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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#51 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 01:53PM
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@ King Mob: Yup... Schremp Out: The Islanders have lineup decisions to make for tomorrow’s opener. Gordon said the only one he was sure of today was that newly-acquired Rob Schremp would sit out on Saturday. This gives the prospect two days of practice this week and three next week before possibly making his debut in the team’s next game on Thursday. http://www.islanderspointblank.com/

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#52 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 01:54PM
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Courtesy Oilers Lunch... ... Ron Low has been added a to the ppv team

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#53 David S
October 02 2009, 01:55PM
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RossCreek wrote:

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

Same here. Can't get excited about yet more penalties 200 feet from our own zone. And I'm not exactly expecting brilliant passes from Sam to be cashed in by Moreau either.

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#54 Bob Cob
October 02 2009, 01:56PM
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1 Detroit 2 Vancouver 3 Sanjose 4 Chicago 5 Anahiem 6 Columbus 7 Edmonton 8 St.Louis

Based on how Calgary played last night I think they will be in tough this year. Secondary scoring will be an issue, goaltending with no viable back up will hurt and the defence will appear flat footed, the only way they make the playoffs is if Kipper plays in 75+ games.

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#55 offside
October 02 2009, 02:00PM
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1) Edmonton 2-13) who cares 14-15) Calgary/Vancouver in a tight battle - I hate these teams.

Well, maybe in a perfect world :(

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#56 ronaldo
October 02 2009, 02:01PM
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@ offside: I like how you think.

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#57 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 02:05PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

Based on how Calgary played last night I think they will be in tough this year. Secondary scoring will be an issue

Secondary scoring is an issue after their 1st game? A 5-3 win? Where the goal scorers were Giordano, Bourque, Prust & Pardy? "Based on how Calgary played last night... Secondary scoring will be an issue" Yeeeee-ahh. ~Makes Sense~

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#58 JohnnieOil
October 02 2009, 02:05PM
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ronaldo wrote:

@ offside: I like how you think.

goes triple for me!

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#59 GSC
October 02 2009, 02:09PM
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If last night was an indication, Calgary is going to be just as defensive, if not more so, under Sutter.

Winning a game 5-3 despite being outshot roughly 40-20 seldom happens.

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#60 Fish
October 02 2009, 02:09PM
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@ RossCreek: Prust and Pardy scored their only goals of the year. Giordano might get 8 and Bourque 20. I would agree with Bob Cob. Secondary scoring will be an issue. They are not the team you think they are and you can take that........to the bank.

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#61 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 02:17PM
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@ Fish: I just found it weird that the argument would be made "Based on how Calgary played last night..." that they'd have trouble with secondary scoring. Prust WILL score more goalS this year!Bourque looked goood, but Dawes, Glencross, Boyd & Moss all have to contribute as well. Secondary scoring could be an issue, but it COULD be just another in the LOOOOOOOONG line of +'s in the Flames favour.

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#62 venue
October 02 2009, 02:23PM
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Enough flamer talk. OILERSNATION. Oiler talk or GTFO.

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#63 Fish
October 02 2009, 02:23PM
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@ RossCreek Sorry if I went off there. I am just jonesing to watch my beloved Oil last night and am getting a touch squirrely.

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#64 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 02:24PM
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Holy... what just happened? Did I get a quick sneak peak of the new Nation? I refreshed and the page looked totally different, and then I hit home and it went back.

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#65 Fish
October 02 2009, 02:24PM
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Fish wrote:

Oil last night

I mean Oil tomorrow night.

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#66 ronaldo
October 02 2009, 02:25PM
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@ RossCreek: Was it everything we hoped for and more?

Kind of like you went into the light only to return to your mortal body?

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#67 Ogden Sister Sr.
October 02 2009, 02:26PM
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Does anyone have any suggestions where, in the westend, an old balls could take his very lovely GILF to watch Tuesday's PPV game?

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#68 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 02:27PM
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@ ronaldo: It was only 3 seconds!

*obligatory "That's what she said"*

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#69 venue
October 02 2009, 02:27PM
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@ Ogden Sister Sr.: Beerhunters. Any BP's. Schanks.

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#70 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 02:28PM
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@ Ogden Sister Sr.: *GASP* I says pardon?

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#71 ronaldo
October 02 2009, 02:28PM
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Ogden Sister Sr. wrote:

GILF

EEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW (no offense)

*pauses as he really hopes his dad is not this guy*

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#72 Ogden Sister Sr.
October 02 2009, 02:29PM
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@ RossCreek: Even old people have a life...and a sense of humour. heehee

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#73 venue
October 02 2009, 02:30PM
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G = Girl ....right?

Please say right......

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#74 R Kenny
October 02 2009, 02:31PM
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1. SJS 2. DET 3. VAN 4. CHI 5. CGY 6. ANA 7. EDM 8. CBJ ——— 9. STL 10. DAL 11. LAK 12. MIN 13. NAS 14. PHO 15. COL

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#75 Ogden Sister Sr.
October 02 2009, 02:31PM
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@ venue: Right. wink wink.

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#76 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 02:31PM
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@ Ogden Sister Sr.: bingofuel wrote:

We’re going to be rocking the first Oilers PPV game next Tuesday Oct 6 Nation-style at the Pint (10125 109 Street). Be there, or I’m changing my goat to YOU. Stay tuned for more details on that…

http://www.oilersnation.com/2009/09/2009-oilers-goats-and-stars/comment-page-3/#comments

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#77 Fish
October 02 2009, 02:32PM
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@ Ogden Sister Sr.: Apparently that Shark Club is not too bad.

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#78 ronaldo
October 02 2009, 02:34PM
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venue wrote:

G = Girl ….right?

If it had come from a Flames fan, I would say Goat.@ RossCreek:

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#79 MattL
October 02 2009, 02:35PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Top 5 goal scorers: Ovechkin-68 Kovalchuk-66 Heatley-62 Nash-56 Carter-50

Wow, big comeback for Anson Carter hey? I totally agree!

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#80 Ogden Sister Sr.
October 02 2009, 02:35PM
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@ RossCreek: Thanks for the info. I read this site daily... it might be good to see some faces.

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#81 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 02:35PM
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@ ronaldo: @ MattL: LOLZ

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#82 venue
October 02 2009, 02:38PM
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ronaldo wrote:

venue wrote: G = Girl ….right? If it had come from a Flames fan, I would say Goat.@ RossCreek:

HAHAHA so funny.

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#83 dyckster
October 02 2009, 02:42PM
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venue wrote:

G = Girl ….right?

Or Grandma, you sick bastards!

Although having said that, I have seen some g'mas worth a second look....honest.

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#84 Cam
October 02 2009, 02:47PM
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RossCreek wrote:

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’

Pretty much. I am just insecure enough about my predictions to feel the need to make a disclaimer.

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#85 Wanye Gretz
October 02 2009, 02:49PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Holy… what just happened? Did I get a quick sneak peak of the new Nation? I refreshed and the page looked totally different, and then I hit home and it went back.

UH WHAT?

Anything is possible in this day and age. We are fiddling with moving everything over from the test server as we speak.

And by we I mean smart people are doing it. I'm playing sudoku on my blackberry and losing thank you very much.

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#86 Fiveandagame
October 02 2009, 03:00PM
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OMG the idea of a new site is so mega exciting.

Not that this site is scrotatious or anything, I'm just a product of the modern age and anything a year old is out of date.

Did anybody else catch MacT defend his old team on TSN during the NW preview?

Why do I like him again now that he's not the coach?

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#87 ronaldo
October 02 2009, 03:03PM
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Fiveandagame wrote:

Why do I like him again now that he’s not the coach?

Now we can remember him as a former Stanley Cup winning Oiler player. Just erase memory (drink beer, repeat often) of all his coaching seasons other the 2006.

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#88 dyckster
October 02 2009, 03:04PM
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Edmonton will fluctuate between 8th and 12th until the trade deadline. At that time our much maligned GM will make an earth shattering, block buster, season changing deal propelling us into 7th. We'll then knock Mr. Heatly and his crew out in the first round.

~I don't give two shits what happen after that.~

I wish I cared that little.....

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#89 Colin
October 02 2009, 03:06PM
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'lamers 4th Oil 5th

Bring it Flame-outs. Another first round exit coming up.

And to round it out: Chicago 1 Vancouver 2 SJ 3 Detroit 6 ---Olympics takes it's toll on an older team Colombus 7 LA 8

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#90 dyckster
October 02 2009, 03:09PM
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dyckster wrote:

happen

happenS

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#91 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 03:11PM
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Colin wrote:

‘lamers 4th Oil 5th Bring it Flame-outs...

Oh what a joy that would be! (although the 3v6 matchup may be more realistic)

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#92 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 02 2009, 03:17PM
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Detroit trailing St Louis 4-3 in the 3rd. Yee-ikes.

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#93 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 03:18PM
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@ Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things: St. Louis is the real deal this year. Top 6 finish.

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#94 Purple Spikey Anal Beads
October 02 2009, 03:21PM
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The snoodlers will finsh with 164 points

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#95 Victoria
October 02 2009, 03:25PM
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i'm watching St Louis right now and I don't know how so many people are predicting them to not make the playoffs while we do. They're much MUCH better then us.

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#96 dyckster
October 02 2009, 03:27PM
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RossCreek wrote:

St. Louis is the real deal this year. Top 6 finish.

On the money RC.

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#97 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 03:30PM
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St. Louis has Conklin... ...they're goin to the Cup final~

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#98 Victoria
October 02 2009, 03:32PM
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RossCreek wrote:

St. Louis has Conklin… …they’re goin to the Cup final~

Lol! That's a factor, too.

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#99 rubbertrout
October 02 2009, 03:33PM
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OvenChicken8 wrote:

1.Detroit 2.San Jose 3.Edmonton 4.Chicago 5.Calgary 6.Columbus 7.Los Angelas 8.St. Louis Dude I love your wide eyed naivete and I'd love to be proven wrong but in my book this might get one of those implied face-palms.
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#100 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 03:35PM
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Ha! MacGuire just made a 'When Harry Met Sally' reference

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