OilersNation's 2009-10 Western Conference Predictions

bingofuel
October 02 2009 12:00PM

west-conf-ON

Oh sure, the puck hasn't even touched the ice yet for the Little Team That Can (And Will)™. But that's never stopped the writers here at OilersNation from putting on their prognostication (I had to look it up) hats to determine how things are going to shake out this season. Find out what's going to happen in the Western Conference this season, according to OilersNation.

Robin Brownlee's Predictions

THE PLAYOFF TEAMS

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

The Sharks are loaded up front and are the class of the West... the Red Wings will slip some but will hold off the Blackhawks in the Central . . . loaded with grit and skill up front and set in goal with Roberto Luongo, the Canucks could overtake Detroit for second overall... the Flames have a great blue line but are suspect up front . . . watch the Blue Jackets climb the ranks with youngsters Derick Brassard and Nikita Filatov providing Rick Nash some offensive support... love him or hate him, the Ducks will miss Chris Pronger and Anaheim could easily slip two spots, opening the door for Dallas or Edmonton.

THE ALSO-RANS

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

NO CIGAR FOR THE MIGHTY OIL

I'm leery of expecting more than 50 games from Nikolai Khabibulin, who didn't inspire great confidence in pre-season, and that makes goaltending a question with unproven Jeff Deslauriers as the back-up... unless Gilbert Brule is the answer, GM Steve Tambellini still has a gaping hole in the line-up until he goes out and gets a bonafide face-off man and penalty killer... the Oilers will bleed points in division games against the Flames and Canucks... special teams should be better, but the penalty killing was so inept last season it'll need to improve 10 places just to be middle of the pack and will have to do it without Fernando Pisani to start the season... Dustin Penner looked rejuvenated in pre-season, but in his two seasons with the Oilers he's yet to show he can maintain any consistency... Sam Gagner needs to put a first-half together for the first time in three seasons and he'll have do it with Pat Quinn's shoe in his backside as he's starting on the fourth line.

Jason Gregor's Predictions

Outside of three teams, I think there are nine teams that could take the final five playoff spots.

Locks:

The Sharks. They’ll win the west by ten points, because they are the best regular season team in the league. Thornton and Heatley will light it up and the Shark Tank is still one of the most intimidating rinks in the league.

The Hawks. They are still very young, but their playoff run last year will only make them better. I’m still not sold on Huet, but the Hawks depth will push them to the top of their division.

The Wings. I’m sure sick of this team, because they aren’t that exciting to watch, but man are they good. The Hawks will give them a run for the division, and I think the Wings will actually finish fourth, but they are in easily.

Now it gets difficult. Everyone is in love with the Canucks, and most are picking them to win the NW. Outside of the Sedin Sisters, they don’t have many proven scorers up front. Will Burrows be that productive again? What about Kesler? I like the grit those two have so I’ll go with the Canucks, but the NW will be tight.

In fifth I will go with the Blue Jackets. Derek Brassard will make Nash a 48-goal man this year, and the Jackets are loaded with young talented players. Their defense is questionable, but look for Scott Howson to address that as the year progresses.

The Flames won’t be very exciting on or off the ice. They might have the worst quotable team in the league, but Brent Sutter will ensure they play stifling defence and finish 6th. The problem for the Flames is that they won’t get out of the first round because Kiprusoff will be burnt out once again.

The Oilers were a speed bump down the stretch last year, and considering nine of their forward underachieved and they were still in the playoffs with ten games to go, I’ll put them in 7th. Quinn and his staff will make them more accountable, and their goals against will go down. Their PK will be better and that probably gives them at least two more wins, toss in the new coaching staff and the Oilers manage to win the dog fight for the last two playoff spots.

My surprise pick will be the Los Angeles Kings finally getting to the dance. Drew Doughty is outstanding, and they have lots of depth up front. Their goaltending will be a question mark, but I like what Dean Lombardi has built in LA and the Kings will make the playoff for the first time since the 2001/2002 season.

The Blues will miss the playoff by one point, because they will be decimated by injuries again and many of their young kids won’t perform like they did last season.

The Ducks are another team I have fallen out of the race. Their backend isn’t as strong, and something tells me they are ready for an off-year. The Preds and Coyotes will also be close. The Avs will finish last and have the best odds of choosing first overall.

I do think that if any team from 4th to 12th suffers one or two significant injuries they won’t make it to the dance. Let the games begin….

Jonathan Willis' Predictions

  1. Detroit
  2. San Jose
  3. Vancouver
  4. Chicago
  5. Anaheim
  6. Calgary
  7. Columbus
  8. Edmonton
  9. Minnesota
  10. Dallas
  11. Los Angeles
  12. St. Louis
  13. Nashville
  14. Phoenix
  15. Coloroado

These predictions were extremely difficult to put together.  However, that’s not going to stop me from starting at the top and working my way down through the flawed reasoning and poor assumptions that I used to create them.

Detroit’s obviously a very good team, and while most people think San Jose will be better they’ve really done a number on their defensive depth over the summer and I think they might be in some trouble when injuries strike.  I almost did something really wild and slotted Vancouver up top, but the Canucks are a little ways back of those first two teams.  The other thing worth mentioning about Detroit is that I see Osgood as being significantly better in the regular season this year.

Chicago’s in the same range as the top three teams, but I’d peg them just a little lower than the Red Wings.  Anaheim underachieved last year, something that won’t happen again, and Calgary’s a very good team hampered by lousy goaltending.  Columbus rounds out the best of the West; I’m banking here on an improved powerplay and no disappearing act from Steve Mason.

The teams ranked 8th through 13th are largely interchangeable, and it wouldn’t surprised me at all to see the order’s switched around at the end of the season.  Edmonton has a bunch of question marks, the most serious of which is whether Nikolai Khabibulin is going to be a) healthy and b) motivated.  The Minnesota Wild were actually quite a decent team last year in a lot of ways, but it’s a season of transition for them with the departure of Lemaire.  Turco should be better in Dallas, but I’m still not sold on their generic-brand defensive corps.  I like most of what L.A. has done but I trust neither their goaltenders nor the health of guys like Smyth, Williams and Stoll.  I’ve probably short-changed the Blues here (particularly if Kariya and McDonald come back strong from injury) but they were a miserable 5-on-5 team last year and that must change.  Finally, Nashville’s always a playoff threat but they’re one of the least potent offensive teams in the NHL right now.

Off-ice issues in Phoenix have forced G.M. Don Maloney to go bargain-hunting; the team’s performance will reflect that.  Meanwhile Colorado, despite a decent new goaltender, is in complete rebuild mode, and have not one but two players from the last draft in the opening night lineup.

Wanye Gretz's Predictions

THE HAVES

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

As much as things have improved in San Jose with the addition of that son of a bitch Heatley, we can't see anyone taking down the Red Wings this season in the West. Those dinks in Calgary have greatly improved with the addition of Bouwmeester and unless Iginla decides to retire they should win the division - though they will lose to the Oilers in the seasonal series. The rest speak for themeselves until 8th place. We pick the Oilers to make the playoffs if only because they are going into the season with little love and low expectations. Translation: Expect a bounce back year from Les Oilers, who will make several large moves during the season changing their roster dramatically.

THE HAVE NOTS

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

Know who sucks? These seven sucking teams made of suckers sure do! While most of these squads lay claim to "rebuilding" we know what these teams are really up to. Tax evasion. Tax evasion and murder for hire schemes. Pity the poor Coyotes down there at the bottom of the conference. Can you spell d-o-o-m-e-d? If only the worst thing that will happen to your team this year was missing the playoffs huh Phoenix? If only.... The Avalanche will smartly rebuild and be back in the playoffs within 4 years. Book it in your book of bookings.

Amber McCormick's Predictions

I am going to be first to admit that I am the worst at picking any long range predictions. I thought Beta would outlast VHS.

At risk of the backlash I could face or ridicule I will face, here are my predictions... random random predictions.

  1. San Jose- 114
  2. Detroit- 108
  3. Vancouver- 107
  4. Calgary- 104
  5. Edmonton- 103
  6. Chicago- 100
  7. Anaheim- 99
  8. Columbus- 97
  9. Minnesota- 96
  10. Nashville- 95
  11. Dallas- 93
  12. St. Louis- 93
  13. Los Angeles- 92
  14. Phoenix- 88
  15. Colorado- 80

I thought about this so much that at one point nothing made any sense!!!

bingofuel's Predictions

In order to predict the Western Conference standings at the end of the season, I mixed together several noxious chemicals and fed them to one of those sign-language-signing Gorillas. All that this resulted in was a horny gorilla chasing me around my basement. NOTHING MORE.

So I asked my roommate instead. He was passed out on the floor. His husky, Vinny, provided me with these answers.

All I'll say is this: I think/hope/can't promise but would like to think... that the Oilers make the playoffs this year. They have a lot going for them, and a lot working against them. I guess we'll get an idea of how much of a clust#$@% this'll be come Saturday...

  1. San Jose
  2. Detroit
  3. Chicago
  4. Calgary
  5. Vancouver
  6. Anaheim
  7. Dallas
  8. Edmonton
  9. Columbus
  10. Minnesota
  11. St. Louis
  12. Colorado
  13. Los Angeles
  14. Nashville
  15. Phoenix

The competition...

Read what the enemy has to say about the Western Conference:

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Bingofuel is the handsome cyborg who pulls all the levers behind the curtains of the OilersNation. When he isn't running the site, he's plugged into a wall socket, recharging. Or Brownlee and Wanye are playing "keep away" with him. He gets little to no respect.
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#1 The Army’s 2009-10 Western Conference Predictions - OilersNation.com
October 02 2009, 12:03PM
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[...] OilersNation.com’s Western Conference Standings Predictions [...]

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#2 Robert....
October 02 2009, 12:10PM
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How come Ambers Name isn't bolded? Is she less of a man?

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#3 DK0
October 02 2009, 12:13PM
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You must write more then 1 article per month to gain Bold status. :)

Thats not a dig at Amber but call for more articles.

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#4 Word
October 02 2009, 12:15PM
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Bingo, I love what you do and how you do it, but If Detroit comes in #2, I don't think Chicago can come in as #3...

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#5 bingofuel
October 02 2009, 12:16PM
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@ Word:

Don't blame me. Uh, the dog ate my homework. Remember when I said I know little about hockey...

Also, I forgot. :(

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#6 bingofuel
October 02 2009, 12:16PM
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@ Robert:

That's what happens when you code these things fast. It should be fixed now.

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#7 Cool Beans
October 02 2009, 12:22PM
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The mighty Oil will trade for Kovalchuck and get a third line center. Then they will be in the playoffs, win a round on stellar goaltending and trade Khabby while value is high. Is that too much to ask?

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#8 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 12:24PM
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RossCreek's Predictions 1-San Jose 2-Detroit 3-Calgary 4-Chicago 5-Vancouver 6-St. Louis 7-Anaheim 8-Columbus 9-LA *darkhorse-sleeper-pick for most-improved* 10-Edmonton 11-Minnesota 12-Dallas 13-Nashville 14-Colorado 15-Phoenix

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#9 Wanye Gretz
October 02 2009, 12:27PM
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RossCreek wrote:

10-Edmonton

Ahem, don't you mean 8th ROSS CREEK!?!?!

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#10 OvenChicken8
October 02 2009, 12:29PM
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1.Detroit 2.San Jose 3.Edmonton 4.Chicago 5.Calgary 6.Columbus 7.Los Angelas 8.St. Louis

Vancouver misses the playoffs when Luongo suffers a season ending injury during the Olympic break.

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#11 OvenChicken8
October 02 2009, 12:29PM
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lol Angeles*** oops

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#12 Ogden Brother Jr.
October 02 2009, 12:30PM
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I’m leery of expecting more than 50 games from Nikolai Khabibulin. Should be Italics here, but I'm not that smart.

What gets me is Quinn said Bulin for 40-60 games. 40?

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#13 Ogden Brother Jr.
October 02 2009, 12:31PM
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Bingofuel

Can't handle this blog. Everyone's style is different. Make Gregor redo his in a list form. Thanks

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#14 Fiveandagame
October 02 2009, 12:32PM
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RossCreek wrote:

RossCreek’s Predictions 1-San Jose 2-Detroit 3-Calgary 4-Chicago 5-Vancouver 6-St. Louis 7-Anaheim 8-Columbus 9-LA *darkhorse-sleeper-pick for most-improved* 10-Edmonton 11-Minnesota 12-Dallas 13-Nashville 14-Colorado 15-Phoenix

Ross Creek is spewing this 10th place bile all over the interwebs!

BOO HISSS BOO!

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#15 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 12:32PM
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@ Wanye Gretz: If by 8th you mean 10th, then yes, my mistake ;-) I believe they'll be in playoff contention right down to the wire yet again (the more things change, the more they stay the same). They've go a decent shot - lets call them a 7-11 team (not cause they like nachos & slurpies).

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#16 Ogden Brother Jr.
October 02 2009, 12:34PM
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San Jose Detroit Calgary Vancouver Chicago Anaheim Columbus Edmonton

St. Louis Dallas Nashville Los Angeles Minnesota Colorado Phoenix

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#17 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 12:35PM
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@ OvenChicken8: Its easier to just write LA. See.

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#18 Fiveandagame
October 02 2009, 12:36PM
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People are putting Anaheim high on their lists... I think Anaheim's season will be a FAIL

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#19 OvenChicken8
October 02 2009, 12:37PM
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@ RossCreek: Yeah, that's what happens when I try to be all fancy and stuff. /facepalm

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#20 ronaldo
October 02 2009, 12:37PM
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ronalo's predictions: (no bold because me know internet well not)

1)SJ 2)Detroit 3)Calgary 4)Chicago 5)Vancouver 6)Anaheim 7)St. Louis 8)Edmonton (damn straight) 9)Columbus 10)LA 11)Minnesota 12)Dallas 13)Nashville 14)Hamilton 15)Colorado

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#21 jayoilfan
October 02 2009, 12:38PM
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I've given up on predicting things. I'll just sit back, watch the fireworks and enjoy the success of our team. Hopefully they will be more than the disappointments.

Go Oilers Go, only 30 or so hours to go till puck drop...

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#22 bingofuel
October 02 2009, 12:41PM
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Odgen Brother Jr. wrote:

Everyone’s style is different.

Precisely.

*skips down the street, whistling some old-timey tune*

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#23 Jonathan Willis
October 02 2009, 12:45PM
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@ bingofuel:

Beauty work on the photoshop, incidentally...

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#24 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 12:48PM
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Not much St. Louis love?

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#25 Fiveandagame
October 02 2009, 12:50PM
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@ RossCreek: Not with all your Edmonton hating getting in the way, you big meany!

*runs away crying arms waving like Grover*

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#26 Fiveandagame
October 02 2009, 12:52PM
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Doug Weight is now Captain of the Islanders.

Is it possible that the islanders made a good decision?

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#27 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 12:52PM
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@ Fiveandagame: I haven't seen your picks yet. Where do YOU have the Oil? Is that why you have no list? Are you embarrassed~

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#28 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 12:55PM
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Maybe we could get Stauffer and Tencer's picks if they're surfin the site? Where are you Nielson?

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#29 ronaldo
October 02 2009, 12:55PM
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Go Oilers

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#30 Fiveandagame
October 02 2009, 12:57PM
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@ RossCreek: The Oil are where they'll always be on any list for any true blue Oiler fan.

Presidents Trophy winners.

#1

And of course Stanley Cup Champions.

Where other teams finish, it matters not.

And yes to answer your question I am delusional and do tend to drink heavily in the morning.

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#31 JohnnieOil
October 02 2009, 01:00PM
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I agree with all that have us making the playoffs, Amber's is great - we will surprise a lot of people -mainly the so called eastern experts witha hate on for Edmonton. Personally I feel Van will be vey lucky to make the playoffs, too many people with one-time career years, the sisccer sisters will coast now that they have a long term deal (don't want no scars on that pretty face)and hey they are already whining about the schedule due to the olympics in between planning the cup parade My picks;

1- Detroit 2- San Jose 3- Chicago 4- Edmonton 5- Anaheim 6-Columbus 7- St Louis 8- Los Angeles or Van - fight to finish Dallas Minnesota Nashville Phoenix Colorado

Read more: http://www.oilersnation.com/2009/10/oilersnations-2009-10-western-conference-predictions/##ixzz0So3DnkoP

I 100% agree with Jonathan Willis, great job on the photoshop!

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#32 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 01:03PM
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Top 5 goal scorers: Ovechkin-68 Kovalchuk-66 Heatley-62 Nash-56 Carter-50

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#33 Cam
October 02 2009, 01:07PM
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Just in case I am right and then can brag about it and pretend I know something I will put in my own prediction:

1. Chicago 2. San Jose 3. Calgary 4. Detroit 5. Los Angeles 6. Columbus 7. Edmonton 8. Nashville

9. Anaheim 10.Vancouver 11.St Louis 12.Minnesota 13.Dallas 14.Colorado 15.Phoenix

This will Chicago's year. San Jose will have morale issues due to Dany F**king Heatley thinking he should be treated better than Thornton and lose the title. Detroit's old blood will fail in D and in net and you will see them slip a bit, but not enough to be out of the dance by any stretch... they are a good team, just not the best.

LA has enough talent and upside to surprise the snot out of everyone this year and i think they will be underestimated a few times which will win them enough spare points to be safely in the dance.

Vancouver is vulnerable to the injury bug. One of the Sedins will have a major one this year. They are due. When that happens the other's production will slump and we will see them start to slide. I think they overachieved last year and that is gonna catch up to them.

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#34 Ogden Brother
October 02 2009, 01:08PM
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1. SJ 2. Det 3. Calgary 4. Hawks 5. Van 6. BJ's 7. Blues 8. Oil

9. Ducks 10. Wild 11. Kings 12. Preds 13. Stars 14. Yotes 15. Avs

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#35 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 01:09PM
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Cam wrote:

Just in case I am right and then can brag about it and pretend I know something I will put in my own prediction:

Isn't that why everyone makes predictions? When you're right, you gloat. When you're wrong... 'huh, no I don't remember sayin that'

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#36 JohnnieOil
October 02 2009, 01:10PM
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@ RossCreek: tough choices, I like your first 2, Nash - i don't know about that or 50 for carter but he has a better chance at that than nash has at 56 - I feel anyway and just to be pissy and bitter I really hope heatly only gets about 20

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#37 egp629
October 02 2009, 01:11PM
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If the Oilers take advantage of the head-to-head matchups against the likes of Colorado and Phoenix, they will be in a good position. Against teams like L.A., Minny and Nashville, they have to at least break even. If they lose a season series to any of those teams, they are out. Its all about how they do in those meetings that determines wether they are in or not. If they manage to do something like that, it's a no brainer that they go in as a 6th to 8th feed. The top spot is a toss up between San Jose, Chicago and Detroit.

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#38 JohnnieOil
October 02 2009, 01:15PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Cam wrote: Just in case I am right and then can brag about it and pretend I know something I will put in my own prediction: Isn’t that why everyone makes predictions? When you’re right, you gloat. When you’re wrong… ‘huh, no I don’t remember sayin that’

LOL or you were drunk when you made the picks

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#39 Reggie
October 02 2009, 01:16PM
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Robin, did the Team1260 listeners or Gregor or somebody convince you Dallas isn't good enough to be in the top 8 ? You changed your pick from the other day.

What was the deciding point ?

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#40 oilchange45
October 02 2009, 01:18PM
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Just got a surprise call and 2 good tickets to Saturday's game. If I wasn't excited before.....

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#41 Jay
October 02 2009, 01:24PM
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Everyone seems to be in agreement for the most part on who the locks are and who the bubble teams for the playoffs are. So rather than make a pick for each spot i'm just going to say this. I think the Flames are a bubble team this year. They are up against the cap again (just like last year), and their goaltending has been in steady decline. I'm going to go way out on a limb (*takes huge hit from crack pipe) and say that the Flames will finish 9th this year.

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#42 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 01:29PM
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Since we're throwing out wild predictions... ...Nashville will fall out early and trade Jason Arnott to the Toronto Maple Leafs

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#43 Wanye Gretz
October 02 2009, 01:30PM
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ronaldo wrote:

14)Hamilton

That's rich. Well played

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#44 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 01:32PM
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@ ronaldo: @ Wanye Gretz: Ha, never caught that

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#45 OilersNation’s 2009-10 Western Conference Predictions beta club
October 02 2009, 01:34PM
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[...] Here is the original post: OilersNation’s 2009-10 Western Conference Predictions [...]

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#46 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 01:45PM
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Gregor's latest tweet... ...Moreau is skating again and looks fine. If his ankle doesn't bother him he'll play on Saturday!

Drat! I woulda loved to see 'Fancy Pants' Nilsson in there.

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#47 ronaldo
October 02 2009, 01:46PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Drat! I woulda loved to see ‘Fancy Pants’ Nilsson in there.

You would. Enemy come 7:59 Saturday night.

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#48 GSC
October 02 2009, 01:48PM
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Oilers are a 7-10 team...but if they miss the playoffs, I'll be praying for a tank.

Start the mass exodus of bad contracts, land a high draft pick, and begin a proper rebuild.

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#49 King Mob
October 02 2009, 01:49PM
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O/T

just read that Schremp is a healthy scratch for opening night in NY.

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#50 dragon
October 02 2009, 01:51PM
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Quinn/Renney will build a surprising New Oil: 1.CHI 2.DET 3.OIL 4.CGY 5.SJS 6.CBJ 7.LAX 8.COL

9.VAN 10.NAS 11.MIN 12.STL 13.ANA 14.DAL 15.PHX

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