Monday, January 30, 2006

Playoff Hunt 30-Jan-06

Given that this North West Division, and the Western Conference for that matter, is going to be so competitive I’ll start a Monday playoff watch. My goal is to look forward on the week at the involved teams and their games with focus on key match-ups that are going to impact the pairings for the second season.

Period of Analysis 30-Jan-06 to 5-Feb-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
Detroit should remain the first seed playing three games and will likely pick up all six points. Key matches will be with Minny who have twelve points in their last ten games and next Saturday with Colorado who are even hotter with fourteen points in their last ten.

Dallas has three games against San Jose, Nashville and St Louis. The St Louis points should be a given and I suggest one of the Sharks or the Predators could win. I’ll predict the Stars pick up four points.

The Flames draw St Louis, Columbus and Vancouver in the three games they will play this week. As always the Blues and CJB’s should be easy prey. Let’s also give Cowtown an OTL against Vancouver.

Paul Kariya’s crew have one of the tougher schedules this week. While they get St Louis next weekend they also have to face Dallas and Colorado back to back nights mid week. Let’s figure one of Colorado or Dallas will win. The most points they can come up with this week is four.

5Los Angeles63765
LA only has two games this week with the Ducks and the Dogs on the agenda. With only seven points in their last ten (3-6-1) I’ll give them a win and a loss. LA should drop in the seeding this week.

Vancouver’s draw looks like the Dogs, Calgary and Edmonton. I think the effort in Colorado will carry over to Phoenix and I’ve predicted an OT win in Calgary. In Edmonton let’s make it interesting and predict and OT loss. Coming out of Alberta with three of four points would be optimistic results. Total of five points for the week.

The Oil will face only the CBJ and Vancouver this week. I’ll give them four points. Vancouver might beat them but it is a home game with the Canucks coming off a game with the Flames the previous night. I’m not sure how Auld will hold up to the workload.

Colorado certainly has the toughest schedule. They host a hot Minny and conference leading Detroit with a trip to Nashville sandwiched in between. It is hard to predict the outcomes of these individual games so let’s give the Avalanche a .500 record for the week. They will pickup three of six points available.

Outside looking in.

The remainder of the west with a chance of making it to the Stanley Cup Tournament are Anaheim, Phoenix and Minnesota. Anaheim is the best of the bunch and Phoenix is the hottest of the bunch. But with Anaheim five points in back of Colorado I do not see any of this trio breaking into the top eight seeds over the coming week.

The San Jose Sharks with 52 points in 48 games are worth mention. That low total of 48 games gives them at lease two games in hand over everyone, a minimum of three against the current seeds and six over Los Angeles.

Key Games for the Canucks.

Of course the two back to back games in Alberta are the key to success this week. I’ve boldly given the Nuck’s three of four points for these games. If the team does another 0 for Alberta showing their total could be as low as 65 points at week’s end. Pair this with an extra win along the way by the Avalanche and Vancouver could drop to as low as the seventh or eight seed.

Predicted Dance Partners.

If the playoff were to start on February 6th my predictions for match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Colorado
Dallas – Los Angles
Calgary – Edmonton (wow!)
Nashville – Vancouver


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