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Northwest Check - "No Clever Title This Week" Edition

COACHING IS HARD.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
COACHING IS HARD. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Something about small town Kansas just makes a brotha want to write about hockey, you know? It's quiet out here in a place where hockey is a complete unknown. Why shouldn't Kansas City get a team? I just can't see these people caring about it. They already have the Chiefs, the Jayhawks (Rock Chalk, btw), and a bevy of wheat to keep them company. What a peculiar fit hockey would be. Annnyway.

In the nearly 2 full weeks since the last NWC, the division has really been much of the same:

  • Calgary struggles to beat teams not from Colorado
  • Colorado struggles to beat teams
  • Edmonton gets blown out or blows someone out
  • Minnesota continues to defy all logic and refuses to hit the wall that's absolutely coming
  • Vancouver is still solidly on "meh" status.

Lemme tell you, that makes for some boring writing after weeks of the same stuff. I'm feeling oddly positive about the next two weeks for the Northwest Division, though. The Avalanche are going to turn it around and people will still want to fire Joe Sacco because Sylvain Lefebvre's vast head coaching experience is a clear upgrade and will only result in good things (that condescending enough, Pinchy?).

I think a lot of things.

Northwest Standings

Minnesota 21 13 5 3 29
Edmonton 21 11 8 2 24
Vancouver 21 11 9 1 23
Colorado 22 9 12 1 19
Calgary 20 8 11 1 17

(updated 11.24.2011 at 7:03 AM MST)

Team capsules after the jump.

All standings related info taken from

Calgary Flames (20 GP 8-11-1 17 Pts)

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

Conference Standing: 13th Place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.3 (27th)
  • Goals Against: 2.8 (18th)
  • Power Play %: 14.3 (22nd)
  • Penalty Kill %: 79.2 (23rd)

This Week: Calgary continues their four game road trip (0-2-0 so far) Friday in St. Louis before heading to Minnesota where they'll surely lose 1-0 on some ridiculous bullshit because it's Minnesota (foreverbitter.jpg). After they get wild up north but still south, the Flames return to home for a carnivorous date night Tuesday vs. Nashville and then an ezpz trashing of lowly Columbus Thursday. 

News: Brent Suter went offffff about his team needing to buy into the concept of teamwork.

If this is good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

The Flames continue to try to improve their lackluster special teams play.

This is what happens when you're bored and you have the ability to post on the front page of SBN sites: Angry thoughts about a floundering hockey team.

Transactions: I'd put these but they're 10 days old and everyone already knows Niklas Hagman was claimed by Anaheim on re-entry waivers. Oh, and they apparently just claimed Blake Comeau off waivers from the New York Islanders. Ugh.

Injuries: omgomgomg they updated it. I knew waiting on the NWC was a good idea this week. /fistpump

  • Anton Babchuk is on IR with a hand injury.
  • Brett Carson is on IR with a back injury.
  • David Moss is on IR with a foot injury. 
  • Does anybody else need a cigarette? That was glorious.

Colorado Avalanche (22 GP 9-12-1 19 Pts)

Last Week: 1-4-0 3-6 L @ PIT, 0-1 L @ MIN, 3-0 W vs. DAL, 1-4 L vs. SJ, 0-3 L vs. VAN

Conference Standings: 12th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.4 (24th)
  • Goals Against: 3.1 (23rd)
  • Power Play %: 24.3 (2nd)
  • Penalty Kill %:  78.4 (25th)

This Week: Sigh. I don't even care who we play anymore just so long as we bring home a W or four. Edmonton Saturday, Dallas Monday, New Jersey Wednesday (okay, I do care. Larssonnnnnn!). Please win. Please. 

Edmonton Oilers (21 GP 11-8-2 24 Pts)

Last Week: 2-2-0  2-5 L vs. OTT, 9-2 W vs. CHI, 1-4 L @ DAL, 6-2 W @ NSH

Conference Standings: 9th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.7 (17th)
  • Goals Against: 2.3 (10th)
  • Power Play %: 22.1 (5th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 86.5 (7th)

This Week: The Oilers have a nice little division double dip roadie Friday at Minnesota and Saturday at Colorado to finish up a 4-game road swing (1-1-0 so far) before returning home for a rematch of last week's beatdown of Nashville Monday night and another Wild throwdown between two overachieving teams Wednesday. Yay.

News: Ahhhh yeah. Losing, baby.

Magnus Paajarvi has struggggled mightily early on.


I wish I knew how to do this kind of stuff because it's amazing and I love it.

A great post comparing the Top 6's around the NHL. Some not-so-surprising results, although the crying about the loss of Chris Stewart will hopefully stop forever.

Transactions: Most recent transactions are the recalling of D Alex Plante and reassignment of D Taylor Chorney to OKC of the AHL. 


  • Cam Barker is out 3 months with an ankle injury.
  • Ryan Whitney is day-to-day with a knee injury.
  • Corey Potter is out 4 weeks with an ankle injury.
  • Andy Sutton is out 7-10 days with a groin injury.

Minnesota Wild (21 GP 13-5-3 29 Pts)

Last Week: 4-0-0  4-2 W @ CBJ, 1-0 W vs. COL, 3-2 W vs. STL, 3-2 W vs. NSH

Conference Standing: 1st place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.2 (28th)
  • Goals Against: 2.0 (1st)
  • Power Play %: 13.8 (25th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 83.8 (12th)

This Week: The Wild's run of ridiculousness continues with a little divisional flava with a home game Friday vs. Edmonton before hosting a back-to-back at home with visitors Calgary Sunday and Tampa Bay Monday to finish their current six-game home stand and hitting the road for another contest at Edmonton Wednesday.

News: The story of Wild draft pick Erik Haula's journey towards the NHL. 

Do they ever talk about current players?

Hockey Wilderness takes a peak at the first 20 games of the season for their massively overachieving Wild.

They also try to sort out the mess of having too many NHL defenders on hand.

Transactions: Recalled G Matt Hackett from Houston of the AHL. Signed G Paul Deutsch to an amateur tryout contract as an emergency goaltender. D Marek Zidlicky was placed on injured reserve. 

Injuries: Lazy copy/paste mode ENGAGE.

  • Mike Lundin has returned from a conditioning stint and practiced with the team on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Greg Zanon remains out with a groin injury. He was a full participant in practice on Tuesday.
  • Guillaume Latendresse suffered a concussion and was placed on injured reserve on November 16.
  • Marco Scandella has been activated from injured reserve and is expected to play on Wednesday against Nashville.
  • Marek Zidlicky is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Vancouver Canucks (21 GP 11-9-1 23 Pts)

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

Conference Standing: 11th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.9 (8th)
  • Goals Against: 2.7 (14th)
  • Power Play %: 25.8 (1st)
  • Penalty Kill %: 86.0 (8th)

This Week: The Canucks finish up a 3-game, 4-day roadie with a back-to-back Friday at Phoenix and Saturday at San Jose before getting a couple days off as they await a Tuesday night matchup against Columbus and Thursday night tilt vs. Nashville.

News: Hockey helps the homeless.

Mason Raymond continues to inch his way closer to returning to the ice after being taken out awkwardly in last year's Stanley Cup Finals.

The Canucks apparently don't like being told the reason they've started so slowly is the classic Cup hangover.

Ever wondered how David Booth got to the NHL? You're in luck.

I was going to share some Nucks Misconduct links but they were snarky and made fun of us >:[

Transactions: None, unless you count recalling and then immediately reassigning both Eddie Lack and Matt Climie.


  • 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