The Vancouver Canucks have a golden opportunity to boost their play-off hopes as they embark on a five-game homestand over Christmas.
The Canucks are involved in a tight battle in the Pacific Division, but the favourable fixture list gives them the opportunity to put some pressure on the teams around them.
Vancouver will start their festive matches with a tough looking test against Montreal Canadiens on December 17.
The Canadiens are one of a host of teams struggling to keep pace with the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division, although they are firmly in the running to secure a play-off spot.
The Canucks will head into the game trying to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Canadiens that dates back to 2015.
Vegas Golden Knights are the next visitors to the Rogers Arena two days later for another game that pitches the Canucks against a play-off hopeful.
The Golden Knights are firmly in the mix in the Pacific Division and will be eager to take something from their visit to Vancouver.
Vancouver have struggled against the Golden Knights over the past couple of years, winning just one of their previous eight meetings in the NHL.
Things don’t get any easier the following Saturday as the Canucks take on Pittsburgh Penguins for the second time this season.
The Canucks blew a two-goal advantage in their last meeting during November to lose 8-6 and they will be eager for revenge this time around.
Pittsburgh have been struggling for consistency in the Metropolitan Division and are likely to be without forward Sidney Crosby for the trip to Canada.
Edmonton Oilers are next on the agenda for the Canucks on December 23 in what will be the fourth meeting between these two sides this term.
The Oilers triumphed 3-2 on home ice back in October, before the Canucks gained their revenge with a stylish 5-2 road win at the start of December.
However, Edmonton bounced back to take the third game by a 3-2 scoreline to keep themselves to the fore in the Pacific Division.
The Canucks end their homestand against the Los Angeles Kings on December 28. The Kings have been struggling for form this season and were beaten twice by Vancouver during October.
If you’re looking for a hotel in Vancouver for the upcoming games, TravelMag.com has a good selection of affordable hotels in the downtown area. If you need a rental car check CheapCarRentals for the best deals. For other activities in the city, check Vancouver Tourism.
In addition to Vancouver’s packed home schedule there are plenty of other interesting match-ups taking in place in Canada during the festive period.
These include Calgary Flames versus Montreal on December 19 and Edmonton versus Pittsburgh the following day.