VANCOUVER — Canada’s seven NHL teams sit outside of the playoffs heading into the all-star break, and Don Cherry doesn’t envision the picture getting much rosier come April.
The famed hockey pundit predicts the Vancouver Canucks will get into the post-season in the Western Conference, while adding that the Montreal Canadiens could sneak in as one of the East’s top eight clubs.
“I think Vancouver will make it and the Canadiens will be knocking on the door,” Cherry said Wednesday. “At one time we had six (Canadian teams) in. I’d love to see six in, but I don’t think it will happen.”
The Canadiens have been in a free fall without injured goalie Carey Price and find themselves three points out in the East along with the Ottawa Senators. The Toronto Maple Leafs are 12 points adrift, tied with Edmonton and the Columbus Blue Jackets for last in the overall standings.
Known for his popular Coach’s Corner segment on “Hockey Night in Canada,” the 81-year-old Cherry is in Vancouver for Thursday’s BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
The broadcaster is set to coach one of the teams in the showcase event featuring 40 draft-eligible junior players, while Hall of Fame defenceman Bobby Orr will be behind the other bench