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Northwest Check - "Dat Is A Sweet Earth" Edition

Title says it all, really (especially if you get the reference).

The Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers are experiencing a bit of a return to Earth as their otherworldly goaltending starts to do the inevitable regression to the mean while Vancouver is starting to get out of their own way a bit and work their way to the top.

The bottom of the division features two wildly frustrating and unpredictable teams in Colorado and Calgary who are scratching and clawing their way to ugly wins and painful losses. Luckily for Calgary, they get Colorado 3 more times this season as they look to take full advantage of the fact the Avs haven't beaten them once in their last 8 tries. Sweet stat, yo.

Northwest Standings

Minnesota 17 9 5 3 21
Edmonton 17 9 6 2 20
Vancouver 18 9 8 1 19
Colorado 17 8 8 1 17
Calgary 16 7 8 1 15

(updated 11.13.2011 at 9:24 PM MST)

Team capsules after the jump.

All standings related info taken from

Calgary Flames (16 GP 7-8-1 15 Pts)

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

Conference Standing: 13th Place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.2 (26th)
  • Goals Against: 2.6 (16th)
  • Power Play %: 14.3 (21st)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.5 (16th)

This Week: Short week for the Flames as they play host to the struggling Ottawa Senators Tuesday night and then parlay that likely victory into a rematch of last week's beating at the hands of Chicago when they host the Blackhawks Friday night. 

News: Recap of the Flames escape from Denver with 2 points.

Mikael Backlund is on his way....back. yukyukyuk

Iginla the slow starter...or not?

AGAIN? Yes, again. You're bad. Of course again.

Transactions: The Flames recalled Paul Byron last week while re-assigning Niklas Hagman to the AHL.

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 (17 GP 8-8-1 17 Pts)

Last Week: 1-2-0 2-5 L @ DET, 4-3 W vs. NYI, 3-4 L vs. CGY

Conference Standings: 12th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.7 (17th)
  • Goals Against: 3.2 (25th)
  • Power Play %: 27.1 (1st)
  • Penalty Kill %:  75.0 (28th)

This Week: The Avs play a nationally televised road game this week against the Pittsburgh Penguins with the potential return of Sidney Crosby waiting them (riiiiight) Tuesday night before finishing up their light schedule by heading north to play against the suddenly fading Minnesota Wild on Thursday night and then heading immediately home to play the old Minnesota team, the Dallas Stars. Should be fun. 

Edmonton Oilers (17 GP 9-6-2 20 Pts)

Last Week: 1-3-0  3-1 W @ MTL, 3-6 L @ BOS, 0-3 L @ DET, 3-6 L @ CHI

Conference Standings: 4th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.2 (26th)
  • Goals Against: 1.9 (1st)
  • Power Play %: 17.2 (14th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 88.1 (7th)

This Week: The Oilers return to reality continues as they return from their recently completed 6-game road trip (2-4-0) to the friendly confines of Rexall Place for home tilts against the Ottawa Senators Thursday and Chicago Blackhawks Saturday. They better enjoy the home-cookin while it lasts. Reality sucks, eh?

News: Gilbert Brule realizing that life as a bust kind of sucks.

Edmonton writer Terry Jones was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this past weekend. Congrats, Terry!

What does the return of Ales Hemsky mean to the Oilers?

Tom Renney and his waaaayyyysssss.


Transactions: The Oilers re-claimed D Taylor Chorney, who was recently lost to the St. Louis Blues through the waiver process, and re-assigned D Colten Teubert to Oklahoma City. The best part of this news was the following Facebook comment from some chick with Twilight as her profile picture:

Awesome! So happy to see Taylor come back! He is such a great D man, and would probably be with the Oiler's right now if there was room in the line up. Way to go Tambellini, good decision! Go Oilers Go!



  • Cam Barker is day-to-day with an ankle injury.
  • Ryan Whitney is out 10-14 days with a knee injury.
  • Darcy Hordichuk is week-to-week with a knee injury.

Minnesota Wild (17 GP 8-5-3 21 Pts)

Last Week: 2-2-0  3-0 W @ CGY, 1-3 l @ SJ, 2-5 L @ LA, 3-2 W @ ANA

Conference Standing: 3rd place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.1 (29th)
  • Goals Against: 2.1 (3rd)
  • Power Play %: 12.9 (25th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.5 (15th)

This Week: The Wild start a rhythmic week, following a nice game every-other-day patter, with the completion of a 5-game road trip (2-2-0 so far) in Columbus Tuesday night before heading home Thursday to host the Avalanche and then await the Brian Elliott-led St. Louis Blues Saturday night in Minnesota.

News: D Marco Scandella adds to the rising concussion total the NHL is terrified of.

That one guy whose name I'm not about to copy and paste is also out with a concussion.

Please don't yell at me, Dan, for totally mailing in the Wild's section every week because the lack of quality content out there is maddening.

Transactions: Recalled G Darcy Kuemper from the ECHL.

Injuries: Lazy copy/paste mode ENGAGE.

  • Mike Lundin traveled with the team. There is not yet a timetable for his return.
  • Greg Zanon did not travel with the team on its current five-game road trip.
  • Guillaume Latendresse suffered a concussion Thursday against San Jose and is out indefinitely.

Vancouver Canucks (18 GP 9-8-1 19 Pts)

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

Conference Standing: 10th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 3.0 (5th)
  • Goals Against: 2.9 (21st)
  • Power Play %: 26.5 (2nd)
  • Penalty Kill %: 86.5 104th)

This Week: The Canucks keep up the trend of light weeks for teams in the NW Division with home dates Wednesday against Chicago and before enjoying a nice 3-day break before hosting the Ottawa Senators Sunday night. So it'll be like a 3-day break with a nice leisurely practice Sunday night. Yes, Ottawa is that bad. No, I won't hear arguments on it.

News: I love how the Canucks website promotes stories that would make me feel good to be a Canucks fan, like this one about "Running For A Cure".

Sebastian Erixon is earning some love from the big whigs running the Canucks.

Aaron Rome: More than the guy who got suspended from last year's Stanley Cup Finals.

If you click just one link this week, let it be this one. Ohhhh wow.


Transactions: None.


  • Mason Raymond is out indefinitely with a back injury
  • Alex Sulzer is day-to-day with a foot injury
  • Steve Pinizotto is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury
  • Byron Bitz is out indefinitely with a lower body injury