Canadian teams reunited: « It’s gonna be crazy »


 » It’s going to be awesome! « 

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice responded to that sentence when he spoke of the possibility that the seven Canadian teams would end up in the same section this season.

“It’s going to be crazy because of the Canadian media, all the websites, all the interest in Canadian teams. Maurice had mentioned earlier in December. “It’s good for the Canadian teams because it’s going to be old school, we’ll be in our own little world. The atmosphere that will reign, it will be great. « 

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The NHL and the NHL Players Association announced on Sunday an agreement to host a 56-game season that begins on January 13. The start of the season had to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets will form the North Section. They will play a calendar of 56 games, all intrasection, and the teams will face each other between nine and ten times.

The top four clubs will advance to the playoffs.

“With seven teams in the section, there are rivalries that will be created, maybe some that we would not have anticipated. Canadian amateurs will have the opportunity to get to know the teams a lot more. « 

Maurice is not the only one who is happy to see the creation of the North section. The Oilers forward Alex Chiasson, who has also played for the Senators and Flames, told TSN he is looking forward to playing in this new reality.

“I can’t wait to see that, just the Canadian teams going against each other,” he said. “We don’t know if it’s going to happen again one day, so we better take advantage of it. « 

In a recent episode of the NHL @TheRink podcast, Canadiens head coach Claude Julien pointed out that the fight for one of the four playoff spots in the North section is going to be very intense.

“As a Canadian, I’m even more feverish because it’s something different, it’s not going to last long, maybe just a year,” recalled Julien. “What I look forward to the most, as a coach who lives in the present moment, is how competitive it will be, since most of the teams, with a few exceptions, are competitive and are clubs of series. « 

Due to the level of competitiveness, and the fact that the teams will see each other much more frequently, we can expect some very emotional games, said the Flames captain. Mark Giordano at Sportsnet.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun for the fans as a year. Playing against each other as often will create rivalry and hatred towards the other team. When you watch the NFL, they play 16 games and it looks like a playoff game every week. With 56 games, there will be no room for maneuver.

“In a normal season, you can lose six or seven games in a row and pick yourself up, but that won’t be possible this year. I think that will force the teams to always be at their best. It’s going to be extremely competitive. « 

Chiasson expects every game to be a challenge.

“It will be a very tough section. I know people say the Senators are rebuilding, but they’ve added things. There will be no easy match. « 

For Maurice, seeing some of the best NHL players compete on a daily basis in an all-Canadian section will make the season even more special.

“There are stars in these teams,” he said. It starts with Elias Pettersson, then there is Connor mcdavid, Sean Monahan and Mark Scheifele. Look at all the players in Toronto, Ottawa has a ton of youngsters, then all the changes in Montreal, which ends up with a big defense and young people on the center line. There isn’t a team in Canada that doesn’t have a real star. It was like that when I was a kid. It’s going to be awesome. « 



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