The Western Conference Team Rankings

After taking a look at what has happened in the Eastern Conference so far this year, its time to look at who’s the best in the West for the first half of the season.
1) Detroit- It’s hard to pick one from the top 3 teams in the West (Colorado, Vancouver, Detroit), but as it stands Detroit is number one in the West, and I feel they went through the most adversity of the three teams, having 9 regulars out and their 3 ring goaltending circus. Detroit is the highest scoring team in the NHL, which is pretty amazing considering they had 6 forwards (2 full lines) out at one time. Datsyuk and Schneider have made the biggest impact on the team this year, and the Cujo come back is also drawing attention. If this team can get healthy expect their defense to improve, and no trades at the deadline. Should be a interesting second half to see if Datsyuk can keep up his numbers and if the 3 ring goaltending circus can be resolved.

MVP- Datsyuk

2) Colorado- Like Detroit a few injuries to this team (Kariya and Forsberg) have slowed this team down a bit, but now that they are healthy, they are 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games. The third highest scoring team in the NHL holds a lot of firepower. Don’t mess with this teams power play. Expect them to be neck and neck with Vancouver right till the end. David Aebischer has put up some excellent numbers so far but can he keep it up in the second half and even into the playoffs?

MVP- Aebischer

3) Vancouver- A solid team at home and on the road, this team is my pick for the President’s Trophy. Jovanovski is not having the season I thought he would, but Sopel is playing way above expectations, and Ohlund might be the most underrated defensemen in the NHL. Bertuzzi needs to score a little bit more and Cloutier has to make a statement at these years playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this team pick up one more forward before the deadline.

MVP- Naslund

4) St.Louis- A very solid team this year, but so many injuries has really hurt this team. Easily could have been number one team at this point if it wasn’t for their injuries on the blue line. Weight and Tkachuk are averaging a point per game but have to stop getting suspensions. Pronger is the Norris Trophy winner at the moment. Osgood has been okay but is going to have to be better with Macinnis and Jackman out.

MVP- Pronger

5) San Jose- Look who’s back. The Sharks are again among the elite western conference teams this year and are continuing to get better. Should end up being a close race between SJ, Dallas, Phoenix and LA. Right now they look kind of thin upfront besides Marleau but the goaltending tandem of Nabokov and Toskala have been solid all year. Has anyone notice how big their defensemen are? There monsters!

MVP- Marleau

6) Calgary- I don’t want to jinx them but I think the Flames will be making a long waited return to the playoffs this year. The story of this team has been Kiprusoff who is having an amazing year, and should be returning from injury fairly soon. This teams goals against average is second only to the defending Stanley Cup Champions, and Iginla is having a good season after a poor one last year.

MVP- Kiprusoff

7) Phoenix- Who needs Burke when you have Boucher getting 5 shutouts in a row. It remains to be seen if this was a fluke but Doan and Nagy are having all-star like seasons. The Coyotes will be hard pressed to make the playoffs this year with such a young team, but expect them to be right in the mix.

MVP- Nagy

8) Nashville- Anyone notice this team gets a lot of fans for a non-playoff team, and a team from down south? Anyways, this team doesn’t do anything particularly good but they don’t do anything really bad either. Their main surprises this year come from two defensemen, Timonen who has 22 points and Zidlicky who has 25 points. Upfront their top scorer has 28 points, but they are still clinging to a playoff berth at the present time. A pretty good team at home, if they could end the season with a .500 record on the road they could grab the final playoff spot.

MVP- Legwand

9) Dallas- What’s going on in Dallas? They’ve gone to first in the West last year to the middle of the pack this year. Makes you wonder how much Hatcher really meant to this team. A team with as much firepower upfront as the Stars should not have only 90 goals this year. Guerin is the only star on this team playing like a star, and Modano should hold his head in shame this year.

MVP- Guerin

10) LA- Deadmarsh, Palffy, Allison and Straka, all superstars, but also all injured for the rest of the season. I don’t know what to say about this team, if they were healthy they would win their division and make the playoffs but they aren’t. Now that Palffy is done for the season, they will have to depend on a aging forward in Robitaille and a young star in Frolov, for scoring.

MVP- Palffy

11) Edmonton- Not doing very well in the goals against department this year, and their offense if average at best. They traded Comrie and now their top center Horcoff has 6 goals, between the their top 5 center’s they’ve combined for a total of 15 goals. Salo is having another bad year in net and it makes you wonder if he’s still haunted by that Olympic goal. Their power play is 29th in the league, ouch.

MVP- York

12) Minnesota- Had the problem of signing Gaborik this year and since they signed him he isn’t doing much anyways. Looks like Daigle has finally found a home in Minny, but a real hurting stat is that no one on this team has 10 goals yet. The only real bright spot so far this year is Roloson who is putting up some outstanding numbers.

MVP- Roloson

13) Anaheim- Talk about Stanley Cup Finals hangover, I hope they don’t become another Carolina. Fedorov after a slow start is starting to pick his game up, but the team still isn’t scoring enough goals. Giguere has come back down to earth and isn’t looking like the goalie he was last year. Their not out of the playoff picture yet but at 2-5-3 in their last 10 games, they soon will be.

MVP- Fedorov

14) Chicago- The injury to Thibault has really killed this team. Basically they’ve been playing with backup goaltenders all year and the injuries to Zhamnov and Daze also hurt. Look for Zhamnov to be moved at the deadline if he doesn’t sign a extension soon. They’ve given up the third most goals against.

MVP- Bell

15) Columbus- Not sure why so many people thought this team would make the playoffs. When’s the last time you saw the top goal scorer in the NHL on the team that has scored the third fewest goals? Nash has been the only bright spot on this team this year, but Denis is taking way too much heat, he isn’t playing that bad.

MVP- Nash

So that concludes the first half of the year power rankings. Should be a very interesting second half. I can’t wait to see if Atlanta or the Rangers can make the playoffs in the East, or if the Nashville and Calgary can keep their playoff spots in the West.


18 Responses to The Western Conference Team Rankings

  1. distance7 says:

    Well, Nashville should be listed in 7th. Though I like Legwand alot, the MVP for the Preds is obviously Tomas Vokoun.

  2. Lint07 says:

    I second that.

  3. TC_4 says:

    I’m sorry, I have to disagree on a few points. Good article, but Horcoff is the Oilers 4th line centre. York is 1, Oates is 2, Reasoner is 3. The Oilers problem is kinda of goals, but 5 on 5 they’re one of the best teams in the league. They’ve had a brutal PK up until the holidays, and a brutal PP all year. I would have put Nashville ahead of Phoenix, but it’s a toss up between them two teams. I expect one of them 2 to not make the playoffs, if not both, and Calgary will hit a slide sometime soon, not fall out of the playoffs, but the bottom half of the West is already noticeably closing in on them and St.Louis.

  4. trailerparkboys says:

    TC I hear you it is hard to be a OILERS fan , The worst thing about the whole thing is the oilers are playing good hockey, even through the losing streak. Bad bounces and the worst luck i’ve seen from them in a while. yes I read a comment from you yesterday, about the oil and how fans (of other teams) shit on them . they proble didn’t watch any games.

    Every year they have a 15 to 20 game slide (big slide) but when they come out of it they usly win about 10 in a row.

    The losing streak is normly jan through feb. now that it is over lets have some fun.

    I think it was 2000 2001 when Calgary won like 20 straight games oct to nov and still didn’t make the playoffs. I’m not knocking them .but they don’t have a spot yet. I would like to see Calgary in but not ahead of the oil.

    BUBBLES OUT

  5. TC_4 says:

    Yes, yes, and yes some more!!! I agree with everything, and look for the Oil to be at least in the playoffs, if not climb to 6th. I know it may sound crazy, but I just think this team has too much talent, and too much heart, and what better motivation then to listen to Bob Stauffer’s show and here him and all the callers wanting them to unload the team. Prove them wrong!!! By the way…..LOVE THE NAME!!! Say hi to your kittties for me!

  6. The_Conductor says:

    Ummm… Detroit. Good Call… My slogan is like MC Dix’s… “I’m Lovin It”.

    Other then that… good article and its pretty truthful and accurate.

    However… Chicago MVP—> Got to be the fans. I mean to go game after game and watch that… thats a cause for MVP.

    Edmonton MVP… Is York or Salo. Why Salo you ask. Well has be drug through the dirt all year and is now starting to step up. I think he deserves Co-MVP just for sticking with the crap we feed him.Never said he has been good all year, (I just feel sorry for the guy)!

    Last of all… Co- MVP’s for the Ducks. Feddy yes because he has been the leader of this team… but is still a hot/cold player and seems to be streaky. But Andy McDonald, having a career year, and been given the opportunity to get roles on pp, pk, and first line. Though he started late into the NHL and is nearly 30… I still see him as a young player who has the oppertunity to be a 20 goal scorer and 50 point getter.

    Disagree or agree… its all the same to me! And thats my picks I’m George Layton.

  7. SwiftLEAF says:

    Calgary is without a doubt better than San Jose.

  8. TRaPT1307 says:

    I agree with every thing that you said.

  9. GeniushockeyKID says:

    Fifth…d’oh!

  10. wheresthesoda says:

    i’m going to have to disagree with calgary’s mvp.

    kiprusoff was great the game’s he’s played but lately its been all iginla. Recently this team has been winning from iginla. kiprusoff is out and iginla is starting to look like 52 goal iginla.

    he’s playing like one of the top players in the league right now.

  11. trailerparkboys says:

    The kitties are fine, ha ha ha ..Watching the game right now (from Halifax) The oil is up by 1 to 0 4 min left in second .gotta go

    go oil go

    BUBBLES OUT

  12. Zman says:

    I also agree Nashville should be #7. Also, have you even watched a preds game this season? Legwand is having a horrible slump. The MVP is definitely vokoun and 2nd would have to be walker (especially as of late).

  13. d_only_Flames_Fan says:

    Yeah.

    And i believe i said something about gaborik not doint much this year back when they signed him?

  14. bignorth says:

    Why the hell is Modano starting at the All-Star Game?

  15. Gnashpred says:

    Strong agreement with this assesment. I’m sure disatance7 wants it to be Legwand as MVP but Vokun and Walker for sure. Legwand is not what this team drafted him to be – He should be dumped as trade bait is someone actually wants him.

  16. distance7 says:

    Hey guy, read the first reply to this article.

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