Sunday, March 12, 2006

Playoff Hunt #5

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between March 5 and 11th. The point predictions are for the week March 12 to March 18.

Period of Analysis 5-Mar-06 to 18-Mar-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
Detroit had three home games this week with Phoenix, LA and Chicago. No peril there. But the Coyotes did surprise me and the Wings. Next up is some travel. Out to Chicago, home for Anaheim and then out to Edmonton. They have lots of travel time between games. Anaheim maybe be pissed with them over resting the Olympians event. But that game is at home. I’m going to have to predict six points for Detroit this week.

Dallas picked up six points with wins in Chicago, Edmonton and Vancouver. Calgary beat them. Considering their trip into the west they did quite well. Dallas plays Vancouver again in the second half of a home and home. Late in the week they go out to Anaheim and San Jose. Six points for Dallas this week. I made the homer mistake on thinking Vancouver would win last week. Dooh!

Calgary had only two games both at home. They managed a win over Dallas in a close one. This week could go either way. They start with a home and home against Colorado. Then travel to Edmonton and Nashville. Yikes. How to pick this. I do not understand Colorado’s moves in goal but let’s give the two home ice wins. In a battle of Alberta I think Edmonton at home is a winner. Maybe take Nashville at home given they beat the Flames in Calgary this week. That gives us two points for the Cowtownians this week.

Nashville picked up points in every game this week. Two wins and two OTL’s. The wins were in Vancouver and Calgary. They lost in OT to both Edmonton and the Sharks. This week brings Vancouver, Phoenix and Calgary to Music City, USA. Vancouver will be playing the second of two nights in a row. Phoenix is out of it. Calgary will be starting a long road trip and lost to Nashville at home last week. I’ll suggest six points for the Pred this week.

Colorado botched an easy week by losing to Minny before wining in St Louis and Chicago. They have big four point games this week as they play a home and home with Calgary. Then for whatever reason the schedule God’s game them a five day rest. Maybe the all seeing knew Jose would be needing heel heal time. Only two points for Colorado this week. See Calgary for why.

6Los Angeles771382
My predictions for LA last week were goofy. They did lose in Detroit. They won in St Louis and Minny. Why did I think they wouldn’t? This week is BUSY. Start with a commuter flight up to San Jose for a game with the Sharks. Then play at home the next night with Phoenix. Dallas and St Louis round out the week. Eight points on the table. Phoenix and St Louis should be OK. Sharks and is 50-50. Expect the Stars to win. I’ll estimate five points this week.

As expected, St Louis handed the Canuck’s their hats and sweep their season series 4-0. The silver lining: the Canucks can’t face the Blues in the play off as they (let’s hope I mean the Blues) aren’t making the play offs. The week was down hill from there. Two reasonable efforts against two good teams. One point on a OTL to show for it. The injection of a two top six defencemen into the team is going to help. Auld will get one night off so Crawford can see Noronen. If he wins maybe Auld will see a second night off. If not *roll your eyes* and mutter something about a goalie graveyard. This week Nucks go on the road to Dallas, Nashville and Columbus. Let’s be charitable and say two points against the CBJ’s. Let’s not and say Noronen gets his first start and loss in Columbus. Let’s split the difference and say one point this week unless these Canucks can reinvent themselves pronto.

The Oil lost a bunch of games that they shouldn’t. They did pick up some points via OTL route. The Oilers have another busy week. They play two games in Minny before going home to face the Flames then the Wings. I pick them with home ice to beat the Flames. They should also come out of Minny with at least two points. Remember this will be the return of Rolly the Goalie. Let’s predict five points for the Oilers this week.

Outside looking in.

The Ducks won two and lost one. They dropped a game at home to the CBJ. Had they won that one they’d be tied with Edmonton now. The wins were in their own division so they hold the Sharks and Dogs from making any moves towards playoff spots. The Ducks face Phoenix first in the second half of an away and home set. They go out on the road to Detroit and Chicago later in the week. Give Anaheim four points this week.

Current Dance Partners.

If the playoff were to start on March 19th my predictions for match ups are as follows:

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

If Anaheim has a good week or Vancouver has a bad week look for the Ducks to move into the top eight. Calgary and Colorado play each other twice. The potential for Colorado to end the week in first in the Northwest is real.


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