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Northwest Check - When the Offense Forgot to Score


So right now the Avs are playing frustrating hockey. We seem to be a pretty good hockey team caught between having nearly every bounce go against you and coming up against goalies with their shutout faces on. Getting shutout twice sucks.

I should really stop writing this at 2AM, even if it does line up really well with watching GSL. If you know what that is, you're awesome. If you don't...well, eh. You're probably an Avs fan, so still awesome! Huzzah!

Big news this week was Forsberg signing with the team and hopefully he returns to action before a similar article to this appears next Tuesday morning. Here's to hoping Foppa does all that you guys seem to believe he will.

As always, any criticisms/suggestions for future articles is appreciated and encouraged. Go Avs!

Northwest Standings

Vancouver 54 35 10 9 79
Calgary 55 27 21 7 61
Minnesota 52 27 20 5 59
Colorado 53 25 22 6 56
Edmonton 53 16 29 8 40

(updated 2.7.2011 at 10:27 PM MST)

Team capsules after the jump...

All standings related info pulled from

Calgary Flames (55 GP 27-21-7 61 Pts)

Last Week: 3-0-1 3-2 W @ NSH, 4-2 W @ ATL, 3-4 OTL vs. LA, 3-1 W vs. CHI

Conference Standing: 8th Place, 1 point ahead of 9th place  Los Angeles and 18 behind 1st place Vancouver.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.7 (16th)
  • Goals Against: 2.9 (17th)
  • Power Play %: 15.7 (23rd)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.0 (17th)

Fun Facts: These guys have gone to shootouts a whopping 12 times, most in the Western Conference, and have produced 7 wins out of them. Ugghhh I hate the shootout. 

This Week: Beginning Wednesday vs. OTT, Calgary begins a stretch of 4 games in 6 days that includes a brutal stretch against two of the hottest teams in the NHL starting Friday vs. ANA and continuing Saturday @ VAN before taking a travel day to the road-team friendly confines of the Pepsi Center for a Monday night tilt @ COL. Enjoy "Peter Forsberg returns to Denver" Night, Flames. 

News: An exciting (!!) interview with 2010 Flames 5th round draft pick Michael Ferland!

Yay for Lance Bouma as he got his first NHL Point in Calgary's win over Chicago. Also included: random nonsense.

People in Canada are totally amped for the grossly under-publicized upcoming Heritage Classic.

The Flames are good AND bad at signing free agents. Proof inside!


  • Feb 3 - F Lance Bouma recalled from Abbotsford
  • Feb 4 - F Craig Conroy announces retirement (what in the?)

Injuries:  C Daymond Langkow is still out indefinitely with a "head" injury, F Raitis Ivanans is day to day with a head injury (no shock there, really, F Niklas Hagman is listed as day-to-day with a "lower body injury". If last month was any indication, this will be the last time the Flames update their injury information until March. Huzzah!


Colorado Avalanche (53 GP 25-22-6 56 Pts)

Last Week: 0-3-0   3-4 L vs. MIN, 0-3 L vs. ANA, 0-3 L @ PHX

Conference Standings: 12th place, 5 points behind 8th place Calgary and 22 points behind first place Vancouver.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 3.1 (5th)
  • Goals Against: 3.3 (29th)
  • Power Play %: 20.1 (7th)
  • Penalty Kill %:  78.2 (27th)

This Week: Every game becomes extremely important from here on out as the Avs slip farther and farther away from the pack. A wonderful chance to right the ship Wednesday @ MIN where beating divisional opponents helps twofold before continuing East and ending up Friday night @ CBJ and following me to Tennessee for a Saturday night throwdown @ NSH. I should totally go to that game. The Avalanche return home for Valentines Day, aka "Denver's Love Affair with Nostalgia Continues" with Forsberg's likely home debut. Hopefully he brings with him the winning ways of yesteryear. 

Edmonton Oilers (53 GP 16-29-8 40 Pts)

Last Week: 1-3-0  1-3 L vs. LA, 3-5 L @ STL, 3-4 L @ CBJ, 4-0 W @ NSH

Conference Standings: 15th place, 21 points behind 8th place Calgary and 39 (!) points behind first place Vancouver.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.5 (27th)
  • Goals Against: 3.3 (30th)
  • Power Play %: 12.0 (30th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 73.7 (30th)

Fun Facts: Of the 8 loser points Edmonton has acquired this season, 7 have come via the Shootout, where they are a sparkling 1-7.

This Week: A relatively quiet week for the Oilers this week as they begin a 6 game homestand Wednesday night vs. CHI before a cozy 2 day break and back-to-back fun time starting Saturday vs. OTT and finishing Sunday vs. ANA.

News: Shawn P. Roarke takes a fond look back at the first Heritage Classic.

Roarke also has a nice feature on the legacy Oil Prez Patrick LaForge has left on the game with his introduction of the Heritage Classic.

The boys at Copper N Blue take a look at why Taylor Hall should stay at Center. He spells "center" funny =p

The Edmonton Journal takes a look at Shawn Horcoff's efforts to keep morale high. /goteam

Transactions: None.


  • Ryan Whitney is on IR and is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
  • Jim Vandermeer is on IR and is day to day with an ankle injury. 
  • Gilbert Brule is not on IR (?!?!) and is out indefinitely with an ankle injury

Minnesota Wild (52 GP 27-20-5 59 Pts)

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

Conference Standing: 10th place, 2 points behind 8th place Calgary, 17 points behind 1st place Vancouver.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.6 (23rd)
  • Goals Against: 2.6 (10th)
  • Power Play %: 20.1 (8th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 83.0 (13th)

Fun Facts: I seriously hate trying to come up with something fun about a team that bores me to tears to watch. Maybe next week!

This Week: Minnesota plays host Wednesday night vs. COL on Andrew Brunette Night before taking to the road for a fun home-and-home series starting Friday @ STL and concluding Saturday vs. STL

News: A pretty interesting read about some Minnesota High School Hockey. If you read one story today, let it be this one. 

...More Minnesota High School Hockey. Do these guys ever write about the actual freaking Wild?

Our friends at Hockey Wilderness pose the question: Which rule is worse: Instigator or slashing the stick?


  • Feb 5 - Recalled C Cody Almond and D Justin Falk from Houston of the AHL
  • Feb 6 - Reassigned C Cody Almond and D Justin Falk to Houston of the AHL


  • James Sheppard is still out with a knee injury with his return unknown.
  • Josh Harding remains out with a knee injury of his own but has begun skating lightly.
  • Guillaume Latendresse is out indefinitely with what is listed as a hip/hernia injury.
  • Marek Zidlicky is on IR with a shoulder injury and will remain out for the next 4-6 weeks while he rehabs.
  • Marco Scandella has a mild concussion after taking a puck to the face and remains out of the lineup.

 Vancouver Canucks (54 GP 35-10-9 79 Pts)

Last Week: 4-0-0   4-1 W @ DAL, 6-0 W @ PHX, 4-3 W vs. CHI, 4-2 W vs. OTT

Conference Standing: 1st Place, 9 points ahead of 2nd place Detroit.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 3.3 (2nd)
  • Goals Against: 2.3 (3rd)
  • Power Play %: 24.6 (2nd)
  • Penalty Kill %: 85.2 (4th)

Fun Facts: Vancouver's goal differential right now is +56. For comparison's sake, teams 2-9's combined goal differential is +53. 

This Week: The Canucks continue their Pain Train this week with just three games on the slate, beginning Wednesday vs. ANA and continuing on down the road Saturday vs. CGY and Monday begins a 3 game road trip @ STL. That's worded poorly. They're beginning a 3-game road trip to multiple cities, not just St. Louis. 

News: An introduction to a pretty awesome idea, called Forever Canucks. Check this stuff out. 

The story of Dan Hamhuis's travels to a local school where reads and other important stuff. I'm so tired.

Greg Adams!

Transactions: None.


  • Alex Bolduc will miss 3-4 weeks with a shoulder injury sustained in last week's win over Washington.
  • Sami Salo remains sidelined with an exploded Achilles. He is listed as week-to-week.
  • Alex Edler is out indefinitely after having back surgery.