SUN Hockey Pool

Who Canadian hockey fans can root for this NHL post-season

Jeff Carter, Jamie Benn and Nathan MacKinnon. (AFP)

Jeff Carter, Jamie Benn and Nathan MacKinnon. (AFP)

John Matisz, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:36 PM ET

Don't hold your breath but the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens could be the only Canadian-based NHL teams to make this spring's post-season.

Heading into Thursday's action, the Leafs (78 points) and Habs (77) sat second and third, respectively, in the Atlantic Division.

With roughly 15 games left in each NHL team's schedule, the five other Canadian squads are either out of playoff contention entirely -- the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames -- or struggling to stay in the hunt. The Vancouver Canucks (four points out of eighth in the West), Ottawa Senators (five points out in the East), and Winnipeg Jets (five points out in the West) fall into the latter category.

Interestingly, Toronto and Montreal would be first-round opponents if the season were to end today.

So, with the possibility of there being just one Canadian franchise to cheer for as early as Round 2, which bandwagon does one jump on?

Let's look at the options.

Here's five American-based playoff-bound teams with the highest percentage of Canadians on their roster (as of Thursday):

  • 73% Canadian: Colorado Avalanche -- 26 players on roster, 19 Canadians (13 forwards, 5 defencemen, one goalie)
  • 61%: Dallas Stars -- 23 players, 14 Canadians (9 F, 5 D, 0 G)
  • 61%: L.A. Kings -- 23 players, 14 Canadians (10 F, 3 D, 1 G)
  • 60%: Philadelphia Flyers -- 25 players, 15 Canadians (9 F, 4 D, 2 G)
  • 58%: Boston Bruins -- 26 players, 15 Canadians (11 F, 3 F, 1 G)

And here's the bottom three:

  • 35%: New Jersey Devils (two points out in East)
  • 31%: Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 27%: Detroit Red Wings (two points out in East)

HOW CANADIAN ARE CANADIAN TEAMS, ANYWAY?

The Leafs lead the way in terms of percentage of Canadians on its roster at 75%, with the Flames second at 70%.

The Senators aren't too far behind at 64%.

From there, it goes the Oilers (57%), Canadiens (52%), Jets (50%) and Canucks (46%).


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