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Northwest Check - "SoCal Swings" Edition

A busy week with a lot of topsy-turvy results for the still-competitive Northwest Division. The surprise duo at the top of the division are leading the NHL in the all-important Goals Against category and our very own Avalanche continue to provide aid in Calgary's quest to dig themselves out of the early hole they dug. Vancouver's up-and-down season continued with a week filled with blowouts and a loss that helped get a coach fired.

Fun start, huh?

This week is marked predominantly by two teams in the NW making the SoCal Swing with Anaheim receiving two teams this week coming off the second night of back-to-backs. After a quick glance at schedules, the Ducks actually play host to a NW team in game 2 of a back-to-back six times this season. Two other occasions the Ducks are game one of a back-to-back. I'd be curious how many times the California teams receive teams on the back end of back-to-backs over the course of the season in comparison to other teams.

Northwest Standings

Edmonton 13 8 3 2 18
Minnesota 13 7 3 3 17
Colorado 14 7 6 1 15
Vancouver 15 7 7 1 15
Calgary 13 6 6 1 13

(updated 11.8.2011 at 2:22 AM MST)


Team capsules after the jump.

All standings related info taken from

Calgary Flames (13 GP 6-6-1 13 Pts)

Last Week: 2-2-0 1-5 L vs. VAN, 4-1 W @ DET, 1-2 L @ BUF, 2-1 W @ COL

Conference Standing: 12th Place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.3 (23rd)
  • Goals Against: 2.5 (10th)
  • Power Play %: 17.8 (13th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.6 (15th)

This Week: The Flames return from their 3 game roadtrip (2-1-0) to play host to the vastly overachieving Minnesota Wild Tuesday night before kicking up the tires and hitting the road again Friday at Chicago and Saturday at Colorado. At least they know they'll win one of them!

News: To match their fan base, the Flames have taken a look at new approaches to scouting.

Appears the Avalanche aren't the only ones shifting around their top lines.

While already happened, last week provided the Flames first look at longtime D Robyn Regehr playing in another sweater.

Lee Stempniak: WHAT YOU GOT, DAWG?

Kyle Turris: "Spoilt kid"

Transactions: I will totally put some here if I knew any were happening but their website is awful and it's more entertaining for me to see how long it takes for them to get their act together than see which random minor league transactions were made this week.

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 (14 GP 7-6-1 15 Pts)

Last Week: 0-2-1 1-4 L vs PHX, 6-7 OTL @ DAL, 1-2 L vs. CGY

Conference Standings: 9th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.6 (15th)
  • Goals Against: 3.0 (23rd)
  • Power Play %: 26.7 (1st)
  • Penalty Kill %:  75.6 (24th)

This Week: Sigh. I hope this goes well. The Avs kick off their week looking to get back into the win column by traveling to the beautiful city of Detroit where the beloved Red Wings play host to the Avalanche Tuesday night. My wonderful Islanders, fresh off slapping around the Caps this past weekend, come to Denver Thursday for the annual "DUCHENE > TAVARES??" thread and the Avs get the chance to lose to the Flames again Saturday. Yay.

Edmonton Oilers (13 GP 8-3-2 18 Pts)

Last Week: 1-1-0  3-0 W @ LA, 2-4 L @ PHX

Conference Standings: 3rd place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.2 (25th)
  • Goals Against: 1.5 (1st)
  • Power Play %: 18.5 (12th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 88.0 (6th)

This Week: The young Edmonton team continues to get a taste of how the rest of the NHL lives as they continue their long roadie with a busy week. The Oil roll into Montreal Tuesday night for a tilt with the home-challenged Canadiens before a challenging double dip Thursday at Boston and Friday at Detroit. Their week and roadtrip conclude Sunday in Chicago, where Chia will hopefully use his voodoo to make Edmonton lose. Thanks in advance ;)

News: Eric Belanger takes a peek at the struggles of playing in Phoenix.

Dan Tencer looks at the team's early success.

My man Kevin Smith talks a bit about his passion for the Oilers. Mad love, yo.

I know it's a lot of numbers of it's still an interesting look at the face-off leaders by starting zone.

Where are Maple Leafs fans about this, eh?

Transactions: None. 


Minnesota Wild (13 GP 7-3-3 17 Pts)

Last Week: 3-0-0  2-1 W @ DET, 5-1 W vs. VAN, 2-1 W vs. STL

Conference Standing: 5th place

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.2 (27th)
  • Goals Against: 1.9 (2nd)
  • Power Play %: 11.1 (27th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.2 (17th)

This Week: The Wild's improbably hot start that won't last forever because they're defying all odds right now continues Tuesday with the kickoff of a 5-game road trip at Calgary before starting the California leg Thursday at San Jose. The SoCal portion of the trip starts Saturday and includes, as always, a back-to-back at Los Angeles and Sunday at Anaheim. I honestly wonder how many times these two teams are the recipients of back-to-backs. It seems like every team's California trip includes one. Hm.

News: Backup G Josh Harding earned the NHL's First Star for his work this past week.

A comparison of Bond movies to the NHL? It's kind of like the comic book-themed team's Mike and I did over the summer only without all the awesome.

A girl attends her first hockey game. An enjoyable read.

Transactions: Reassigned both C Cody Almond and RW Matt Kassian to Houston of the AHL and is expected to recall C Warren Peters later today.

Injuries: Lazy copy/paste mode ENGAGE.

  • Mike Lundin remains on injured reserve and continues to work his way back from injury.
  • Greg Zanon has begun skating on his own, but will not play on Saturday against St. Louis.
  • Clayton Stoner appears recovered from a hand injury, but he is not expected to be in the lineup on Saturday.

Vancouver Canucks (15 GP 7-7-1 15 Pts)

Last Week: 2-2-0   5-1 W @ CGY, 1-5 L @ MN, 2-3 L @ STL, 6-2 W @ CHI

Conference Standing: 10th place.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 3.0 (6th)
  • Goals Against: 2.9 (22nd)
  • Power Play %: 26.4 (2nd)
  • Penalty Kill %: 88.9 (4th)

This Week: The team everyone loves to root against continues their lengthy roadie with the SoCal Swing I mentioned earlier in the Minnesota section. Surprise, surprise, it's a back-to-back! Game one is Thursday at Los Angeles and game two the very next night at Anaheim. I really want to look into this more. The Canucks finish up their week with the visiting Islanders, who had better be fresh off losing in Colorado a few days earlier.

News: Fun with numbers, Vancouver style.


All you need to know about this link can be found in the sub-title:

If Ben Walker had his way, there would be a life-size statue of Dan Hamhuis in their hometown of Smithers, B.C.

I will always link to articles celebrating the electric Pavel Bure.

Nicknames and their process. Lots of fun stuff to read in here.

Transactions: None.


  • Mason Raymond is out indefinitely with a back injury
  • Alex Burrows is day-to-day with back spasms
  • Steve Pinizotto is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury
  • Sami Salo is day-to-day with a groin injury
  • Byron Bitz is out indefinitely with a lower body injury