Northwest Check - "That Hurt" Edition

Sup. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

There's not anything good to say this week. I've said all season I never expected the Avalanche to make the playoffs but to come SO close and fall short is painful. Starting with the kick to the nuts last Saturday at home, the entire week ended up being a prolonged punch in the face and disposing of the body in the river with the rest of the Western Conference loling the entire time.

Still, I'm not sure I've ever been more proud of the Avalanche as a team in non-Stanley Cup winning years. To be the cheapest and youngest roster in the NHL and coached by a guy who is just in just his 7th year as a coach at all and 5th as the big boss, the Avalanche hung in a playoff race until the very end with teams led by guys like Jarome Iginla, Joe Thornton, and Anze Kopitar & the Former Flyers. The Avalanche roster is filled with promising young players, many of whom actually underachieved this year, and are still going to just barely miss the playoffs.

Instead of hanging their heads after a rough 5-1 shellacking at San Jose, the Avs came out and blitzkrieged the Canucks with an all-out assault but were denied by a guy who is going to be a very good starter in this league when the Canucks can no longer keep him tied to the chair he currently inhabits. The Avs did what every fan wants: they kept plugging away, playing hard despite the circumstances, and for the love of Roy they didn't close up shop and call it a season with 30 games left to play again.

Maybe most importantly, the Avalanche put the rest of the Western Conference on notice: Watch out, doods, them there Yeti monster things are a comin' with the fury of blades of lightning next season. The kids essentially had 3 straight weeks of playoff-level hockey and there's a very good chance they learn from this experience and use it next year.

As sad as I am about this season ending the way it has, I'm already excited as hell for next season. The Avs aren't quite back, but they're close and they're coming for all the teams who finish ahead of them. Especially you, Detroit.

Go Avs.


Northwest Standings

GP W L OTL PT
Vancouver 77 47 21 9 103
Colorado 79 40 33 6 86
Calgary 78 35 28 15 85
Minnesota 77 32 35 10 74
Edmonton 77 31 37 9 71

(updated 3.30.2012 at 1:01 AM MDT)


Team capsules after the jump.

All standings related info taken from NHL.com...

Calgary Flames

Last Week: 1-2-0 1-4 L @ DAL, 5-4 W vs DAL, 0-3 L vs. LA

Conference Standing: 11th Place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.38 (25th)
  • Goals Against: 2.64 (12th)
  • Power Play %: 17.5 (15th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.9 (11th)

This Week: The Flames desperately try to hold on to their playoff hopes when they host fellow flounderer Colorado on Friday night before heading to Vancouver Saturday for a very tough back-to-back and then enduring 4 days off before finishing their week by hosting Vancouver Thursday.

News: The Flames need about the same amount of help as the Avalanche do, making Friday's game essentially an elimination game.

Flames F Tom Kostopoulos was pretty unhappy about a fan's show of displeasure during the team's loss versus the Kings earlier this week.

Jay Bouwmeester is on the brink of the kind of history no player wants any part of.

The Flames ownership continues to branch out, buying stake in the local CFL team.

Transactions: Assigned Roman Horak to Abbotsford, signed Brady Lamb.

Injuries:

  • Mikael Backlund is on IR with an upper body injury.
  • Derek Smith is day-to-day with an upper body injury.
  • T.J. Brodie is day-to-day with an upper body injury.
  • Cory Sarich is day-to-day with an upper body injury.

Colorado Avalanche

Last Week: 0-2-1 2-3 OTL vs. VAN, 1-5 L @ SJ, 0-1 L @ VAN

Conference Standings: 9th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.48 (22nd)
  • Goals Against: 2.68 (15th)
  • Power Play %: 18.5 (12th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 81.6 (19th)

This Week: At Calgary Friday, five days off, host Columbus Thursday. Ugh.

Edmonton Oilers

Last Week: 2-1-0 2-1 W @ FLA, 6-3 W @ CBJ, 1-3 L vs. DAL

Conference Standings: 14th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.64 (14th)
  • Goals Against: 2.94 (25th)
  • Power Play %: 21.7 (1st)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.2 (14th)

This Week: Edmonton has plenty of chances to stick it to California as they play 4 games this week, starting Friday vs. LA and continuing on to the infamous SoCal Swing with Anaheim on Sunday and LA again Monday. The Oilers then return home for a Thursday date with...Anaheim again.

News: Yes, please Oilers, PLEASE let these guys continue taking NHL ice time next season.

This guy, too. He's a stuuuuud.

This article seems to believe Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the "favourite" for the Calder Trophy. lol how cute.

Justin Schultz may be Edmonton bound and is referred to as "the missing piece".

Transactions: Naaaaaaaaah.

Injuries:

Minnesota Wild

Last Week: 1-3-0: 1-3 L @ BUF, 0-3 L @ WSH, 2-3 L vs. NYR, 3-2 W vs. FLA

Conference Standing: 13th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.14 (29th)
  • Goals Against: 2.56 (10th)
  • Power Play %: 15.4 (25th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.3 (12th)

This Week: Minnesota, finally getting a bit healthier, finishes up the season in the thick of playoff races (still...) as they host LA on Saturday before heading to Chicago Sunday and Nashville Tuesday and promptly returning home for another Chicago matchup. So glad the Wild are helping determine playoff seeding in both conferences.

News: Hahaha it's still funny.

Jason Zucker had a whirlwind week as his DU career ended and his NHL journey began.

Marian Gaborik....not such a bad guy.

The Wild finally embraced the North Stars heritage even though it wasn't their idea. Huzzah!

Transactions: Signed DU kid Jason Zucker to ELC, reassigned F Chad Rau to Houston

Injuries: Lazy copy/paste mode ENGAGE.

  • Guillaume Latendresse has been diagnosed with concussion symptoms and is on Injured Reserve.
  • Pierre-Marc Bouchard has concussion symptoms and is on Injured Reserve.
  • Mike Lundin has been shut down for the season after having surgery on a sports hernia.
  • Matt Kassian suffered a sports hernia and is shut down for the season.
  • Jared Spurgeon has a concussion.
  • Matt Cullen has had surgery on a broken finger. He will be out for the remainder of the season.

Vancouver Canucks

Last Week: 3-0-0 (REDACTED), 1-0 W vs. LA, (REDACTED)

Conference Standing: 2nd place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 3.06 (4th)
  • Goals Against: 2.29 (5th)
  • Power Play %: 21.4 (3rd)
  • Penalty Kill %: 86.7 (5th)

This Week: Vancouver returns to action with a nice back-to-back Friday and Saturday as they host Dallas and Calgary, respectively, before awaiting the arrival of Anaheim on Tuesday and then jetting off to play their final road game of the season at Calgary on Thursday.

News: lol that this even exists is seriously embarrassing.

"Everyone is worse but the division is terrible so we're still getting by."

Manny Malhotra is the Vancouver nomination for the Masterton Trophy.

Canadian teams are bad at putting together Stanley Cup-contending rosters. Canucks are the only real hope left...again.

Transactions: None. They just chillin.

Injuries:

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