NHL Roundup: Canada’s Teams Seek Winning Ways
While the U.S. is celebrating Thanksgiving this week, one question in Canada is how the country's NHL teams are doing on the hunt for the Stanley Cup.
Let’s get down to business.
The Edmonton Oilers did not have the easiest end to their week as they began their East Coast trip. Edmonton was roughly greeted by the New Jersey Devils, losing 5-2 on Monday night.
Edmonton did score a big win against the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime but, before that, lost at home to the Los Angeles Kings. In the end, the Oilers are 10-9 on the season and still looking up in the Pacific Division from a fourth-place tie with the Calgary Flames.
Calgary split the Florida trip after a brutal display in Tampa Bay. The 4-1 loss left Darryl Sutter searching for words. However, the Flames came back and triumphed over Florida in a shootout.
Then on Monday, the Flames took care of business in Philadelphia. Overall, a 2-1 week is a good week.
For those wondering, Calgary's numbers have lengthen in the NHL Futures to 15.50, according to Sports Interaction. Toronto is first among Canadian teams at 12.92, while Edmonton dropped to 17.72.
The Flames still face an uphill climb with three games in four nights. That includes stops in Pittsburgh, Washington and Carolina.
Scott Arniel and Rick Bowness have kept Winning afloat and near the top of the Central Division with an 11-5-1 record. This was an upside-down week, with Winnipeg looking sloppy in a 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh and blowing a three-goal lead to Carolina, yet still winning two games.
Winnipeg started playing the type of game we expect from a Rick Bowness squad. They won 3-2 against Seattle, then Anaheim, and lost to Calgary. Darryl Sutter joked, “It’s a 3-2 league.”
This week, he was not kidding.
Again, Connor Hellebuyck determines Winnipeg's fortunes. The Jets still yield far too many scoring chances. However, Winnipeg keeps finding a way to win games. A road trip is next, with stops in Minnesota, Dallas and Chicago.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are enjoying an excellent November. The Leafs have gone 6-1-3 since that 4-4-2 start. John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Matt Murray are leading the way. Yes, the Leafs lost a tough one to the Islanders on Monday night in overtime, but Toronto is collecting points even in not-so-good efforts.
Ontario Sports Bettors allowed Toronto’s Stanley Cup Futures to slide back a hair to 12.92.
Toronto again is playing well but will spend the American Thanksgiving in the U.S. with four games, including a return trip to New Jersey on Wednesday.
Montreal split its week with entertaining games against Philadelphia and Columbus, where tons of goals were scored. At 9-8-1, the Canadiens are exceeding expectations. Can goaltender Jake Allen pick up his level of play even with a young defense in front of him?
Again, the fun factor aside, expect a few more wild contests as Montreal plays Buffalo, Chicago and Columbus again. These are teams that have as many defensive shortcomings as Montreal.
Ottawa's 2022-23 season is still quite ugly. They went 1-2 on the week. Things started off promising with a nice 4-1 win over Buffalo but then the pain began as New Jersey came into Ottawa and scored five goals on Saturday afternoon.
D.J. Smith’s coaching seat keeps getting hotter. There are problems in the nation’s capital, and team defense is a big reason. The game in San Jose was another unmitigated mess as the Sharks scored five more goals on the Senators. Time is ticking in Ottawa.
Bruce Boudreau and the Vancouver Canucks had an undefeated week in their grips. They looked solid against Buffalo and even turned away the Los Angeles Kings. It was as complete an effort as seen all season from Vancouver.
Vancouver was on up Vegas 4-2 early in the third period after scoring three goals in fewer than six minutes.Then it happened again. Vegas rallied for three consecutive tallies to win 5-4 on Tuesday night. Just like that, the whispers and questions began again. Vancouver now heads back on the road for games in Colorado, Vegas and San Jose.
Do not forget, the “Coaches Hot Seat” column comes out Wednesday. Thanks for reading, and good luck finding for some perfect NHL betting opportunities.
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