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Northwest Check - "Majoring In The Minors" Edition

And we're back! After a week off trying to decide exactly what the hell I was going to do in this space the off-season, I glanced at the NHL/AHL playoff brackets and had a good laugh. The Northwest Division sent only one team to the post-season to chase after Lord Stanley's Cup, a fact that clinches our beloved division as easily the worst in the league.

One might think the future is bright, however, for the currently downtrodden collection of 5 teams as 4 of the 5 teams have sent their highest level minor league affiliate to chase the AHL's ultimate prize, the Calder Cup. Thanks for contributing absolutely nothing, Calgary, as both your NHL and AHL teams were just good enough to go home and make us all look a little worse. Strongly considering just waving the white flag and giving us back Robyn Regehr, please. Thanks!

Due to the overall success of the division's AHL clubs, this week's edition will be done using all AHL statistics that I could find and complementing that with NHL club news links. As expected, nothing too intense but I never miss a chance to mock Edmonton. Enjoy!

All standings related info taken from

Abbotsford Heat (80 GP 38-32-4-6 86 Pts)

Last Week: 0-0-0 Missed playoffs. lol'd

Division Standing: 4th place in North Division

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.6
  • Goals Against: 2.7
  • Power Play %: ?
  • Penalty Kill %: ?

This Week: Exit interviews. Funny how this still applies to Calgary's minor league team.

News: The Flames official site apparently does what I do and lifts stories from other sites when looking for news to post. Nice. Anyway, here's an article about some work the Flames have to get done this off-season.

Matt Stajan is like whoa totally amped for next season already. Good luck not being bad, Matt.

Calgary: Building from within? Poor Fredrik Modin :(

Matchsticks and Gasoline has the current state of the Flames. Also, an awesome picture. Holy shit Brent Sutter looks like White-Ra! That means nothing to y'all but is super lol to me.

Transactions: Nooooooooone.

Injuries: Kind of irrelevant now, aren't they?


Lake Erie Monsters (80 GP 44-28-3-5 96 Pts)

Last Week: 3-3-0   6-4 W vs. MTB, 2-3 OTL vs. MTB, 2-1 W @ MTB, 6-3 W @ MTB, 0-2 L @ MTB, 1-3 L vs. MTB.

Division Standings: 2nd place in North Division

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.8
  • Goals Against: 2.6
  • Power Play %: ?
  • Penalty Kill %:  ?


News: A look at the recent history of the second overall pick suggests we're about to get somebody very, very good.

A look at the recent history of the 11th overall pick suggests we might get somebody good.

The Super Joe era has begun...again.

Fun Fact: Lake Erie finished the regular season 6th in the AHL with an average attendance of 6,568. They are currently 3rd in the AHL in average attendance in the playoffs with 7,333. Manitoba is the only NW Division affiliate to finish ahead of Lake Erie in this category in the regular season and are currently in 2nd in the playoffs. Maybe Game 7 will bump Lake Erie past them. Two wins in one night, please?


Oklahoma City Barons (80 GP 40-29-2-9 91 Pts)

Last Week: 2-4  2-5 L @ HAM, 1-2 L @ HAM, 2-0 W vs. HAM, 5-2 W vs. HAM, 0-2 L vs. HAM, 1-4 L @ HAM

Conference Standings: 5th place in West Division

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.3
  • Goals Against: 3.2
  • Power Play %: ?
  • Penalty Kill %: ?

This Week: Oklahoma City managed to come back from an 0-2 series deficit but eventually fell in 6 to the top-seeded Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens affiliate), further depleting the once-stacked field of Northwest Division affiliates in the AHL playoffs. Look for Oklahoma City to make a strong rebound next season as approximately half of the current Edmonton roster will likely be playing there next year.

News: There's not much for the Oilers in terms of real news, but there's always this random dude taking a look at the playoffs up to this point. "This point" being a couple days ago. Deal with it.

Jordan Eberle, meet Charles Dickens. You have fun with that, Jordy.

Copper N Blue also has a nice little doo-dad about Andrew Cogliano.

Transactions: D Martin Marincin was signed to 3 year entry-level contract...and assigned to Oklahoma City, who promptly lost their only game with him. Way to go, Martin.

Injuries: I have no idea. AHL team sites aren't very...thorough. Heh.

Houston Aeros (80 GP 46-28-1-5 98 Pts)

Last Week: 4-0 4-1 W vs. PEO, 3-2 W vs. PEO, 5-3 W @ PEO, 2-1 W @ PEO

Divison Standing: 2nd place in West Division.

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 3.0
  • Goals Against: 2.7
  • Power Play %: ?
  • Penalty Kill %: ?

This Week: Relaxing as they await the winner of the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville affiliate) and Texas Stars (Dallas affiliate) series. As of this writing, the MIL-TEX series is tied at 2-2 in the third period of Game 6 of the series, which is currently 3-2 in favor of Milwaukee. Milwaukee went on to win this game 3-2 in double OT, the third game of the series decided in OT. The Houston-Milwaukee series will begin in Milwaukee Friday night.

News: BOOM! Headshot! Sorry, I had to put something exciting in the Wild spot.

Not a whole lot in Wild land but if you're interested in knowing more about random Minnesota players, they're doing off-season grades. Here are the three most recent.

Transactions: Brett Bulmer signed to three year entry-level contract and assigned to Houston. Please don't do to my Aeros what Martin did to the Barons, Brett.

Injuries: My heart, when they inevitably break it.


Manitoba Moose (80 GP 43-30-1-6 93 Pts)

Last Week: 3-3-0  4-6 L @ LEM, 3-2 W @ LEM, 1-2 L vs. LEM, 3-6 L vs. LEM, 2-0 W vs. LEM, 3-1 W @ LEM.

Divison Standing: 3rd place in the North Division

Overall Rankings:

  • Goals For: 2.8
  • Goals Against: 2.6
  • Power Play %: ?
  • Penalty Kill %: ?

This Week: These fuckers keep trying to screw everything up by being the opposite of their big league club and actually making a comeback in their series once facing elimination. Here's to Hoping Vancouver wins Manitoba loses in their respective Game 7's. I don't dare get greedy with the hockey gods (scoff) and ask both to lose.

News: Heads or tails, baby.

I lol'd.

The Canucks remain confident, apparently. Suuuuuuure.

Click this link, watch the Mike Gillis video. Enjoy classic playoff GM-ing 101.

The Game 6 Corsi ratings. Maybe Corsi isn't such a great stat, after all, eh?

Transactions: D Ryan McGinnis returned on loan to Kalamazoo of the ECHL.

Injuries: ??