The hockey season has officially begun, and all anyone can say is, “Game On!” Already teams have surprised odds makers and fans alike! The underdogs came out with a bang, but the favourites haven’t slacked off either. It’s too early to even contemplate who may win the Stanley Cup, but it’s the perfect time to talk all about the Canadian rivalries. Whether it’s the West Coast Meltdown or the East Coast smack down, these are games that make Canadians stand up and take notice!
Over on the West Coast, the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames have been duelling over Alberta fans for years. So far this season, Edmonton is shaping up to be the team to beat, with their astounding defence and even greater offence. Calgary runs the risk of being left behind as Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Edmonton shows. However, they have done this before, keeping fans on the edge of their seats with their propensity for cutting it close. Vancouver is also shaping up to be a fairly decent team, proving it with a 3-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings, although their weakness – defence — is already apparent.
Over on the East Coast, two main rivals have once again taken centre stage and already made their debut. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens rivalry is the oldest and most well known opposition in the National Hockey League (NHL). These two teams have been battling it out since the conception of the NHL, and fans of both teams are eager to go at it again. This Saturday is their opener at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. I’ll bring you that score next week. However, the Leafs-Senators rivalry is also a big one, although much younger and less abrasive. The Leafs took on the Sens on Wednesday, and suffered a 3-1 loss, but redeemed themselves the following night, shattering the Sens with a 6-0 win. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the season will pan out for those two.
The rest of the teams in the NHL have shown the same promise as last year, with the biggest surprise of all being the Pittsburgh Penguins apparent recovery after an embarrassing last season. Now that the regular season has started, I will list the top eight teams in each conference at the end of the article once a month. Remember, “Hockey Time” is your space for everything HOCKEY! See you next week when we will discuss the difference between veteran and rookie teams, and which teams have the advantage when it comes to game time!