Bye Weeks The Focus Canadian NHL Teams Right Now
Alberta Teams Off Until Saturday
The two teams from Alberta are off for the bulk of this week and it probably couldn't have come at a worse time if you're a member of the Calgary Flames. Calgary has won seven straight games entering their week of rest, and with the last three victories each coming by at least two goals, the Flames were playing some of the best hockey. Breaking up a dominant run like that always is a concern, and when Calgary does return to action on Saturday January 20th - home game vs Winnipeg - I'd be a little cautious laying heavy chalk with them.
In the Edmonton Oilers case, a break at any point of this up-and-down campaign would have been welcomed as Edmonton tries to figure out what they can do to consistently win more games. They made a goalie trade a few weeks back in hopes of improving their depth there, but this is still a team that should be much higher up in the standings then they currently are and need to make an extended playoff push when they come back. It's possible that this time away from each other and the rink will be the refresh everyone needs, as the Oilers are going to be a team I believe will be undervalued during the next few weeks and should be played on quite often.
Vancouver Needs To Unload Some Assets And Fully Rebuild
While the Canucks were one of the league's biggest surprises the first two months of the year, a 4-13 SU run from early December until this week has brought them back down to earth and near the basement of the Western Conference. That's a spot everyone thought they'd be at this year, and now that the euphoria of that early season run is gone, it's time for the Canucks to fully commit to rebuilding. They began their Bye Week on Monday as well, and with many more losses on the horizon, they are a squad you should only look to fade the rest of the way unless there is a very favourable spot that lines up well for Vancouver.
Toronto Returns From Bye Week Looking For W's
The Maple Leafs are concluding their Bye Week on Monday as they hope to get back on the ice and start piling up some victories. Toronto currently sits in 6th in the Eastern Conference Standings, but are only three points out of 3rd and would love to have home ice for at least one round of the playoffs. They are a young team that appeared as though the dog days of the season were starting to get to them - 2-5 SU last seven - but they've got a very winnable stretch of games coming up going into the All-Star Break, beginning with a home game vs St Louis as -140 favourites. It would be the Leafs or nothing that I'd play on that game.
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