HNIC Coast To Coast: All Canada Matchup Set For Round 2

Welcome back to a special edition of HNIC Coast to Coast! With just one game involving a Canadian NHL team this weekend, we’ll take a quick look at how the four of seven teams that joined the playoff fray are doing in their pursuit of the 2024 Stanley Cup.

8:00 p.m. ET HNIC Matchup: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Boston Bruins

In a shocking turn of events, the Toronto Maple Leafs have gone from dead in the water to having momentum against a Boston Bruins team in danger of coughing up a 3-1 series lead for the second year in a row. Toronto forced Game Seven with a tight 2-1 victory that Was just a tenth of a second away from being a shutout for Joseph Woll.

Check out our full Game 7 Maple Leafs vs. Bruins Preview for more info ahead of puck drop!

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Bruins

TOR +120
BOS -140

Canucks, Oilers Prepare For Second Round Series

Arturs Silovs and Pius Suter became instant cult heroes in Vancouver on Friday as the Canucks eked out a 1-0 win against the Nashville Predators in Game 6. The Canucks had a harder time generating offence in this series than expected, a testament to the Predators’ efforts as the underdog. Between Barry Trotz’s focus on hard-working talent for this year, to Andrew Brunette’s systems to make the most of it, to the players’ own buy-in, to Juuse Saros’ spectacular work in goal, Nashville earned a ton of respect around the hockey world for how they kept the Pacific Division winners at bay in a year where most expected them to be well out of the playoff picture to begin with.

Vancouver’s efforts to clamp down off the puck once they realized they didn’t have the juice, especially after superstar netminder Thatcher Demko went down, deserve credit as well. Things are about to get a lot tougher, though, as they now have the high-flying Edmonton Oilers in their way. Edmonton, who had to slow their game down a bit against a trap-heavy Los Angeles Kings team, still managed to dominate on special teams and outscore their opponents 22-13 in a five-game rout.

This series will begin on Tuesday, and some books are already offering full-series futures lines. The -250 to +205 opening line on bet365 implies that 71.4% probability of the Oilers taking the series – surprising when compared to the raw standings, but less so when considering the Oilers’ rebound from a horrible start to the year, and the Canucks’ status with Demko out and Elias Pettersson appearing to be playing hurt – or at least mightily struggling.

Bet on Canucks vs. Oilers (Full Series)

EDM -250
VAN +200

Winnipeg Jets Stalled At Takeoff

Unfortunately, one of the four Canadian teams that qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs has seen a much quicker-than-expected end, as the Winnipeg Jets had their postseason unravel in just five games.

Hopes were high after a 7-6 victory in Game 1 against the Colorado Avalanche, with the game being their second-consecutive seven-goal game against the 2022 Stanley Cup Champions. While the six on the other end were alarming, it was expected that Connor Hellebuyck, the overwhelming favourite to win the Vezina Trophy, would find his way, while Aleksandar Georgiev, Colorado’s starter who had a much less impressive season, would not.

As it turns out, it was Hellebuyck who continued to struggle, allowing five goals in each of the next four games. It was a shocking fall from a netminder who held a 0.921 save percentage and 67% quality start rate over 60 games in the regular season, only to come in at 0.864 with no quality starts in the playoffs. “To not keep four goals off the board is heartbreaking, it’s really heartbreaking,” said Hellebuyck after the loss. “You got to give kudos for what they did but looking back I don’t even know if I saw those pucks go in the net and for me to not put my foot down in a single game is heartbreaking.”

Of course, he wasn’t the only one to blame, with Winnipeg struggling to score to support him after Game 1 and the team conceding over 35 shots per game. After their dominant mid-season stretch where allowing even three goals felt like an off night, it was truly shocking to see this team come apart as they did. Most Canadian experts and insiders favoured the Jets in that series, and even people like myself who thought Colorado would eventually eke it out didn’t expect a steam-rolling.