how much he’ll suffer overall. This could be Marcel Dion level agony.
Despite the usual deck shuffling, the Oilers remain unsteady and top heavy like a melting iceberg. He has two of the best five forwards in the game and not much else. They don’t have that special “it” despite how hard they try to prove it, the expectations that keep on rising.
At this rate, winning the singles playoff round would be a victory of will. Considering they have the best player in the game by some distance, it’s a sad situation.
The only good news for McDavid is that he’ll have a chance to win something in Beijing in February. Which would later make his return to Edmonton even more disappointing.
Edmonton’s baby brother is a real handful.
The flames want to be just like their big brother. Who among us is not at that age? Move the puck around a bunch, end-to-end stuff, speed kills and all that.
They’re like twins, if one of them looked a lot better.
Every time Edmonton makes it to the playoffs, Calgary kicks and screams, but it doesn’t always get along. very bad. People would be surprised how much the family lost in the first round. The resemblance is uncanny.
Whenever people see them together and are confused, it really upsets Calgary. He is his own man. For god’s sake they have Johnny Hockey. Is Edmonton’s nickname as good as Johnny Hockey? I do not think so.
But still people make mistakes. It’s infuriating.
This is why Calgary cares so much more about making the playoffs, full stop, than beating Edmonton in the playoffs. It’s a matter of brother.
Maybe this year Calgary will get what it really wants for his birthday: a free shot at the guy in the top bunk (who, let’s be honest, hasn’t earned his spot there).
In this sense, the Flames are the purest of all the hockey set-ups in Canada. They know exactly what they want, what they have to do to get it and are not afraid to say it out loud.
Remember when this team was the new face of the NHL? When Were the Jets Untouched by the Canadian Curse? Even, for just a moment, the team you don’t know can reverse the hex by using the power of not knowing?
Yes got it.
The tipping point was being trucked by the Montreal Canadiens in last season’s playoffs. Not only losing, but gaining support a couple of times in Montreal’s driveway.
It was the kind of damage you’d expect from the Oilers or the Leafs. Meaning the Jets are now the Oilers and the Leafs. The hopes they had once had a hockey team in the hockey city eventually came to the collective head of Winnipeg. Once there, the Jets began digging the foundations. They are planning to stay for a while.
The roster hasn’t changed much in the off-season, which bodes well for the regular season. Like most Canadian hockey teams, the Jets have had a regular season. It is the part of the year that matters that gives them trouble.
The good news is that with the divisions returning to their normal alignment, the Jets are likely to find some American squads in the playoffs. Those teams will be amazed and surprised by playing in front of fans who really know and care about hockey. Maybe this is of some use.
But otherwise, the Jets are—like most of the teams on this list—good enough to be good, but nowhere near good enough to be.
Toronto Maple Leafs
if Groundhog Day Rather than a movie were a sports franchise, it would be the Toronto Maple Leafs. But it would be more tragic—than comedy, absent redemption, or capitalizing on life’s lessons.
What is changing in 2021-22? nothing. Nothing changed for years. Same core. Same problems. Same hopes. That fear. That unearned confidence. Same resignation.
The game thrives on the potential of pivot points. If that happens, that wonderful or terrible thing will happen as a result. Leafs do not pivot points. They are meat made from consistency.
His money has sunk in four people. Those four guys are constantly trying to convince people that they don’t know how to win. People will not believe him. So every year they show them. Nothing changes and we start all over again.
What happens when the Leafs find some overly creative way to make it fly again in the first round? nothing. We start all over again, and we keep doing that until the big contracts get closer to their expiration dates and everyone takes cities to restart.
It’s time to consider that this sense of despair is the real key to the Leafs’ enduring appeal. Life is painful. So are the leaves. He founded an entire religion around this idea – a good religion. When you think about it like that, things are going pretty well.
It’s good to be a senator.
Not good from a hockey point of view. They are terrible at that. But good from a “save us Canadian hockey team, you’re our only hope” perspective.
Imagine you play for the Leafs or the Canucks or the Jets. How terrible would that be? People want something from you that you can’t give them, no matter how much you want it. They’re always in your grill and telling you how great you are, even when you know you’re not.
There is no such pressure on the Ottawa senator. Nobody bothers him because nobody expects anything from him. He’s right there, sucking up money like a nitrous Dyson and ineffectively mediocre at his job. A little like the city he plays in.
He doesn’t have to worry about being attacked by average Ottawas because he doesn’t play in Ottawa. Simply drop through the arena’s loading dock and head to Stitsville or Carleton Place after every damage. It’s totally zen pro athlete existence. Like in Florida, if you have to tunnel out of your house between November and March.
All it needs to do to keep this beautiful situation going is for the coach to go on TV every few days and say, “These are young people. They’re still learning how to play in this league.” Tell him that he’s going to miss out on the fact that nobody gets paid like an intern.
Ottawa – It’s Pro Hockey Nirvana. Unless you like pro hockey.
When you think about it, it was pretty unfair for Montreal to raise the bar on everyone last spring.
Canadians are old. His stars play in the wrong position for the new NHL. Their youth talent pool is not as bright as that of Toronto or Edmonton. They were mediocre in the regular season.
Then they make it to the playoffs and – bam! – They start playing as if they really care. And they win. Don’t they read it…