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Northwest Check - "Yeaaaaaaaaaahhh!" Edition

Awwwwwwwwww yeah! We're back and rollin. I actually had written the majority of last week's Northwest Check but a surprising amount of work and an intrusion of cute chicks kept me from pumping out the column fully. I was pretty worried all of my awesome "We're tied with Detroit but because they can suck it we're actually first!" jokes would become irrelevant but instead we straight passed them in the standings so...suck it, Detroit.

Dreams do come true!

In case you've been too caught up in the frenzy that is a 6-0-0 road record for the Avs, they're already putting some distance between themselves and the basement they came perilously close to occupying last season. With the team finally getting into divisional battles (half of our games against Calgary this season occur over the course of the next 3 weeks, I believe) they can start doing some head-to-head damage to their most important competition or allow those lagging behind to claw back into the picture. An early deficit can be hard to overcome, especially if you're probably going to be bad like Minnesota/Edmonton or just super bleh like Calgary. At least they'll always have math!

Speaking of math, looking at the standings right now I'd say those numbers add up to us being number one. I don't care how early it is. None of the other four teams are in first. You know why?

Because Colorado is.

Northwest Standings

Colorado 8 6 2 0 12
Vancouver 8 4 3 1 9
Minnesota 8 3 2 3 9
Edmonton 7 3 2 2 8
Calgary 7 2 4 1 5

(updated 10.24.2011 at 2:30 AM MDT)

Team capsules after the jump.

All standings related info taken from

Calgary Flames (7 GP 2-4-1 5 Pts)

Last Week: 1-1-1 2-1 W vs. EDM, 2-3 OTL vs. NYR, 0-2 L vs. NSH

Conference Standing: 14th Place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.1 (23rd)
  • Goals Against: 2.9 (21st)
  • Power Play %: 16.0 (16th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 85.2 (14th)

This Week: A light week for the Flames as they play host Wednesday night to division heavyweight Colorado in the first of six matchups between kool aid and calculators. If light sabers get popped, hopefully George Lucas doesn't sue us all. Calgary finishes their week of hard work by hosting St. Louis Friday night in game 5 of their current 6 game homestand.

News: For those who want to read the transactions section...there's something wrong with you. Seriously. But one of their top headlines comes courtesy of enforcer Raitis Ivanans as he was assigned to Abbotsford last Thursday.

I'm assuming the writer of this headline about Flames players scoring in the community meant it in a more mature manner than would be taken by MHH people because that's how we roll. Dag, yo.

Apparently two weeks is enough time to evaluate a trade so let's take a look at the Tim Erixon deal! I'm sure Caps fans are stoked nobody is evaluating the Varly trade just yet because there hasn't been enough time for his groin to explode and we're still playing good hockey.


Transactions: They haven't updated their transaction website since April. Because I doubt anybody actually reads this section, I'm just going to keep it with this placeholder statement until the madness ends. I'll just assume Calgary has made zero moves of late :D

Injuries: This hasn't been updated since October 8th hahaha. Who runs this website? The only for sure long-term injury listed is:

  • Mikael Backlund is on IR and is out for up to 6 weeks with a finger injury.

Colorado Avalanche (8 GP 6-2-0 12 Pts)

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

Conference Standings: Tied for first with Dallas

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.9 (8th)
  • Goals Against: 2.5 (14th)
  • Power Play %: 29.2 (2nd)
  • Penalty Kill %: 88.5 (8th)

This Week: The Avs kick off their division schedule by heading to the vast wasteland beautiful and unique snowflake of a city that is Calgary Wednesday night before returning home to play a team far superior defensively Friday night in the Edmonton Oilers. Looking forward to what will surely be a 1-0 game that I won't be able to watch because I'll be too busy coming up with a mathematical formula that says our defense is actually better. Someone tell me how it turns out?

Edmonton Oilers (7 GP 3-2-2 8 Pts)

Last Week: 2-1-1 3-1 W vs. NSH, 1-2 L @ CGY, 1-2 OTL vs. MIN, 2-0 W vs. NYR

Conference Standings: 9th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 1.7 (30th)
  • Goals Against: 1.4 (2nd)
  • Power Play %: 17.2 (13th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 90.6 (5th)

This Week: A relatively busy week for the Oilers this week as they play host to a couple of Cup hopefuls Tuesday against Vancouver and Thursday against Washington. I will seriously lol if the Capitals lose their first game in Edmonton. The Oilers then fly straight from the Caps contest to Denver for a tilt Friday night that will serve to undoubtedly prove the Oilers have a mathematically superior defense using arbitrary and cherry-picked statistics in order to feel better about their own misfortune of being a bad hockey team. sup

News: Ryan Dittrick apparently decided to copy MHH and take a look back into the Oilers history in order to attempt to predict the future. Stop copying us, jerkfaces!

Dan Tencer takes a peak at the Oil's close calls so far this season. A few more bounces each way and they're in our position and we're in theirs. Hockey, baby.

Oil Derrick is back up and running. So there's that.

Our friends at Copper & Blue that I love to make fun of but respect like crazy actually do a great job of keeping an eye on the NHL as a whole. Naturally, they had a take on the David Booth trade.

Derek Zona takes a look at the totally unpredictable struggles of D Cam Barker.

Transactions: D Jeff Petry was assigned to Oklahoma City. Also of note was St. Louis claiming D Taylor Chorney off waivers two weeks ago. This is notable because I really dislike writing his name. Thanks, St. Louis!

Injuries: Updated just 3 days ago, whoever is in charge of the Oilers website appears to care more than the Flames ragtag bunch of no-shows but they obviously take weekends off. Chumps.

  • Ales Hemsky is out 10-14 days with a shoulder injury.
  • Sam Gagner is day-to-day with an ankle injury.
  • Darcy Hordichuk is week-to-week with a knee injury.

Minnesota Wild (8 GP 3-2-3 9 Pts)

Last Week: 1-1-1 2-4 L vs. PIT, 2-1 W @ EDM, 2-3 OTL @ VAN

Conference Standing: 7th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.0 (27th)
  • Goals Against: 2.4 (11th)
  • Power Play %: 9.7 (27th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 76.0 (26th)

This Week: Four full days off after their overtime loss against Vancouver ends Thursday when they await to bore their home crowd against Anaheim and again Saturday night in Detroit. Yaaay.

News: Ohhhh snap. Clutterbuck is a Moustache Boy.

Awesome idea that I think we should steal: Wild Stock Market.

Hockey Wilderness also points out the totally unpredictable early-season struggles of Cam Barker. Hmmm...

Ace reporter Michael Russo takes a peak at the Wild's loss against Vancouver. Included is this fun little quote:

Faceoffs -- huge problem. Has won 48.1 percent, 22nd in the NHL. Today, it lost 36 of 57 and that 37 percent finish was 31 percent after 2 periods and 29 percent after 1. If you're starting every possession by chasing the puck, you're defending a lot.

We remember those days!

Transactions: Say what you will about the Wild and how boring they are but their website is an absolute dream. Easily the best in the division. No recent transactions, by the way.

Injuries: Lazy copy/paste mode ENGAGE.

  • Cody Almond was placed on injured reserve following the preseason finale. He is not currently with the team.
  • Mike Lundin remains on injured reserve and did not accompany the team on its trip to Edmonton and Vancouver.
  • Greg Zanon missed Friday's practice due to a groin injury, and will rest Saturday at Vancouver.
  • Mikko Koivu missed Friday's practice due to a cut to the chin, but likely to play Saturday at Vancouver.
  • Guillaume Latendresse missed Friday's practice due to a lower body injury, and will rest Saturday at Vancouver.

Vancouver Canucks (8 GP 4-3-1 9 Pts)

Last Week: 2-1-0 0-4 L vs. NYR, 5-1 W vs. NSH, 3-2 W vs. MIN

Conference Standing: 6th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.8 (13th)
  • Goals Against: 2.8 (20th)
  • Power Play %: 21.4 (7th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 83.8 (16th)

This Week: Another busy team this week, Vancouver hits up Edmonton Tuesday night before jetting off to St. Louis Wednesday where hopefully the curse of the former Avs works against division rivals. It probably won't. The Canucks finish their week with a potential Stanley Cup Finals preview Saturday in Washington against the red-hot (I'd say white hot but the Caps are all about Rocking the Red) Caps. Go Caps :D

News: The trade.

Andrew Alberts and his journey to the NHL.

A film-making prodigy. Wot.

Nucks Misconduct's reaction to the trade. Yes, I'm in a hurry.

Transactions: Gosh these are always so boring. When will one of these teams do something exciting? Vancouver assigned Nolan Baumgartner to the Wolves Friday. Oh, right. Then they traded Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm for David Booth, Steven Reinprecht (if the Canucks keep him, book him for a Brad Richardson-esque 2 point night every game against us) and a 2013 third round pick. No idea what Florida was thinking. Just kidding. it was Dave Tallon. I'm sure he just got the names on the faxed proposal wrong.


  • Mason Raymond is out indefinitely with a back injury
  • Aaron Rome is out indefinitely with a finger injury
  • Steve Pinizotto is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury