Sunday, March 05, 2006

Playoff Hunt #4

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between Feb 28 to March 4th. The point predictions are for the week March 5 to March 11. I’m lined up now with the game calendars at ESPN (Example) which makes the job a lot easier. I’ve also tried to add links to each team's ESPN Clubhouse – hope it worked out…

Period of Analysis 28-Feb-06 to 11-Mar-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
Detroit spent the week on the road out west with a loss in San Jose and wins in Anaheim, and Phoenix. The SJ loss will be commentary until 2010 as Detroit management decided to send their Olympians direct to Anaheim. Did they take a pass on the Sharks game? When you’re best in the west and second overall, I guess you can take a chance like that. Detroit has three home games this week with Phoenix, LA and Chicago. No peril here. Give the Red Wings another six pints this week.

Dallas only got ½ the job done this week. They lost bad to Phoenix in Phoenix. They did win over the Av’s at home on Saturday night. I predicted four points of which they picked up only two. Dallas is a team with no where to go. They are six behind the Wings and four plus ahead of the pack. Dallas looks to be headed into the number two seed spot just as much as Detroit has first seed locked up. What a week Dallas has on the schedule. Games on the road every other night ending in the Western death triangle – Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. I’ve heard, as well, that the Dallas PP is struggling. I’ll go safe with 500 hockey. Points in Chicago and Calgary. Loses in Edmonton and Vancouver. Four points will leave them with 85.

Calgary has only two games both at home. The opposition is beefy with the speedy Nashville and strong Stars coming into Cowtown. I’ve already picked Dallas to win. I might guess that Vokoun might come out over Kiprusoff. Sorry Flames maybe no points this week. Last week the Flames did almost all that was expected. They beat both St Louis and San Jose. The Canucks opened the week with a surprise win over the Flames.

Nashville has a crazy week. Four games. Each game against a team who will play Dallas the next night. So this also means a trip into the Western death triangle. Last week the Pred lost in Chicago then beat Vancouver. This week the order is Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver then off to the Shark Tank on Saturday for an afternoon game. I’ve picked them to win in Calgary. They should also beat the Sharks. I’d suggest four points for the Predators this week.

The impact of missing three of five top defensemen has yet to sink in with the Canucks. Add to this Ryan Kesler, the spark of the team, on too many nights, was carried off the ice in Chicago. On the flip side Naslund is healed. He had two goals in three nights and points in every game this week. Bertuzzi shows signs of awakening. Carter was picked one of the top five free agent signings by TSN. Bob Mackenzie, who rarely can see past Toronto, has noticed Kevin Bieksa. The Canucks did ok, considering, on their road trip. They picked up four of six points. The Canucks spend the week at home and have a little three day break after playing St Louis on Sunday. Nashville and Dallas come through late in the week. In both cases the opponent will have played in Calgary and Edmonton the nights before. I figure Vancouver to take advantage of getting spent teams. Ah but St Louis! That one is a toss up. Let’s give Vancouver four points this week.

Colorado’s results were as expected. They continue their road trip this week with a swing through the bottom feeders. Games in Minny, St Louis and Chicago should mean six points. Eighty points should be first place in the West by week’s end.

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LA also played as expected with two easy wins. Next week they go out on the road for games with Minny, Detroit and St Louis. I’ll give them a loss in Detroit and OTL point in one of the other games.

The Oilers has a busy week. Nashville then Dallas come to town. The Oil end the week on the road with games in San Jose and Columbus. I’ll go bold and say wins at home paired with losses on the road. Give the Oilers four points this week.

Outside looking in.

The Duckling won one and lost one last week. This week they face the CBJ’s and Sharks at home. They end the week with a game against the Coyotes. I’ll predict 4 points with the lost to the Sharks.

Look for Colorado to make a move on Calgary and Vancouver this week. Also Edmonton should leapfrog LA.

Current Dance Partners.

If the playoff were to start on March 5th match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Edmonton
Dallas – Los Angles
Calgary – Colorado
Nashville – Vancouver


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