Northwest Check - January 10, 2011

With the Avs struggling here of late, I thought it pertinent to take a look at our division as a whole and see how everyone has been doing recently. As this is something I would like to continue to do on a weekly basis, if any of you have anything you want me to add for what I look for each week, just let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to look into it.


NORTHWEST GP W L OT Pts GF GA Diff Home Away S/O L10 Streak
1 Vancouver 41 27 8 6 60 141 99 +42 15-3-3 12-5-3 1 - 3 8-0-2
2 Colorado 42 21 15 6 48 139 134 +5 11-8-3 10-7-3 3 - 0 3-5-2
3 Minnesota 42 21 16 5 47 107 118 -11 10-10-2 11-6-3 0 - 4 6-3-1 Lost 1
4 Calgary 42 18 20 4 40 112 123 -11 11-8-1 7-12-3 4 - 3 4-5-1
5 Edmonton 40 13 20 7 33 101 138 -37 7-11-3 6-9-4 1 - 6 2-6-2 Lost 1


Vancouver likely won't lose another game in regulation this season and Minnesota's solid play of late has them all caught up with us as we've taken Matt Hunwick's cue and decided we hate winning. Nice. This was written before the Detroit game and finished after the delicious victory so you can all thank me for reverse jinxing our losing ways away for one night =p

Team capsules after the jump...

All standings-related information pulled from

Calgary Flames (42 GP 18-20-4 40 Pts)

Last Week: 0-2-1 2-5 L vs. NYI, 1-3 L @ VAN, 4-5 OTL vs. DET   I'm fairly content to see Calgary losing games against common opponents for us over the last two weeks but do we really want to be in the same boat as the freaking Flames? Bah!

Conference Standing: 14th Place, 7 behind 8th place Los Angeles and 20 behind 1st place Vancouver.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.6 (20th)
  • Goals Against: 2.9 (19th)
  • Power Play %: 15.2 (24th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 79.8 (22nd)

Fun Facts: Calgary outshot their opponents 126-74, for a 3 game average of 42 Shots For and 24.66 Shots Against...and didn't win a single game.

This Week: Calgary begins a 4 game road trip this week with tilts Tuesday @ CAR and continuing with a back-to-back Friday @ OTT and Saturday @ TOR. This week represents a great chance for Calgary to make up some points in the standings as they play 2 teams currently way out of the playoff picture (Ottawa/Toronto) and 1 sitting in 9th place in the Eastern Conference (Carolina).

News: Calgary was in the headlines quite a bit for the six game suspension given to Tom Kostopoulos for his high hit on Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart.

Unsurprisingly, the Flames disagree with the heavy sentence handed down.

Calgary's AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat, have a new captain in Quintin Lang.

Kristi Hennessy takes a quick look at how 3 Flames prospects did in the recently concluded WJC. John Rampage is a great hockey name.

Flames winger Ales Kotalik came close to an unofficial NHL record recently as he ripped a shot clocked at 105.1 MPH in a skills competition.

Hayley over at Matchsticks and Gasoline asks the question: Can the Flames improve?

Transactions: Defenseman Brendan Mikkelson was recalled on January 9.


  • Center Daymond Langkow is out indefinitely with a neck injury.
  • Defensemen Steve Staios is day-to-day with an 'upper body' injury.
  • Forward Raitis Ivanans is day-to-day with a head injury.

Edmonton Oilers (40 GP 13-20-7 33 Pts)

Last Week: 1-2-0  3-5 L vs. DET, 2-1 W vs. NYI, 1-6 L @ VAN  Even Edmonton beat the Islanders. Let's all glare at Matt Hunwick collectively >_>

Conference Standings: 15th place, 14 points behind 8th place Los Angeles and 27 (!) points behind first place Vancouver.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.5 (24th)
  • Goals Against: 3.3 (30th)
  • Power Play %: 14.2 (28th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 74.3 (30th)

Fun Facts: Goalie Devan Dubnyk has appeared in 13 games, starting 11 of them, and has more OT/SO losses (5) than wins or regulation losses (3 of each). He also has a GAA of 2.78 and a SV% of .918. Interestingly, Edmonton continues to run Khabibulin (27 GS) and his 3.78 GAA and .895 SV% out there twice as often as Dubnyk.

This Week: Edmonton continues a 5-game road trip with games @DAL Tuesday and then heads off to California for games @SJ Thursday and @LA Saturday. What more is there to say for the Oilers other than...good luck?

News: Oilers Head Amateur Scout Stu MacGregor talks about the team's recent mid-season meetings and his thoughts on the big club's 3 big-time rookies.

Copper & Blue takes a look at Edmonton's striking ability to find a consistent way to manage to lose.

The Edmonton Journal evokes images of rapper Eminem when asking for the real Kurtis Foster to please stand up.

Because the Oilers are yet again angling for a top pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft, Edmonton's 'official' site is inundated with stories about the recent announcement of the NHL Central Scouting's mid-season rankings of this year's draft-eligible prospects. This article takes a look at Adam Larsson in comparison to Victor Hedman when he was just a wee prospect lad himself.

Transactions: Forwards Linus Omark and Liam Reddox were recalled on January 3. Defenseman Taylor Chorney was recalled January 10.


Minnesota Wild (42 GP 21-16-5 47 Pts)

Last Week: 4-1-0 6-5 W vs. PHX, 2-1 W @ NJ, 3-1 W @ BOS, 4-0 W @ PIT, 0-4 L vs. DAL The Wild experienced a rare offensive explosion in a shootout against the Coyotes and then proceeded to run roughshod over everyone's favorite punchline and 2 contenders in the Eastern Conference. Dallas was happy to welcome them home with a whoopin. Another team that can just cool it's jets with all this winning nonsense.

Conference Standing: 10th place, tied with 8th place Los Angeles and 9th place Phoenix but with 1 more GP than either team, 13 points behind 1st place Vancouver.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.5 (23rd)
  • Goals Against: 2.7 (14th)
  • Power Play %: 21.2 (7th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.4 (14th)

Fun Facts: In the 5 games last week (counting the Dallas game on Sunday), Forward Cal Clutterbuck, an Avalanche fan favorite, took 3 penalties; all of the interference variety. Another Avalanche fan favorite, Jose Theodore, posted a .946 SV% en route to going 3-1.

This Week: Minnesota has just 2 remaining games this week with a road game @NSH Tuesday night followed by an important game in the battle for second in the division Friday night against our very own Avalanche.

News: The aforementioned success of Jose Theodore led to him earning the NHL's 3rd Star of the Week.

The NHL unveiled the Minnesota Wild Superhero, named, "The Wild", as part of its NHL Guardian Project.

The boys at Hockey Wilderness are all too happy to share their thoughts on the NHL Guardian Project.

As the team was on its recent Eastern Conference road trip, so too was Glen Andresen and his camera as he takes a look at two of the newer arenas in the NHL. A pretty interesting read, if I do say so myself (and I do).

Infamous ranting madman Michael Russo asks who from the Wild should be headed to the All-Star Game.

Transactions: Forward Jed Ortmeyer was signed to a professional contract and assigned to Houston on January 5. Goalie Anton Khudobin was recalled from Houston on January 8. Defensemen Jared Spurgeon was reassigned to Houston January 10.


  • James Sheppard is still out with a knee injury with his return unknown.
  • Josh Harding remains out with a knee injury of his own but has begun skating lightly.
  • Guillaume Latendresse is out indefinitely with what is listed as a hip/hernia injury.
  • Marek Zidlicky is on IR with a shoulder injury and will remain out for the next 4-6 weeks while he rehabs.
  • Antti Miettinen has a "lower body injury" and is day-to-day.
  • Niklas Backstrom also has fallen victim to the "lower body injury" and will be seeing a specialist sometime this week with no timetable for his return as of yet.


Vancouver Canucks (41 GP 27-8-6 60 Pts)

Last Week: 4-0-1   2-1 W @ COL, 4-3 W @ SJ, 3-1 W vs. CAL, 6-1 W vs. EDM, 1-2 OTL vs. DET   Vancouver really took care of business within the division and pulled 3 of 4 possible points against 2 of the stronger Western Conference teams. You're welcome to stop at any point, guys.

Conference Standing: 1st Place, 1 point ahead of 2nd place Detroit.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 3.4 (1st)
  • Goals Against: 2.3 (4th)
  • Power Play %: 25 (1st)
  • Penalty Kill %: 85.4 (4th)

Fun Facts: Vancouver had 166 shots on goal in their 5 games last week for a solid average of 33.2 per game, which includes the game against Calgary in which they were actually outshot 44-21. 9 points in 7 days of work is a pretty darn good week.

This Week: The Canucks begin a 5 game road trip with an Eastern flavor, playing @ NYI Wednesday, @ NYR Thursday and immediately flying to DC to play @ WAS Friday evening. Even more reason for me to enjoy rooting for the Islanders when the Avs aren't involved.

News: Everyone's favorite pair of Swedish Twins continues to roll in accolades and praise as Daniel Sedin earned the NHL's First Star of the Week.

Head Coach Alain Vigneault has earned co-coaching honors for the All-Star Game festivities. Peter Laviolette of the Philadelphia Flyers will be the other coach.

Puck Daddy takes a look at why Vancouver simply can't be stopped.

Our SBN brethren at Nucks Misconduct take a look at the Fan Code of Conduct for Hat-Trick Celebrations. An entertaining read. As in read it. Right now.

Transactions: None.


  • Sami Salo continues to be listed as week-to-week as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon suffered last summer. is a fan community, allowing members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Colorado Avalanche and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editors of

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