The Northwest Division is in the middle of a Predator barrage as Nashville played 3 of the division's opponents last week and adds a fourth tonight in Vancouver. For those interested, their NHL Guardian is actually kind of cool. Just kidding. None of these are cool. What were you thinking, Stan Lee & Co.?
The division itself is remarkably consistent in terms of team standings. This is the third I've done this and there has yet to be a single position swap. Vancouver and Edmonton, barring something spectacular, likely have locked down their positions for the remainder of the season, leaving Colorado, Minnesota, and Calgary to duke it out for the rest. Calgary has been pretty hot lately, taking a page from Vancouver's book and deciding that if they HAVE to lose, they're doing it in OT. Minnesota is still boring. Sigh.
As much as Avs fans have been kind of freaking out about our lackluster play of late, we are still 5-4-1 in the last 10. 11 points out of 20 possible isn't great, but looking at the last 10 of the teams behind us, only Minnesota and Calgary are making up any ground and they aren't doing it very quickly. Unfortunately, if we don't get in gear, we're going to be in a fight for 8th place and stay within a realistic striking distance of the 7 teams above us. So please, Avalanche, GET IT TOGETHER. Thanks!
As always, any criticisms and/or suggestions for next week's article are welcome. Standings Ho!
Team capsules after the jump...
All standings related info pulled from NHL.com
Calgary Flames (50 GP 23-21-6 52 Pts)
Last Week: 3-1-1 4-5 OTL @ MTL, 0-6 L vs. MIN, 7-4 W vs. DAL, 4-3 W @ VAN, 3-1 W vs. NSH
Conference Standing: 12th Place, 4 points behind 8th place Colorado and 17 behind 1st place Vancouver.
- Goals For: 2.7 (18th)
- Goals Against: 2.9 (19th)
- Power Play %: 15.3 (24th)
- Penalty Kill %: 82.0 (15th)
Fun Facts: Jarome Iginla has finished 6 of his 13 NHL seasons with a negative rating. He also has 3 seasons with ratings of +5, +1, and even. His career +/-? +53, including this year's -10. Amazing stuff.
This Week: The Flames resurgence continued last week and will only have one game Wednesday vs. STL. Hopefully the Blues rebound from the beating we gave them and extinguish some Flames. snickersnicker
News: Awesome story here as a Flames usher and fan split the winnings from a winning ticket.
Homies at Matchsticks and Gasoline have a round table throw down about the rebuilding project the Flames are undergoing.
George Johnson of the Calgary Herald discuss how the improbable has become possible for the Flames and their quest to return to the postseason to get crushed in the first round.
Injuries: C Daymond Langkow is still out indefinitely with a "head" injury, D Steve Staios is listed as day to day with an "upper body" injury, and F Raitis Ivanans is day to day with a head injury (no shock there, really). Their website has not updated their injury report in 14 days. Bums.
Colorado Avalanche (49 GP 25-18-6 56 Pts)
Last Week: 2-2-0 4-3 W vs. VAN, 1-5 L vs. NSH, 2-6 L vs. BOS, 4-3 W vs. STL
Conference Standings: 8th place, 1 point ahead of 9th place San Jose and 14 points behind first place Vancouver.
- Goals For: 3.2 (4th)
- Goals Against: 3.3 (29th)
- Power Play %: 21.2 (7th)
- Penalty Kill %: 77.2 (28th)
This Week: Just one game this week before the all-star festivities as the Avalanche play host Wednesday vs. PHX. 2 points and then an All Star weekend. Yaaaaay skills competition!
Edmonton Oilers (47 GP 14-25-8 36 Pts)
Last Week: 0-2-1 1-4 L vs. MIN, 2-4 l vs. DAL, 2-3 OTL vs. NSH
Conference Standings: 15th place, 20 points behind 8th place Colorado and 33 (!) points behind first place Vancouver.
- Goals For: 2.5 (27th)
- Goals Against: 3.3 (30th)
- Power Play %: 12.1 (29th)
- Penalty Kill %: 74.0 (30th)
Fun Facts: Nikolai Khabibulin maintained his streak of excellence this season as he held his GAA at 3.46. Last week it was good for 49th in the league but the Bulin Wall is movin' on up (to the East side...) as he is now 45th in the league. Honestly, nothing about this team is fun so I get to enjoy loling at their starting goaltender.
This Week: Edmonton has a chance to gain some ground on its division rivals as they play 2 games this week, starting Tuesday @ PHX and continuing Wednesday @ DAL. Here's to hopin the Oilers beat the hell out of the Coyotes for us so they're nice and freshly bruised Wednesday night =D
News: Gene Principe delves into the shootout woes of the Oilers.
Oilers GM Steve Tambellini announces Ales Hemsky and Jordan Eberle will be unavailable for action during the All-Star weekend festivities.
Bored? Watch some highlights from the Oilers Skills Competition. It's kind of amusing, actually. There's an entire channel here to watch interviews and pick through which stuff you want to watch. Enjoy!
Elliotte Friedman uses 2 of his 30 thoughts to talk about the Oilers but I thought they were quality enough that I tossed this here. Huzzah!
Lisa McRitchie over at Copper & Blue takes a look at Oilers come and gone. I love stuff like this.
Transactions: Taylor Chorney was reassigned to Oklahoma City of the AHL January 22.
- Shawn Horcoff is on IR and is day to day with a knee injury.
- Ryan Whitney is on IR and is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
- Jordan Eberle is on IR and is day to day with an ankle injury.
- Jim Vandermeer is on IR and is day to day with an ankle injury.
- Gilbert Brule is not on IR (?!?!) and is out indefinitely with an ankle injury
- Ales Hemsky is not on IR and is out indefinitely with a concussion.
Minnesota Wild (48 GP 24-19-5 53 Pts)
Last Week: 2-1-0 4-1 W @ EDM, 6-0 W @ CGY, 3-4 L vs. SJ
Conference Standing: 10th place, 3 points behind 8th place Colorado, 16 points behind 1st place Vancouver.
- Goals For: 2.6 (20th)
- Goals Against: 2.7 (11th)
- Power Play %: 21.4 (6th)
- Penalty Kill %: 82.7 (11th)
Fun Facts: Minnesota was outshot in its 3 games last week, 111-76, including being outshot 37-24 in their 6-0 win over Calgary. Corsi say whaaaaattttt.
This Week: Minnesota plays their only game of the week Tuesday @ CHI where they're likely to get crushed all over the ice. This team is even boring to write about ffs.
News: Former Wild prospect Nick Leddy is diggin his Chicago digs.
The Wild will be participating in Hockey for Huggies. No word on if they will also be playing copious amounts of Miley Cyrus in the locker room after they get Godzillastomped by Chicago.
Speaking of Godzilla, youngster Emilio Rodriguez talks about his fight against cancer. Awesome stuff, kid. I root for you forever!
A little piece on James Sheppard's recovery from a knee injury suffered in an ATV accident. Apparently the team is withholding his salary this season because of it. I'd be pisssseedddd.
BReynolds over at Hockey Wilderness has a piece about the Nabokov situation but I'm mostly linking to him because he refers to Peter Forsberg as "despicable". If you head on over, play nice. Or not. Whichever.
- Jan 20 - G Anton Khudobin reassigned to Houston (thank god because the Aeros badly need him)
- 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.
- Jose Theodore has a hip injury and is day-to-day though he is serving backup duties.
- Marco Scandella has a mild concussion after taking a puck to the face and remains out of the lineup. Enjoy All-Star weekend, dude. Concussions ftl.
Vancouver Canucks (49 GP 30-10-9 69 Pts)
Last Week: 1-0-3 3-4 OTL @ COL (succckkkaaaa), 1-2 OTL vs. SJ, 3-4 OTL vs. CGY, 7-1 W vs. DAL
Conference Standing: 1st Place, 5 points ahead of 2nd place Detroit.
- Goals For: 3.3 (3rd)
- Goals Against: 2.3 (3rd)
- Power Play %: 24.0 (2nd)
- Penalty Kill %: 83.8 (8th)
Fun Facts: Vancouver technically lost 4 games in a row last week but managed to pull 3 points out of them and INCREASED their lead over second place Detroit. Rephrase: They increased their lead despite losing 4 in a row. White. Hot.
This Week: Vancouver joins the Week of the Predator party late Tuesday vs. NSH. Pekka Rinner, please dominate them. PLEASE. Thanks, yo.
News: Story about the induction of Thomas Gradin into the Canucks Ring of Honour.
Apparently it was fitting the Sedins were dominant on Thomas Gradin Night. Also there are dudes on the Canucks actually NOT scoring. Weird.
Thomas Gradin overload? If not, you're a Canucks fan and I caught you. Huzzah!
Hockey players get hurt. Strange things are afoot at the Vancouver Circle K.
- Jan 23 - D Lee Sweatt recalled from Manitoba.
- Jan 23 - RW Sergei Shirokov reassigned to Manitoba.
- Alex Bolduc will miss 3-4 weeks with a shoulder injury sustained in last week's win over Washington.
- Aaron Rome will also miss 3-4 weeks with an MCL sprain, also suffered in last week's win over Washington.
- Sami Salo remains sidelined with an exploded Achilles. He is listed as week-to-week.
- Andrew Alberts is out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.