Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2009-2010 Season Preview: The Northwest Division

As we count down the final days leading up to the 2009-10 regular season, let's take a look at each of the 30 teams with the official DGB Season Preview. Today, we look at the Northwest Division.

Edmonton Oilers

The good: At last count there were still at least 20 players in the NHL who don't have no-trade clauses, meaning Oilers can still field a complete roster.
The bad: The leaking of the names involves in the Heatley trade negotiations left guys like Dustin Penner twisting in the wind, or would have if it were physically possible to lift him off the ground.
Biggest question mark: Will injury-prone Nikolai Khabibulin respond well to a lighter workload in Edmonton, given that he won't have to ever play in the playoffs?
Fearless forecast: A frustrated Pat Quinn becomes the most popular coach in Oilers history when he extinguishes his cigar in Mike Comrie's eye.

Minnesota Wild

The good: Finally abandoned the trap and committed to playing a more free-flowing offensive system, meaning now the only member of the Wild who consistently puts people to sleep will be Derek Boogaard.
The bad: The loss of superstar Marion Gaborik could prove devastating to the hundreds of local health care workers who relied on him for full-time employment.
Biggest question mark: Will Niklas Backstrom's numbers take a hit now that he may be asked to occasionally face a shot on net?
Fearless forecast: You will accidentally refer to them as the "North Stars" every time you talk about them all year, which will be twice.

Calgary Flames

The good: Spent off-season conducting exhaustive search for the best possible head coach, who in incredibly bizarre coincidence ended up being the GM's brother.
The bad: It's going to be awkward when they finish first in the division, only to find out that Jay Bouwmeester packed up and went home the day the season ended out of force of habit.
Biggest question mark: Will Dion Phaneuf's play be negatively affected around the time of a full moon when he is visited by the ghostly corpse of Kyle Okposo?
Fearless forecast: The team should be a strong Cup contender except in the extremely unlikely event that Miikka Kiprusoff's play deteriorates, the way it has every single year since the lockout.

Colorado Avalanche

The good: Had the brilliant idea of hiring universally beloved former player Joe Sakic to coach the team.
The bad: Probably should have proofread that job offer a little more carefully before sending it out.
Biggest question mark: Seriously, why is every single person from the front office and coaching staff a former Maple Leaf fourth liner?
Fearless forecast: During a brawl-filled game against the Red Wings Chris Osgood skates the length of the ice for the traditional goalie fight, only to be disappointed to learn that the Avs haven't had an NHL goaltender in three years.

Vancouver Canucks

The good: Size up front. The forwards weigh in at an average of 220 lbs.
The bad: That drops to 175 lbs on nights Kyle Wellwood isn't playing.
Biggest question mark: How injured would Roberto Luongo have to be for it to actually makes sense to use backup goalie Andrew Raycroft instead? Two missing limbs? Three?
Fearless forecast: At long last, Vancouver hockey fans get to watch a championship hockey team. Then the Olympics end, and the Canucks resume their march to a second round elimination.


  1. Oh man. Classic, Raycroft bashing on 2 counts in that post! lol

  2. Under "The good" for Colorado, no mention of the fact that they waived Chris Durno so Toronto could pick him up?


  3. Anyone else get a kick out of Havlat this year? Anyone? Anyone?

  4. LOVE the prediction for the Canucks... awesome.

  5. who the hell is Raycroft's dad? how does this guy keep getting work?

  6. Wellwood fattie jokes never grow old.

  7. Last night I was playing NHL 10 online as the Canucks; Wellwood suffered a stomach injury and the trainer wanted to know if I wanted him to keep playing.

    I had to drop on my opponent due to joke option paralysis.

    Just thought you'd like to know.

  8. It doesn't matter if Bouwmeester packs up right after the regular season. The rest of the Flames are scheduled to do it right after the first round anyways.

    Fun fact: The Calgary Flames have made it past the first round of the playoffs just once in the last 19 seasons.

  9. You mean they aren't still the North Stars?

    Where the hell does Mike Liut play then???

    Pick up your gift here:

  10. Sacco, not Sakic.

    The bit about the Wild is probably the most accurate prediction I've seen so far from anyone this year.

  11. @ shaner - it should blow your mind to know that all the hockey talk on the radio is how "consistent" the flames are. source - pierre mcguire.

  12. @ anonymous,

    Think about what you just wrote in regards to Sacco and Sakic. Hopefully, a light turns on, much like Raycroft's endeavours in net.