North by Northwest

It’s been forever since the teams that populate the NW division won the Stanley. Vancouver and Minnesota have never won, Calgary and Edmonton have several generations of fans who weren’t alive when Stanley came to town and Colorado won it a few weeks before the Oilers drafted Hemsky.

It’s been awhile. I think the Northwest has a good chance to have a final four team this season and possibly make it to the final. After that, it will be in the hands of the Hockey Gods. Below I list the predicted spot in the division, the name of the team and then in brackets the predicted finish in the conference.

FIFTH: COLORADO AVALANCHE (14th)

They are now in full rebuild mode, not so different than the situation faced by the franchise when Joe Sakic was a rookie. Paul Stastny is worth the price of admission and some of their kids will surprise in a good way, but the Avs will be a lottery team in 2009-10. If you are a fan of this team, start reading about the draft immediately and for the rest of us each Colorado game we see will be a trade deadline scouting opportunity.

FOURTH: EDMONTON OILERS (11th)

The Edmonton Oilers brought the 2009-10 season on themselves. Unable to commit completely to a new coach, it appears they’ve decided to ask Pat Quinn if he can walk a tightrope better than Craig MacTavish. While other NHL teams who spend to the cap also make every effort to ice a playoff calibre team, the Oilers hedge and hum and haw until they’ve talked themselves into development all over hell’s half acre. The Oilers at center (after Horcoff) are one dimensional and undersized and their goaltender is quality but must stay healthy or leave the team with two rookies. It is a damn shame that a team with this much talent (Khabibulin, Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano, Penner, Hemsky, O’Sullivan, Comrie are a baker’s dozen) but there’s an entire required player type (two-way forward) that basically doesn’t exist on this roster. In-freaking-credible.

THIRD: MINNESOTA WILD (9th)

The big question this season involves Nick Backstrom: did Jacques Lemaire take the magic formula for goalie success with him? I suspect not, but the new, more open offense may mean some more scoring chances from prime areas this year. Martin Havlat is the team’s new gunslinger and there’s plenty of offensive talent on the roster. Defensively they’re a little thin compared to the best in the NW, but they have enough players with experience in all areas (and a wide range of skills) that I suspect they win 3rd in the division.

SECOND: CALGARY FLAMES (5th)

GM Sutter has done a nice job in the last two summers improving this club’s secondary scoring up front, and at this point it’s possible to imagine two useful lines in Calgary. Much has been made of JayBo’s arrival and the one major thing he can do is send Dion the Terrible farther down the depth chart. Regehr remains your basic nightmare and the de facto leader of a very effective D group. I’m going to assume the Flames deal for a goalie before the playoffs no matter how Kipper looks, but if he blows some games (that’s the only way Calgary loses to Edmonton in the season’s opening week) the timeline could move way up.

FIRST: VANCOUVER CANUCKS (1st)

I think the Vancouver Canucks have a very good shot at the Stanley this season. Their goaltender is as close to perfect as you can get without hanging a 72 by 48 plywood sheet in front of the net, their blueline is talented, flawed and will get help at the deadline and their forwards are in their prime (mostly), feature the Sedin piss-cutters and the emerging Ryan Kesler, and have the best depth we’ve seen in mushroom country in 15 years. They’ve even kept a talented Russian (Shirokov) who at 23 appears ready to help.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

103 Responses to "North by Northwest"

  1. shepso says:

    Ah yes, the doom and gloom post. As I have been saying since the dawn of my blogging days about a year ago, this team has no grit, no heart and no shot. Let the rebuild happen. It's funny though, because at 11th, they're not bad enough to be a lottery team, not good enough to get a late round steal or sneak into the second season, and not average enough to be a run-of-the-mill team that might surprise or pull off an upset or two. What does the 09-10 Oiler team stand for? Do they have a new identity, a new culture, or is the new coach just the status quo spoken in a language we can't read just yet?

    Let the games begin…

  2. boopronger says:

    I agree that the Oil wont make the playoffs, BUT, a few things that give me hope. (there is hope every season i know).

    With 10 games left last season the Oilers were in the playoffs by 3 points. No games in hand for teams below them. Oil finish the season 3-7.

    With that said, a new coach almost always means a better performing club.

    A full year of a healthy Vishnovsky would do wonders.

  3. Schitzo says:

    Best of luck to the Vancouver Canucks this season.

  4. PDO says:

    I liked the other post better.

    I'll bet you a 2-4 (I'll even buy you good stuff but I'm just fine with Pilsner) that Vancouver isn't finishing ahead of SJS and Detroit.

  5. Oilmaniac says:

    Wow… great day of posting LT, thanks for that…

    Interesting to see your thoughts on Minnesota, havent thought too much of them and are another team transitioning.. great mini blurb on the oil, straight up calling out management

    Oh where art tho resonable-facsimile-of-Jordan-Staal .. where can ye be found…

  6. Black Dog says:

    PDO – you're going out on a limb there, pal

    ;)

    I'd say 1, 2, 5 are right on.

    Probably 3 and 4 as well but I wonder about the Wild without Jack Lemaire. Might see a flip there but not likely.

  7. flamingpavelbure says:

    Ryan Kesler really lived up to expectations this year.

    Looked like a monster in playoffs.

    LT: Boy you so pessimist.

    Oil will be just fine

  8. PDO says:

    Oh, is this league wide prediction fun?

    Chicago, Vancouver will both take steps back. If I had to pick a surprise team to miss the playoffs, it'd be Chicago. All coming off career years, Kane had about as bad a Summer as you can have, and I'd much rather have Khabibulin between the pipes than Huet. I think the Sedin's struggle under new expectations, and I don't see where the goals come from – Kesler and Burrows aren't repeating last seasons performance.

    And Toronto might damn well be the most overrated team in the league. They'll be lucky to avoid giving Boston a lottery pick this June.

  9. flamingpavelbure says:

    Anyone else Singing the blues?

    Jonhson,Pietrangelo,Perron,Berglund and Oshie.

    All with arrows in the right direction.

  10. bookie says:

    So, same position as last year.

    Surprising to see that seeing as last year saw most of the team underachieve relative to their career and the coach was sniffing glue or something.

    I hope your pessimism this year works out about as good as your optimism last year.

    I think the Oilers will make adjustments in their line up and be about 7th.

    I think the Flames will be surprisingly dysfunctional and perhaps not make the playoffs.

  11. Spot The Loon says:

    I shake my head when I look at the line up for the Oilers. There is a possibility the stars could align and they squeak into the playoffs but I wouldn't bet on it. Management needs to ultimately be held accountable for assembling a one dimensional team while ignoring massive holes in the roster if things go poorly this season. Why don't I believe it will happen though. Sigh . . .

  12. Smytty777 says:

    I'll take LT's pick from last year, 6th.

  13. speeds says:

    LT:

    At least it's a decent start for Eberle.

    http://whl.ca/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1006189

  14. mjsh says:

    LT. I have a tough time agreeing with your drop from a forcast of 6th to 11th too. Although TSN have the Oil down there too.

    I would put the Oil in third in the division and in the battle of their lives for 8th with Columbus and LA. A big name comes here at the trade deadline to put the Oil over the top.

    Chicago would be my pick to fall back too. Huet is not the Bulin Wall of last year.

  15. mjsh says:

    By the way, did the post from McCowan's guy mean an appearance on his show to talk about blogging?

  16. Peter says:

    I don't think anyone would disagree that the top 6 teams are:
    SJ-Anaheim
    Chicago-Detroit
    Vancouver-Calgary

    I think 7th has got to be St. Louis, and I have Dallas at 8, though LA and Columbus are real close. We're in a battle with Minnesota for 11.

    Ya…

  17. Bruce says:

    Their goaltender is as close to perfect as you can get without hanging a 72 by 48 plywood sheet in front of the net

    LT: You talking about the goalie who let in 7 goals in an elimination game last year; the goalie who caved down the stretch in '08, getting pulled from 3 of his last 6 starts as the Canucks crashed and burned out of the playoffs; the goalie who allowed Scott Niedermayer's 65-foot dribbler from the side boards to somehow eliminate his team in overtime the year before that; or the goalie that never even made the playoffs in his first six years in the league?

    Luongo's good, don't get me wrong, but based on actual results he is overrated and overhyped. "Perfect?" Puh-leeeze.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Yes. That's the one.

    mjsh: I don't know, didn't email him.

  19. horbayj says:

    I'm an avs fan LT, please, tell me all i need to know about the upcoming draft :P

  20. Wolfie says:

    Vancouver will not finish 1st in the Conference. They have an absolutely brutal schedule this year due to the Olympics.

    San Jose wins the conference due to the overall weakness of their division.

    The Oilers finish ahead of the Wild and make the playoffs. There is too much doom and gloom on these blog sites lately.

    This team was a playoff team with 10 games left last year when the wheels came off.

    People keep harping about losing Brodziak and not replacing him. That's garbage. Who's to say Brule doesn't come in and at least do the same job with more grit. Brodziak was softer than butter left on the table for a week.

    The addition of Comrie gives this squad the most experienced depth in the top 6 it's had in ages.

    This squad had almost all their players underachieve last year with the exceptions of Souray, Gilbert, Grebeshkov and Roloson.

    When you look at the Blues, Blue Jackets and Canucks all of their players (that stayed healthy) met or exceeded expectations. What's the likelihood of that happening two years running for all of those teams?

    Give your team the benefit of the doubt at least. Pick them to finish 3rd in the division and 8th in the conference. It's a realistic outlook.

  21. mjsh says:

    LT. you do a great job here and MSM is taking note of the blogosphere. When I saw the note, that was my guess that McCowan wanted to talk with one of the best. ie. you

  22. Lowetide says:

    Wolfie: The Blues are absolutely loaded, the Oilers aren't going to see them for some time. For the record, here's my NW bracket:

    1. Vancouver
    2. San Jose
    3. Chicago
    4. Detroit
    5. Calgary
    6. Anaheim
    7. St. Louis
    8. Dallas

    9. Minnesota
    10. Columbus
    11. Edmonton
    12. Nashville
    13. Los Angeles
    14. Colorado
    15. Phoenix

    The one team I'm not happy ranking outside the playoffs is Columbus, but has there ever been a season when one division had 4 clubs making the top 8?

  23. PDO says:

    LT:

    24 beers that Detroit finishes up on Chicago.

    You in?

    :)

  24. PDO says:

    Really, I just like free beer and am hoping LT had a couple tonight so he agrees ;)

  25. Lowetide says:

    mjsh: I appreciate that, but it might have been about something like "we're doing a thing on blogs and their basements, can we take a photo of your 100-watt bulb hanging from the ceiling and your cheesie pile?" so I'm not assuming there's an opportunity there.

    Honestly, I do have one interesting iron in the fire but may decide to change the blog to allow advertising and have one of my best friends sell it for me. She's a little bit interested and I'm sort of stumbling my way through avoiding association with msm.

  26. Bruce says:

    LT: Ah, I get it. Best of luck to the Vancouver Canucks this upcoming season.

  27. Lowetide says:

    PDO: Here's a bet I'll make with you. 24-beer of the winner's choosing (I'd like Sleeman's OD, don't want to break you) and the winner gets the name of the western conference SCF team.

    I choose Vancouver, you choose whatever team you wish. If the winning team isn't one of our choices, we have to pick a bar on someone's choosing and buy one beer for everyone who shows up on a specific night and introduces themselves.

    Deal? You got the stones? :-)

  28. PDO says:

    Hey, don't you go challenging my man hood behind your diet pepsi bottles and cheezies…

    ;)

    I flipped a coin and it came up heads, so I'm on San Jose.

    Hopefully I don't drink too much beer between now and May and forget about this… :D

  29. Lowetide says:

    PDO: Look, we're idiots. We won't remember this beyond the next Eskimo loss. :-)

  30. PDO says:

    As long as it's not to Saskatchewan…

  31. Lowetide says:

    A-freaking-men.

  32. mc79hockey says:

    You guys may not remember this…I'm sure someone here will. ;)

  33. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Division placings seem about right.
    Conference placings are debatable.

    I would put Colorado with Phoenix fighting it out for last in the west.

    Minny and the Oilers could be anywhere from 8th to 11th.

    Can't see the Canucks being #1 in the West

  34. PDO says:

    Watch Heatley and Luongo suffer season ending injuries tomorrow night.

  35. loudog says:

    Ah, gotta love prediction time.

    I basically agree with Bookie and Mjsh:

    Oilers will finish around 7th/8th. Let's not be that pessimistic, Oilers are the same group with a more dependable goalie and a more experienced coaching staff. Saying they’ll finish 5-6th is being too optimistic while saying around #11 is expecting the worse and thinking all the other teams will not run into problems. Factors to think about (for all teams): Injury bug, Coaching, Goal. If the gods aren’t as mean as they were last year, Oilers cannot finish lower this time around.

    Moving up from last year: LA, STL, DAL

    +/- the same: NSH, DET, SJ, CLB, COL, MIN, PHX

    Going down from last year: CGY, VAN, CHI, ANA

    I am looking forward to see Kipper self-destruct. Van will still be strong but not like last year. Anaheim will take a step back. Anyone remember what happened to EDM after we lost Pronger? LA will surprise (they got Smyth and some quality goal-scorers) as will STL with all that youth.

    Gonna be a fun year.

  36. gary b says:

    i think Oil squeak into playoffs. JDD delivers makes most of his starts and steals a few extra W's.

  37. kris says:

    I predict we miss the playoffs and finish 9th, San Jose wins the conference, Calgary wins the WCF (no!!) and Pittsburgh wins the cup in 5.

  38. dwillms says:

    Hadn't heard this anywhere else yet:

    "… general manager Paul Holmgren was unable to reach an agreement on a contract for veteran, free-agent center Blair Betts. Holmgren didn’t sound optimistic, either"

    http://www.csnphilly.com/pages/landing?Flyers-Finalize-Roster-Jones-to-Phantoms=1&blockID=78157&feedID=695

  39. mjsh says:

    LT. if you do the advertising thing, let me know. I am in the car business. might have some interest

  40. Paper Designer says:

    Are you suggesting that Penner, Cogliano, Hemsky, Gagner, O'Sullivan, Nilsson and Horcoff can be collectively worse this year? Because if that's what you're suggesting, you might be clinically cynical. It is not reasonable to expect every forward to have a good year, or every forward to have a poor one. Last year, virtually every forward underachieved. Wouldn't the reasonable bet be that roughly have of them do well, while the other half struggle? If that's the case, their forwards should automatically be good enough to get them into the playoffs; between the forwards mentioned above, Brule, Comrie and Jacques, one has to think that there's sufficient players who make things happen in a positive way for the forwards to drag the team into the playoffs. And let's not forget how much good is on the Oilers blue-line.

    The weakness is goaltending, but it's still probably good enough. There's enough on this team for me to say that it is probably better than the average in the conference, if only somewhat. They're going to finish 3rd to 11th, with 7th sounding like a good bet.

  41. oil dude says:

    Interesting prediction LT. Last year you picked 6th amongst all the optimism, and this year you pick 11th amongst all the angst. For a blogger who calls it the way he sees it and thinks outside the box, how could you have the same predictions as the unwashed masses (those who think Horcoff is useless)??

    With that said, thanks for bravely making these predictions (amongst others) and I will put my neck on block by saying the Oilers get 8th.

    If they do finish 11th then it will be another chance for Stu "Magnificent Bastard" MacGregor to school the field again. To bad that we get our first MPS update the same day that Eberle begins annihilating the dub.

  42. Wikiwonk says:

    It seems news travels slow in the NHL.

    Back when we had 22 teams, the difference between sixth and eleventh was spectacular. Now that we have 16 teams making the playoffs out of 30 (well, 30 uniforms if not 30 teams), we're at the coin-flip center of the Bell curve. There's barely more than puck luck between sixth and tenth.

    In the pre-cap era when you could have Bourque and Blake and Sakic and Forsberg all on the same team, you mainly had to worry about your Hall of Fame goaltender going statue of liberty. One key injury wasn't going to change the season outcome.

    For a post-CBA bubble team, losing half a season of a six million dollar man is going to hurt you in the standings more often than not.

    The other gamblers fallacy that irks me is the rush to declare players injury prone. Chance happens. It's not always a streak. Get over it. Obviously, there is some dross out there who don't know how to look after themselves, or who have a chronic injury which constantly flairs up. Turning an ankle on a basketball doesn't a player injury prone, nor does getting your punching hand stuck in a visor, unless you repeat that mistake on a regular basis.

    Concerning MacBlender, he made a comment late last season about the other team "taking the game to the wall". I think he meant that the kid line looks great until the other team wises up. So he's not standing around waiting for the kid line to catch fire, but checking out whether the other team's game plan includes that particular clue stick.

    I think he became too cerebral for his own good. He didn't let the players play together long enough to discover their fatal flaw. Bubble teams can't afford to squander points in the standing while the players catch on to what the coach saw several games ago. The problem is that if the coach fixes the problem too early, the players don't end up owning it, and dysfunction ensues.

    The same thing happened with the Sedin's in their rookie season. Were they good, or not good? At first, they made veteran NHL defence look like children by tic-tacing the puck in a phone booth, until the book went out to crush them like the smurfs they were, and worry less about that slippery rubber disc. It was a long time before they could handle the heat to work that magic to the same level.

    If hiding injuries is a huge part of winning a playoff series after the first round, why is changing up your lines before making the fatal flaws in your line combinations obvious to 20,025 people not equally valid? Is "let the guys play until they find their chemistry" not just another way of saying "expose their inability to deal with taking the game to the wall until every team in the NHL knows the book?" Fans have this amazing ability to believe that the flaws they can see on the ice are not apparent to the opposing coach. I never get that, but I guess it feels good.

    I think this is the reason why cagey Quinn has a coke machine and two bar fridges on every line to start the season. He knows the players resent Margarita Man from last season, and this is the only way he can avoid being tarred with the same straw.

    This season he's got a fairly deep defense that shouldn't commit too many rookie mistakes (by recent standards). I know size matters for forwards in the o-zone, but how much does it matter for a lightning smurf with good hustle on the back-check? If he can reduce defensive errors enough, and they find some stability in their own zone, they might make some hay on the counter-attack, and cling to contention until the final month of the regular season, then trust to God and a coin toss in the final week of the season.

    The other main chance is that Horcoff, Hemsky, Vish, or Khabi goes down with a long term early in the season, and then they can safely head for the lottery exit.

  43. bookie says:

    I don't think anyone would disagree that the top 6 teams are:
    SJ-Anaheim
    Chicago-Detroit
    Vancouver-Calgary

    I will disagree that those 6 finish as the top six, and here is why. In my experience about 1/3 of teams perform in a manner that is somewhat unexpected (with a range of 'unexpected').

    As they say "that's why they play the games"

    It may be the Oiler kool-aid talking, but I am not buying into the Sutter Brothers in Calgary. I think at the end of the year the term 'surpisingly disappointing' will be floating around.

  44. bookie says:

    I think he became too cerebral for his own good.
    I have been refering to it as 'going mad scientist on us'

    Great post, I for one have hope!

  45. bookie says:

    LT-all for the advertising, you deserve a few bucks out of this! Try to avoid the product placements though (other than Cheezies). I don't want to read things like

    "Penner played like a subway train tonight, and speaking of Subway, did you know that they have the most amazing turkey club sub and it is on sale this week"

  46. Temujin says:

    You know damned well Vancouver aint taking the whole Western Conference :-0

    But anyone who thinks Kesler will take a step back this season is sadly mistaken. He's teh shiznit, fo sho!

    I wish there was a way for the Oil to make the playoffs, but I just don't see it. Too many other teams have improve while Edm… yeah, not so much.

  47. JB-"jiggyman" says:

    Let's try to find some balance here…

    We weren't as good as we were led to believe heading into last season, and we're sure as hell not nearly as bad going into this season as some seem to think.

    Should we not be more optimistic heading into this season than last? The change in coaching, system play, and most importantly player attitudes heading into this year are being severely underrated by most, these changes will have a larger impact than most predict.

    San Jose, Detroit, vancouver, calgary, chicago are the only locks. Edmonton falls in the next group of teams fighting for the final 3 spots.

    I'm shocked at the Anaheim and Dallas love around here. Only one of those two teams will make it. St. Louis, columbus, and Edmonton are all better teams imo.

  48. Icecastles says:

    mc79hockey said…
    You guys may not remember this…I'm sure someone here will.
    ;)

    Flagged the last day of the season in iCal, pasted in the boys' bet, set it to email me on April 11. I'll be reminding them, you can count on it. Too bad I'll still be in the 'Peg and not able to cash in on a free beer. ;)

    Bookie: If LT goes that route, we can start calling him the Brian Hall of the Blogosphere.

  49. hunter1909 says:

    I'd generally agree with your predictions Lowetide, except I'd swap Minnesota and Edmonton around.

    That way the Oilers front office can keep on chanting their "wait until next season" mantra, and at the same time get another relatively shitty first round draft position. The way they always do.

  50. quain says:

    The one team I'm not happy ranking outside the playoffs is Columbus, but has there ever been a season when one division had 4 clubs making the top 8?

    Last season?

  51. knighttown says:

    To answer your question LT, the Central Division had four teams make the playoffs last year and damn near had 5 until Anaheim passed Nashville. That would have been historic.

    A lot of comments about not being as bad as we were last year. I said it during last year's stretch run…2008-09 was a down year in the Western Conference. You had perennial playoff locks like Dallas (injuries) and Anaheim (crappiness) out of the picture for the first time in forever.

    And no, that doesn't happen every year…standings predictions are actually pretty accurate.

    Locks: Detroit, Anaheim, Calgary, Vancouver, San Jose, Dallas, Chicago.

    Phoenix and Colorado have no shot.

    If I was betting on which team would grab the last spot:
    -C-Bus (30%)
    -St. Louis (30%)
    -LA (15%)
    -Edmonton (15%)
    -Nashville (5%)
    -Minnesota (5%)

  52. NBOilerFan says:

    I'm surprised there are so many questioning your picks LT, yet not posting any of their own publically.

    Here is mine:

    1. San Jose
    2. Chicago
    3. Calgary
    4. Vancouver
    5. Detroit
    6. Dallas
    7. Anaheim
    8. Edmonton

    9. Columbus
    10. St. Louis
    11. Los Angeles
    12. Minnesota
    13. Nashville
    14. Phoenix
    15. Colorado

    We are getting in. It's not gonna be easy, but I have faith in rebound years from Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano and Penner, plus a full year of O'Sully and Vish.

    But more importantly, i have faith in this coaching staff and their ability to put a winning system in place. I also believe this is Tambellini's statement year and he will make moves to fill holes, with the first one happening before X-mas. He is not gonna bring in "his" coaching staff and not help them out were and when needed.

    Book it!

    :D

  53. Woodguy says:

    Honestly, I do have one interesting iron in the fire but may decide to change the blog to allow advertising and have one of my best friends sell it for me.

    I always wondered why you weren't selling ad space on this site. Based on the posts you certainly have the traffic to have a nice little side income.

    Also,

    Who plays defence for Dallas?

    I know they had a lot of injuries last year, but with Crawford coaching, a very young defence, and Turco getting older Dallas is going to be much easier to play against.

    Dallas doesn't make it.

    The Kings might, Oilers might too if they put a puck passing defenceman on the ice with Hemsky.

    If Kipper sucks again Calgary might lose more 3-2 games than they win. They still make it, but it might be 7th or 8th.

    Also,

    For those who say you can't re-tool without gutting the team for high draft picks, look at Vancouver and Anaheim.

  54. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Forgot to mention LT. The Eskimos next loss to the Riders won't be until November. At the Western Final in Regina.

    Get your wife on here so we can talk Riders!

  55. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Oh, and Eberle had 2G, 2A in his first game with the Pats. It was only against P.A. though. 9-3 Pats.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Trevor Daley
    Stephan Robidas
    Karlis Skrastins
    Mark Fistric
    Nicklas Grossman
    Matt Niskanen
    Jeff Woywitka

    Ladies and Gentlemen, your Dallas Stars defencmen!!

    That is a little much to overcome in a Crawford style system with an aggressive forecheck that leaves the defence a little exposed.

    He may change his system to reflect his players, but I just don't see Dallas making the playoffs this year.

    Especially if Turco repeats his 42nd overall SV% of .898

  57. Lowetide says:

    SK Oiler Fan: One day, when I have time, I'll post the story of the day my wife beat down two Eskimos fans with help from Joe '747' Adams.

    It was a day that lives in infamy at our house.

  58. Cory Klein says:

    Something that shocked me while checking out Dallas:

    Loui Erikkson 82GP 36G 63P 20.2 Sh%

    Unless the Stars upgrade on D, it's tough to see them making the playoffs. They do have a nice mix of forwards (although the left side makes me feel better about the Oil).

  59. bookie says:

    LT – I would like to make a suggestion for one of your next couple of posts. Dream the big dream about the players we have. do a what if? As in, what if POS has a career year and Mike Comrie returns to form article. It would be fun to see a Pie in the Sky posting!

  60. Schitzo says:

    Huddy will almost certainly work miracles with that Dallas defence.

  61. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Oh my, 747 Adams. Not so good times for Rider fans.

    Interested in the story though.

    Rider fans have the craziest of football stories.

  62. Kenny Powers says:

    Smytty – 6th? How do you predict the conference going. I'm hoping you're right and all, but how's the cool-aid tasting? Or is it a beer mug of scotch?

  63. Sean says:

    OK I'll play. Dallas doesn't have the D or goaltending to make the playoffs. Columbus is a shoe-in. The Blues go through the same problem the Oilers had last year, vets return to take over the team but are still too good to not make it.

    SJ
    VAN
    DET
    CHI
    CGY
    CBJ
    STL
    ANA

    Oilers need Cogs or Gags to breakout this year to pass any of these teams. Not a horrible bet either, there isn't much that separates 5th from 10th anymore. Det/Chi gets 3rd/4th cause their division is so tough. They are still the top 2 teams.

  64. Mr DeBakey says:

    I'd like to Double Down about Charlie Huddy and the Dallas D.

    Ditto Loui Erikkson – oh Yeah!

    I picked the Oilers 8th last year
    Why not again?
    Why Not?

    San Jose
    Chicago
    Vancouver
    Detroit
    St. Louis
    Calgary
    Columbus
    Edmonton
    Los Angeles
    Dallas
    Anaheim
    Minnesota
    Nashville
    Phoenix
    Colorado

  65. rickibear says:

    Jonhson,Pietrangelo,Perron,Berglund and Oshie.

    Top 5 picks or 3rd round up which ever is higher.

    2005
    St louis:
    Oshie #24
    Scott Jackson #37
    Bishop #85
    Reeves #
    gauthier #
    Oilers:
    Cogliano #25
    Chorney #36
    Syvret #81
    Dee #86
    Van de velde #97

    2006
    St louis:
    Johnson #1
    Berglund #25
    Tomas Kana #31
    Jonas Junland #64
    Ryan Turek #94

    Oilers:
    Petry #45
    Peckham #75
    Pitton #133
    Wild #140
    Bumagin #170

    2007
    St. louis:
    Eler #13
    Cole #18
    Perron #26
    Hjarmallson #39
    Palushja #44
    Sonne #85

    Oilers:
    Gagner #6
    Plante #13
    Nash #21
    Omark #97
    Kytnar #127

    2008
    St. louis:
    Pieterangelo #4
    Mcrae #33
    Allen #34
    Lehtera #65
    livignston #70
    Schultz #87

    Oilers:
    Eberle #22
    Motin #103
    Cornet #133
    Hartikainen #163
    Bendfeld#193

    2009
    St louis:
    Rundbland #17
    Ponich #48
    Andranov #78
    Shatock #108
    Sheild #168

    Oilers:
    MPS #10
    Lander #40
    Hesketh #71
    Abney #82
    Bigios #99
    Rajala #101

    St. louis has 05-08 high end pushed thru there future depth is from later rd 07 and 08 depth

    Our youth push is 10/11 !
    Omark
    MPS
    Peckham
    Motin
    Eberle

    And 11/12!
    Hartikainen
    Van de velde
    Nash

  66. Smytty777 says:

    Kenny Powers: we obsess about the holes on the Oilers. Nearly every team has them. Here is the way I see it breaking down.

    Sharks
    Detroit
    Vancouver
    Chicago
    Calgary
    Edmonton
    Anaheim
    CBJ

    After SJ, Detroit, Calgary, Van and Chicago it is a 7 team race in my view. One I think the Oilers can win.

    Really all these projections aren't worth the 0s and 1s they are digitally made of, so what does it matter.

    And yes I do enjoy a nice beer mug of scotch on occasion.

  67. bookie says:

    Here is my magic beans rankings for the season of 2009/10

    1. Edmonton Oilers
    2. Don't Care
    3. Don't Care
    4. Don't Care
    5. Don't Care
    6. Don't Care
    7. Don't Care
    8. Don't Care
    8. Don't Care
    10. Don't Care
    11. Don't Care
    12. Don't Care
    13. Don't Care
    14. Don't Care
    15. Don't Care
    16. Calgary Flames

    :)

  68. mrzael says:

    Barring major injuries, I think the Oilers will pleasantly surprise us. This team had to slump down the drive last year to miss the playoffs. Experienced coaches with the ability to motivate, I think that MacT lost that last year.
    Bulin is much better technically than Rollie who kicked out way too many juicy rebounds plus if healthy our defense will be quite adequate, especially with more forward help.
    A healthy, hungry Comrie and his chemistry with POS will take mega pressure off of Horcoff and Hemsky. I see JFJ especially being a missing ingredient adding(crust, jam and space). A rejuvinated attitude, more scoring and building confidence I see this as a playoff team. I still see holes but what team doesn't have them.

    I'm very optimistic and no I'm not related to Kevin Pendergast.

  69. mrzael says:

    Oh ya plus a leaner and motivated Dustin Penner. One more reason for my optimism.

  70. rananda says:

    i would think that the only way shanny gets picked up is on reentry, which hits 500k against nj's cap. if you thought there were a surprisingly large number of proven nhl'ers on tryouts at camps this fall, wait until next year. incidentally, i could see shanny end up in edm before all is said and done. the love affair between him and renney is well documented.

  71. pboy says:

    I don't doubt for a second that Lou will figure out a way to get out of Shanny's contract. It's seems pretty ironclad but Lou or Burke or Holland always seem a couple of steps ahead of the rest of the field.

    I wonder of Craig Conroy is going to call Shanny a douche for leaving the Devils in a lurch and then reference how Dion "The Monster" Phanuef would never do that to the Flames….

  72. Woodguy says:

    Something that shocked me while checking out Dallas:

    Loui Erikkson 82GP 36G 63P 20.2 Sh%

    I was floating Erikkson + pick for one of Gilbert/Grebs a while back.

    Not as sure anymore. 20%SH is not sustainable, but he looks like the type of guy they need with Hemsky.

    Hemsky mentioned how much more room he and Horc had out there against Van due to the work of JFJ.

    Maybe a JFJ type is what you want if you can't get Heatley???

  73. GSC says:

    Is this the same Lowetide who predicted 6th in the West, 2nd in the Northwest last season?

    Indeed it is. In fact, you said "book it" and placed it at the top of your blog.

  74. Woodguy says:

    I'll play too given that its opening day.

    San Jose
    Van
    Detroit
    Chicago
    Anaheim
    Calgary
    Columbus
    St. Louis
    ____________
    Edmonton
    Los Angeles
    Dallas
    Nashville
    Minnesota
    Phoneix
    Colorado

    If CBJ can add a good defenseman, I see them 5th.

  75. Woodguy says:

    Anyone want to bet against Lou Lamoriello somehow finding a way to weasel out of Shanny's salary counting against the Devils' salary cap, despite the fact he's over age 35?

    Sound like a good starting point for an Lamoriello rant on the dark side of the Al Gore.

    List all his transgressions and then a suitable punishment.

  76. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Tier 1:

    SJ: gets stronger with Heatley.

    Det: continues to do what they do.

    Van: I don't consider them strong, but can't deny Bobby Lou and the sisters

    Tier 2:

    Dal: return from injuries will put them back in, guessing they are hungry and will rise fast

    Chi: losing the wall will hurt with their style

    Cgy: lot of wins squeaked out, but may drop to oblivion if Kipper doesn't return

    Tier 3 (the challengers):

    LA: start to come into their own, excited to watch this team.

    Edm: the wheels fell off last season and still finished 11. Can't see lower than 10, would bet 8.

    CBJ: young team getting better

    Min: new system should be interesting, could be the team to kick the oil out

    Stl: everything went right last season despite injuries, think they will come back down even though adding vets.

    Tier 4 (looking in):

    Ana: don't buy Koivu, Selanne, Lupul. Replacing 30 mins of Pronger will be difficult.

    Nash: respectable team, tough div.

    Pho: still need to grow

    Col: hello rebuild

  77. Deans says:

    This is exactly how I see the NW Division. I don't know if Vancouver can win the confrence (unless they get some help up front) but I think they will be the best team in the NW division.

    Calgary will be good but I just don't see how they are going to get conistent and timely scoring. A key injury up front or on D could mean big problems in Calgary.

    Minny and Edmonton are wildcards. Both teams have the potential to make the playoffs but both lineups have holes and unanswered questions (Havlat's health and Edmonton size and lack of depth (skill set wise) at Centre.

  78. rickibear says:

    Anyone want to bet against Lou Lamoriello somehow finding a way to weasel out of Shanny's salary counting against the Devils' salary cap, despite the fact he's over age 35?

    NHL Transaction:
    The New Jersey devils assign brendan shanahan to the lowell devils of the ECHL

  79. Kenny Powers says:

    Blake named SJ captain:

    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=293201

    This is exactly what Quinn should have done before our TC. Especially when he openly questioned veteran leadership in the room. This could stop the insanity of Moreau thinking that he has to provide a spark on the ice, only to end up with the undoubted slashing penalty or getting beat up.

    The Kyle Weller incident summed it up nicely that Ethan's days of captain should be over.

  80. Dennis says:

    Something worried me just a little about the Dys last year when i watched them in the playoffs.

    As for Mike Blowers, that clip actually made me smile; not just laugh but actually smile.

    I loved how excited him and the PBP man were when the kid homered as predicted.

  81. Dennis says:

    I know that I'm starting to get a little bit older because injuries don't heal as quick but it was flat-out-fucking jarring to see a vid clip of Comrie on the official site and see him as a balding guy with the hint of a double-chin.

    Fuck, was it that long ago that I was home to visit my Mom for the holidays and due to my lack of online availability pined for the 8pm local edition of Sportsdesk to see if he'd signed with us? I mean, I know that will be nine years this coming Dec but it knocked me back a little to see how different he's beginning to look.

    BTW, not sure if I saw this mentioned anywhere else but it's an absolutely perfect time for Comrie to return. His beef was with Lowe – and don't get me wrong, I was in Lowe's corner on that one – but now Kevin's behind the curtain and the Oilers have been bad for so many years and have so many other guys that need to prove themselves that Comrie's damn near invisible.

    And damned if I didn't feel myself cheering a little for him during the EX highlights and allowing myself to remember back to the '02 season when he was pretty much all the offense we had.

  82. bookie says:

    This is exactly what Quinn should have done before our TC. Especially when he openly questioned veteran leadership in the room. This could stop the insanity of Moreau thinking that he has to provide a spark on the ice, only to end up with the undoubted slashing penalty or getting beat up.

    Prediction: On opening night, someone other than Moreau will be wearing the C (Horcoff, Souray?). There will be no official announcement, it will just happen.

    After, durring the post game interviews, players will just say "Coach was just wanting a fresh start for everyone" and stuff like that.

  83. NBOilerFan says:

    GSC said…
    Is this the same Lowetide who predicted 6th in the West, 2nd in the Northwest last season?

    Indeed it is. In fact, you said "book it" and placed it at the top of your blog.

    Haha… do you have a point? BTW, how's that blog of yours going? 5 posts on the front page and not a single comment…. uh-huh, never mind.

    I hate it when people come out and take shots at someone but don't have the balls to put themselves out there like someone like Lowetide does.

  84. Woodguy says:

    Prediction: On opening night, someone other than Moreau will be wearing the C (Horcoff, Souray?). There will be no official announcement, it will just happen.

    Quinn was already asked this in a scrum, he said he saw no reason to change.

    In the background Moreau cuffed Cogs in the back of his head and told him fetch thecaptain's jock.

  85. NBOilerFan says:

    Coach pb9617 said…
    Mike Blowers is a possible diety

    That video was awesome… what a call.

  86. bookie says:

    Quinn was already asked this in a scrum, he said he saw no reason to change.

    Hmm, didn't know that, kinda makes my prediction look silly. I suppose I could go back and erase it, but I am ok with looking silly.

  87. NBOilerFan says:

    FYI – Capgeek has made some fantastic changes to their site.

  88. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Betts officialy signs with Philly for 1 year. I don't even want to know the salary. It's too painful.

    Wonder what D Moore would sign for now?

    Pretty much all of the potential 3rd line Cs available have now went for peanuts and the Oilers went ahead and signed another 2nd line smurf.

    Betts, Malhotra, Goc, D. Moore? all value village material.

  89. Ribs says:

    Visnovsky leading the way with a $29,167 per day cap hit. Nice.

  90. HBomb says:

    New post up over on the "anything goes" blog, if anyone cares to read.

    Today's subject for skewering, the Vancouver Canucks.

  91. GSC says:

    NBOilerFan,

    Haha… do you have a point? BTW, how's that blog of yours going? 5 posts on the front page and not a single comment…. uh-huh, never mind.

    I hate it when people come out and take shots at someone but don't have the balls to put themselves out there like someone like Lowetide does.

    Just putting the predictions in perspective, that's all. Part of LT throwing yourself out there means that not everyone is going to agree with everything that he has to say. I'm sure it wouldn't be much fun for the author of this blog to have everyone agreeing with him all of the time.

    It's not like I called out Lowetide for being incompetent or posting a comment like "your picks fucking suck, get a life." I simply stated that he's been wrong before. Nothing more.

    As for my "blog," notice there hasn't been a post there since Christ was a carpenter's aid. I never sought to paint myself in the same light as LT, he's probably the best blogger out there (I don't agree with him much, but yet I keep reading him so he must be good).

    Now, what is your point in calling me out for keeping LT honest with his picks?

  92. NBOilerFan says:

    NHL.com has the official rosters posted if anyone is interested…

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=500607#oilers

  93. NBOilerFan says:

    GSC said…
    Just putting the predictions in perspective, that's all. Part of LT throwing yourself out there means that not everyone is going to agree with everything that he has to say. I'm sure it wouldn't be much fun for the author of this blog to have everyone agreeing with him all of the time.

    BS… since when does anyone have to put predictions into perspective. We all know what a prediction is. I don't know why anyone in here even argued against LT's prediction, if you don't agree simple post your own prediction and reasons behind it. Simple as that.

    It's not like I called out Lowetide for being incompetent or posting a comment like "your picks fucking suck, get a life." I simply stated that he's been wrong before. Nothing more.

    I'm pretty certain, Lowetide would never claim to always being right. But I’m sure he's appreciative of you pointing out that fact… especially so eloquently.

    Now, what is your point in calling me out for keeping LT honest with his picks?

    Thank god… you arrived just in time.

    Ps – You still haven’t posted your predictions.

  94. NBOilerFan says:

    rananda said…
    incidentally, i could see shanny end up in edm before all is said and done. the love affair between him and renney is well documented.

    That is an interesting comment.

  95. fever4flames says:

    ymmv but i've posted my 2009-20010 flames/oilers player projections here:

    http://fever4flames.blogspot.com/2009/10/prediction-time.html

    bottom line: i think the flames are a cup threat, and the oilers will be lucky to hit 10th place.

    if your interested, u can also follow me on tweeter here:
    http://twitter.com/Fever4Flames

  96. GSC says:

    NBOilerFan,

    Someone has a real burr up their ass…

    I predict 8th for the Oilers. Happy now?

  97. NBOilerFan says:

    @GSC – I fixed it for you…

    "Someone is an ass"…. now I'm happy.

    Thank god you put that in "perspective" for us.

  98. GSC says:

    NBOilerFan,

    Love you too, sweetheart.

  99. McKenzie says:

    Shhh NBoilerfan. You sound like a prat.

  100. NBOilerFan says:

    Yea, sorta went over the top a little bit there, my apology for that, GSC. Was home from work sick yesterday, so not exactly in the best of moods. Viewed it as a troll type comment that wasn't called for, is all, which got under my skin alittle.

    I appreciate how bloggers put themselves into a position of critism, and I'm sure Lowetide, as many other bloggers, have thick skin. And of course voicing differences in opinion is what makes this blogs what they are.

    But I feel having a difference of opinion and voicing it as one thing, but this comment as something other than that.

    Anywho, I'm back at work today and feeling much better now as you can tell. ;-)

  101. GSC says:

    NBOilerFan,

    No worries and no apology necessary. I'm no angel so I can hardly fault you (or anyone for that matter) for giving me the business. Keeps me honest!

    I know LT has thick skin, otherwise he wouldn't put himself out there like he does. I may not always agree with his insights, but damn do I have respect for the man. He takes a lot of time out of his day to post his thoughts, and I know that we all appreciate what he does very much…we wouldn't take the time to read and comment on his work otherwise.

    Thing is, I really can't predict with much certainty where I think this team will be. I'm guessing anywhere from 7th to 10th. I will say, if they're going to miss the playoffs then I hope they tank hard and get a high pick and undertake a proper rebuild.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca