By Ally Harris
Fall has officially arrived; the leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, and a new NHL season is underway. Last year, just one of the Canadian teams made it beyond the regular season, so they are looking to improve on that this year. Here’s a look at how the seven Canadian teams did on opening week.
Toronto – 2-2-0
The Leafs have become known for their hot starts to the season, but the first week for them wasn’t particularly impressive. They dropped their first two games, giving up a last-minute goal to lose 4-3 to Montreal on opening night and then falling 5-2 to Pittsburgh two days later, but things have gotten a bit better since then. They beat the New York Rangers 6-3 on Sunday and then picked up a big 3-2 win in overtime over Colorado on Tuesday. They’re back at it tonight at home to Detroit.
Montreal – 4-1-0
Other than a slight hiccup against the Lightning on Monday, the only Canadian team to make the playoffs last season have had a great start to this campaign. They dropped their rivals Toronto 4-3 on opening night, then beat Washington 2-1 the following night. They were back in action again just two days later, and were able to hand Philadelphia a 4-3 loss. Their busy start to the season caught up with them on Monday when they lost 7-1 to Tampa Bay, but in last night’s home opener they beat Boston 6-4. They have tonight off before facing Colorado tomorrow night.
Ottawa – 3-1-0
The Senators have a new captain this year in Erik Karlsson, and will be welcoming the brand new season. Things have gone well so far in the nation’s capital, despite playing their first three games on the road. They opened the season in Nashville, giving up three third period goals for a 3-2 loss, but then earned a 3-2 win over Tampa on Saturday and a 1-0 win over Florida in front of a record-low crowd on Monday. They finally came home last night to play Colorado, and won 5-3. They play again on Saturday against Columbus.
Winnipeg – 1-2-0
The Jets also began their season on the road, with mixed results. They had a big 6-2 win over Arizona to start the season, but were blanked 3-0 by San Jose a couple of days later. They dropped another contest the following night against the defending Stanley Cup champions, falling 3-1 to Los Angeles. They play their home opener tonight against Nashville.
Edmonton – 0-3-1
It’s only been four games and things are already looking bleak again for the Oilers. The team has set up shop at the bottom of the league over the past few seasons, and experts are once again debating how to fix the problem in Edmonton. They haven’t won a game yet this season, picking up just one point in the four games they’ve played. They started against their rivals Calgary, falling 5-2, then lost 5-4 to Vancouver in a shootout two days later. They were blown out 6-1 by LA on Tuesday and then lost 7-4 to Arizona the following night. They face the Canucks again tonight.
Calgary – 3-2-0
The Flames have had a busy start to the season, but given their woes last season, it hasn’t been too bad. They dropped their opening night contest 4-2 to the Canucks, but beat the Oilers 5-2 the following night. They fell 4-1 to St. Louis on Saturday, but had back-to-back wins by beating Nashville 3-2 on Tuesday and Chicago 2-1 on Wednesday. They’re currently on a six-game road trip and will play game five of that trip tonight in Columbus.
Vancouver – 2-0-0
The Canucks have had a quiet start to the season, playing just two games over the first nine days. However, they did win those two games against Canadian rivals, beating Calgary 4-2 on opening night and then dropping the Oilers 5-4 on Saturday in a shootout. They face the Oilers again tonight in Edmonton.