If a time traveler showed up in my office today and told me by the end of this wild 2021 season, every single head coach on a Canadian NHL team would be different than the bench bosses who started the year, I’d believe it.
This week perfectly encapsulated what it means to be playing hockey in the Great White North during a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Only two teams finished their seven day slate of games with more wins than losses, top teams were demolished by inferior lineups and yet another coach met his demise: Calgary’s Geoff Ward.
The only aspect of this season that’s made sense is the fact that none of it makes any. Just look at the Canucks, a team that won only two games in all of February. This week, Vancouver split a two game set with the second place Jets, lost Elias Pettersson to a mysterious upper body issue, watched general manager Jim Benning pour gasoline on a public relations fire, then swept two games at home against the juggernaut Maple Leafs.
This division is such a ridiculous mess that one good week is enough to put a team back into the postseason conversation, and it’s getting time for the division’s GMs to recognize it. The difference between second and last is a lot closer than people realize, and it’s not out of the question that a smart team could sell off their biggest trade deadline assets ahead of time and still wind up with a postseason berth.
We may have officially passed the halfway point for some of these teams, but the ridiculousness is only just beginning. And I say, let chaos reign.
1) Toronto Maple Leafs
Our whole team got outplayed by a Canucks lineup missing Elias Pettersson, but we’re gonna blame it all on Nylander’s puck over glass penalty anyway.
2) Winnipeg Jets ⬆️ 3
If a .500 record and a 7-1 demolition is enough to get us into second place, something is VERY wrong here.
3) Montreal Canadiens ⬆️ 6
We think we’ve fixed Carey Price? God do we hope we’ve fixed Carey Price.
4) Vancouver Canucks ⬆️ 7
Two striking wins against Toronto with a disastrous general manager press conference in between? What can we say, we like to take it day by day.
5) Edmonton Oilers ⬇️ 2
So you’re saying historically streaky goalies can go cold? Why didn’t you tell us that sooner?!
6) Ottawa Senators ⬇️ 4
*singing* “Woah-oh here we come, we’re the Coaaach Killahs!”
7) Calgary Flames ⬇️ 5
First the Blasty jerseys come back, now Darryl Sutter? Any chance 2003 Jarome Iginla is available too?
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