Welcome back to HNIC Coast To Coast! Every week, Canada Sports Betting goes through the seven Canadian National Hockey League teams and sees where they stand in the weekend’s hockey schedule. This week, every Canadian team will take the ice across eight games on Saturday and Sunday. Some will even play on both days! Keep scrolling to learn a bit more about the games at hand.
7:00 p.m. ET HNIC Matchup: Montreal Canadiens @ Buffalo Sabres
Sometimes, while you have hope for a noble fighter to pull off an upset, you have to understand when it doesn’t work out as hoped. I like to think that this was the reaction of most of the NHL when the Habs hosted the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night, hoping to be the first team to give them a road defeat. Unfortunately, that’s a tall task to put on a .500 team, and the Kings made that very clear to Montreal in the form of a dominant 4-0 win, sending them back under the line after just getting above it earlier this week.
Montreal’s recent situation hasn’t been horrible, with all things considered, as the still-building team has chained together a 4-3-1 record in their last eight. There’s a very real opportunity here for them to get back to even footing on Saturday as well, as the Buffalo Sabres, who entered the fall finally looking like a team that can break through, have once again failed to meet that expectation. Buffalo did shock many with a 3-1 win over the Bruins on Thursday, but still sits at 11-14-2 and the win is their lone haul of standings points in the past five games.
In these two teams’ last game against each other on October 23rd, the Habs skated away with a 3-1 win, setting the tone with a Justin Barron icebreaker and pulling away with third-period tallies from Brendan Gallagher and Tanner Pearson.
Bet on Canadiens vs. Sabres
10:00 p.m. ET HNIC Headliner: Carolina Hurricanes @ Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks’ late-fall see-saw hopes to find a little bit of balance on Saturday night. It’s now been ten games since the Canucks have had consecutive, well, any outcomes, alternating between wins and losses in every game since November 18th. Even the process of how they’ve gotten to the results has greatly differed.
On Tuesday, for example, they lost a 6-5 barn burner to the New Jersey Devils where they came back from being down 4-1 and 5-2, only to give up the game-winner with 34 seconds remaining. On Thursday, they took on the Minnesota Wild and got their lunch absolutely fed to them for most of the first period, only to grab a Nils Hoglander tally with two minutes remaining in the opening frame and then fully put on the clamps from there. Yes, a combined total of 27 shots in the final 40 minutes doesn’t make for the most exciting hockey, but they built up a game plan, stuck to it, and got what they needed, snapping a five-game winning streak for the Wild.
They take on a typically tougher opponent in the Carolina Hurricanes, who have been among the league’s best teams in recent years. So far, their season hasn’t gone quite to plan, with a disappointing 0.558 record and shocking -2 goal difference, but their .873 (!!!) goaltending has not done them any favours in that regard. There could be an opportunity for a Point Night for the Canucks’ stars here, but they need to be careful to not let it end like the New Jersey game.
Bet on Hurricanes vs. Canucks
Other Canadian NHL Games On Saturday
There are four other games in Canadian NHL action on Saturday:
New Jersey Devils @ Calgary Flames, 4:00 p.m. ET – No one tell MacKenzie Weegar that he’s supposed to be the Flames’ defence-first stalwart, because the 29-year-old might have the hottest stick in Calgary right now. With five points and 18 shots in his last five games and eight points and 29 shots in his last ten, the blueliner is doing a little bit of everything. The Flames, who snapped a two-game losing skid with a come-from-behind win over the Hurricanes, look to continue their upset tour against another high-end Eastern Conference team that’s struggling to keep pucks out of the net.
Ottawa Senators @ Detroit Red Wings, 7:00 p.m. ET – Senators have a surprisingly tough opponent in the Red Wings this weekend, with Detroit finally starting to string together a winning pace. While they had a shocking collapse against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, they’ve gone 9-4-3 in their last sixteen. Ottawa is licking its wounds after a Friday game against the Maple Leafs ended in defeat despite controlling the ice for much of it. It’s important for the Sens that they don’t let the loss spoil an otherwise good week, which included a shutout against Seattle last Saturday and a 6-2 win over the red-hot Rangers on Tuesday.
Nashville Predators @ Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:00 p.m. ET – The Maple Leafs get to host some familiar friends in Ryan O’Reilly and Luke Schenn for the first time since the two left for the Predators in free agency last year. We’ll be going over this one in more detail in it’s own article on Saturday morning.
|New Jersey Devils
|Detroit Red Wings
|Toronto Maple Leafs
Sunday Canadian NHL Action
There are three games in Canadian NHL action on Sunday:
New Jersey Devils @ Edmonton Oilers, 7:00 p.m. ET – The Oilers have been the benefactors of a rest mismatch once this week, and will again on Sunday as they take on the Devils with a day off, while New Jersey comes in off the second half of a back-to-back. The momentum Edmonton carries in will likely depend on how their game against Minnesota goes, but if there’s an overwhelming plus to begin with, it’s that Connor McDavid is very much back, with 22 points in his last ten and 16 in his last five.
Nashville Predators @ Montreal Canadiens, 7:00 p.m. ET – Except a sloggy affair here with two bottom-half teams playing a back-to-back with travel involved. This might be one where monitoring the total goals under ahead of puck drop makes some sense…
Winnipeg Jets @ Anaheim Ducks, 8:00 p.m. ET – It’s been a bit disappointing to see the Ducks shift in recent weeks from an early-season feel-good story to back to their losing ways from last year. Since November 15th, the team has gone a crushing 1-9-0, with the one win coming in a shootout. Frank Vatrano has continued to have the bet season of his career, but nothing surrounding him has matched. On the plus side, this gives the Jets a big advantage going into to Sunday. Winnipeg took had a rough final few games in November, but have started off the month with victories against Chicago, Carolina, and Colorado, the last of which came yesterday.