Canadian teams all thinking playoffs after historic miss

Canadian teams all thinking playoffs after historic miss

Playoff hockey is likely returning to Canada this spring.

Playoff hockey is likely returning to Canada this spring.

All seven Canadian NHL teams are either in or close to a playoff spot at the season’s midway point, meaning a repeat of last year’s calamity — which saw every team in Canada miss the post-season for the first time in 46 years — probably won’t happen again.

Here is a look at the progress of each team so far:

Vancouver Canucks:

Playoff spot: On the bubble

MVP: Bo Horvat

Report: The Canucks looked like a team that would finish in the NHL basement when they dropped nine straight early this season, but they’ve been OK since, even reeling off a six-game win streak recently. Horvat, in particular, has surged, well on his way to career-highs in just about every offensive category while also earning his first all-star nod at age 21. His frequent running mate, Sven Baertschi, has put up almost a point per game since early November, offering Vancouver a scoring boost beyond the aging Sedin twins. The Canucks still feel like a team caught between trying to contend for the playoffs and not actually having the talent to do so, but a dreadful start has at least been put in the rear-view mirror.