HNIC Coast To Coast: Battle of Alberta Features Multiple Calgary Trade Chips

Welcome back to HNIC Coast To Coast, your weekly look at the goings-on for every Canadian National Hockey League team in weekend action. This week, all seven teams play once, with six hitting the ice on Saturday and one on Sunday. Let’s dive straight into the action, shall we?

7:00 p.m. ET HNIC Matchup: Vegas Golden Knights @ Ottawa Senators

Don’t look now, but the Senators might be somewhat okay? Coming into this game, Ottawa has posted a 9-3-3 record in their last 15 games – likely too little too late for hopes of getting back into this year’s playoff picture, but still offering just enough hope to those who were shocked by just how bad the first half of this season was compared to preseason expectations. While their schedule has been somewhat light, they’ve snagged wins from the likes of Toronto, Tampa Bay, and Detroit along the streak, and snuck in points in overtime losses against Boston, Winnipeg, and Florida. On Thursday, Josh Norris put Ottawa ahead twice – once in the first to get the party started, and once in the second to give them the padding they needed, as Thomas Chabot and Shane Pinto added insurance en route to a win over Dallas.

Saturday gives them a new opponent in the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights, who have been in a rut over the past couple weeks, losing four of their last five to Minnesota, Carolina, Nashville, and Toronto. Last night’s loss to the Maple Leafs was a particularly tough one, which saw Adin Hill get chased out of the net before the end of the first period as Toronto scored four goals in six minutes and never really looked back. Injuries certainly haven’t helped, including a former Senator in their captain Mark Stone, who is week-to-week with a lacerated spleen and will miss this homecoming.

Bet on Golden Knights vs. Senators

VGK -105
OTT -115

10:00 p.m. ET HNIC Headliner: Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers

The late-night action in Canada is entirely dominated by perhaps its flagship Western Conference rivalry, the Battle of Alberta. Whenever the Oilers and Flames face off against each other, you can expect a competitive and often feisty night. So far, this season series has belonged to Edmonton, with a 5-2 win in the Heritage Classic while the teams were both at an early-season low, and a 3-1 win a month ago amidst the Oilers’ 16-game winning streak. In that one, Ryan McLeod struck first, MacKenzie Weegar responded in the second, but Sam Gagner’s early third-period tally ended up the eventual game-winner.

For me, the interesting end of this game is Calgary, who are moving further towards the full-out rebuild button, with many expecting that Noah Hanifin and Jacob Markstrom will be the next ones to go. Markstorm, in particular, is in the midst of a renaissance season, posting a .913 SV% on the year and an even better .926 SV% since New Year’s. Hanifin, a high-pedigree two-way defenceman, has produced at one of the highest clips of his career with 30 points through 56 games. A big game on this stage from either player or any other marketable Calgary players could go a long way in anchoring a price ahead of the March 8th trade deadline.

Bet on Flames vs. Oilers

CGY +165
EDM -200

Other Canadian NHL Games On Saturday

There are three other games in Canadian NHL action on Saturday:

Montreal Canadiens @ New Jersey Devils, 2:00 p.m. ET – One of my favourite Coast to Coast micro-storylines, the battle of the Canadiens vs. veering away from .500 in either direction, was finally snapped last Saturday. A close 4-3 loss to the Capitals put them three games under for the first time this season, and two more defeats to Buffalo and Pittsburgh now have them five under. They’ll enter their third game in four nights against the Devils on Saturday afternoon, as New Jersey looks to bounce back from two tough losses to Washington and the Rangers.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Colorado Avalanche, 7:00 p.m. ET – The Maple Leafs are currently the hottest they’ve been all season, winning their sixth in a row in the previously-mentioned rout of the Golden Knights. Auston Matthews continued his historic run, scoring his 52nd goal of the year in a 7-3 showing that featured, perhaps more importantly, a lot of depth scoring. They’ll be facing a Colorado team that is struggling a bit, but has too much star power to ease up on. We’ll have a full preview of this game on Saturday morning, so check back with us then!

Boston Bruins @ Vancouver Canucks, 7:00 p.m. ET – One of the league’s most infrequently played rivalries, the bad blood between these two teams has never really gone away since their Stanley Cup Final matchup 13 years ago and games are almost always a treat. The last game was all Boston, with two first-period shorthanded goals setting the tone en route to a 4-0 victory.

Away TeamHome TeamTime (ET)
Montreal Canadiens+195-240New Jersey Devils2:00 PM
Toronto Maple Leafs+100-120Colorado Avalanche7:00 PM
Vegas Golden Knights-105-115Ottawa Senators7:00 PM
Boston Bruins-110-110Vancouver Canucks7:00 PM
Calgary Flames+165-200Edmonton Oilers10:00 PM
All Odds Courtesy of bet365 Sportsbook Ontario

Sunday Canadian NHL Action

There is just one game in Canadian NHL action on Sunday:

Arizona Coyotes @ Winnipeg Jets, 6:00 p.m. ET – It’s a battle of small barns as the Jets hope to be the next team to feast on the slumping Coyotes. A 6-3 loss to the Maple Leafs on Wednesday means that Arizona will be entering their former city as losers of 11 consecutive games, the longest active losing streak in the league. Winnipeg is starting to catch another groove after a brief five-game slump, winning four of their last five and having an opportunity to make it five of six on Friday against Chicago.

Away TeamHome TeamTime (ET)
Arizona CoyotesTBDTBDWinnipeg Jets7:00 PM
All Odds Courtesy of bet365 Sportsbook Ontario