I'm really starting to respect Calgary for their consistency. As a fan of a team whose season has been a roller coaster from the very beginning, the Flames must be really easy to root for. They've gone 1-1-1 each of their past three weeks and while they haven't made any significant moves up the standings, they've barely given up any ground as each of the teams around them continue to be very inconsistent. As much as I make fun of Calgary for insisting on collecting as many mediocre hockey players as possible and then re-signing them for too long and too much money (lol Anton Babchuk), at least they've figured out how to really compete for 12th place in their conference. They'll always have that!
Colorado continues to be a maddening team to write about. One week it's totally fun and we're winning games and rolling in the points and the next we're getting blown out by Pittsburgh and then scoring 7 goals just days later before losing on the road in a game we were sosososo close to stealing a point in. They're driving me insane. I'm sad there are only 13 games left because this team is a clear improvement over the one we watched fall apart last year but I'll be glad when the ride finally stops. These guys are exhausting.
Edmonton was a team I seriously was afraid of once they started getting healthy. Their potential to play major spoiler was pretty high because that offense can smoke any team on any given night. Unfortunately, I was blinded by the beacon of optimism given off by the Edmonton media and forgot they have a shitty defense and comically inept goaltenders. Not quite like Toronto but they give them a decent run for their money. Needless to say, my comfort with seeing them on the schedule this weekend is probably a really bad sign.
Speaking of comically inept, you have the entire Minnesota franchise. Beset by terrible injury problems, the remaining terrible hockey players just couldn't continue to play as far over their heads as they did at the beginning of the year. As much as I love the Houston Aeros, at least now I know just how bad it would be if they were competing in the NHL instead of the AHL. Maybe they'll get a Top 5 pick and and their scouting staff will finally manage to not screw up a first round pick. Maybe.
Vancouver, as you will read below if you click dem links, is struggling mightily on offense with the Sedins suddenly finding themselves unable to carry the rest of that team. I imagine the regular season is just boring that entire franchise at this point because even their media is openly rooting for the playoffs to start so the team can begin it's real season. Unfortunately for them, their obscenely comfortable lead in the division (as in, you know, they'll be clinching it here in the next 2 weeks) isn't indicative of their standing in the Western Conference as they've been overtaken by St. Louis for the time being. If the Canucks can't refocus, they could be in for a much tougher first round playoff series than they were expecting. Excellent....
All standings related info taken from NHL.com...
- 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.
- Chris Butler is on IR with a leg injury.
Last Week: 1-3-0
- Guillaume Latendresse 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 on February 4 and was placed on injured reserve on February 9. He could return on Thursday if Tyler Cuma does not arrive in Phoenix on time.
- Mikko Koivu is currently out with an upper body injury. He has been shut down until March 13, when he will be reevalutated.
- Mike Lundin suffered a lower body injury and was placed on injured reserve on February 19.
- Niklas Backstrom suffered a lower body against Montreal on March 1 and did not travel with the team on its current road trip.