We are just one month into the NHL season and already the Canadian teams are making pretty good figure so far. As of this morning, every Canadian team are playing for .500 or better except for one team, the Ottawa Senators. How can this be possible? There are a couple of teams who are definitively surprising this season and the two biggest surprise, in my opinion, are the Vancouver Canucks and the Montreal Canadiens. We all knew that the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets would be among the NHL top teams and that the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers were having a decent chance of competing for a playoff spot, but no one expected Vancouver and Montreal to be this good. Let's have a quick look at these two teams.
The Canadiens have come out with a fast start so far and this start is nothing compared to the one they had last year. The Habs are 7-4-2 after 13 games this season versus a 4-8-1 record last season. The addition of players like Max Domi who already have 13 points in 13 games along with 7 goals (he scored 9 goals in 82 games last season!) and Tomas Tatar with 11 points has completely changed the look for this team so far. Everybody is contributing to the cause of the team and the chemistry in the locker room seemed much better. The Canadiens are among the NHL best surprises so far and also one of the most exciting teams of the league. They are so fast and creating so many turnovers and scoring chances. Will this continue? No one really has the answer right now, but if this team continue to have fun playing with each other, nothing is impossible for the Habs.
The Vancouver Canucks are the biggest surprise to me so far after the first month of the season. Nobody was expecting to see them in 4th place in the very competitive Western Conference with a 9-6-0 record. It is way too easy to attribute all the success of the Canucks to only one player in particular but we need to talk about the rookie sensation Elias Pettersson who his absolutely on fire. His 15 points in only 9 games played put him among the best rookies in the NHL and he already making a strong case for the Calder Trophy after just a month. Pettersson is not the only young players who play well on his team, however. Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser are also enjoying very good start with both 11 points each. The Cancuks are a very young team and right now, the kids are the ones who carry this team. We know that this probably won't last for the entire season, but the future is definitively bright in Vancouver and the fans can be excited about how good this team could become in a couple of years.
It will be very interesting to see what the standings will look like at the end of November and if the Canadian teams will be on the top once again. This is more likely that some teams like the Habs and Canucks fall down a little bit but at least these two teams are fun to watch this season. What do you think? Can the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks hold on and make the playoffs?