Tuesday, January 31, 2006

 

Stretch Drive (Western Conference)

I've gone through "my" "data", and here's how I think the West playoff picture shakes out.
Minnesota and Phoenix have virtually no chance. They need to earn about 1.4 pts/gm the rest of the way to hit 95 points. It's possible, but know that only Ottawa, Carolina, and Detroit have performed that well so far this season.

It's apparently still the CW to portray San Jose as coming on strong, but it's just not happening. They were in 12th the day they traded for Thornton, and they're 12th today. They had that awesome 5 game stretch against (mostly) the East right after the trade, but they're not making up enough ground since.

I still like Calgary to win the NW by a comfortable margin. I assume the Oil will keep doing what they're doing. I'm pretty confident Anaheim is in; they had 18 points thru 20 games this season, and have 40 in the 31 since. This pace will put them in.

The biggest question is probably Vancouver: just how bad will these injuries kill them? They're even worse than Calgary on the road, but can they keep winning at home? If they can be an average team, i.e. earn 1.1 pts/gm, over the final 30, they probably just squeeze in the playoffs. If not... oh, what a shame that would be... by the way, since their 8-1-1 start, the Canucks have earned 46 pts in 42 games, which makes [uh, carry the one] about 1.1 pts/gm. How big is that playoff cushion, indeed.

Throw your own predictions in the comments, won't you?

Comments:

I think that your final rankings look pretty solid, but there are a few "intangibles" that would throw off those final rankings.

Calgary is still is just a bad injury to Kipper from going in the tank. They just cannot score enough, they need to address this. A good goalie covers their weaknesses, whereasin Edmonton a good team covers a weak goalie.

If Edmonton trades the wrong person(s) for a goalie, they risk losing the great team chemistry that makes their team strong. Do they dare trade Staios? Reasoner? or Torres?

Not too long ago Colorado was in trouble and had to reel off 8 straight wins to still be 1 point behind the oilers right now, and so a good win-streak or losing streak could definitely change things up.

What I like most of all is this, if it turns out that Calgary does finish 3rd overall, then I for one am hoping that Edmonton finishes 6th. Nothing sweeter than eliminating the Flames in the first round.
 


I'm hoping that the aquisition of a half-decent goalie would give us 5th place and a first round meeting with the Preds. If that were to happen, I'd be pretty optimistic about the Oilers chances.
 


I hope the Oil meet the Preds in the Western final, it would be the best westen final we've seen in a long time. Oilers-Predators games are some of the fastest and best games that you'll see all season.
 


Good point, one that few Flames fans would be able to counter.

Calgary is one Kipper-injury away from seeing their season in the toilet. To be fair, they do have great defense in front of the guy though.

No one would mourn the loss of Conklin to injury, that much is certain. If anything, the Oiler's fans might call for a parade like they just won the Cup.
 


San Jose's 9-3-2 in their last 15, and somehow this isn't coming on strong? They also looked far better than the Ducks, who are without Ozolinsh and Salei now. Beauchemin played over 30 minutes last night.

The Sharks are far from done. This is basically the team that finished 3rd in the NHL in 2003-04.
 


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