Welcome back, Canada. We missed you.
None of the seven NHL franchises based in Canada qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, the first postseason blanking of the Great White North since 1970.
Of course, Canada was well represented among the nationalities of players who competed for Lord Stanley’s trophy last spring, but it just wasn’t the same without a Canadian team for fans to rally behind — or unite against. It wasn’t as much fun without seeing an entire city becoming consumed day and night by pure hockey passion as only Canadian cities can be.
The playoff picture has changed dramatically this season and for the better, because it includes five Canadian...