There has been a bit of a shift in the North Division in the last week or so. Some teams are falling off from their hot starts and others are gaining momentum. Let’s see where I have the seven Canadian teams this week!
Things are not going well for the Canucks. They are in second last in the North and have the most games played in the division. It was a tough stretch after I thought they had a good four-game set against the Flames and I’m not sure what needs to change for them to get better. Their defence and goaltending aren’t doing great even though the offence has picked up recently. It has been a struggle for this Canucks team all season long and they find themselves in the basement for the second straight week.
The Flames were playing brutally up until they beat the Leafs 3-0 on Monday. This team looked to lack fight, defensive structure, and much offensive ability up until Monday and it has been tough to watch. Did their win on Monday spark a change in the team? We will have to see them tonight and for the rest of this week and then maybe I can slide them up my rankings. For the sake of Calgary fans everywhere, I hope they can start moving the needle in the right direction because it has been a miserable time watching the Flames over the past week.
Ottawa has looked very competitive lately and pulled two straight extra-time games against Montreal to end the week. This team is young and fun to watch and they have gotten the goaltending they weren’t getting at the start of the season. A major improvement from Matt Murray. The young guys are now getting their feet under them and it doesn’t seem like they are intimidated anymore like maybe they were at the start of the season. If they keep playing like this they might find themselves moving higher in my rankings as the season moves along. Well done this week Ottawa, you deserve to jump the Flames.
The Habs couldn’t find a win this week after dropping a battle against the Leafs in which they once again took too many penalties and then losing a pair in extra time against Ottawa in large part due to poor play from Carey Price in the second game. Another slow start to the season from Price but I expect him to pick it up as the season goes on like he usually does. Montreal found their scoring again on Tuesday but a disallowed goal stopped them from winning late in regulation before losing in a shootout. Now, Claude Julien has been fired, something that sounds like it has been in the works for a while. So let’s see what the Habs can do with a new coaching staff.
The Jets had a pretty good week with their only loss coming to the red hot Oilers. Pierre-Luc Dubois took a game over this week which is good news for Winnipeg and the team just looks like a solid group. Mark Scheifele is an absolute beast and Ehlers and Connor are awesome too. This is a good hockey team especially upfront, I would not want to play them in the playoffs. Winnipeg stays steady this week in my top three.
Edmonton is on an absolute heater right now. 8-2-0 in their last 10 games and they are scoring a lot. Mike Smith coming back has been just what this team has needed in net as he is off to a great start to his season. Connor and Leon still beasts and they are getting some depth scoring as well. They have been hard to play against the last couple of weeks and even harder in the last seven days. What a run from Edmonton.
Toronto is dealing with some injuries in their forward group and in goal but has still been very good lately. A setback against Calgary on Monday but they will be able to exact some revenge tonight. Matthews is on a ridiculous goal pace and plays so well especially when Joe Thornton is on his line dishing him the puck. The Taveres, Marner, Matthews line once again did nothing for them offensively against Calgary so I’ll be interested to see if they are rolled out together again tonight, or if they will spread out the offence a bit. Toronto is so gross and I expect them to stay at the top of my rankings for a while.
This week saw the most movement of the season and we will see if my rankings remain volatile next Wednesday. Thanks for reading!