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 â€” which saw every team in Canada miss the post-season for the first time in 46 years â€” probably won’t happen again.
Here is a look at the progress of each team so far:
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.