It Will Be A Drama-Filled Week for Canada Hockey Teams

It Will Be A Drama-Filled Week for Canada Hockey Teams
© USA Today

With the playoffs underway, it is clear that the second season has not gone quite as expected for the Canadian teams so far. Consider that Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto were all “favoured” in their series. There is some debate with Toronto but, in theory, a case could be made.

We focus on what has resulted and what may come in the second week of these NHL playoffs. It seems the crossroads are nearing quickly for all three teams. Again, the second season comes at teams fast. How they handle this adversity will seal their fate. 

It is rare to see all three teams still favoured in their series. It’s questionable that will last. Consider that Toronto and Calgary are currently near even. Depending on the site, those numbers range from 1.78 to 1.87 which is again around that magic line. Edmonton is now the most likely team to advance to the second round.

Canada sports betting players have to be scratching their heads a little bit. Why? Let’s take a look at some of these series. 

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Toronto Going Back And Forth With Tampa Bay

Thankfully, all three teams do not start on the same night. Edmonton and Toronto play on Tuesday night, Thursday night, and Saturday night this week. That makes life a little easier. Toronto and Tampa Bay have gone toe-to-toe this round with the teams alternating big performances. 

There has been no dominant team as one team flips the game, scores early and often, then holds the lead. Have any of the games been truly close? That answer is no, to be honest. While Auston Matthews and the Toronto power play have been pretty good in this series, the only consistent theme is these teams trade commanding performances. 

Every person in Canada knows the Andrei Vasilevskiy stat verbatim by now. Tampa just does not lose two games in a row in a postseason. The best thing for Toronto is as long as it holds serve, it will advance to Round 2. There are numerous concerns.

Imagine a potential Game 7 in Toronto this upcoming weekend. Just the nerves alone for a team that has had so many playoff failures. The Maple Leafs seem content with heading toward this almost predestined result. Expecting Toronto to win Game 5 and lose Game 6 almost feels inevitable. 

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A Quick Look At The Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers laid an egg on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Kings. After two amazing performances when they scored a total of 14 goals, Edmonton scored a total of zero. That’s right. Zero. 

Los Angeles found a way to convert a few of its chances en route to a series evening 4-0 win. The Kings dominated the Oilers during long stretches. At one point, Edmonton struggled in the middle stanza just to get a few shots on goal. 

Edmonton dismissed the loss, and rightfully so. It is still large favourites to win this series. Despite that Game 1 hiccup, most believe Edmonton will simply hold serve and even likely win a Game 6 as well. 

Edmonton needs to do more for 40-year-old Mike Smith who was still playing solid hockey in Game 4. The goaltender has faced quite a volume of shots – especially when in Los Angeles. This must be an offense more than just Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Depth, which was displayed in Games 2 and 3, must resurface. 

Finally, this week expects to see the Oilers advance. Now, Edmonton just has to execute the plan. 

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Calgary The Team In Trouble

This seems hard to believe still. The Calgary Flames came into the bubble two years ago expecting to advance past the Dallas Stars. Dallas won that series. The Stars played a style that drove Calgary crazy the entire series. 

Fast forward to this series. Calgary is again playing Dallas in the NHL playoffs and cue the Deja Vu. Now, the Flames are down two games to one heading towards a pivotal Game 4 on Monday night in Dallas. Is it too late for Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and company? That answer is no.

However, Jake Oettinger and the Dallas Stars have swung this series odds-wise close to even. Calgary was the biggest favourite heading into Round 1 among the three Canadian teams. Dallas has sucked Calgary into playing its game. When the Flames shift things into a higher gear, Oettinger has so far had all the answers.

Darryl Sutter has been here before. Can Calgary stand and deliver this week?

For now, the next stop remains Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Let’s see how things are next Monday hockey bettors!