Hockey Correspondent, White Cover Magazine
*These are my previews for every NHL division and my predictions of what lies ahead for all five teams of all six divvies in this shortened, 48-game regular season. I intend to keep each team’s summary to two sentences or less. Not because I’m succinct or concise, but because I’m tired and lazy and I don’t want to write very much.
Vancouver Canucks: It seems like they’ve never not won this division, but two President’s Trophies and a promising past two seasons will do that. They’re injured, they’re getting a little older, and they still don’t have a definite No. 1 goaltender.
Edmonton Oilers: Young, but feeble. In a 48-game schedule, though, the Oilers could get off to a hot start that’s just too hard to screw up.
Minnesota Wild: So, they signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter more, like $100 million each. It seems like they’ve vastly upgraded their team, but most forget the Wild weren’t that bad before anyway.
Colorado Avalanche: Their chemistry is Ford Tough, and Gabriel Landeskog will win the Selke Trophy in just his second year in the league.
Calgary Flames: Sure, they’re the terrible, terrible Flames, but Roman Cervenka and Sven Baertschi give them their (basically) first-ever potential Calder Trophy winners.
1. Minnesota Wild
2. Edmonton Oilers
3. Vancouver Canucks
4. Colorado Avalanche
5. Calgary Flames
Realistically, four teams from this division could make the playoffs. It’s the strongest five-team group in the Western Conference this year. The only problem here is that they have to all play each for for almost the entire season, so that sucks.