Next Years Best Canadian Team?

The six Canadian teams are all looking fairly well, and we may see the first time in a while that all six make the playoffs. Most people see Edmonton as the best team next year, but will they really be?These are the top Canadian teams (in points) over the last 62 years

2004: Toronto Maple Leafs

2003: Ottawa Senators

2002: Toronto Maple Leafs

2001: Ottawa Senators

2000: Toronto Maple Leafs

1999: Ottawa Senators

1998: Montreal Canadiens

1997: Edmonton Oilers

1996: Montreal Canadiens

1995: Quebec Nordiques

1994: Toronto Maple Leafs

1993: Quebec Nordiques

1992: Vancouver Canucks

1991: Calgary Flames

1990: Calgary Flames

1989: Calgary Flames

1988: Calgary Flames

1987: Edmonton Oilers

1986: Edmonton Oilers

1985: Edmonton Oilers

1984: Edmonton Oilers

1983: Edmonton Oilers

1982: Edmonton Oilers

1981: Montreal Canadiens

1980: Toronto Maple Leafs

1979: Montreal Canadiens

1978: Montreal Canadiens

1977: Montreal Canadiens

1976: Montreal Canadiens

1975: Montreal Canadiens

1974: Montreal Canadiens

1973: Montreal Canadiens

1972: Montreal Canadiens

1971: Montreal Canadiens

1970: Montreal Canadiens

1969: Montreal Canadiens

1968: Montreal Canadiens

1967: Montreal Canadiens

1966: Montreal Canadiens

1965: Montreal Canadiens

1964: Montreal Canadiens

1963: Toronto Maple Leafs

1962: Montreal Canadiens

1961: Montreal Canadiens

1960: Montreal Canadiens

1959: Montreal Canadiens

1958: Montreal Canadiens

1957: Montreal Canadiens

1956: Montreal Canadiens

1955: Montreal Canadiens

1954: Montreal Canadiens

1953: Montreal Canadiens

1952: Montreal Canadiens

1951: Toronto Maple Leafs

1950: Montreal Canadiens

1949: Montreal Canadiens

1948: Toronto Maple Leafs

1947: Montreal Canadiens

1946: Montreal Canadiens

1945: Montreal Canadiens

1944: Montreal Canadiens

1943: Toronto Maple Leafs

As you can see, history heavily favours the Montreal Canadiens, although, the six Canadian teams weren’t all around till 1993, so what are the stats since that season?

Toronto Maple Leafs: 4

Ottawa Senators: 3

Montreal Canadiens: 2

Quebec Nordiques: 2

Edmonton Oilers: 1

Calgary Flames: 0

Vancouver Canucks: 0

Winnipeg Jets: 0

I added in Quebec and Winnipeg for fun, though if you counted the Avalanche and Coyotes, the Avalanche would be up there a head of Toronto.

So what does each team look like?

Ottawa Senators:

The Sens have been a pretty dominant team over the last few years. I doubt they’ll win the cup any time soon. They’re holes are, they have no centremen past Spezza, a goalie who’s played 15 games in the last 3 years, and the worst captain in the game. There defence is also the worst of any Canadian team for hooking.

Point Projection: 100-105 pts

Edmonton Oilers:

The Oilers were really close to making the playoffs last year, and they got Peca and Pronger, but those two don’t make a team, and they gave up two of their key players in Mike York and Eric Brewer to get them. Either way, Pronger and Peca are huge boons to this team. If they can get Messier, that’s another 15 goals Their biggest hole is in net. Conklin is ok, and Markannen is a great backup, but Conklin isn’t a top goalie, especially considering the other Canadian teams have Belfour, Theodore, Hasek, Kipprusoff, and Cloutier.

Point Projection: 95-100

Calgary Flames:

The Flames had a great run last year, and have improved their team since then, though they lost Niemenen, Conroy, and Gelinas, they added better players who fill those rolls, in Darren McCarty, Daymond Langkow, and Tony Amonte. Though Amonte’s goal production is going down a bit, he’ll be terriffic on a line with Jarome Iginla. The Flames biggest hole is on defense. Refehr is their best defenceman, which says alot about how good their goalie really was last year. The thing is, will the Flames pull an Anaheim? Will Kipprusoff become Giguere? I don’t think so. Kipprusoff had a great World Cup of hockey.

Point Projection: 90-95 points

Montreal Canadiens:

The Habs are in great shape. They got Kovey back, and signed Dandenault. Now they gotta re-sign Jose Theodore and I believe Saku Koivu is an RFA too. If they can land Lecavalier they’ll have a real shot at the cup this year. I have an issue with some of the diving they’ve been doing, alot of people get mad at me and say it was one dive, with Mike Ribeiro, but either they dive alot, or are really weak, cuz even though they won, they were just shoved around by the Bruins.

Point Projection: 100-105

Vancouver Canucks:

The teams are more even this year, yet the Canucks were a top team last year, and haven’t lost any key players, which means the Canucks are going to be very dominant this year. Naslund, Bertuzzi, and Morrison will be dynamite in the new wide open NHL. I could see them each hitting the 100 point plateau. Though Morrison won’t if something happens to keep him off the Bertuzzi and Naslund line. The real issue here is will Bertuzzi get reinstated? I say yes, Bettman was mad that he got charged cuz he felt that he had given out a good enough punishment.

Point Projection: 105-110

Toronto Maple Leafs:

This is hard to write, because you can’t say anything good about them without looking like another idiot Leaf fan, which really makes things frusturating on this site. I think the Leafs team for next year is under rated. They have as many star forwards as the Flyers. (Allison, O’neill, Sundin, vs Forsberg, Gagne, Primeau.) I don’t count Knuble as a Star forward for one good season, and one decent season, and if you do, then you can count Lindros for the Leafs. I don’t see defense as an issue, it’s pretty much the same as the defense from last year that scored the most points from a defense core in the NHL. Leetch isn’t a huge loss, because he only played 15 games, and we had the leagues most offensive defense before he left. Besides that, the likelihood is, we lose Martchment a non-offensive defenseman, for Carlo Coliacovo, who is very offensive minded, and similar to Tomas Kaberle, except a little stronger, maybe like Brian Leetch? Belfour is the biggest hole. He’s one of the best in the league when healthy, but rarely healthy. Though it was a question mark last year, and we got by it, so why not now? Telqvist is a good enough backup.

Point Projection: 100-105

So what does that round out too?

1. Vancouver Canucks

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

3. Ottawa Senators

4. Montreal Canadiens

5. Edmonton Oilers

6. Calgary Flames

Who has the best chance at a cup? I don’t think any of them really have much of a chance, as except the Leafs, they’ve all been slow in the playoffs. The Flames don’t count cuz they’ve only even made it once. But if I had to give it to anyone, it’s Vancouver or Montreal.

-L