Canadian NHL Teams Back On Ice After Christmas Break
Ottawa Needs To Come Out Of Break On Fire
There has been no Canadian NHL team that exemplifies being in prolonged slumps this year then the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa is back on the ice Wednesday with a game in Boston, but this is a team that has just three wins since returning from Sweden in mid-November. The Sens are 3-15 SU in that span, as the end of 2017 quickly became a disaster for this team. If they want any hope of getting back to the playoffs this year, a long run of solid play has to start on Wednesday in Boston. It is the first time these two have met since Ottawa won last year's playoff series in six games between the two.
But as much as Ottawa players (and fans) would love to see this team turn their season around, I just don't believe it's in the cards for them this year. Ottawa's biggest problem stems from their inability to put the puck in the net as they've been shutout four times in their last 10 games alone. A lack of offensive production and playmakers is a quick way to enter the NHL draft lottery and that's likely where the Sens end up.
Edmonton Can't Let The Break Kill Their Momentum
The Oilers were a team that was in a similar position to that of Ottawa back in late-November and early Decemeber. Edmonton had largely underperformed all year as they entered the season as one of the favorites to win it all this season and did not even look like a playoff team for most of the first two months. But they went into the break on a four-game winning streak and have gone 7-3 SU in their last 10, as it appears everyone in that locker room knew it was about time they make their playoff push because they had left themselves very little room for error by that point.
Edmonton went into the break with a win over a Canadian rival (4-1 vs Montreal), and come out of the break facing another one as they are in Winnipeg on Wednesday night. The Jets entered the break with the most points in the standings of any Canadian team in the NHL, although things haven't gone well for them of late with a 3-7 SU record in their last 10 games. WIth Edmonton likely getting some plus-money odds attached to their name for this game, it's the Oilers ML or nothing that I'd look to here as a hockey bettor.
Toronto Rings In New Year On West Coast
The Toronto Maple Leafs aren't back in action until Thursday with their game in Arizona, and you know the hometown star Auston Matthews will be looking to have a big game that day. But it's the Leafs game on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas that has Toronto fans buzzing everywhere as that might be one game where Vegas's absurd home-ice advantage will be minimized as there should be plenty of Leaf fans in the building. Toronto can't get cuaght looking ahead though as they've still got to take care of business in Arizona and Colorado before they get to that showdown with the Golden Knights as the calendar flips to 2018.
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