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Northwest Check - "This Team Makes Me Sad" Edition

"Why...can't I stop....that damn puck...."
"Why...can't I stop....that damn puck...." at a loss for words. Some of you who know me outside the MHH realm may not believe that's true. What else can I say about this team the MHH faithful hasn't already?

I typically do these little write ups every week with the intention of better educating myself with the teams in our division and trying to see where we are in relation to them. Right now? We're at the bottom.

The standings may not indicate we're at the bottom but we are. Vancouver and Calgary are pretty pleased with their body of work up to this point even though both recognize there is plenty of work left to be done. Minnesota has the feel of a 10th place team to me. That's no knock on their talent but things just seem to be going wrong for them every time they turn around (look at their injury list below...) and every year there always seems to be one or two teams who hang around on the edges and just never quite make the jump into legit contention. I see Minnesota being that team this year (of course, now I've said that and they'll make me look like a moron and crush face for three weeks). Edmonton knew they were going to be bad this year but their recent excellent play has given way to plenty of optimism, despite the lingering anger over the Dustin Penner trade. Plus they crush us every time we play.

Then there's Colorado. We have injury issues, sure, but we also have very, very pronounced deficiencies. We have some holes on defense but a couple decent prospects coming up in the system. We have a pretty good offense but a conga line of players with significant injury history that never seems to let up. Then the goaltending. Who the hell is this team? Where are we going? Why is this happening? Very uncomfortable questions surround our beloved franchise moving forward and I, for one, am very nervous about the future. Dark days in Denver, indeed.

Northwest Standings

Vancouver 67 42 16 9 93
Calgary 68 35 24 9 79
Minnesota 66 34 25 7 75
Colorado 65 26 31 8 60
Edmonton 66 23 35 8 54

(updated 3.8.2011 at 2:46 AM MST)

Team capsules after the jump.

All standings related info taken from

Calgary Flames (68 GP 35-24-9 79 Pts)

Last Week: 3-1-0 6-0 W @ STL, 4-6 L @ CHI, 4-3 W vs. CBJ, 3-2 W vs. NSH

Conference Standing: 6th Place, 2 points ahead of 8th place Los Angeles

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.9 (6th)
  • Goals Against: 2.8 (15th)
  • Power Play %: 18.3 (12th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 82.6 (14th)

This Week: Calgary joins Colorado as the lazy teams of the division this week as they only have 3 games on tap. They make it count, though, with a delicious back-to-back road swing Wednesday @ DAL and Thursday @ PHX before taking the day off and returning home Saturday to play likely-Western Conference regular season champs vs. VAN.

News: 8 points in 4 games is a pretty good so Jarome Iginla is rewarded with the NHL's First Star of the Week. I hate that sentence but can't figure out how to re-write it to my liking with it, AJ.

The Flames power play has been a catalyst in them rocketing up the standings since the turn of the calendar. Who knew scoring when the other team is short handed helps you win games?

More from the I <3 Jarome campaign is this article talking about the history he's now a part of. As an all-around good guy (despite not taking his visor off to fight Cody McCormick) of the game, I say congrats, yo.

A great title and a Grosse Pointe Blank reference will earn a link from me everytime. Apparently Jay Feaster is an upbeat fella.

Transactions: None.

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 Adam Pardy (when did he become a forward???) is listed as out indefinitely with an "upper body" injury, F Brendan Morrison is day to day with a knee injury.

Colorado Avalanche (65 GP 26-31-8 60 Pts)

Last Week: 0-1-1 1-2 OTL @ SJ, 1-5 L vs. EDM (Pretty sad I didn't even have to change this from last week)

Conference Standings: 14th place,17 points behind 8th place Los Angeles.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.8 (11th)
  • Goals Against: 3.4 (30th)
  • Power Play %: 18.8 (10th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 76.5 (30th)

This Week: Just 3 games on tap for Avs fans to suffer through this week beginning Tuesday @ MIN before a peculiar schedule has the Avs playing Friday night vs. ANA and immediately flying out after losing to whatever backup goalie the Ducks throw at us for a Saturday night fight @ NSH. Sounds like an avalanche of fun.

Feel Better About Life Links: If you ever breakup with someone, write an awesome letter to them and let it fall into the hands of this guy, please. Thanks!

Listen to John the Translator and follow your dreams, kids. I love this speech.

A fascinating look at the 'The Neverending Story'' and what we really learned from it.

Heroic movie deaths that simply didn't have to happen. I lol'd. Hard.

Edmonton Oilers (66 GP 23-35-8 54 Pts)

Last Week: 3-0-0 2-1 W vs. NSH, 4-2 W vs. CBJ, 5-1 W @ COL

Conference Standings: 15th place, 23 points behind 8th place Los Angeles.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.5 (26th)
  • Goals Against: 3.2 (29th)
  • Power Play %: 13.7 (30th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 77.0 (29th)

This Week: Edmonton's recent resurgence will surely be tested as they play 4 road games in 6 nights, all against quality competition. The barrel of fun begins Tuesday @ PHI and Wednesday @WSH before a day off allows the Oilers to buy up all the flak jackets they can find for Friday's game @ DET before escaping Sunday to the relatively tame mean streets @ PIT. I wonder how far away their most recent beatdown of the Avs will feel 7 days from now.

News: Sam Gagner is awesome and as of right now, the leading scorer for the Oilers. I'm a big fan <3

Zack Stortini apparently digs Oklahoma City. Maybe you've been punched a few times too many there, big fella.

This Dario-esque article over on Copper N Blue is a great read. I promise.

Transactions: Richard Petiot got the minor league ride as he was called up March 1st and reassigned to Oklahoma City along with Martin Gerber March 3rd. Alex Plante was recalled on March 3rd, as well. 2 days later on March 5th, the Oilers continued to sh-sh-shake things up by calling up Alex Giroux from Oklahoma City.


  • Ryan Whitney is on IR and is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
  • Taylor Hall is on IR and is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
  • Gilbert Brule is sick.
  • Theo Peckham is day-to-day with a concussion.
  • Ales Hemsky is out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.

Minnesota Wild (66 GP 34-25-7 75 Pts)

Last Week: 1-1-1 1-4 L @ NYI, 3-1 W @ NYR, 2-3 OTL vs. BUF

Conference Standing: 9th place, 2 points behind 8th place Los Angeles.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.6 (24th)
  • Goals Against: 2.6 (10th)
  • Power Play %: 20.3 (7th)
  • Penalty Kill %: 83.7 (9th)

This Week: Minnesota kicks off an another extremely important week in their quest for the privilege of getting slapped around in the first round by Vancouver by playing host to everyone's favorite punching bag Tuesday night vs. COL. The fun ends immediately as they kick off a 4 game road trip against teams higher than them in the standings with a back-to-back Thursday @NSH and Friday @DAL before hopping a plane to Canada for a rousing hockey match Sunday night @VAN. Feel free to get crazy and go wild while on the road.

News: What...the...hell.

He may be totally ridiculous when it comes to Foppa, but BReynolds can present a point. It's a few days old so I'm sure some of you have seen this but for those of you who haven't, TSN's 'Jets Meter'!

I love MHH's collective photochop talent but can we please steal this idea?

Transactions: March 1 - Recalled RW Jed Ortmeyer from Houston of the AHL, and traded RW Petr Kalus to Columbus for future considerations. Kalus is a complete head case. About time the Wild gave up on him. March 3 - Reassigned RW Jed Ortmeyer to Houston, and recalled C Casey Wellman from Houston of the AHL.


  • Cal Clutterbuck did not practice on Monday as he continues to recover from an upper body injury. There was no further update other than that he is listed as "day-to-day."
  • Mikko Koivu practiced with the team for the first time on Monday. He has not been cleared for "battle" drills, but took part in most drills. Koivu does not have a timetable for a return, but he will accompany the team on its upcoming four-game road trip.
  • Guillaume Latendresse practiced with the team again on Monday, and Todd Richards said he was a "maybe" to play on Tuesday against Colorado.
  • Cam Barker suffered an upper body injury, which was followed by the flu. He practiced with the team on Monday and will be available on Tuesday against Colorado.
  • Andrew Brunette was ill and missed practice on Monday.
  • Clayton Stoner has a lower body injury and missed practice on Monday, but he is expected to be ready to play on Tuesday against Colorado.
  • Josh Harding is currently skating in full gear, but is not yet ready to return.
  • James Sheppard continues to practice with the team but is still a ways from returning.

Vancouver Canucks (67 GP 42-16-9 93 Pts)

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

Conference Standing: 1st, 7 points ahead of second place Detroit.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 3.2 (3rd)
  • Goals Against: 2.3 (1st)
  • Power Play %: 23.9 (2nd)
  • Penalty Kill %: 86.5 (2nd)

This Week: The Canucks conclude their 5 game road trip this week with the final three games starting Tuesday @PHX and continuing Thursday @SJ and Saturday @CGY. Those points are all considerably more important to those teams right now so we'll see how Vancouver fares as they enter the * yawn * portion of their season. The Canucks finish up the week with game 1 of a 3 game home stand Monday night vs. MIN. No puns or anything witty for them. They're a machine, I am not.

News: Apparently Canucks Nation is a growing beast to be reckoned with. I wonder what's going to happen when they're bad again someday?

The story of Jannik Hansen and the linchpin he's become. Why the HELL do the Avs not have features like this?

Chris Higgins: Life is hard.

Transactions: Everyone's favorite former Avs prospect RW Victor Oreskovish was recalled from Manitoba March 7th. Hopefully for the Canucks he doesn't randomly decide he hates hockey and bails on them.


  • Alex Edler is out indefinitely after having back surgery.
  • Lee Sweatt is week-to-week with a foot injury
  • Andrew Alberts just had successful wrist surgery and is out for a long time because that really hurts.
  • Kevin Bieksa is out for an undetermined amount of time thanks to a pesky foot injury.
  • Chris Higgins is out 7-10 days with a thumb injury. Nice pickup, Vancouver.