Grading Canadian NHL Teams Heading Into December

Grading Canadian NHL Teams Heading Into December
© USA Today

How are the Canadian teams doing heading into December? takes a look at their prospects (and NHL betting opportunities) as we enter the second half of the NHL season. 

Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers did not have the best start to their week as they wound down their East Coast trip. Edmonton was stonewalled by Ilya Sorkin and the Islanders and then stared down the same fate the following day versus the New York Rangers.

Down 3-0 in the third period, Edmonton rallied behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl for four straight goals. That included the Draisaitl game-winner. Edmonton got some rest, came home, and held off Florida 4-3 in overtime to complete the week at 2-1. 

The Oilers have a long way to go, but at least the offense has returned to life. 

Calgary Flames 

Calgary continued its road trip and promptly lost to Pittsburgh, Washington, and Carolina. They managed a point versus the Penguins (SO loss) out of the three remaining road contests. Scoring three goals in those games is not a great recipe for winning. The Flames salvaged the week with a rout of Florida last night, scoring a season-high six goals. 

For those curious, Calgary's numbers lengthen more in the NHL futures to 16.91, according to Sports Interaction. Toronto is first among Canadian teams at 11.40, with Edmonton staying mostly stable at 17.81.

The Flames continue their five-game homestand with games against Montreal, Washington, and Arizona.

Winnipeg Jets

Scott Arniel and Rick Bowness keep Winnipeg rolling near the top of the Central Division with a 14-6-1 record. This was an excellent week for the Jets, winning three out of four contests.

Winnipeg started the week by getting trounced by Minnesota 6-1. Bowness hammered into his team after the game, saying they had “checked out.” After the “American Thanksgiving Break,” the Jets responded.

Again, Connor Hellebuyck determines the fortunes of Winnipeg ultimately. The Jets still yield far too many scoring chances. However, the Jets’ offense woke up, scoring 17 goals in the last three games. Hellebuyck and the Jets shut out the Colorado Avalanche 5-0 last night behind a great team effort. Maybe, Winnipeg is for real. At 26.05, the Jets’ number is shortening for Canadian Sports Bettors. 

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs probably wish November could keep going. Naturally, the Leafs have gone 10-1-3 since that 4-4-2 start. John Tavares, Auston Matthews, and Matt Murray are leading the way. Now, the Leafs completed a perfect road trip winning four straight games, including a controversial one in New Jersey. Wins are wins, however. 

Ontario Sports Bettors have seen that number trend to 11 for the Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Odds. Toronto again is playing well but has two strict tests in Tampa Bay and Dallas after a home game tonight versus an unrested San Jose squad. 

Montreal Canadiens

Montreal split their week again as they keep treading water. At 11-10-1, the Canadiens are exceeding expectations. Can Jake Allen play better? It’s a broken record for Habs fans and bettors alike.

Again, the fun factor aside, the home loss to San Jose was troubling. They have now lost seven straight at home to the Sharks while being outscored 27-7. After bouncing back against Columbus and Chicago, Montreal goes to Western Canada for stops in Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. They will be underdogs easily and even against the Canucks.

Ottawa Senators

Ottawa's 2022-23 season is still rather bad. They went 2-1 on the week. Things started nasty with a 4-1 loss in Vegas. Then, the Senators took care of business, routing Anaheim and edging Los Angeles in overtime.   

D.J. Smith’s coaching seat remains toasty. There are problems in the nation’s capital, and team defense is a big reason. The game in Vegas illustrated change is still likely. Time is ticking in Ottawa for the last-place Senators.

Vancouver Canucks

Bruce Boudreau and the Vancouver Canucks had an undefeated week for the taking. They swept the road trip in Colorado, Vegas, and San Jose to the shock of many. Naturally, the Canucks come home and trip all over themselves in a 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. 

Maybe, every Ontario Sports Bettor should have seen this coming. In 15 games against Bruce Boudreau, Alex Ovechkin and Washington are 13-2, while Ovechkin has tallied 13 goals. The good news for Vancouver is they stay home this week and play Florida, Arizona, and Montreal. The bad news is the Canucks are just 3-5-1 at Rogers Arena. 

Do not forget “Coaches Hot Seat” column will be published on Friday this week. Thanks for reading.