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Just One Canadian Hockey Team In Playoffs

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Montreal Canadiens player Brandon Prust, 2013; Image: Carrser, Wikimedia
Montreal Canadiens player Brandon Prust, 2013; Image: Carrser via Wikimedia.

The National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs are in full swing.

Sixteen teams have qualified to play in the ‘new season.’ Often the playoffs are referred to as a ‘new season’ because regular season statistics don’t count any more. All that matters is winning one series at a time.

Based on the regular season standings, teams are paired up to play against each other in a best-of-seven series.

A series win is the first team to win four out of the seven possible games. Each series win takes a team closer to the winning the NHL’s ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup.

Of the 30 teams in the NHL, 16 teams qualify for the playoffs. Of all the teams in the playoffs this year there is only one Canadian team: The Montreal Canadiens.

There are seven Canadian teams in total, but only the Canadiens have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. And so far, they seem to be on the right path.

They played the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round and beat them in four straight games. That means they are moving on to the second round.

A team needs to win three rounds in order to qualify for having a chance to play for the Stanley Cup.

Leading the way for the Canadiens is goaltender Carey Price. He was also the star goaltender on the 2014 Canadian Olympic team.

There are many Canadian hockey players in the NHL.

Canada even won the Olympic gold medal this year. Hockey is sometimes considered Canada’s national pastime. Which begs the question: Why didn’t more Canadian hockey teams qualify for the playoffs this year?

Curriculum Connections by Jonathon Tilly

Discussion/Writing Prompt
If you are a Canadian fan of hockey, are you rooting for the Montreal Canadiens throughout the 2014 playoffs? Or do your loyalties lie only with your favourite team? How do you determine who you cheer for?

Reading Prompt: Elements of Style
Today’s article ends with a question. How does ending an article in this way affect the reader’s impression of the story. What does it tell you about the author’s style?

Primary, Junior, Intermediate
Identify some elements of style, including voice, word choice, and different types of sentences, and explain how they help readers understand texts (reading, OME, 2.4)

Grammar Feature: Acronyms
The NHL is an acronym which stands for the National Hockey League. That means that the first letter of each word in the title is used to create a shortened title. Working with your class, see if you can brainstorm an acronym  for every letter of the alphabet. Hint: consider TV channels, bands and companies.