A season after every Canadian team was shut out of the NHL playoffs for the first time since 1970, two teams north of the border are off to strong starts.
The Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers made major moves in the offseason that have panned out so far, helping them build the largest divisional leads in the league.
Montreal began the season 9-0-1, creating a cushion in the Atlantic and re-establishing itself as a contender in the Eastern Conference. Edmonton won seven of its first eight, shooting to the top of the Pacific and making a rare appearance atop the Western Conference standings.
“It’s great that we’ve created a buzz back in Canada, where hockey is the No. 1 sport,” Oilers winger Milan Lucic told The Associated Press. “There’s definitely a buzz in Edmonton, where it’s been a long time since fans have been able to root for a…