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).
- Bishop bounced back in Game 5, but did the Rangers test him enough? 4
- Surging Stamkos: Lightning put Rangers on the brink 15
- Report: Blues will stick with Hitchcock ‘barring anything dramatic’ 14
- WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Rangers, Game 5 of Eastern Conference Final 0
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ 53
- Video: ‘It’s not the ideal situation,’ says OT hero Vermette of being a healthy scratch 5
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks 60
- Video: Ducks score three goals in 37 seconds to take third-period lead 9
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 4 0
- Cooper on replacing Bishop: ‘That is asinine to me’ 25
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (174)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Russia to be punished for ‘completely out of order’ actions after Worlds final loss to Canada (91)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)