The Ultimate Predicitions: Western Conference
The western conference is probably the hardest conference in sports to make the playoffs. There are so many good teams. Here is how i think they standings will go down.1. Avalanche- are the best team on paper by far, offensively anyways. Can that many superstars coexist on the same team? If they can get a goalie, i don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t win the cup. But with Abeischer, they only trophy they will see is the presidents trophy.
2. Red Wings- are getting older, if thats possible, and have a major controversy in goal. Have the best defence in the league, and forwards aren’t too bad either. If they can get another forward for Cujo, i think they have a better shot at the cup than the avs do.
3. Los Angeles- yes, this may be biased, but i think they are now good enough to take the division away from dallas. They have improved the goaltending, got more depth, and have youngsters ready to make an impact (Dustin Brown, Alex Frolov, Mike Cammaleri, Jared Aulin). As long as Allison, and Deadmarsh can stay healthy, watch out!!
4. Vancouver- finally got a good goalie in Hedberg, who will possibly steal the starters role from Cloutier. They have an improved team and should challenge the avalanche for the division title again. A good enough team to go all the way.
5. Dallas- with Turco yet unsigned, they might fall in the standings a bit. With letting Hatcher go to the Wings, shouldn’t be as good of a team as last year. I don’t think a stanley cup is in there future.
6. St.Louis- if they get a better goalie (ie. Cujo), could make a run at the wings for the division. This team seems to be on the decline. Wouldn’t be surprised if they try to dump any of all of there big 3, that being Weight, Tkachuk, and Demitra.
7. Minnesota- the most boring team on the planet knows how to get it done. The longer Gaborik holds out, the less of a chance they have to making it back to the playoffs. Gaborik is essential to the wilds success, but i think they will sign him sooner than later.
8. Anaheim- i don’t think Anaheim is as good as they showed last year, same as Giguere, who has yet to sign on the dotted line. Without Giguere and Sykora, they don’t have a chance. Sure they signed Prospal and Fedorov, but without giguere and Sykora, Fedorov will have to carry the whole team himself, which I don’t think he can.
Those are the teams i believe will challenge for the cup come april. Other teams to look out for
Edmonton- need Isbister and Dvorak to step up
Nashville- need to sing Legwand soon, hes a major factor in them going anywhere.
Columbus- made some moves in the offseason to improve, and have some awsome young players (Klesla, Nash and Zherdiev)
Chicago- can Brian Sutter lead this team into the playoffs. No Fleury distractions this year hopefully. Is Ruutu as good as they say he is?
Teams with No Chance
San Jose- were a power a couple of years ago, but something has happened to the team that was supposed to be the next western power. No Selanne will hurt too.
Phoenix- a younger team that needs a couple more years to mature. Gretzky needs to use some of his magic to get this team anywhere.
Calgary- After Iginla, who is going to score? Turek is a bust, and there D is young. Could be a major sleeper, but being a calgary resident myself, don’t see them going anywhere.
What do you guys think?