Yesterday we took a look at the central division today we are going to move out to the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. This division includes Minnesota, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Colorado. Based on playoff teams from last year this would be considered the weakest part of the Western Conference. While saying its the weakest Colorado had a great showing in the playoff last year given how young they are. Vancouver has been staple in the playoffs from this division for the last couple of years. Lets take a closer look at the teams in this division.
The Vancouver Canucks - The Canucks won the division last year, and for the 2nd time in as many years were bounced from the playoffs by the Chicago Blackhawks. This was after Luongo the goalie had some choice words for Patrick Kane at the olympics. Vancouver's lineup is highlighted by the Sedin brothers and Ryan Kelser from OSU. The Canucks should have a great chance to win this part of the division again, they did not lose many pieces from last year.
The Colorado Avs - They stunned alot of people with their playoff run last year. This a young team with alot of talent and a great goal tender. Any time you can get great goal tending you have a chance to be really good. This team should continue to improve this season, and might be able to challenge the Canucks for the division title this year. It will be mostly up to Craig Anderson in net to keep the Avs rolling down the hill to the promise land.
The Calgary Flames - The Flames did not make the playoffs last year in what was a disappointment in many people's mind. The Flames are trying to make up for it already in 2010, they are 6-0 in the preseason. The Flames are still led by the feisty Jerome Iginla. They have a decent goal tender in Kiprusoff that will keep them close. They might still need to add some talent before the trade deadline if they want to get out of this division with the title.
The Minnesota Wild - The Wild did not have a very good season last year, and they hope to improve upon that this year. The Wild are a tough team that make you earn every inch of the ice. They also space the ice very well which usually creates odd man situations into the attacking zone. The Wild have not been very good this preseason (0-4-2). They had alot of chances when they played against CBJ but they could not cash in. The Wild do not have a bunch of big name players but they have a lot players that know what their roll is and they play together very well.
The Edmonton Oilers - It was a horrid season last year for the Oilers. They had the worst record in the NHL by over 10 pts. They need The Great One to come back to Canada and put the skates on. Things though might be on the up and up, the Oilers are 4-1 in the 2010 preseason. The Oilers will need all the wins they can get to change the mentality of losing that has taken over Edmonton. They cannot get much worse then they were last year, so hopefully they will get it together in 2010.