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-   -   PREVIEW: Northwest Division (https://www.sports-central.org/community/boards/showthread.php?t=2048)

lmanchur. 08-26-2001 09:14 AM

PREVIEW: Northwest Division
 
The countdown is now at 6 weeks until the NHL's regular season, so every week, I will start a new thread where we can preview each of the NHL's 6 divisions, with the 7th week of discussion belonging to our final predictions.

This thread concerns the Western Conference's Pacific Division that features the Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and, the defending champions, the Colorado Avalanche.

I love this division, because it almost gaurantees that we'll see at least one Canadian team in the Western Conference playoffs! ;) However, those one or two teams definitely will not be seeded as one of the top three teams in the West and thus, have home ice advantage.

Easily, the Colorado Avalanche will overtake this division once again. It's almost unfair. They have the exact same team as last season, except they are missing Ray Bourque, and, with a team as strong as the Avalanche, he won't be missed all that much as compared to a team like Boston.

The Edmonton Oilers have suffered the lost of Doug Weight this offseason -- management too scared to leave him as an unrestricted free agent after the 2002 season, and not get anything for him in return. However, they got a few good players in the deal... uhh.... Jochen Hecht (a 2000-2001 rookie) is one, and I forget the others... it doesn't matter, though... Doug Weight IS Edmonton... It's too difficult to think of a team in Edmonton without Doug Weight -- I sure can't do it.

That's why I'm not sure if the Oilers will make the playoffs or not. The Calgary Flames, however.... It's time for their breakout year. They haven't made the playoffs since 1996 (or was it 1995?), but it's time they make it. I think that the fans in Calgary will welcome Roman Turek with open arms, and I'm sure Turek will perform outstanding for the Flames with Stanley Cup-winning pressure not as high as it was in St. Louis.

...then there's Vancouver. What to say about Vancouver??... they still don't have a solid, proven #1 goaltender. That's going to be a tough blow if Cloutier doesn't play decent .500-or-better hockey... Vancouver would definitely contend for a higher seed than 8th if they had a better goalie, with an oustanding core of young talent.

Minnesota will be an interesting team this year. They were one of the winningest expansion teams earlier on in their inagural season last year (didn't they go on a 10- or 20-something unbeaten streak??), and there is more to come. Minnesota has a good young goalie (what Vancouver needs) in Manny Fernendez, as well as some other decent players such as Andrew Brunette.

In a few seasons, this division is going to be deadly strong, as long as everyone can hold on to their young players.

So there ya go -- my breakdown of the NHL's Pacific Division:: Coloardo will be #1, followed by Calgary #2 (probably #7 in the West... still undecided), and Edmonton and Vancouver will battle it out for the 3rd and 4th spot in the division. Minnesota will finish last.

Marc 08-26-2001 11:34 AM

ROFL at at least one Canadian team making the playoffs! :D

I think you listed the teams in order of how good they are...

The Aves cannot be matched here... minus Bourque, they will defend the title with dignity and will make a strong run at a repeat.

lmanchur. 08-26-2001 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by mjames
I think you listed the teams in order of how good they are...
Well, that's usually how they finish ya know! -- the best finish #1, the worst finish #5....

but I'm not so sure if Calgary is better than Edmonton, or if Edmonton is better than Vancouver, or if Vancouver is better than Calgary.... all three teams are very close to each other... Vancouver has a great nucleus of young talent, but no goalie... the Flames have are evenly balanced in each position, but not very deep.... and Edmonton has the same energetic line-up as last year, with a Tommy Salo that has one more solid season under his belt, but no Doug Weight in the locker room to rally the troops.

The only thing certain, IMO, is that Colorado will finish first in this division, and Minnesota will finish last -- that's about 98% gauranteed.... but the middle three Canadian contenders are all close to each other.

Ross 08-26-2001 12:47 PM

I say:

Colorado is obviously the champs and will win this division going away.

Turek=playoffs for Calgary. Calgary will finish 2nd here.

With Edmonton, I'm just not seeing it. I don't think they can do well without Weight and their first full season without Guerin.

Vancouver, well I don't know about them, except for their goalie situation.

Minnesota, should come in 4th or 5th place in this division. They have great goalie in Fernandez. Just wait and their time will come.

dragons 08-30-2001 07:54 PM

Pacific Div
 
Avalanche pthtpth....they won't even make it this season....hahaha I wish.

Now, seriously, of course the Avs will finish 1st, anyone thinking otherwise would be considered obscene and mental.

As for the rest of the div.

Edmonton will not make the playoffs. Without Weight, they basically have no one except for a goalie who can get hot and a couple good young dmen in Poti and Brewer.

Calgary Flames may just squeeze into the playoffs, but for them to do so Turek needs to have a 2.20 GAA or less because the Flames have absolutely no offence. Without Bure they can't score worth a damn.

Vancouver Canucks will undoubtedly finish second in this division. They have great youth, good scorers, good defence. Cloutier showed some promise during the playoffs. He made a few mistakes and hopefully he learns from them. He could be a good goalie.

Minnesota Wild - don't even think about em until 3 years down the road.

Predicted Standings:
1. Colorado Avalanche
2. Vancouver Canucks
3. Calgary Flames
4. Edmonton Oilers
5. Minnesota Wild

lmanchur. 08-30-2001 11:12 PM

Re: Pacific Div
 
Quote:

Originally posted by dragons
Edmonton will not make the playoffs. Without Weight, they basically have no one except for a goalie who can get hot and a couple good young dmen in Poti and Brewer.
....you forgot Ninnimaa.... or wait -- is he still on EDM?... I think so.....

...they also have a decent offense... or rather, some decent offensive players.... Anson Carter... Mike Grier... Todd Marchant.... Hecht.... uhhh... yeah -- okay -- it sucks!!... they shoulda just kept Weight and just see what happens either after the season or at the deadline... I don't think they got market value for Weight in the trade, anyway....

NickHammy 08-31-2001 04:31 PM

that top five seems right.
does the nhl have a preseason, cause i got some tickets from my dads company for sept. 16 (Blue Jackets vs. Predators) if not that would be the home opener right???

lmanchur. 08-31-2001 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by NickHammy
does the nhl have a preseason, cause i got some tickets from my dads company for sept. 16 (Blue Jackets vs. Predators) if not that would be the home opener right???
NHL season begins the first week of October, so those tickets are most definitley for a preseason game.


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