SIMMONS: Hello all of the Canadian division and playoff intensity from start to finish; see you later, Netflix

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The story is changing now. Fifty years later, there are seven Canadian teams and not much to outrun the nation’s top six as Ottawa rebuilds and retools and soon won’t be far behind.

When last season ended early, Edmonton had 83 points, Toronto 81, Winnipeg 80. Calgary and Vancouver were a point or two under the Jets, but ahead of them in percentage points.

Essentially, that means there is little to choose from among Canada’s top five teams, and if the Habs’ improvement is as obvious as it sounds, four teams are going to make the playoffs, two teams that should make the playoffs. playoffs will not.

“Who knows what’s going to happen in Canada?” said Ray Ferraro, the game’s senior hockey analyst. “You can’t predict it. ”

Well, you can, but not with precision, or with the conviction to be exact.

Who is the best goalie in Canada? It’s somewhere between Connor Hellebuyck, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, and Carey Price, a contender forever.

Not far behind them is Jacob Markstrom, who left Vancouver to sign with Calgary. Three at a level, then it’s a toss. Is Freddie Andersen the next best? How will Matt Murray fit into his first season in Ottawa? What is the kid, Thatcher Demko, doing in Vancouver and if he doesn’t succeed, can Braden Holtby get back into shape with the Canucks?

Nothing definitive here. Just a full meal to eat.

Who is the best coach in Canada?

I immediately default to Claude Julien, who won a Stanley Cup in Boston before leaving for Montreal. But one impressive aspect of Julien and Paul Maurice in Winnipeg: they have changed over the years. They have grown. They have had to successfully modify deeply rooted beliefs and adapt to a changing game and ever-changing rosters.

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