Feb 25, 2011, 8:15 PM EDT
Every week, we’ll provide updates for each division. The biggest contenders and/or closest races will receive the greatest amount of attention.
Note: I’ll keep commentary to the teams who are in the most pressing situations, so nothing on the Canucks, Avalanche or Oilers.
Bold = playoff contender; Italics = likely lottery fodder.
Northwest Division outlook (February 25 -March 3)
1. Vancouver Canucks (39-14-9 for 87 pts; 62 Games Played)
Current streak: One win
Week ahead: Three home games – vs. Boston (Saturday), vs. Columbus (Tuesday) and Nashville (Thursday).
2. Minnesota Wild (32-23-6 for 70 pts; 61 GP)
Current streak: One loss.
Week ahead: @ Anaheim (Fri), home vs. Chicago (Mon), @ Islanders (Wed) and @ Rangers (Thu).
Thoughts: The Wild face two huge games, one against the Ducks tonight and the other versus the Blackhawks on Monday. They would do well for themselves if they can win both, especially in overtime.
3. Calgary Flames (31-23-8 for 70 pts; 62 GP)
Current Streak: One loss.
Week ahead: Home vs. San Jose (Fri), home vs. St. Louis (Sun), @ St. Louis (Tues) and @ Chicago (Wed).
Thoughts: This week looks like a serious challenge and opportunity for the Flames. the toughest test comes tonight against the red-hot Sharks. The most important game comes against their bubble mates the Blackhawks, while a home-and-home with the downtrodden but occasionally dangerous Blues serves as the meat to this week’s sandwich of games.
4. Colorado Avalanche (26-28-7 for 59 pts; 61 GP)
Current streak: One loss.
Week ahead: Three away games – vs. Los Angeles (Sat), Anaheim (Sun) and San Jose (Tues)
5. Edmonton Oilers (20-33-8 for 48 pts; 61 GP)
Current streak: One win.
Week ahead: Four home games – vs. St. Louis (Fri), Boston (Sun), Nashville (Tues) and Columbus (Thurs).
- Injuries piling up as preseason schedule begins 11
- Report: Fedorov denies contract offer was made to Johansen 7
- Report: Johansen has gotten no shortage of KHL offers 37
- Update: Drouin out with upper body injury, not expected to miss preseason 1
- Report: NHL officials to participate in preseason without new CBA 1
- Evander Kane: I know I can score 50 goals 14
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 18
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 6
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 26
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (65)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)
- Just how damaging are heated negotiations between Jackets, RFA Johansen? (38)