The NHL is a quarter of the way through the 2013-14 season. It is usually at this time of the campaign that teams start looking to quickly make their way up the standings.
Unfortunately, some Canadian teams have not had the strongest start to the season and it is up to each team to turn things around in the coming months, but which one has the best chance to make significant improvements?
The Edmonton Oilers have the largest ground to make up as they sit at the bottom of the Western Conference. The Oilers are a young team still working to grow and improve their dynamic, though they have proven lately that they can win. Currently, they are in the midst of their second three-game winning streak of the season.
Seated just above Edmonton in the Western Conference are fellow Albertans, the Calgary Flames. With just as much to prove as the Oilers, the Flames certainly have some work to do if they want to turn things around this season.
Calgary has won only two of their last 10 games. They have made some progress though, earning points in shootout and overtime losses.
The Vancouver Canucks are currently ninth in the West and will have to get out of their current funk and back to how things were earlier this season in order to make a playoff push. After a solid October, the Canucks have lost their last five games.
It is projected that there may be a 20-point difference between what it takes to make the playoffs in the Eastern and Western Conferences this season. The Winnipeg Jets are a new member of the Western Conference and the adjustment has surely been difficult for the team.
If the Jets were to finish just over 100 points this season, they could possibly miss the playoffs because of the strength of their conference. Had they remained in the Eastern Conference this season, they would have more than enough to earn a spot in the playoffs at that level.
Over in the East, the Ottawa Senators have been struggling as of late, with goaltending problems contributing to their worries. They have lost four of their last five games with starter Craig Anderson between the pipes for three of the defeats. Backup Robin Lehner proved himself earlier this month when pressed into action, but has stepped aside since the return of Anderson.
Currently 11th in the East, the team has been inconsistent, putting out strong performances one night and letting games slip through their fingers the next.
The other two Canadian teams in the East, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens are both slowly nearing the top of their conference.
The Canadiens, meanwhile, are in seventh spot and have won three of their last five games.
Unlike their Western counterparts, these two have less reason for concern but could quickly climb their way to the top.
With all things considered, which of the seven Canadian teams have the best chance to turn things around this season?
As always, it's Your! Call.