I hate this division.
Nobody represents my disdain for the frustration of separation from the pack better than the Calgary Flames, who finally got around to losing...sort of. Sure they got wafflestomped by Edmonton (LOL btw) but they couldn't help themselves from stealing a point in Phoenix. Just lose in regulation, plox. The recently-hot Flames have cooled considerably in the wake of realizing they aren't actually that good but that mini surge was plenty enough to put themselves in the thick of the race as several teams are chasing them now. Great.
Edmonton...I really have no idea what to say about them anymore. They're well on their way to another top 5 pick and seem intent on re-signing as much of the talent that's taking them there as possible. Steve Tambellini is providing the perfect foil for Greg Sherman in the debate between hiring hockey people or hiring a random accountant as your GM. I guess that's a running dialogue for the NW Division for a while. Two rebuilding teams taking very different approaches (Colorado having a systematic plan and Edmonton just being terrible for a really long time and hoping to stockpile enough top 5 picks that even they can't screw them up) and their paths back to respectability.
Minnesota continues to hang around despite their roster full of shitty hockey players.
Vancouver has spent basically the entire month of February on the road and that hasn't stopped them from excelling in any way. More of the same from the Canucks as they continue to occasionally be outplayed but not lose games because they're Vancouver and winning in the regular season is what they do.
Team capsules after the jump.
All standings related info taken from NHL.com...
Calgary Flames ( GP 61 28-23-10 66 Pts)
Last Week: 1-1-1 1-0 W @ LA, 1-6 L vs. EDM, 3-4 OTL vs. PHX
Conference Standing: 9th Place
- Goals For: 2.34 (25th)
- Goals Against: 2.64 (13th)
- Power Play %: 18.0 (13th)
- Penalty Kill %: 83.2 (11th)
This Week: Calgary's quest to beat back mediocrity enjoys the final two games of their current 4-game homestand when they host the Flyers on Saturday and the very average road team from St. Louis on Tuesday. Assuming Jay Feaster was able to contain himself at the trade deadline, the Flames take their roller coaster ride to the desert for a Thursday night tilt at Phoenix in a rematch from a week earlier.
News: Curtis Glencross...savior?
The drought is over...ish. What?
Chris Butler avoided a potentially nasty injury.
The Flames have been stabilized by a cadre of young guys.
Transactions: Recalled G Henrik Karlsson from Abbotsford, reassigned F Paul Byron to Abbotsford.
- David Moss is on IR with a foot injury.
- Lee Stempniak is out with a high ankle sprain.
- Blair Jones is on IR with a fractured ankle.
- Mikael Backlund is on IR with an upper body injury.
Colorado Avalanche (61 GP 30-27-4 64 Pts)
Last Week: 2-1-0 3-1 W @ EDM, 1-5 L @ WPG, 4-1 W vs. LA
Conference Standings: 11th place
- Goals For: 2.43 (24th)
- Goals Against: 2.75 (18th)
- Power Play %: 19.1 (7th)
- Penalty Kill %: 81.9 (16th)
This Week: Ohhh boy. All the weeks from here on out are huge but this week really stands tall because 8 points are on the board this week beginning Friday at Columbus and continuing Saturday in Detroit, where the Avs will take on former bff Kyle Quincey and hope to end the historic run the Red Wings are currently on at Joe Louis Arena. Just kidding, Burrows scored to win it in the shootout. The Avs then return to the Pepsi Center for their third game in four days Monday versus hard-charging Anaheim and then host the somehow-worse Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. If the Avs are serious about making the playoffs, this has to be a 6 point week.
Edmonton Oilers (60 GP 24-30-6 54 Pts)
Last Week: 2-2-0 1-3 L vs. COL, 2-5 L vs. VAN, 6-1 W @ CGY, 2-0 W vs. PHI
Conference Standings: 14th place
- Goals For: 2.63 (15th)
- Goals Against: 2.93 (25th)
- Power Play %: 21.8 (2nd)
- Penalty Kill %: 82.8 (12th)
This Week: Edmonton continue their sprint towards Columbus and their third consecutive #1 overall pick by figuring heavily into the playoff picture in both conferences this week with a Saturday night contest versus streaking Phoenix. The Oilers then take to the road at surprisingly-competitive Winnipeg on Monday and then return home to deal with a pesky St. Louis team on Wednesday. Hooray for them.
News: The Oilers will take the words of wisdom from the unseen wife in The Patriot and 'stay the course'.
How much should Ryan Smyth be making next season? You're welcome, Edmonton :)
Imagine this: The Oilers will not be major players at the trade deadline this year. No Dustin Penner to trade this time, eh?
It's PP or bust for Edmonton, apparently. GOOD TO KNOW.
Transactions: Recalled G Yann Danis from Oklahoma City.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is day-to-day with a shoulder injury.
- Theo Peckham is day-to-day with a face injury.
- Nikolai Khabibulin is day-to-day with a groin injury.
Minnesota Wild (60 GP 27-24-9 63 Pts)
Last Week: 2-1-0: 0-4 L @ STL, 2-0 W vs. BOS, 3-2 W @ FLA
Conference Standing: 12th place
- Goals For: 2.13 (29th)
- Goals Against: 2.50 (8th)
- Power Play %: 14.7 (24th)
- Penalty Kill %: 82.5 (15th)
This Week: As big as this week is for Colorado, it's even bigger for Minnesota. Already slipping in the race (regression is a relentless bitch), Minnesota takes on 3 teams in front of them as they head to Dallas on Friday in the second night of a back-to-back before heading home for a Sunday night tilt versus San Jose and Tuesday versus Los Angeles. Leaving the rigors of the West, the Wild head East for a reprieve as they play last place Montreal on Thursday night.
News: Minnesota tries to ride the wave after shutting out Boston.
What a delightful read that mocks the stupidity of Hockey Wildnerness in regards to regression this year. I lol'd. Hard. (glovetap to An Unmitigated Disaster in case any of you didn't see his fanshot)
After encountering a smattering of baseball results when looking for Wild news, I find this. You're welcome if you clicked on that.
Transactions: Re-signed F Kyle Brodziak to three-year contract extension, reassigned F Jeff Taffe to Houston, recalled F Chad Rau and G Matt Hackett from Houston.
Injuries: Lazy copy/paste mode ENGAGE.
- Guillaume Latendresse has been diagnosed with concussion symptoms and is on Injured Reserve.
- Jarod Palmer has been diagnosed with concussion symptoms and is on Injured Reserve.
- Pierre-Marc Bouchard has concussion symptoms and is on Injured Reserve.
- Clayton Stoner suffered a lower body injury last week and was placed on injured reserve on February 9.
- Carson McMillan suffered a lower body injury and has been placed on Injured Reserve on February 14.
- Mike Lundin suffered a lower body injury and was placed on injured reserve on February 19.
Vancouver Canucks (61 GP 39-16-6 84 Pts)
Last Week: 3-1-0 6-2 W vs. TOR, 5-2 W @ EDM, 1-3 L @ NSH, 4-3 W @ DET
Conference Standing: 2nd place
- Goals For: 3.15 (3rd)
- Goals Against: 2.41 (7th)
- Power Play %: 22.9 (1st)
- Penalty Kill %: 85.7 (6th)
This Week: Coming off their record-busting win at Detroit, Vancouver heads immediately to New Jersey for a classic letdown game Friday night. Avs fans SHOULD be rooting for help from the Canucks this week as they take on teams ahead of the Avs Sunday at Dallas and Tuesday at Phoenix in the final two games of their 6-game road trip. Vancouver returns home for some Thursday night action versus St. Louis. Hot.
News: The Canucks after 60. mmmk
Apparently Nashville acquired Hal Gill specifically to stop underperforming Ryan Kesler. Also included is a blurb about how Ryan Kesler is a bit of a bitch.
The Canucks tell themselves how much they don't care that they are collectively labeled "overrated". Kevin Bieksa acts real tough in the media. Manly.
Home, road. Road, home. Wherever they are, the Canucks feel oh so at peace.
Transactions: Recalled D Chris Tanev from Chicago.
- Steve Pinizzotto is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury
- Aaron Volpatti is out 4-6 months with a shoulder injury.
- Andrew Ebbett is out 4-6 weeks with a collar bone injury.