Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 NHL Season Preview - Western Conference

"Uh, guys, somebody better call Fehr,
I don't think he's going to let go.

Today we continue our pre-season tour through the NHL's 30 teams. Yesterday we went through the Eastern Conference, so today let's turn out attention to the West.

Calgary Flames - Expect Jarome Iginla's trademark smile and infectious laugh to light up the dressing room, right up until he realizes the reporters were actually serious when they asked about the Flames making the playoffs.

St. Louis Blues - Every contender has to go through adversity at some point, so it will be interesting to see how the team responds in late March when they give up their first goal.

Phoenix Coyotes - Kings' goalie Jonathan Quick earned a $58 million deal in part based on his dominating performance against Phoenix in the conference finals, so it will be interesting to see how the Coyotes react to being owned by somebody with actual money.

Los Angeles Kings - Have lost some momentum in the fickle LA market due to the lockout, but should gain it back by the season's second week when they pass the Lakers in wins.

Colorado Avalanche - After becoming the youngest captain in NHL history, 20-year-old Gabriel Landeskog gave teammates an impassioned speech in which he urged them to dial up the intensity, follow the roadmap to success and never mail it in, before having to stop and ask the older guys what "dial", "roadmap" and "mail" mean.

Minnesota Wild - Have said they'll be the most exciting Minnesota Wild team ever, which would be roughly as impressive as being the tallest Gionta brother.

San Jose Sharks - The 2012-13 regular season will last half as long as everyone was hoping and won't feature games against the other conference, which is good news for the Sharks since now they can just treat it as a playoff run.

Chicago Blackhawks - Ownership has denied rumors that coach Joel Quenneville is on the hot seat, pointing out that it's actually more of a giant novelty trap door.

Anaheim Ducks - Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are prototypical Canadian forwards who are also fiercely patriotic, we assume, since that would explain why they both keep whispering to their agents about making sure they're wearing a maple leaf by the first week of July.

Nashville Predators - Reports indicate that the team's rivalry with Detroit has become so intense and all-consuming that some Red Wing players are even vaguely aware of it.

Columbus Blue Jackets - Fending off concerns that they may not know what they're doing, ownership insisted that GM Scott Howson guarantee them the team will lose fewer games than they did last year.

Edmonton Oilers - Are still shaky in goal, which could be a major problem during the two or three minutes a game when Justin Schultz lets the other team touch the puck.

Detroit Red Wings - The loss of Nicklas Lidstrom won't be too devastating so the team shouldn't make a big deal out of it, says Lidstrom awkwardly, before adding that the entire Red Wings front office and coaching staff can get out of his bathroom and let him finish his shower any time now.

Dallas Stars - Many observers are concerned that a condensed three-month season will not be enough time for Ray Whitney to finish telling his story about what breaking into the league was like in 1947.

Vancouver Canucks - Are trying to become the first team in NHL history to win the Presidents' Trophy for a third straight time, which is great because once you collect three you get to trade them in for an trophy people actually care about.

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  1. Nashville is spot-on. 9/10 Detroit fans I meet don't give any particular interest to Nashville, and those who do were mostly jealous of their best defenceman. I wonder if Minnesota will be the Wings' next 'rival'?

    1. Not a chance. It will be Chicago either Chicago or St. Louis like it has since expansion with the exception of 1996-2004.

    2. Hi, I'm the Red Wings and my top defensive pairing is Kronwall and White because the only thing that Ilitch could buy from Nashville was Jordin Tootoo. No, really. Stop laughing.

    3. Although.. with all the money Detroit is saving by not going cap crazy.. they could've hired Mike Fisher to hold it for them like a little b*tch..

  2. Vancouver Canucks - Are trying to become the first team in NHL history to win the Presidents' Trophy for a third straight time, which is great because once you collect three you get to trade them in for an trophy people actually care about.

    The what trophy? Don't recall hearing about a Presidents' trophy...

  3. Love the 'nucks joke.

  4. Hehe, loved the San Jose one.

    And, re: Vancouver...the President's Trophy is better than the Stanley Cup anyways! We don't need no stinkin' Cup.

    /runs away crying

  5. Eastern Conference one was funnier but this is still pretty good. Columbus joke is the best one.

  6. Loved the Colorado entry! And why do I keep getting ads for "" splashed all over this site??!

    1. Yeah, I'm trying out some ads over the past few weeks. Not sure I'm crazy about them, to be honest.

    2. Great post. Love the ads for by the way.

  7. hate how overrated Justin Schultz is, guy hasnt even played an NHL game yet and people think hes the next Bobby Orr or something...So you had an impressive NCAA career, so what, College hockey is a joke

    1. Being second in the AHL in scoring halfway through the year isn't to shabby. Doesn't mean that it will translate into success at the NHL level but still a big step up from NCAA.