There isn'ta shortage of games in the NHL's schedule for Thursday night, games that include several of the the Canadian-based teams. In the Pacific Division the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Vancouver Canucks will all host out-of-division opponents. Earlier in the night both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens will be in action.

Calgary and Edmontonbothhave games that are scheduled to start at 7pm MT. Calgary will host the Carolina Hurricanes, a team that hasn't enjoyed success on its current road trip through western Canada. In its most-recent games, Carolina lost to both Vancouver and Edmonton and they enter their game against Calgary with no momentum.

The Flames themselves have not had a great start to the season, however they do have what looks like a favorable match-up on their home ice.

Oilers will face first tough team

Edmonton promise to have a much trickier game against the St. Louis Blues. The Oilers, at 3-1-0, are a tough team to evaluateat this early point in the season. Their record is solid so far, but the defense has yet to have a shutdown night. Their best performance came last game against Carolina when Edmonton only allowed two goals. But that followed up a six-goals-against game versus the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, one that may have exposed weak goaltending in the Alberta capital.

Edmonton will likelyhave to play better than they have played so far this season in order to best the Blues, a team that's among the Stanley Cup favorites (ie.

Betway). Tonight's game promises to shed some light on the Oilers' level of play and whether they are a mediocre team or one that may be able to compete with the stronger ones.

The Vancouver Canucks are the surprise of the Pacific Division so far. With a perfect 3-0-0 record this season to date, the Canucks have injected some early-season optimism into their fan base.

They'll take on the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night in the late game, one that starts at 7pm in the Pacific time zone.

Toronto is on the road, Montreal at home

Earlier in the evening the Toronto Maple Leafs will play in Minnesota at 8pm ET. Toronto remain on the road following a loss on Wednesday night to the Winnipeg Jets.

It will be interesting to see what kind of performance the Leafs put forward after losing in such a demoralizing way on Wednesday night at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The Leafs had a safe 4-0 lead, only to lose 5-4 in the overtime session.

The Montreal Canadiens will also be in action, a game that might debut Carey Price. The former Hart Memorial Trophy winner has been out with the flu. The Canadiens host Minnesota at 7:30pm ET in a game that Price may start following an Al Montoya shutout from earlier this week.

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