Feb 25, 2011, 8:15 PM EST
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).
- Report: Salary cap ‘may be around’ $70 million next season 14
- TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend 3
- Report: Laviolette a candidate to replace Capuano 19
- Sharks say Fleury was ‘shaky’ and ‘fighting it’ in 44-save victory 52
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) 57
- Seguin (concussion) cleared to play tonight 0
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ 89
- Will the Rangers use a compliance buyout on Richards? 10
- Malkin (lower body) to miss tonight’s game versus Sharks 20
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 60
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (89)
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ (60)
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) (57)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (53)
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)