It has essentially been a great start for Canadian Teams. All teams are competing in some way for playoffs. That being said, we are seeing the senators fall as they should have. Other teams have been hot and cold. So what do we make of all this?
Let's start with the East.
Toronto Maple Leafs:
This team is always going to be the most hated and most liked, that will never change. This team has shown everything, bad defense, good defense, high scoring, no scoring, a great road team and yet a team that struggles at home. Toronto will never be a team with a home advantage, why teams come to Toronto with an even stronger goal to BEAT them, it's a fact, part of being the most liked and hated. Second, there are so many leaf fans everywhere that their road games can sometimes feel like a home game. Despite that tho, this start will even itself out, a lot of it has to do with puck luck.
On to Nylander, I like the player and while it's easy to blame the player we all forget that the agent gets a portion of Nylander's salary. This is as much greediness on the player as it is on the agent. The agent knows that Nylander is not worth anywhere near 8 million at the moment. He is trying to sell on future seasons, and growing into the salary, and everyone's favourite GM in Chiarelli whom always gives in to other peoples demands and ends up hurting himself and other. The agent is hoping that Dubas will make a rookie mistake. Nylander is wanting to do what many younger kids want to do, stay out of the negotiations. In the end something has to give. I say offer 4 years 6.25 million, no trade for first 2 to 3 years. This gives Nylander a chance to prove he deserves the salary he wants and gives security while allowing the team to trade him if they have too.
The shrewd Bergevin was bound to win one offseason trade right? He is always shrewd with trades when he has time. He waited with Galchenyuk, he waited with Paches and look the return. Tatar has completely outscored Paches and Suzuki is a sweet prospect. Domi looks 100% motivated to prove he is more than a weak passer. He wants to prove he is no slouch like his dad, but he can also score, defend, skate and pass. Looks good for that, but the team is still a few pieces from a legit contender.
Maybe the Karlsson trade was a bit better than expected. I still think Dorion could have gotten a bit more for him but the return turned out better than expected. Dorion needs to be patient, smart, calculated and never let Melnyk control. He has made several mistakes and no first round pick and unrestricted free agents in stone and Duchene will take any positives and uber videos seem subtle in the long term scheme. The good, Chabot looks like a steal, and Tkachuk is more than advertised.