It has been 26 years since a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup. Seven NHL teams call Canada home. Three of those teams play in the Pacific Division. As we head into the All-Star break, we find our three Pacific Division teams sitting in the top three spots. The Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and Calgary Flames sit 1-3 in the standings. We have seen a shift in the standings the last couple of weeks. With the All-Star break just around the corner, let us see how our Canadian teams have found success.
The Vancouver Canucks have not made the postseason since the 2014-2015 season. The year before was the last time the Canucks won a division championship. Vancouver begins the week with 58 points. They have won two in a row and hold a record of 7-3-0 in their last 10 matchups. The Canucks are led in all three major categories by Elias Pettersson. Pettersson has 21 goals and 30 assists on the season. Vancouver defeated the San Jose Sharks over the weekend by a final score of 4-1. The Canucks will not play again until January 27th. Vancouver hopes the long layoff does not affect their hot pace of play. The Canucks will hope the second half of the season is just as successful as the first.
The Edmonton Oilers have missed the postseason the last two seasons. Edmonton has not hoisted a division championship since 1991-1992. Edmonton starts this week with 57 points. The Oilers have also won two in a row. They also have seen success in their last 10 games registering a 6-3-1 record. The offensive leader for Edmonton is Connor McDavid. McDavid has scored 27 goals and contributed 49 assists. The Oilers defeated the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday by a final score of 7-3. Edmonton, like Vancouver, will not play until the week of January 27th. The Battle for Alberta gets the second half of the season started as the Oilers host the rival Calgary Flames. The game will take place on Wednesday January 29th. Edmonton looks to start part two of the year by showing the community they are the number one team in the province of Alberta, Canada.
The Calgary Flames have found the most success in recent years. Just last year, Calgary won the Pacific Division. The Flames have also advanced to the postseason in three of the last five years. The Flames enter this week with 57 points as well. Calgary is coming off a loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. The Senators got the better of the Flames winning the game 5-2. Despite the loss, Calgary has gone 6-4-0 in their last 10 games. Unlike their Canadian counterparts, the Flames have different statistical leaders. Elias Lindholm is the goal leader with 20 while Johnny Gaudreau leads the team in assists with 25. Before the Flames travel 186 miles north, Calgary will host the defending Stanley Cup Champions on Tuesday, January 28th. The St. Louis Blues come to the Scotiabank Saddledome to kick off the second half of the year. Calgary aspires to defend home ice and take down the defending champions. As a result, the Flames are poised to add to their playoff appearances before April rolls around.
With around two months left in the NHL season, the Pacific Division is up for grabs. Any of our Canadian teams mentioned can clinch the division title before April. With the country of Canada starving for a Stanley Cup, the Pacific Division hopes to maximize the possibility of the Cup returning home. The Canucks are the most recent Canadian team to make the Stanley Cup Finals. In 2011, the Boston Bruins defeated Vancouver in seven games. The Oilers and Flames were also defeated in seven games earlier in the 2000s. The Flames lost in the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning, while the Oilers lost in 2006 to the Carolina Hurricanes. These three teams hope to be the one to bring the Stanley Cup home. Will they succeed? Tune in throughout the season to see where our Western Canadian teams wind up once the postseason arrives.
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