Northwest Division Preview

Here is a preview of the teams in the Northwest Division in no particular order.

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks have done a 180 degree turn and changed themselves from a potent offensive club that put the pedal to the medal, to one that will be defence first and much more conscience in their own zone.

It all began with the hiring of new coach Alain Vigneault who will install a more defensive oriented patient game plan that differs from the aggressive tactics of former coach Marc Crawford. The move was also made because Crawford’s act was starting to wear thin with the players and a fresh attitude was required. Also, the plan is to integrate more young players into the lineup and Vigneault, who coached the farm team, is the right guy to help bring along the kids.

The other big move was the trade for star goaltender Roberto Luongo. After a few years of good but not great goaltending, the team now has one of the best in the NHL. This move completely changed the makeup of this team. Now the Canucks are building from the goal out and it was a great move to start that with a player like Luongo. One of the battles that will develop in camp will be that of the backup role as the Nucks are a bit thin with Mika Noronen deciding to play in Europe this year.

Another move that indicates a change in direction was the signing of defenceman Willie Mitchell. He was brought in to replace the departed Ed Jovanovski. Though he is far from being the offensive stud Jovanovski is, he will bring a much needed presence defensively. He will likely join Mattias Ohlund on the top pair and go up against opposing teams top players. Ohlund will need to step up his game offensively in Jovanovski’s absence. The team is not as dangerous on the back end as in previous years and Ohlund is perhaps their most skilled blueliner. After Sami Salo, who is the team’s 3rd blueliner, the picture on defence is less clear. There will be 3 jobs open and 5 players to fight over them. There are high hopes that top prospect Luc Bourdon will be a major contributor for years to come. He may require some seasoning on the farm, but he may be the big hitting, puck moving blueliner that could replace Jovanovski.

Up front, the Canucks lost 2 big shooters in Todd Bertuzzi and Anson Carter. Instead of replacing that offence, the team decided to bring in more defensive minded forwards and try to get that scoring prowess from within. What the team needs first is for Markus Naslund to play better. Though he still averaged a point a game, he was far from the dangerous forward we have seen in seasons past and was not much of a leader last season. His brutal plus/minus was also forgettable. If he is going to remain the team Captain, he will need to step it up and carry the Canucks. The second thing Vancouver will need is for the Sedin Twins to continue their good play that started last season. The problem though is the team did not bring back Carter who was the perfect winger for the twins. So for the 3rd year in a row the team will need to integrate a 3rd member for that line and develop chemistry quickly. That line emerged as the teams best when their top group of Brendan Morrison, Bertuzzi and Naslund struggled. Speaking of Morrison, he too needs to play much better. He stunk last year as a $3 million dollar player, he needs start playing like one. But now that line will need to integrate a RW as well with Bertuzzi out of there.

The team is more defensive oriented and it shows with the team bringing in big, good skating forwards like Marc Chouinard, Taylor Pyatt and Jan Bulis. If you combine them with the likes of Trevor Linden, Matt Cooke, Ryan Kesler and Tyler Bouck, there is no shortage of forwards who can fill in checking roles and kill penalties. What they will need though is for some, if not all of these players to provide some semblence of offence as the Canucks resemble more a team that scores by committee than one that has tons of firepower.

Though there are plenty of veterans with guaranteed contracts, there will be a battle to find wingers to play on the top two lines. Perhaps some of those checking forwards will get an opportunity, but there is hope that some of the Canucks younger forwards will earn the job. Prospects such as Alex Burrows, Jesse Schultz, Jason King, Brandon Reid and Marc-Andre Bernier are going to be in the mix to challenge for jobs in camp.

As you can see, there was big change in Vancouver this summer in not only personnel, but philosophy and in dressing room culture. The hope is that with a new direction, fresh faces and a controversy free atmostphere, the team can get back to the playoffs.

Minnesota Wild

After spending the bare minimum in their first few years of existence, the Wild opened the chequebooks and committed a ton of money in an effort to get back to the playoffs.

It will now be up to coach Jacques Lemaire to make things work with his most talented team to date in Minnesota. After going with a suffocating defensive plan initially when the trap and obstuction were the keys to victory, he now has several offensive weapons that may lead to the Wild to open things up offensively.

Four established veterans were added to the club to help bring the Wild to the next level. Two of them, Pavol Demitra and Mark Parrish were added to boost the team’s woeful 1 man offence. The club now has a true point-per-game centre that will be able to keep up to star Marian Gaborik. Demitra not only brings top playmaking ability and high end skill, he may have also been the key cog in getting Gaborik signed long term. Being a close friend and fellow countryman, this move is reminiscent of the moves the Rangers made to keep their star happy. Parrish joins players like Pierre Marc Bouchard, Brian Rolston, Mikko Koivu and Todd White in a supporting offensive role. The scoring depth is as good as ever in Minnesota.

The Wild also rebuilt their defence and specifically their offence from their defence adding Kim Johnsson to the attack. He brings a true offense first blueliner who can move the puck, make good passes and create from the backend. The Wild also added Petteri Nummelin who briefly played for the Jackets and was a big offensive star in Europe. He too will bring an offensive element to the Wild and hopefully improve a woeful powerplay. With these two joining the likes of Martin Skoula and Kurtis Foster, there should be plenty of mobility on the backend to jumpstart the attack.

But even with added offence, this may still be a defence first club. One of the clubs best players is goalie Manny Fernandez. After splitting time for the most part with Dwayne Roloson throught his time in Minnesota, Fernandez finally won the number 1 job outright and for the first time finds himself as the man. The only question is if he can continue his fine play without someone around to push him for playing time. The Wild also have stalwart Nick Schultz on D and have added stud Keith Carney to stabilize the D. Solid checking forwards like Wes Walz, Pascal Dupuis and Branko Radivojevic are also around to ensure the WIld can still trap if the need to.

The Wild may not have improved enough to make the playoffs in the tough West, but they have positioned themselves to adhere to the rules and bring a more exciting brand of hockey to Minnesota.

Edmonton Oilers

After making it to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals, the Oil had to go through a big makeover (not all by choice) which has resulted in a pretty different looking squad that will try to repeat as Western Conference Champs.

GM Kevin Lowe is one of the best in the game and even under duress has managed to retool his team that now should have strong netminding throughout the year and a ton of offence up front. At some point it is expected he will solve the lack of depth on D.

That will be the major question going into the season, who plays D? The team will never be able to replace Chris Pronger who demanded his way out of Edmonton. Even though there may be plenty of hate and resentment towards Pronger, there is no denying that he was a difference maker in Edmonton. He quarterbacked the PP, he was a stud on the PK, he made big plays that chenge a game. To think the Oil are actually better without him is fooling yourself. There is no team that can lose one of the leagues best players and not be worse off. The team also lost the steady Jaroslav Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom that has severely weakened the Oilers attack from the backend.

It will really be up to the younger players to pick up the slack. We already know the contributions captain Jason Smith and Steve Staios will make to the team. What is unknown is whether Marc Andre Bergeron can be a consistent performer, if Matt Greene can be a steady defensive defenceman and if Ladislav Smid, who came over in the Pronger trade, is NHL ready. These questions will need to be answered quickly as the ultra competitive West will not let teams with a suspect D get away with that.

It is a good thing that the Oil have a strong backbone in goal in Dwayne Roloson. He stole many games on the way to getting Edmonton to the finals. But he has something to prove despite his strong play. He needs to show he can be the man after losing his starting job in Minnesota last year. He needs to show he is healthy after a bad injury in the finals. And he needs to show he can do the job with a less talented D in front of him.

What could be a difference maker in Edmonton is the dangerous offence the team has put in place up front. The team is filled with speed, skill and should have that on every line. Though the team lost Peca, Dvorak, Laraque, Samsonov there are few teams that have the kind of depth the Oilers have at forward. Smyth, Hemsky, Stoll, Horcoff, Lupul, Sykora, Torres, Pisani, Schremp, Moreau are all capable of scoring 20 or more goals. And this is a relatively young and still hungry group that has many players who should only get better over time. Sure, this is not near as dangerous as the 80s Oilers, but this is as good as its been in years. It is possible that their deep offence could alleviate their questionmarks on defence.

The past few Oiler teams coached by Craig MacTavish have always been pretty good defensively even pre-Pronger. So if the team can maintain their good team defence and they get consistent goaltending (which they havent had since Cujo) that could be enough to get them to the playoffs. And we all know anything can happen then.

Colorado Avalanche

Another summer gone, 2 more star players out the door. It has become the theme in Colorado lately and questions linger as to whether or not this year the Avs will have enough to continue their playoff run that has spanned 10 years.

With an organization that lacks depth everywhere, it will be big work for new GM Francois Giguere to rebuild this team and get them back to being perennial contenders again. This is by far the weakest lineup put together in the Avs existence and no longer will a playoff spot be guaranteed.

Much of the Avs success will depend on goalie Jose Theodore. If he does not play at the Hart/Vezina trophy level which he is capable of, the Avs could be in for a long season. His play will dictate where the Avs end up in the standings.

But he will not have the advantage that previous Avalanche goalies have had of playing behind a deep and talented blueline. Gone is the last link to the Avs big 3 with Rob Blake going back to LA. The team now lacks a big impact blueliner who can change a game at both ends of the ice and be a real horse back on D. John Michael Liles is a very good offensive blueliner but he is not nearly as strong in his own end. Jordan Leopold was acquired to bolster the D but it cost them star forward Alex Tanguay. Leopold will need to contribute far more than 1 goal for a guy who has great wheels and skill. Brett Clark was a pleasant surprise last season but if he is your 3rd top guy, your team has problems. With Blake out, the Avs D is soft. Karlis Skrastins and Ossi Vaananen are not shy physically but hardly the intimidating force like Blake or Adam Foote were. And we already know how soft Patrice Brisebois is. This could make for a long season in Colorado.

But this team does still have Joe Sakic as their captain and best player. If anyone can will his team to victory, its this guy. But at age 37, how much more does he have? And the fact of the matter is he does not have the kind of players surrounding him as in years past. The Avs definitely need Milan Hedjuk to get back to his Rocket Richard Trophy winning form. 24 goals is not even close to being enough for a 5 plus million dollar player. The team also needs Marek Svatos to stay healthy. He appears to be someone that perfectly suits the new NHL style of play. A star on the rise, there are simply not enough Svatos type players in the organization. The Avs hope for big things from Woltek Wolski but it may be too much to ask of him straight out of junior. It may be too much for the Avs to expect big things from Tyler Arnason and Pierre Turgeon, two players who played poorly last year.

The team is trying its best to be a hard one to play against as players such as Andrew Brunette, Steve Konawolchuk, Brett McLean and Ian Laperriere all bring sandpaper to their game along with a bit of offence here and there and sound defensive play. This is what they are going to need to succeed. They wont intimidate many teams, they wont out gun them either and they by far do not have enough skill to get by like in past years.

Hot goaltending and blue collar work will be required if the Avs have any shot at the playoffs. This is why they play the games because on paper, it does not look good for the Avs.

Calgary Flames

The Flames in short order went from missing the playoffs for 7 straight years to making the final and establishing themselves as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.

The big change will be the team adjusting to new coach Jim Playfair as Darryl Sutter steps away from his duo role and concentrates on being a full time GM. It will be a big job for Playfair to get this team to play as favorites and at an even higher level than what Sutter managed.

Of course having the reigning Vezina trophy winner in goal helps plenty. Mikka Kiprusoff is one of the league’s best and he should continue being the Flames backbone. Though coach Sutter molded a tough defensive team, the play of Kiprusoff made it happen. The Flames are one of the few teams without any questionmarks in goal and that may be a huge advantage for Calgary.

The blueline in front of Kiprusoff is as strong as any. With hard nosed stay-at-home studs like Robin Regher and Rhett Warrener taking care of their end and star in the making Dion Phaneuf providing big offence and throwing big hits, there is not much this D cant do. If veteran Roman Hamrlik can regain his form, the Flames will have a very strong top 4. But what could put the Flames over the top is the play of Phaneuf. He may already be the biggest impact blueliner in the division with Jovanovski, Pronger and Blake all gone. It is a difference maker like Phaneuf who could put the Flames over the top.

But everything the Flames do could be moot if they dont score goals. They were one of the worst offensive teams in the league last season and in the summer they chose to do something about it. Acquiring a point per game player like Alex Tanguay was a huge coup that gives Calgary a second dangerous option besides Jarome Iginla. Simply put, the Flames had no one but Iginla as a scoring threat. As a result, his play suffered as he simply could not carry the offence on his own. But the Flames now have a few more weapons at their disposal with Tanguay around and Kristen Huselius for a full season. Jeff Friesen should help in the speed department which the forward group lacked last season and hopefully youngsters like Matthew Lombardi and Chuck Kobasew get better. If veterans Daymond Langkow and Tony Amonte can produce 20 goal seasons, there may be enough offence at coach Playfair’s disposal. Plenty of onus will be on him to actually have something in place to improve the team’s scoring. The Flames were rather predictable offensively and it made the job for the opponents very easy to just slow down Iggy.

If the Flames can continue their suffocating defence and top notch goaltending plus put together a couple of dangerous scoring lines, the Red Mile may be ready for a real parade.

48 Responses to Northwest Division Preview

  1. habswinthecup-again says:

    1. Calgary

    2. Minnesota

    3. Vancouver

    4. Edmonton & Colorado (tied)

  2. Doctor says:

    1. Vancouver

    2. Minnesota

    3. Calgary

    4. Edmonton

    5. Colorado

    I see Minnesota making a jump this year. They have the potency on offense to really burn that division this year and their defense isn’t bad. Look at their coach!!

    I am giving Vancouver a tremendous benefit of the doubt here. I want them to do well. I want Luongo to do well. Luongo’s talent level is too high for anything but that to happen and the Canuck offense has what it takes to take the division.

    This is such a tight division. I hate putting Calgary in 3rd here, because they very well could fall in first, but they have been showing subtle signs of decline. Iginla did not have a marquee season. Their needs at Centre did not get filled. Is Tanguay enough? Could the team afford to get rid of Leopold when their D, which is not bad, is not the epitomy of depth? There are questions surrounding the Flames.

    The Oilers and Avalanche will surely fall in the last two slots. The Avalanche will begin their rebuilding phase unless Svatos, Wolski and the rest of the young guns really prove that they are already here. Which they probably won’t. It seems like the days are ticking down till Sakic goes, eh?

    Anyways, about those Oilers, well.. They really did well last season. Really well. But it was a fluke. As much as that kills me to say it, it is true. And losing Pronger does not help.

  3. TheDonkey says:

    I think that the only thing that is certain is that this division will be extremely tight, again. Here is how I break them down, in no particular order:

    Minnesota – Great off-season moves. However, I think they would be much more of a threat if Lemair was not there. Giving scoring power to this coach is like giving a Ferrari to your grandmother. I will have to see them open it up before I believe it. Fans of any NW Division team can only hope that Minny gets more exciting. These guys have been the dud ticket in any season ticket or mini-package for years.

    Colorado – This is the only team that I feel certain about. They will continue the downhill slide. They are truly in rebuilding mode and will be the whipping boys of the rest of the division.

    Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver – These teams could finish in any order among one another. Each has its strengths & weaknesses. Unfortunately, one key injury could put any of these teams out of the playoffs. Vancouver can’t lose Naslund or Luongo for any length of time. Calgary can’t lose Kipper or Iginla. Edmonton would be really hurting if any of their top d-men went down since they are already looking so thin. The one thing on the injury front that helps the Oilers is that they have so much depth at forward that they could make moves (and probably will anyway for more D).

    Looking forward to this season!!!

  4. FlamingHomer says:

    Fantastic article! You nailed them all.

  5. Treva says:

    Really indepth article, no apparent bias – good job.

    Oddly it looks like Vancouver has the best defence – which feels like a blasphemous statement. Calgary is a close second but Dion really needs to not have a sophomore jinx type season. Colorado is done for a few years and Edmonton is the biggest questionmark on D.

    Minnie is going to surprise. They finally have some scoring to match their team D.






  6. Treva says:

    Still the best division in hockey

  7. JannettyTheRocker says:

    You’re all crazy…….

    NorthWest Division Standings

    1) Edmonton Oilers

    2) Calgary Flames

    3) Colorado Avalanche

    4) Minnesota Wild

    5) Vancouver Canucks

    Bring on the doubters and the flamers, but like last season, the Oilers will be standing when every other team in the division is eliminated.

    2007 Stanley Cup Champions!!!

    The Mighty Oiler’s Of Edmonton!!!


  8. goalieman32 says:

    i have to say that the pacific is a bit better, with the ducks getting pronger and the sharks having jumbo joe for the entire year. la now has osullivan and kopitar, both of which could have tremendous seasons, not to mention more solid goaltending and a stronger defensive corps. dallas is always a threat and jolkenin will only be better, as will all of the stars prospects who saw time in the nhl last yeae. with the upgrades that phoenix has made in d, they will be a tough team to beat as well, especially if levenue pans out and plays like he can when he gets the chance. i think that at least 3 teams from this division will make the playoffs and possibly 4. they are all excelent.

    the northwest division is also tough, but the quality of the teams isnt quite up to that of the pacific. vancover will have some problems this year since they lost so many people and are really close to the cap. calgary has always had problems scoring and that should improve somewhat, but not much. colorado is on a downhill slide as is edmenton, though i am looking forward to seeing shremp in the lineup. minny has made the most improvement, though i believe that they will regret trading osullivan when all is said and done. all teams are good, but i see the pacific as being the most competitive this year and having the best hockey.

  9. goalieman32 says:

    aot to bust your bubble, so to speak, but there is no way that the oilers will win the cup. other teams in the west have gotten a lot better than the oil and they just got worse. no spacek, no pronger, no peca, no sampsanov. and no dvorak. while lupul and shremp will help put up plenty of points and smid will help in the back end, the whole problem is that it will not be enough. the losses are too great.

    also, colorado will be a lot lower and minnesota will be higher

  10. TheDonkey says:

    When they drop the puck in the finals, a team from the NW division will be representing the West.

  11. Pedro says:

    Peca, and Samsonov are garbage. Did you even watch hockey last year. With the addition of Sykora, Lupul, bring back Reasoner, and Mikhnov easly replace the lost forwards. In fact they are a massive upgrade. Defense by by the whole, with a great defensive coach. They also have a starting goalie for the whole year. Well you probably didn’t know that cause you clearly were not watching last year.

  12. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Great points Pedro. I totally agree with you that our offense is upgraded from last year (immensely), we now have a solid number one goaltender for the entire season, and our defense is still solid, but expect K-Lowe to add another veteran or two to the blueline……….We are much better off than we were at any point during the regular season last year.



  13. Habroller says:

    You never, never bring any arguments to back your more-than-obnoxious bias…

    GO OILERS GO!!!!…blablabla…Enough of that already!

    …even though I do like the Oilers.

  14. ObjectiveImpartiaL says:

    Hate yopto tell you but the oilers are never going to forget Pronger. But we will get over him.

    People keep talking about the players we lost, but there simpley was not enough room for them. Shremp, Marhnov, Pouliot are all NHL ready and there are only 2 spots for them. If Peca, Devork and Samsonov would of signed who you would have to send who down to the minors to fit them in, Sykora, Pisani?

    If either Smid, Greene, or Hejda can play solid D the I really believe they have one of the top Defences in the league Defenvively, since Staios, Smith, and Tjarnqvist are almost flawless.

    If Smid pulls a Phaneuf I call the Oil for front runners for the Presidence trophy and the cup

  15. JannettyTheRocker says:

    You are one of the smartest people on this forum…..Nice to meet you.


  16. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Whine, whine, whine…..


  17. goalieman32 says:

    i did watch the oil every chance i could, and pronger was a force on d for them. peca was extremely valuable in the faceoff circle and killed penalties also. spacek was the most underrated d man for the oil and the only reason they wont miss him that much is because they have shremp on the point on the pp. and they do have a starter for the year, but one comming off an injury and who i believe will struggle, especially without pronger. others in the west have improved much more, like the sharks, the ducks, nashville, la, calgary. the oil will be lucky to make the playoffs

  18. FlamingHomer says:

    How in the world would you have interpreted Calgary’s defence falls behind Vancouver’s?

  19. TheDugg1er says:

    Very nice post, everything is pretty much dead on. Only problem I can see is minnesota being ranked so high. I believe that they have the potential to do that good but it all depends on whether they find chem and if they open up more offensively. here’s my rankings even though I wish canucks would get top as they are my team.

    1. Calgary- obvious choice they barely lost anyone and gained tanguay to address scoring.

    2. Canucks-losses like Jovo and carter arent nearly as big as people think, Bert is the only big loss. Luongo is going to be a wall.

    3. Minnesota- Might finish here, higher or lower, but i’m thinking right in the middle in third. They’ve picked up 4-5 good players that can contribute, and are much more of a threat than previous years.

    4. Colorado- Yes they’ve lost even more now, but They still have Joe and he’s just amazing. Theodore will have a much better year so Col may finish higher, we’ll have to wait and see.

    5. Edmonton- Too many losses and fans say they aren’t big. Anyone who says Pronger isn’t a loss or PRONGER WHO? a’hem JTR knows nothing about hockey apparently. Peca is another big loss as he was an amazing defensive center who seemed to always win the faceoff. This team is not even half as good as last year and will most likely miss the playoffs. If they do make it don’t look for them to have a miracle run like last year. Last years run was all due to hot goaltending, but roloson is controversial. He hasn’t been a number one so we’ll see if he can keep up the his play.

  20. icehog says:

    It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to know how disappointed you will be when the playoffs roll around.

  21. FlamingHomer says:

    So anyone who agrees with you is considered smart, right?

  22. JannettyTheRocker says:


  23. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    fianlly some credit for colorado thank you. but im being realistic edmonton is from 2-4 so is colorado and van/min. Tanguay will do it for calgary.

  24. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:






    Minnesota only really has depth forwards that will get like 50 points. Rolston will lead them in points again cause gaborik and demitra will get injured again (this has become a certainty almost every year.

    Calgary has Tanguay who will definitly balance out there scoring. and for those who say sakic made him…… last i saw he was with Brett Mclean and Ian Lapperierre. so if tanguay and iginla are together. expect 50/50 from iginla and 30/80 from tanguay. the 3 middle teams are all strong but have that one question mark.

    Vancouver its scoring. Losing Bert isnt a good thing except for him. and who will replace him? Matt Cooke? the sedin sisters need someone to score with them and someone to do all the checking. Bulis is not that guy despite his 20 goal career year. (4 of which came in 1 game i believe).

    Edmonton lost Pronger and tarnstrom and spacek i believe. you can say ya ya ya it wont affect them but they barely squeaked into the playoffs and losing them well not help. the forwards may have to score alot unless the young/experienced D will play over there heads or Lowe makes a trade for another dman.

    Colorado has a balanced scoring attack and balanced d. oldest defencemen are Brisebois and klee arent exactly here for the future. Vaananen Clark Liles Leopold Svatos Wolski and Hejduk will lead the forwards and defence respectively. the real question is goaltending. If theodore can play good hockey like he did in the playoffs then colorado can make the playoffs. if he plays like he did in his hart trophy year then they will make some noise. if he crumbles then colorado will hope for a miracle from budaj and kolesnik.

  25. FlamingHomer says:

    Even with the use of “yopto,” “simpley,” “defenvively,” “Presidence,” and other inaccuracies that I’m too kind too add, you can look past that and deem this contibutor “Smart” based solely on sharing your opinion. I admire your high standards.

  26. tacitus says:
















  27. TheDonkey says:

    I am so tired of seeing everyone accepting Calgary as an “obvious choice”. Two seasons ago they were a fluke team in the playoffs. Last year, yes they won the division, but they were only 4 losses away from missing the playoffs. The Flames are not a lock to win anything. They could easily miss the playoffs.

    And by the way, Colorado will finish last. This is a team in steep decline. Simply put, they suck.

  28. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Man, you need to chill out a little bit……Hockey season hasn’t even started and your panties are already in a bunch…..I’m in an awesome mood, and when I made the “smart” comment, it didn’t mean that he was “genius” smart, it just means that he thinks like I think.

    Why are you getting so moody??? Wait until your team starts to lose before you get moody.


  29. JannettyTheRocker says:

    You know, your prediction is actually very good. I still think my Oilers will finish the season higher, but you may be bang on. Good work.

  30. JannettyTheRocker says:

    You may be right, but I still have a feeling that the Oilers will make a lot of improvements this year and could possibly win the NorthWest Division (and the cup of course)……

    As far as the Av’s go, I think that they’ll be a really underrated team this season, and for one reason……….Jose Theodore………Look for Theo to have a great season and carry the Avs far into the playoffs.


  31. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Just like last year, hey??? Your comment is exactly what people were telling me last year, and where did the Oilers get to??? Oh yeah, the Stanley Cup Finals (game 7 to be exact)………….And our team is much improved over where we ended last season.



  32. ObjectiveImpartiaL says:

    Now now. I think what the observation in question was for was my insightful outlook on the presented subject. I did not wish to type with and in-depth vocabulary due to the fact that it may be exceeding many Flames and Leafs fans IQ’s. As for the typos I will try and spend more time spell checking in order to apes yourself. I hope this comment lucidities any question of the intelligence and intellect of the Oiler Fans.

    Tanslated for Flames andLeafs fans

    He was taolking about what I said not hhow I typedf

  33. ObjectiveImpartiaL says:

    P.S. Nice to meet the original Oil fan from this website. So few people realize one has to go overboard to make up for the world being against the oil. They were one win from the cup and still now many people call them for a bottom of the league with no insight other than the few games they saw them play in the finals last year.

  34. I_hate_LA says:










  35. 92-93 says:

    1. Calgary

    2. Vancouver

    3. Minny

    4. Colorado (just out of playoffs)

    5. Edmonton

  36. 92-93 says:

    that title used to belong year in and year out to the Northeast division, but not anymore.

    the Northwest and Pacific are both difficult divisions now.

    the Northeast still has Ottawa and Buffalo and to a lesser extent Montreal. Boston has made improvements and the Leafs are so-so. it still has the potential to remain the toughest division in the NHL (a title it had since the early 2000s), but i think the Pacific and Northwest have it now.

  37. 92-93 says:

    you got to be kidding me.

    and you wonder why no one will take anything you say about the game of hockey seriously?

  38. 92-93 says:

    1. Nashville

    2. San Jose

    3. Calgary

    4. Anaheim

    5. Detroit

    6. Vancouver

    7. Dallas

    8. Minnesota

    9. Phoenix

    10. Colorado

    11. L.A. Kings

    12. Edmonton

    13. Columbus

    14. St. Louis

    15. Chicago

  39. Pedro says:


    Pronger played poorly until the last 6 weeks of the season (but pronger poor play is still better then 80% of all other players great playing). Peca saw little playing time because he made costly defensive mistakes, and couldn’t score. He was good in the dot, but Stoll is better, Reasoner and Horcoff are still way above 50% as well.

    Didn’t improve? When they got a starter they almost won the cup. Even with their backup they were oh so close. A loss of a great player hurts but it is not devastating when you have a really good team. The Oilers have the deepest set of offensive forwards in the league. Lupul and Sykora are great additions and will help make up for the backend, as well a Tarnqist who people forget about. He was MINNY second best d-men.

    1st in the Division, and Deep in the playoffs this year.

  40. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Whatever……….you proved last season what you know about hockey, and that was…….well…….nothing. Oilers in 12th place??? I guess we’ll see.


  41. I_hate_LA says:

    The queens aren’t better than the oilers.

  42. 92-93 says:


    well can you give me a specific example that supposedly proves that i ‘know nothing about hockey’?

    oh yeah – its because i cheer for the leafs right?

    well that excludes a large portion of intelligent hockey fans from being considered knowledgeable.

    so here’s the thing. i guess you know a lot about hockey? even though you end your posts with cheers and taunts, even though your bias clouds your opinions so much, that you are not relied upon by ANYBODY on this site for his opinion, EXCEPT gretzkin of course.

    oh, and i guess all the predicitons i made last year, of San Jose’s strong season, of New Jersey’s turnaround during that abysmal week in November, of Boston not falling to the Eastern conference basement (last place) after the Thornton trade, etc. etc.

    i can tell you one thing JTR, i konw more about hockey history and about the game then you can ever hope to know. i try to talk about the nuances of the game, i take the devils advocate CONSTANTLY (Bertuzzi, womens hockey issues and other issues), because i want to CHALLENGE myself.

    all you do is parrot the same old line over and over and over again.

    you are pathetic.

    the oilers winning the stanley cup in 2007?

    how can anyone take you seriously?!?!

  43. Pedro says:

    He has minni at first place, how seriously can you take him.

  44. Pedro says:


    Stick to the east.

  45. tacitus says:

    thanks. people say cuz im a redwing fan it shows bias, fact is they still get to beat up chicago, stlouis and columbus 24 times while the oilers are playing calgary, colorado and minnasota

  46. 92-93 says:

    actually my West predictions have been bang on the past few years.

    i dont see this year being any different.

    oh and let me see what your predictions are … hmmm… (looks) … oh yeah, you dont have any predictions. right. so i guess you have nothing to stand on.

    i mean come on, let me see what you think the West will look like. its all in fun right? you are such an expert and your crystal ball is so very clear so lets see what you’ve got.

  47. 92-93 says:

    oh and by the way,

    this hockey do*****entary on CBC that is being aired … you should watch it. you might learn something.

    its a refresher for me but it might actually make you a better hockey fan if you watch it.

  48. Kamakaze says:

    I think Minnesota is very interesting… You have a very strict coach who is very smart, though perhaps a bit stubborn, who demands his players play a great positional game. This was the ONLY way this team could win, because they just weren’t talented enough.

    Things have changed this year, lots of things.

    Their defense isn’t as strong without Mitchell or Kuba back there… but they did add Johnsson… They should be able to move the puck up and play a very good transitional game, which will be one of THE most important aspects of this “new” Minnesota team.

    With the added talent, I don’t think they have to change their style THAT much. In fact, I think if they made a drastic change it could really hurt them…

    Instead, I think they should end up doing what New Jersey did (I see Minn. as a Western mirror of Jersey…) and adopt a positional defensive coverage type game, utilizing the faster skaters they have, allowing for some great puck movement and possession and great transition from offense to defense. I think if they can do that and make that the bread-and-butter of their style, they will do VERY well, because they will still be able to plat a great defensive game, especially with the goalie they have, but they now have the talent to quickly transition the puck, rewarding good positional play with a quick turn-over and quick scoring chance.

    If they did that, hell they COULD actually make the playoffs… If not the very least they sure as hell will make it a miserable time late in the season when the other teams are struggling to get points…

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