Season Predictions Part 2: Western Conference

Western Conference: Alot of changes over in the west this summer, many teams have changed and from a non-playoff team into possible Stanley Cup Contenders. Every year the standings are close, last year just six points separated the ninth from the fourth place team. What are your predictions for the West?1.Colorado Avalanche: Could easily be Detroit right here, but I believe the Avs will be the ones on top. Forsberg back, they are a much better team with him. They got a good defense, excellent offense, Tanguay, Hejduk and Drury had off seasons, but with the playoff loss to Detroit expect the whole team to be given a boost this season and put up good numbers.

2.Detroit Red Wings: Hasek out and Jospeh in, Cujo in the same situation that the Dominator was in, coming to an elite team for better odds at a ring. Jospeh has done well through out his career on teams with not the greatest defense, he’ll do fine and play solid. Yzerman’s absence wont play a big role and every time he is gone, we all know Federov steps up point wise. Age doesn’t seem to be a problem as they shut us all up juring last years playoffs.

3.San Jose Sharks: A good team all around, defense is great with Jillson and Stuart, the offense with freshly resigned Selanne, only thing the keeps them away from Detroit or Colorado is lack of star power. If Selanne and Nolan play at thier best the Sharks could easily be in first., but I don’t expect them to put up anything out of the new, just their typical 55-66 point seasons.

4.Dallas Stars: After a horrible year, expect a good recovery a newly signed Guerin will help this team greatly. Turco is No. 1 and if he preforms like he did last year, when he stole the job from Crazy Eddie, the Stars should be fine. I see a great team on paper, that is a good Stanley cup contender.

5.Vancouver Canucks: First problem the Canucks have is goaltending, Cloutier did alright last year, but if the Canucks want to move up they need a change here. But overall, a great offense and good defense.

6.Edmonton Oilers: First year without Weight and they missed the playoff’s. Smyth can fill those shoes nicely, he was having a great season last year till his injury. and no doubt he his eager to get back on the ice and prove him self again. They got a great young offense with alot of talent. Good young defense, Smith, Brewer, Niinimaa, I like this team, just too young , and it is a question if these young guys step up or not.

7.St Louis Blues: Prongers out due to his knee injury, Weight back. They need a good number one starter and Johnson must step up in order for them to go far. Weight has to step up, Demitra and Tkachuck got to do their usual thing. But still I don’t see them doing well. Their defense is nothing to be impressed with and either than Demitra, Tkachuck, Weight and Stillman, no one else on that offense is too impressive.

8.Phoenix Coyotees: Added Amonte, but same team as last year. Thier young and improving and they should be fine and able to make the playoff’s. Burke is a solid goaltend, and not bad defense or offense. Just a question if they can do it all over again.

9.Los Angele Kings: This team had many slumps last season, and players who weren’t up to their usual standards. I expect a big season from Allison, jurying the second half last year he stepped up and was among the leagues best. Plaffy should do well, but still thier defense is in question and their offensive depth. If Potvin plays well Kings could sneak into the playoffs.

10.Chicago Blackhawks: Fluery is a story all on his own, a great player, but a unstable one he is. When he wants to play he is dangerous, and when he doesn’t he is destructive. They got three player other than Fleury on their offense who can put up 60 point and beyond. Just the defense is not impressive, and if Thibault were not to preform well they would be in trouble. But i still believe they could be just as good as they did last season.

11.Anaheim Mighty Ducks: It plain and simple here, Kariya finally has some one center his line. Most likely Oates next to him, Kariya should be back to putting up good numbers. They got Sykora, he will contribute more to their offesne then Friesen did. Their offense will carry them for much of the season, but eventually that defense and goaltending will catch up to them.

12.Calgary Flames: Even with Iginla at his best it couldn’t spark them to make the playoffs. Savard wants out, that doesn’t leave much to be impressed with on the offense. They are young, and still learning, this wont be the year they end the playoff drought.

13.Minnesota Wild: Before last seasons I thought the Wild was the best of those three expansion teams, I think now Atlanta has surpassed them, but still they are not too bad. Gaborik a great young player, Fernandez not bad in goal. They have interesting young team, just need to see who wil, step up and prove them selves NHL worthy.

14.Nasville Predators: Legwand, Walker and Hartnell will step up, they been doing decent already, Dunahm is not bad in goal. Timonen and Delmore should be alright on the defense. But these players are average at best.

15.Columbus Blue Jackets: Nothing really special on this team, they got some good players on the offense, Knutsen, Whitney, will maybe pull them up a few spots, but unlikely.

32 Responses to Season Predictions Part 2: Western Conference

  1. DG says:

    Fifth looks like a good place for them, but the Vancouver Canucks’ real problem is defence, not goaltending. Dan Cloutier and Peter Skudra did better than their stats reflected, mainly because they won games- Cloutier registered his first 30-plus win season ever while Skudra went 10-8-1, and both proved last year they could come up with the big stop when they had to. With Sami Salo on deck, the Canucks have three National Hockey League calibre defencemen and one variable (Brent Sopel), meaning the rest are minor-leaguers or rookies (even Murray Baron’s overplayed his effectiveness). The Canucks will be a good team, I think, but not nearly as good as last year.


  2. Canucks_Info_Man says:

    5th. That’s probably where the Canucks are going to finish. Like the other guy said, our problem is defense, not goaltending.

    .. well we’re not sure it’s a problem just yet, if all depends on how well Allen does

    Baron is underrated, this guy is very very good defensively and that’s why he will probably be teamed up with Jovo. He’s solid.

    I don’t like Helmer, never liked him too much.

    .. and to that other guy who said we won’t be as good as last year… you don’t know shit 😉 lol

    We only finished 8th last year, you saying we won’t do that good next year?

    First of all, we have Klatt back. He’s the hardest worker on our team. He was scoring left and right before he went down… and now he said he’s feeling better than he has been ever before

    Harold Druken is also back, another improvement from last year

    Then there’s Sami Salo, he can easily replace Lachance.

    and we got plenty of people to replace Strudwick.. heh

    Glassels was out alot anyway and probably would have been injured more often this year… he wasn’t that key to our success anyway

    plus there’s the Sedins, you think they can do any worse than last year? lol i dont’ thinks so

    they had a bad year, Daniel did not get to workout last summer and that slowed him down.. he came to camp in not that good of shape

    he’s going to be much quicker this year and watch them to bounce back with a good year 🙂

    Not to mention, we were the youngest team in the playoffs last year and will only get better

    Chubarov is going to be outstanding this year, watch him!!

    Cloutier will also improve on last year’s good play

    Then there’s Bertuzzi who missed 10 games last year with a suspension, imagine him for a full 82 games 😉

    Hlavac, this guy has loads of talent and he didn’t do well last year because he was traded a few times and didn’t really get to adjust… but he is now very comfortable and watch him to do some damage =)

    how can you say they aint going to do better?

  3. Canucks_Info_Man says:

    Druken has alot of talent, i really like this guy but how he’s been playing this pre-season is just pathetic.. he better stop slacking =/

    or we might be in trouble… but there’s always Fedorov 😉 Fedor Fedorov that is.. heh i can’t wait to see this guy in a Cauncks jersey.. i know he’s still got to learn how to pass the puck, etc. but just wait till he erases these flaws.. this guy will be a scoring machine

  4. HockeyRules says:

    Teams 1 through 5 seem correct but teams 6 through 10 wont finish like that. Edmonton is not going to improve, Dopita wont improve a team. The team I think that will shock a lot of people is Phoenix. The way I see it:

    1) Colorado

    2) Detroit

    3) San Jose

    4) Dallas

    5) Vancouver

    6) Phoenix

    7) Los Angeles

    8) St.Louis


    9) Chicago (close with Edmonton)

    10) Edmonton (close with Chicago)

    11) Anaheim

    12) Calgary

    13) Minnesota

    14) Nashville

    15) Columbus

  5. Tony says:

    I agree with all your picks except i would put Detroit as number #1 and LA as number #8. Hasek din’t play that well last year for Detroit during the regular season and i think Cujo will play better. Also the young players for Detroit are playing great, with Zetterberg, Williams, Fisher and Datsyuk. LA i think will make the playoffs and be a force. In the end though i see Detroit and Colorado running away with the West this year.

  6. Canucks_Info_Man says:

    I don’t see the Avs doing as good this year, they are slowly fading outta the picture.

    Last year, the avs only finished 5 points ahead of us and aren’t improving quite as quick as us so as I see it.. the Canucks have a good chance at taking 1st spot in the NW.

  7. TheRumourGod says:

    2 words…PETER FORSBERG

  8. freshprince says:

    1. Dallas

    2. Colorado

    3. San Jose

    4. Detroit

    5. Vancouver

    6. Pheonix

    7. Los Angeles

    8. Edmonton


    9. St.Louis

    10. Anaheim

    11. Chicago

    12. Minnasote

    13. Calgary

    14. Nashville

    15. Columbus

    I was pretty risky with the first 4…..i think anyone out of the top 4 could win it

  9. mikster says:

    1- Avs










    Why do i have the Sharks 8th? Because Nabokov ain’t signed yet, and i won’t say anything about them until they sign him.

  10. shorn89 says:

    I am not going to take anything away from the Canucks bright future. With players like bertuzzi and the sedin twins they will only get better. BUT if you think the Avs are slipping than my suggestion would be to stop hitting the crack pipe so hard. The only reason that there was a close divisional race last year was because Peter Forsberg took the year off. If bertuzzi or naslund took the year off how far out of the playoffs do you think the canucks would be? With top five talent Sakic, forsberg, blake and foote, young guns drury, hedjuk, tanguay, reinprecht and skoula and top prospects vrbata and nedorost the Avs should stay at the top of the league for years to come. Their greatest asset is a gm who can get any player he wants for prospects. With all of this and a deep farm system the avs won’t be fading any time soon. The worst news for the rest of the league is the greatest goalie in history wants to play a few more seasons.

  11. morrow10 says:

    1- Colorado

    2- Dallas

    3- Detroit

    4- San Jose

    5- Vancouver

    6- LA

    7- St. Louis

    8- Chicago

  12. UltimateB says:

    The problem with this: Your seeds for 1 2 and 3 come from only 2 divisions! Either the sharks or the stars have to finish 4, with detroit at three. Now, if you’re going straight point totals, that’s fine, but because this is a playoff prediction, this seems a lot more like a seeding chart

  13. UltimateB says:

    1 – Detroit. The stars of Detroit’s youth are rising… hard. Expect big things out of younger players like Wallin, Kuznetsov, Bykov, Williams and Zetterberg.

    2 – Dallas. The Stars are looking for trouble this year, and I think they’ve found it. They’re going to crush quite a few teams this year.

    3 – Avalanche. I just can’t see Vancouver beating a team that includes Sakic, Forsberg, Foote, Blake and Roy. Too thin on defense, though.

    4 – Sharks. Sign Nabokov! Nolan and Selanne are no spring chickens. Get a goalie that can take this core of players somewhere.

    5 – LA. Power play will again be a strength, Allison and Pallfy will be studs, Potvin and loss of Phillipe Boucher will lose a few games for the team.

    6 – Vancouver. Defense wins championships, but you have to score goals to win games. These guys will score in bundles.

    7 – Phoenix. Amonte will be good, but this team stresses team play so much that he might get lost in the shuffle a la Federov.

    8 – Edmonton. The Oilers play too hard and want this too much to miss the playoffs again.

    9 – St. Louis. Losing Pronger will be bigger than people think. Mellanby, Demitra and Tkachuk can carry this team only so far. It seems like other teams are just plain better after all the trading done by the Blues since they won the President’s Trophy.

    10 – Anaheim. Good to see some more quality players on the team. I’d love to see these guys make the playoffs, but I doubt it.

    11 – Chicago. Right back to underachieving. For some reason, I don’t think that Theo Fleury is the answer.

    12 – Calgary. Just comes up short in every area. Having Morris on the team instead of the trading block would help.

    13 – Minnesota. Good system and another year of improvement from Gaborik will help edge out other recently expanded teams.

    14 – Nashville. Playoff promise? Please.

    15 – Columbus. Could be Colorado-esque in a few years, with Nash, Klesla and… who’s their goalie? Leclaire? If they keep drafting like this, whoa man, tough team.

  14. Canucks_Info_Man says:

    It’s my opinion, chill out.

    Don’t argue until the season is over 😉

    Peter Forsberg, that’s the only place where they improve quite a bit.

    The Canucks whole team is full of youngsters who are going to improve. Also Bertuzzi for a full 82 games 😉

    I just think it’s going to be close.

  15. DaAvs says:

    Well it’ll be intresting.

    1. Colorado – How many didn’t see that coming, my prediction is because of a inspired Forsberg (Denver Post just had an article on he wants to prove his worth in a full season. How he wants to go in healthy and make ito ut healthy.). After watching the Avs game behind the net…which I must say takes away the enjoyment of the occasional puck souvenir. Nedorost looks stronger defensively and strong on the puck (considering his size this was shocking to me). As well I now can’t see Vrbata not making the opener. But don’t count on them to be the defensive leader this year.

    2. Detriot- Say what you want about Yzerman as a loss won’t affect them. Does anyone recall they had a VERY strong start and dropped off at the end of the season..funny they didn’t win any of their last ten games without Yzerman in the lineup. Blame it on resting or lack of motivation. But I do believe this will impact their points by 10 points or so. Enough for Avs to get that first spot.

    3. Dallas- Look a lot stronger thus far, but Turco is the question mark. Being a number one goalie night in and out will make it difficult if he’s not ready. Even at age 27.

    4. San Jose- Tempted to drop them off if Nabakov doesn’t get signed soon. Kiprosoff won’t get them into the playoffs this year..the west is just to good. Selanne has the linesmates, so anyone tell me why he isn’t putting up 80+ point seasons?

    5. Phoenix- Laugh all you want, but with all the young guys. Add in a vet, as well as a vezenia canidate. And throw in the fact their ‘backup’ could start on a lot of teams. They’ll get as many points. Lose of Handzus might be larger then we think. As team chemistry made this team.

    6. Vancouver- This one was nearly a toss-up between Edmonton and Vancouver. Cloutier is solid, if he’s hot. Their first line is outstanding…if it’s hot. This ‘great’ team had a huge streak going into the playoffs. If not they don’t make it. And it was snapped like a twig by a shot from center ice. Consistency will be their word of the season. They do that, they get here. They don’t…well as I said about San Jose. It’s a tough confrence.

    7. St. Louis- Will the playoff streak continue? Yeah I believe it will. Their problem is chemistry. Weight and Ktchack will need to get that going and throughly dominate…as their line-up is a lot thinner then it use to be. Questions on D as well…they have guys that are still in the proving stage on D. And Pronger is amazing…when healthy. Which has been a issue and will continue to be an issue. (Gotta feel bad for this guy, it’s more often then not on the fluke things, St. Louis fans should hope he brings a lucky rabbit’s foot to games).

    8. Edmonton- 8 spots, and really none are even close to set in stone. The first 4 could easily swap. 5-8 could just as easily be 9-12. I take Edmonton because it’s a fast paced team with a lot of bite. They’re great defensively and Salo is a strong goaltender. They just can’t have their typical ‘end of the year’ drought in wins. Consitency, taking after Vancouver just plaster that in the drssing room.

    9. Los Angles- I love to watch this team play. But they just are getting into a harder confrence this year. Dallas won’t have the off year so their division gets more difficult. Phoenix gets better. San Jose continues to be there. Just to hard to determine what teams will make it anymore. Offensive depth is my major concearn for them. Smolonski isn’t a solid 2nd liner.

    10. Chicago- I don’t like to count this team out but they had a good run which was capped off poorly. They lose Daze for the first 12 games. They add Fleury but drop off Amonte. Bell and Sullivan will be fun to watch. But they need a stronger goaltender, and they are no longer the game that teams see as an easier win.

    11. Anaheim- If they were in the East they’d be in the playoffs. But the West, 11 might be the best they can do. 80+ point season isn’t out of the question. But as seen in hte last few seasons 90+ just to make it. I expect to see Oates as a top assist leader and Sykora to have a 60 point season as well as Kariya at over 80. That line will be good. Their defense is a question, and seeing Giguire playing. He is the real deal.

    12. Calagary- Will Iglna repeat? Maybe he’ll get another 90 point season. But that won’t do it. And same as last year, that won’t do it to get you in the playoffs. This team started strong, but dropped off. They need a better center for Iglna and a true 2nd line. Tanguay trade would’ve been smart, as watching him last night he’s amazing to watch with the touch passes. Turek needs to get on a LONG hot streak for them to move up further.

    13. Minnesota- Gaborik continues to improve. Fernandez will improve. Ronning adds a bit of leadership. Coach is great (though I hate their trap). They’ll get better and probally 5 years this team will be with the elite. Everyone that doubts me..just wait and see.

    14. Columbus- Many like Nashville more, but I have to say I like Denis over Dunham. And the additions of Lachance and Richardson will help a lot (see Blackhawks 2001-2002). I think Cassels and Sanderson are going to improve their stats if only cause of playing time. Which was why I choose Sanderson for my team. Nash will be called up but won’t play a full season. Whitney will have a better year. But then again they can just as easily drop off.

    15. Nashville- Sorry I rag on them so much, but letting go of Ronning. Scott Walker is a great player that’s overshadowed by his team’s lack of ability. Hartnell will be something to watch. As will Legwand. But I just believe they’ll be dropping behind. As they didn’t get better only got worse.

  16. shorn89 says:

    Consider me chilled. I understand it is an opinion but it is a pretty strong one to throw out there and not expect an emotional response. It’s one thing to give props to your team, it’s another to call for the demise of another team. It’s great that you have such passion for your team but avs fans aren’t lacking in that dept either.

  17. Robert says:

    Canucks have a great young team, they can pull it off, but unlikely. They still missing many parts to their team, defense, goaltending, right now it’s enough to get you buy, but they are in need for improvment.

  18. Guz09 says:

    hey stupid the top 3 cant be dallas colorado san jose because its the top of the have to be a dallas fan you know noting about hockey

  19. aaron says:

    Impossible conference to predict.

    1. Detroit Red Wings: What can I say? They aren’t significantly worse than they were last year, and last year they had the President’s wrapped up all but mathmatically in Februrary.

    2. Colorado Avs: They have Forsberg back. That makes them dangerous. Let’s see if he can stay back this time.

    3. San Jose Sharks: Assuming they sign Nabokov. This team is deadly. Well balanced, physical, tough on defense and offense.

    4. LA Kings: This team’s been on the verge of breaking out for a long time. If they can start as well as they finish this season, then they’re going to be good.

    5. Vancouver Canucks: A few key trades midway through last season turned this team from a bottom dweller to a contender. Look for them to continue on this path.

    6. Dallas Stars: Still need to pull things together, but this roster sure as hell better not miss the playoffs AGAIN. At least this year, the talent they acquired is LEGITIMATE.

    7. St. Louis Blues: Its been what? 30 years since they missed the playoffs? Don’t count them out this year.

    8. Phoenix Coyotes: These guys impress me. Great goalie, solid defense, and balanced, energetic offense. Way to be.

  20. jlarge says:

    Now here is another challenge, when will they sign him? Hopefully, not until late December…late December, but I believe he will be with them with in two weeks of the start of the season.

    And how far do they move up your list with him?


  21. canucklehead says:

    COLORADO SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CANUCKS WILL WIN THE NW

  22. PanMan says:

    Not bad predictions. I would have Columbus higher than Nashville, Minnesota, and maybe even Calgary (although that might be stretching it). Columbus has a good team and had a really bad season last year. They should challenge for the 12th spot this year.

    Edmonton will probably make the playoffs at 7th or 8th. Other than that they look pretty good.

    By the way it’s “during”, not “juring.” I know it wasn’t an accidental mistake since the d and the j are quite a ways apart and it was written twice 🙂 Not that I’m being picky, but I just thought it was funny how people type what they hear (kind of like “I would of . . .” instead of “I would have . . .” 🙂

  23. freshprince says:

    yah true…sorry guyz……….switch detroit and san jose

  24. amok says:

    I agree with you on Baron and Helmer. Baron’s the kind of guy that I love to have on the third pair and PK, but him as a top 4 worries me. I really like how the acquisition of Salo alleviates that problem. Although, it would be nice to hear Salo say something positive about himself. The guy seems like he’s got esteem problems.

    The Canucks might come in eighth again. Or they might come in fifth. Dallas replaces Chicago and the Canucks should be able to beat out Edmonton and Phoenix.

    I wouldn’t count on Klatt lighting it up. But he is a damned hard worker and a good guy to have on the team. I’m happy to have him back.

    Druken scares me. And it ain’t his looks. I am praying to the hockey Gods that Henrik is ready for second line center because there’s no way in hell Druken is. If he stayed healthy last year he’d have had 12 goals and 12 assists. I know he played all his games at the beginning when the Canucks were godawful, but still, I don’t see why he’s being hailed as this replacement for Cassels. I hope Burke still has one more move left in him, and that’s to acquire someone to play with Linden and Hlavac.

    If the Sedins can combine for 95-100 points this year that would be great. If they spend any time with a double shifted Bertuzzi that should be attainable. I read a report somewhere that the Sedins don’t look any faster, but they do look stronger. They’re never going to blow by anyone, but if they can work on their cycling game and passing they’ll be fine.

    Chubarov seems like the kind of player that’s going to be solid every night and no one will really notice him. He seems jinxed with the puck, though.

  25. Overtime says:

    Good picks. I might rate LA lower because of their goaltending. I might rate Phoenix higher for the same reason. Wouldn’t it make sense for Dafoe to go to LA? He could help LA finish a few spots higher in the standings.

  26. mikster says:

    They move up 3rd, and reach the Finals.

  27. TownDrunk says:

    I find some of these predictions amusing. First off, Detroit will not be as good as they were last year. If Yzerman leaves, this team will miss his skill and leadership more than it misses Bowman.

    As far as the Sharks, many people feel that Kipper has better all around talent than Nabokov. Many people in the organization rates him higher than they did Nabby. Truth be told, I would rather go with Nabokov for the season, but if he does miss 10-15 games, Kipper can easily get the job done.

  28. shorn89 says:

    The canucks will absolutely win the NW….win colorado moves to a different division, until then keep dreaming

  29. Slats says:











  30. Leaf_Expert says:


  31. Sugar_Ray_Ryan says:

    Okay, I’m probably one of the biggest Oil fans in the Western Hemisphere, but barring a miracle from the Almighty Above (start prayin’), there’s NO WAY we’ll be in 4th this year. Too many question marks. 6th to 8th is more like it.


  32. MantaRay says:

    The reason you had off seasons for Av’s forwards is the lack of Raymond Bourque.

    The AV’s have no one on defense that compliments the Av forwards in terms of the transition game. Blake is a powerplay specialist, and Foote is a smart defense first type of player.

    Without Bourque no one can get the outlet pass to the talented forwards of Colorado.

    The Av’s also relie far too much on Roy to save them when the D can move the puck out of the zone (particularly Blake).

    If Roy falters, so do the AV’s.

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