The Bottom 7 (Western Conference)

I’m going to make some predictions prior to the start of training camp on the 7 teams in the Western Conference that will not make the playoffs.

I’ve mentioned this before, but the parity in the Western Conference is even greater this year that it was last year.  The NHL ‘have nots’ have again taken more from the NHL ‘had some’.  Note the losses of Tanguay & Blake in Colorado and Shanahan in Detroit.

First, let’s look at the incremental value each team’s off-season moves has made (I won’t list them here, go to www.hockeyanalysis.com if you want the ins and outs of each team) and if it was an improvement or not.  Management and coaching changes are included as part of this overall assessment.

2006 W. Conference Standings (with off-season assessment)

1. Detroit (negative)

2. Dallas (negative)

3. Calgary (positive)

4. Nashville (positive)

5. San Jose (positive)

6. Anaheim (positive)

7. Colorado (negative)

8. Edmonton (negative)

________________

9. Vancouver (positive)

10. Los Angeles (positive)

11. Minnesota (positive)

12 Phoenix (even)

13. Columbus (even)

14. Chicago (negative)

15. St. Louis (positive)

So, here is the list of NHL Western Conference teams you should not be suprised to see out of the playoffs by the end of the season:

Colorado | Columbus | Chicago | Dallas | Edmonton | St. Louis | Phoenix

Colorado:  They will not be able to recover from the loss of Tanguay & Blake one season after also losing Foote & Forsberg.  This dynasty is officially over.

Columbus:  Their hopes are pinned on a young inexperienced goalie, and their top winger, Zherdev, won’t sign.  Add to that Columbus horrible history with injuries mades me believe tells me there is more of this to come.  Despite McLeans best efforts to build a contender, something bad always happens in Ohio.

Chicago: Bill Wirtz.  Need I say more?

Dallas: Dallas lost Jason Arnott who played 81 games last season with Lindros, who has never played a full NHL season and has hit 81 games only once in his career.  Add to that the increased competition in the Pacific division (SJ, Anahiem, LA) tells me they are in for a rough year.

Edmonton: Of all the teams I put on the outside, this is the one with the best chance of pushing for a spot.  They are just fiesty and young enough not to know any better.  The loss of Pronger, and a Stanley Cup final playoff run will give them a hangover that will be tough to overcome though.

St. Louis:  With guys like Guerin, Weight, Tkachuk, Legace, Drake the roster sounds like a great team…. from 1999.  This is a group of guys that would have had a chance for a cup had they had been put together 7 years ago.  As it stands, they can probably cut their scouting staff back because the #1 entry draft pick usually gets pushed out on it’s own by the media

Phoenix:  While Jovanovski can be a game breaker, he’s not going to play enough of them to make the impact Phoenix needs in an otherwise tough division. 

The Chief Canuck

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One Comment on “The Bottom 7 (Western Conference)”


  1. […] the season started, I did a prediction for the Western Conferencesnon-playoff teams.  Colorado was included in that mix.  With the loss of Tanguay & Blake this […]


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