Can you believe that the last time a Canadian NHL team won the Stanley Cup was 27 years ago? At that time, Montreal Canadiens, led by Patrick Roy, defeated Los Angeles Kings, led by Wayne Gretzky, in five games. However, there is a lot of hope for 2021.
Canadian NHL Teams to Watch in the 2021 NHL Season
Many Canadian NHL teams are putting a lot of effort into their training to give their best in the upcoming 2021 NHL season. Some of the teams you should watch are the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and Montreal Canadiens.
Now, let’s explore the five teams that will likely perform in 2021.
The fact that Ottawa Senators didn’t perform well in the previous season doesn’t mean they won’t do better in the upcoming season. We expect the team’s performance to improve in the 2021 NHL season by making significant changes in free agency.
Ottawa Senators acquired Evgeni Dadonov and Matt Murray and drafted Tim Stutzle. It is one of the most incredible moves that will boost the team’s rankings. You can refer to the latest TSN Press Release for more information on Ottawa Senators’ NHL drafting.
Toronto Maple Leafs
There is a lot of optimism for this team. First, they have signed contracts for some of the best players—the likes of John Tavares, Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Jake Muzzin, among others. Nick Robertson, a known young player for his excellent performance, is also on the team.
Toronto has also succeeded in making sure they have the main pieces in place, usually the most challenging part of building an ongoing roster. They have improved an essential part of the team, the defense, by keeping Sheldon Keefe in charge.
When Toronto was under Mike Babcock, it was ranked 24th position in shots, and it improved to 17th position under Sheldon. It’s evidence that the team performed well.
Although there are reasons for optimism, there is tension to bring some doubts. Muzzin and Riellyare are the only blue-liners available and that people have confidence in. It does not satisfy the amount of pressure this team will be under to win come 2021. This season will mark the fifth year for some players, yet they have won only one game.
Toronto is an exciting team to watch while playing, but there is still a lot to figure out if they want to win this game. Teams like Dallas and Vegas are the ones who eliminated Toronto, and they still have a good defense.
Will Toronto reach their bar before the season starts? If they make an effort and improve in their weak areas, they certainly will win.
It was the best Canadian team in the playoffs, and they almost made it to the final appearance. That is an excellent reason to be optimistic this time around. Their defense is also solid, with talented people like Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson.
They have the right talent like the known players of Brock Boeser and J.T Miller. Most Canadian teams lack good playoff grit and depth, which Vancouver has invested in. Thatcher Demko put in a lot of effort during the playoffs, and he is one player they can lay their hopes on in the upcoming 2021 NHL season.
However, there is some skepticism. The team might lose two very talented players, Chris Tanev and Troy Stecher. Another significant loss that is about to happen is Markstrom, whose contract is about to expire. Besides all that, the team has nice top-six forwards, giving them the hope to be the best in 2021.
They did not finish first in the previous years, which has given them the challenge to train even harder. Their top six is excellent, and their third line put many efforts in the playoffs for two years, continuously. That’s a good thing to hold hopes on.
Their blue- line is also at its best, and they have the young and talented players Rasmus Andersson and Juuso Valimaki to fill in for any gaps. They have a lot of flexibility and can make changes at any time since most of their contracts are tradable.
They have two best players: Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau, who can contribute a lot to their success in the next season.
However, there is some tension because Johnny is likely to go, and the team is not sure if they can get a good enough replacement. They also don’t have a goalie who matches Hellebuyck’s level, something to be worried about. That is the most critical position.
They can wait and see if Cam Talbot will return, or opt to go for Anton Khudobin or Braden Holtby. Although they have a good group of top-six forwards, they still need to build their defense.
This team has multiple young and energetic players who have made it a source of depth. That brings optimism to Montreal. Some of their players who are ready to play their role perfectly are Jonathan Drouin and Brendan Gallagher. The two players and Nick Suzuki are all young, and they led the team in playoff scoring.
Canadiens old players are also another thing to brag about, Shea Weber being among the top in the list. Jake Allen will be available for the 2021 playoffs, something the Canadiens’ fans are excited about. Their defense is good, but if they could add Joel Edmundson, it would add more confidence.
Will Max Domi’s and Tomas Tatar also be there? If so, that would be a considerable advantage to the team. Although they lost after taking part in six games, the Canadiens were an excellent team in that season.
Their only problem is that they don’t have talented forwards, who are very important if they want to win. There are also more traditional playoff ideals. They are not sure if they have enough grit and sandpaper and also a winning experience.
They have a lot of work to do to make it to the top. They need right scoring wingers and do a draft pick wisely. Thanks to Jesper Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki who have proven to be great difference makers. They will push the team to the top.
Although it is a long time since a Canadian NHL team won the cup, it can still happen. Most of the teams mentioned in this guide have the potential to win the Stanly Cup. They only need to train more and polish their skills to make it to the top.