A once in a lifetime opportunity has come up for all of us who watch the NHL. The NHL is looking at committing to an all Canadian Division and will look at 56 games for the 2021 season, which will start on January 13th and wrapped up by early July as to not interfere with the Summer Olympics on NBC and CBC.
So in this Canadian Division, the Jets could play every other team up to seven times; which would cause some great regular season hockey to watch but with the Players being so fired up playing each other that many times I think the playoffs are going to be a little sluggish. I honestly think that only playing your Division will Draw in more American viewers which will help the growth of the NHL.
7th place: Ottawa Senators
Although the Sens have upgraded their team significantly and with the coaching of DJ Smith. I think that the Sens will have some luck but they’re going to have to step up in order to be more than the last place team in the Canadian Division. Matt Murray will have to play outstanding hockey in order for the Sens to have a chance at doing better than last place. Guys like Evgenii Dadonov (who is the Sens projected top right winger) will have to try and get more than 50 points. Good luck to the Sens because they’re going to need it. Unless everyone plays them like they are a joke in which case they could move up a couple of spots in the standings.
6th place: Vancouver Canucks
Jim Benning created a team that very well could have gone to the Stanley Cup Finals, unfortunately, the whole team except Demko forgot to show for Game 7 of round two. After that half of the team left for slightly better contracts elsewhere in the league. So the GM put together a lesser team that will be very entertaining to watch. If Patrick Demko and Braden Holtby have a lights out season, and the young core ( which is amazing) doesn’t take a step back which it might with some of the veterans leaving I can see the Canucks fighting for a playoff spot but they probably will fall short.
5th place: Montreal Canadians
There’s a lot to like about Montreal going into the season and I think if it was a normal season they would make the playoffs, but this is the Covid year and nothing about it makes sense. Montreal’s back is tight, all 6 Defensemen would be great to have on any team. But we don’t know what kind of season Carey Price will have. Will he have an electric year as he did in the playoffs or will it be the same old Carey Price we have seen in the last couple seasons? We really don’t know. Who knows how well the offensive core will be. If you have Tyler Toffoli and Tomas Tartar fighting for your top left-wing spot how good can you really be? Both players are past their prime the whole offence in Montreal is either past their prime or are a year or two away from their prime and although that isn’t a bad thing I do see that being a problem when you are fighting for a playoff spot.
4th place: Winnipeg Jets
That is right, our boys in blue will make the playoffs! The Jets will just Sneak into the playoffs. Hellebuyck will keep playing lights out hockey. I don’t think he will be as good as last year but he will be amazing as always. The Jets top nine is looking so promising and the top four defence looks good too. The only thing that concerns me is the bottom two defensemen Forbort and Poolman who in my opinion should be either 7th defenseman or even playing for the Moose. If a major injury happens or players are put on the covid list. The Jets will look lost but Paul Maurice can get most guys to play outside of their comfort zone, and let’s face it The Jets are a resilient group who will play hard to make the playoffs.
3rd place: Calgary Flames
I really hope I am wrong here and The Flames don’t make the Playoffs. (I don’t like the Flames or Matthew Tkachuk and you will come to know that) Brad Treliving made some good moves at free agency the biggest being Jacob Markstrom. Which can finally give the Flames a great goaltender and with everyone presumably showing up The Flames will be a great team to contend against and a team I think everyone will love to hate because let’s face it two Canadian teams already hate the Flames so they’re going to show up fired every single night.
2nd place: Toronto Maple Leafs
Let’s face it the Leafs are good. Freddy Andersen is an underrated goalie who just can’t get passed a Game 7 Matthews is going to make almost every goaltender look silly they have a great veteran group with Thornton, Simmons and Spezza the old men won’t let the young guys slack and will light a fire under the young guys’ asses, and we will see a new gear that we haven’t seen out of Matthews, Marner, and Nylander. I think Tavares will kick in a new gear since he won’t have to think about New York for the season. Sheldon Keef will run his team how he wants there is no doubt in my mind that the Leafs will make the playoffs.
1st place: Edmonton Oilers
Ken Holland took the absolute joke that was the Oilers and turned them around in a year and then took that team and made them even better during Free Agency. With the Additions of Tyson Barrie, Dominik Kahun and Kyle Turris the Oilers are looking hot. Mikko Koskinen has only gotten better since coming to the NHL. The oilers have a deep pipeline of players if someone gets hurt or isn’t playing up to their full ability. McDavid has had more or less nine months to help rehab his knee and I’m sure he and other superstars of the Oilers are going to be fired up to win after getting set up by the Blackhawks.