2013-14 Pacific Division: Projected Standings

Jonathan Willis
August 21 2013 09:45AM

Over the last few weeks we’ve looked at the Edmonton Oilers’ new division. Now the pivotal question: will they snag one of the four playoff spots in this group?

The Contenders

1. Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are my choice for the top spot in the division; this team won the Cup in 2012 and went to the Conference Finals in 2013 and the roster hasn’t changed much. They fell down the standings last year thanks to an abnormally poor regular season from Jonathan Quick, and that isn’t likely to be repeated. They should be well clear of Edmonton.

2. Vancouver Canucks. This roster doesn’t look as good on paper as previous editions of the team, but the same stars are there up front and the defence might be the best in the Western Conference despite the lack of a superstar number one. A lot hinges on Roberto Luongo; the Canucks have gambled that after wanting to leave he’ll be able to come back and contribute at a high level. It’s a risk, but they’re probably right.

3. San Jose Sharks. This is a very good team; they’re smartly coached and smartly managed (given my choice of NHL general managers, there aren’t many I’d take ahead of Doug Wilson) and they have great depth and talent down the middle.

The Bubble

4. Anaheim Ducks. The loss of Sheldon Souray to injury and the addition of Mark Fistric on defence have changed the picture a little bit since our comparison, weakening the Ducks’ defence. This is a catchable team for the Oilers but not one I’d care to bet on Edmonton being ahead of.

5. Edmonton Oilers. We’ve analyzed Edmonton’s strengths and weaknesses to death this season. Up front they have solid top end talent but questionable depth, particularly at centre. On defence, they have exceptional depth but a dearth of proven top-two defencemen. Devan Dubnyk provides solid goaltending. Put it all together and this is a team on the bubble, one I have projected to be in the playoff race until the bitter end (though they could snatch a crossover spot in the Central). (Others feel more optimistic about the team's placement).

6. Phoenix Coyotes. A forward corps that leans too much on Mike Ribeiro and Shane Doan is the Coyotes’ primary weakness, and what might make them vulnerable to the Oilers this season. Any of the three teams listed here could snag that final playoff spot in my estimation; there isn’t a night-and-day difference between Anaheim and Edmonton and Phoenix.

The Cellar

7. Calgary Flames. The roster was gutted last season and it seems likely to take a few more vicious kicks in the lead up to the 2013-14 trade deadline. The forward group lacks top end talent, the defence is suspect and nobody knows who the starter is. Welcome to the rebuild.

Recently around the Nation Network

A new picture has been making the rounds in Winnipeg, one showing a much leaner version of defenceman Dustin Byfuglien. At Jets Nation, Travis Hrubeniuk writes about what Jets fans can expect from the oft-criticized defenceman:

I believe that he has the chance to be a truly successful top pairing D-man with the numbers to back it up, should a couple things happen. First, he needs some help in net. It's been the story for this team for years now. People refuse to believe that the Jets have been a solid defensive team with poor goaltending behind them, and choose to inaccurately accuse the blue line of inadequate play. Byfuglien may as well be the poster boy for this myth, as he and Enstrom are truly an effective top pairing duo.

Click the link above to read more, or check out some of my recent stuff:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 The Soup Fascist
August 21 2013, 03:11PM
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DSF wrote:

The Canucks downward trend in scoring was mainly attibutable to 2 things:

1) Kesler missing most of the season allowing the opposition to key on the Sedins.

2) Their PP went from 1st in the league in 2011/12 (19.8%) to 22nd in the league (15.8%) Much of that is also due to Kesler's absence since he plays with the Sedin's on the #1 unit.

In only 17 games upon his return from injury, Kesler scored 2 PPG and 5PPP which pro-rates to 10 goals and 24 points...just on the PP.

In the last full season, Taylor Hall led the Oilers with 13 goals and 21 points on the PP.

If Kesler stays healthy and the Canucks PP returns to top 5, they should once again be among the highest scoring teams in the league.

Right now neither of is wrong - yet. In three months we will have a better idea of where they are.

I think it is going to be an interesting season for the Canucks. A quick start and they could have a decent year. A slow start, - with the distraction of the remnants of the Luongo soap opera, a coach who has never met a microphone he didn't like and a finnicky media / fan base - could be a circus.

I think the Oilers score more than the Canucks do, and by a bit of a margin. Very possible they will end up behind the Canucks in the standings, but I don't think the gap will be large.

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#52 DSF
August 21 2013, 03:15PM
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Mantastic wrote:

you are awful. you compare a players prorated stats of 17 games last year to a player stats over a year ago.

and you wonder why no one takes you seriously.

Well, since you want to compare someone coming off an injury to someone who had a chance to play in the AHL during the lockout and was healthy...

Taylor Hall's PP production in 45 games last season was 4G and 14P.

That pro rates to 8 goals and 25 points.

Compared to Kesler's 10 goals and 21 points.

How do you think the Oilers PP would have fared if Hall missed 31 games last season?

Seriously?

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#53 DSF
August 21 2013, 03:17PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Right now neither of is wrong - yet. In three months we will have a better idea of where they are.

I think it is going to be an interesting season for the Canucks. A quick start and they could have a decent year. A slow start, - with the distraction of the remnants of the Luongo soap opera, a coach who has never met a microphone he didn't like and a finnicky media / fan base - could be a circus.

I think the Oilers score more than the Canucks do, and by a bit of a margin. Very possible they will end up behind the Canucks in the standings, but I don't think the gap will be large.

Oh, I agree it'll be a very interesting year for them.

Not only are the Tortorella and Luongo situations something to keep an eye on, but they are also counting on David Booth to bounce back and for Zack Kassian to take a step forward.

More than a few things could go wrong.

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#54 Tom
August 21 2013, 03:18PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Not sure if you're compensated for your efforts here, but if you are, you're grossly underpaid DSF. Your Legend here grows with every pot shot tossed in your direction. Well done sir.

Flip of the coin as to who finishes last in the Pacific this season. The Oil have as much a chance at that last spot as the Flames do. Every one of us here figured we'd be in loading up mode, instead of still trying to fill significant roster spots. 4 holes still remain in the bottom of the Oilers boat. How much longer will these kids continue to put up with this "Edmonton" management problem. Another difficult year on the horizon no doubt.

It's just that easy? Just load up? Man, you should call MacT and let him know.

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#55 DieHard
August 21 2013, 03:44PM
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DSF. F-OFF

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#56 hatrock
August 21 2013, 03:47PM
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We will be ahead of the Canucks. We beat them in the season series last year and we have an improved squad and better defensive system. The whiny Nuck players won't be able to handle Torts.

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#57 James and Gary
August 21 2013, 03:52PM
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Oh the Banter!!

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#58 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
August 21 2013, 05:09PM
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@DSF

If you don't like the facts, doesn't mean they didn't happen

good grief

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#59 bornnraisedoil
August 21 2013, 05:20PM
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Just say in'... all oil fans are great,the world over, but the truest of all are born and raised an work...in beautiful, incomparable... Edmonton...here we go oilers here we go! Nuge-hall-yak...magic follows.

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#60 Will
August 21 2013, 06:27PM
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The Canucks do kind of seem to be falling apart as a team. You have a goalie that doesn't want to be there, and a room full of guys who don't seem to generate chemistry outside of the sisters.

However, I said it looked like everyone in Anaheim wanted out last year and that would hurt them, look how well that one turned out.

No, what is going to hurt the Canucks the most, is that fact they can no longer suck points out of an easy division. With LA, San Jose, Anaheim, and Phoenix playing like they did last year, it might be tough for Van to generate as many points. If Quick has another crap regular season, there may be more bubble teams in our division than people think. Just look how tight the West was for most of the season last year. Other than Calgary, I would say every team has a chance to beat any other team in the division on any given night.

It will also be interesting having the Eastern Conference points back in the mix. I wonder if that drastically shakes up the standings from last year, or makes it even more competitive in our division.

Here's a question, given how bad Philly and the Rangers did last year, and given how bad a stacked Pens team did in the playoffs, do you still think the Metropolitan division is the most competitive? If not which one now is and why?

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#61 DSF
August 21 2013, 07:00PM
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Will wrote:

The Canucks do kind of seem to be falling apart as a team. You have a goalie that doesn't want to be there, and a room full of guys who don't seem to generate chemistry outside of the sisters.

However, I said it looked like everyone in Anaheim wanted out last year and that would hurt them, look how well that one turned out.

No, what is going to hurt the Canucks the most, is that fact they can no longer suck points out of an easy division. With LA, San Jose, Anaheim, and Phoenix playing like they did last year, it might be tough for Van to generate as many points. If Quick has another crap regular season, there may be more bubble teams in our division than people think. Just look how tight the West was for most of the season last year. Other than Calgary, I would say every team has a chance to beat any other team in the division on any given night.

It will also be interesting having the Eastern Conference points back in the mix. I wonder if that drastically shakes up the standings from last year, or makes it even more competitive in our division.

Here's a question, given how bad Philly and the Rangers did last year, and given how bad a stacked Pens team did in the playoffs, do you still think the Metropolitan division is the most competitive? If not which one now is and why?

1) No one including the Oilers will be able to "suck points" out of an easy division. The Canucks were 6-7-2 against the Pacific last season. The Oilers were 4-8-3.

2) Eastern Conference games will be equal for all teams so won't be a factor.

3) I think the Pacific will be the most competitive since San Jose, LA, Vancouver and Anaheim were all playoff teams last year and none of them seems ready for a regression.

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#62 Ummm...
August 21 2013, 07:45PM
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@DSF

At least in Anaheim's case, pretty much everybody not working for CBC expect them to regress this season. They were one of the most fortunate teams in the league last year. I could see all of SJ, VAN, and ANA regressing next year.

VAN because their horses are a year older and they've got little else.

SJ for the same reason, though they do have a true young star in Couture. Pavelski took steps toward invisibility in the second half of last year (to the detriment of my fantasy team) and their D isn't that great.

ANA because they had the 2nd best PDO in the league behind the Leafs. Their performance last year was a lot of smoke and mirrors as far as I'm concerned.

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#63 DSF
August 21 2013, 08:09PM
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@Ummm...

Anaheim finished 21 points ahead of the Oilers in a 48 game season. Pro-rated over 82 games that is 38 points.

Just to draw even, there would have to be some combination of 17 wins/losses. I doubt Anaheim was that lucky.

Suggesting Vancouver has "little else" than the Sedins is just nonsense.

For example, 27 year old Jannik Hansen, playing 3rd line minutes, scored 27 points last season.

His P/60 5V5 was 2.32...better than any Oiler not named Hall.

Vancouver has traditionally relied in its D for secondary scoring. And that will continue.

Last season, defensive stalwart Dan Hamhuis had as many points as Justin Schultz, while Edler, Garrison and Bieksa outscored their Oiler counterparts by a wide margin. (The second highest scoring Oiler D was Jeff Petry with 12 points)

People have been predicting the decline of the Sharks for years and it just never happens.

They are a solid team from top to bottom and their GM may be the smartest in the league.

Their D is far from suspect. They were 6th in the entire league in GA/G last season at 2.33. The Oilers gave up .40 more GA/G which pro rated over and 982 game season is 32 goals against.

That's a very tough mountain to climb in one season.

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#64 Mantastic
August 21 2013, 08:26PM
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DSF wrote:

Well, since you want to compare someone coming off an injury to someone who had a chance to play in the AHL during the lockout and was healthy...

Taylor Hall's PP production in 45 games last season was 4G and 14P.

That pro rates to 8 goals and 25 points.

Compared to Kesler's 10 goals and 21 points.

How do you think the Oilers PP would have fared if Hall missed 31 games last season?

Seriously?

you're just cherry picking stats/seasons that suits your arguments.

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#65 Todd
August 21 2013, 08:42PM
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Mantastic wrote:

you're just cherry picking stats/seasons that suits your arguments.

yup, thats exactly what he does. If you ever shoot down his argument (easy to do) he ignores you and replies to other comments, or just goes away until the next thread. Straw man, wet paper bag yadda yadda....

I've brought up repeatedly DSFs assertion a few months ago that Peter Mueller is a better player than Nail Yakupov. Or the endless gushing about how amazing of a GM Dale Tallon is before this past season.

But instead of answering the bell on many assinine crazy guarantees he makes, he just cherry picks stats, tells everyone how smart he is, how dumb they are and uses lots of "good grief", "book it" and other pompous know it all things like that.

I hope the Oilers get 120 pts this year and the Canucks get 50 just because its probably about the only thing that would shut him up.

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#66 OilClog
August 21 2013, 08:51PM
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DSF, the suggestion that Taylor Hall and Ryan Keslar are on the same Offensive level, especially on the PP.. is well, exactly something you would say.

Good Grief.

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#67 DSF
August 21 2013, 08:54PM
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OilClog wrote:

DSF, the suggestion that Taylor Hall and Ryan Keslar are on the same Offensive level, especially on the PP.. is well, exactly something you would say.

Good Grief.

Other than the fact that they are on the same level.

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#68 DSF
August 21 2013, 08:55PM
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Mantastic wrote:

you're just cherry picking stats/seasons that suits your arguments.

Feel free to use any stats you like to support your fantasies.

I've got all night.

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#69 OilClog
August 21 2013, 08:56PM
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This is Oilersnation, my standings project like this

1. Edmonton.. We're the best, if you don't think so turn in your Oilersnation handbook to WANYE. 2. San Jose.. Just Because 3. Phoenix.. Because Tippet said so 4. LA.. Can't score goals, can't expect to win 5. Anahiem.. Last season was a blip, they're not anywhere near as good as some people believe 6. Vancouver.. They suck 7. Calgary.. Suck ever more!

This is the Standings, anything else is grounds for Treason against Oilersnation. If you don't like the Oilers, drown in soup.

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#70 OilClog
August 21 2013, 09:00PM
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DSF wrote:

Feel free to use any stats you like to support your fantasies.

I've got all night.

Fancy Stats.. Even with going for it Year after Year for the last 7 years.. Vancouver has acquired an astonishing total of 0 Stanley cups.. Let me repeat myself, the same total of the previous 34 years was met in just 7! 0 Stanley cups, Keslar Sucks, Sedins Suck, Gillis Sucks, Minnesota Sucks.

Good Grief

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#71 DonDon
August 21 2013, 09:02PM
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Others feel less optimistic about the Oilers' placement due to a number of factors:

1) MacT stands pat at centre (critical); 2) How long before Nugent-Hopkins returns, which could excerbate an already critical situation at the centre position; 3) Lack of complementary players that make the Oilers more difficult to play against (weakness of bottom six forwards); 4) MacT's inability to move Hemsky's $5.5 M contract has left the club in a cap squeeze limiting the addition of any quality players to fill holes now; 5) A rookie head coach (competency?).

Depending the resolutions of the above factors, the Oilers could either make the playoffs after seven consecutive misses or join Calgary at the bottom of the totem pole and again become a lottery team.

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#72 OilClog
August 21 2013, 09:04PM
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DSF wrote:

Other than the fact that they are on the same level.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA 29 out of 30 coaches in the League would tell you otherwise. Only exception being Lindy Ruff.

Keslar is not anywhere near Taylor Hall offensively, what were Keslar's point totals on the PP at 20yrs of age... wait! NO ONE CARED ABOUT RYAN KESLAR AT 20! He's a hack compared to Taylor Hall. At Keslar's Age, Hall will have a couple scoring titles, All star team awards, and more then likely a Hell of a lot more chance at Lord Stanley. Book it.

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#73 Spydyr
August 21 2013, 09:06PM
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Great another DSF comment section.Takes the joy out of reading the comments.

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#74 OilClog
August 21 2013, 09:07PM
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DonDon wrote:

Others feel less optimistic about the Oilers' placement due to a number of factors:

1) MacT stands pat at centre (critical); 2) How long before Nugent-Hopkins returns, which could excerbate an already critical situation at the centre position; 3) Lack of complementary players that make the Oilers more difficult to play against (weakness of bottom six forwards); 4) MacT's inability to move Hemsky's $5.5 M contract has left the club in a cap squeeze limiting the addition of any quality players to fill holes now; 5) A rookie head coach (competency?).

Depending the resolutions of the above factors, the Oilers could either make the playoffs after seven consecutive misses or join Calgary at the bottom of the totem pole and again become a lottery team.

MacT has only made 9,001,873,345,348,056.24 moves so far this offseason.. yea.. no belief he will do anything more at all.. none what so ever.. I bet he's having a nap, then will follow that with a Hot Cocoa and another nap.. because he's been sitting on his hands.. awaiting Stevie Y's phone call.. cause well.. that's what he's been doing..

Good Grief, it's an angry no sex senior's morgue around here.

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#75 Spydyr
August 21 2013, 09:10PM
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With the present rooster I don't see the Oilers finishing in the top eight in the west.Just don't see it.

Now with a few moves like a legit, complete 2C and one more top four defenseman they might slip in.

The team still needs a true number one defenseman but that will cost one of the kids and this is not the year to make that deal.Give it another season or two when they should be a playoff contender(given more right moves than wrong moves) then pull the trigger for the defenseman needed to bring the Cup back here.

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#76 Spydyr
August 21 2013, 09:12PM
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OilClog wrote:

MacT has only made 9,001,873,345,348,056.24 moves so far this offseason.. yea.. no belief he will do anything more at all.. none what so ever.. I bet he's having a nap, then will follow that with a Hot Cocoa and another nap.. because he's been sitting on his hands.. awaiting Stevie Y's phone call.. cause well.. that's what he's been doing..

Good Grief, it's an angry no sex senior's morgue around here.

The general managers should be back from their cottages the next week or two.Things will start happening again.The dog days of summer are almost over.

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#77 Ales Hallsky
August 21 2013, 09:28PM
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Kesler: 350pts 578gp. Hallsy: 145pts 171gp. One has to do it all himself and the other benefits from a team who is a perennial presidents trophy contender. I'll let you figure it out. 0 cups in 40+

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#78 Todd
August 21 2013, 09:38PM
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Ales Hallsky wrote:

Kesler: 350pts 578gp. Hallsy: 145pts 171gp. One has to do it all himself and the other benefits from a team who is a perennial presidents trophy contender. I'll let you figure it out. 0 cups in 40+

In DSFs world...

Peter Mueller > Nail Yakupov

Dale Tallon > every other NHL GM

Kesler => Taylor Hall

Good grief

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#79 madjam
August 22 2013, 12:55AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Great another DSF comment section.Takes the joy out of reading the comments.

I rather enjoy reading DSFs insight in the comments . Sometimes having good debates with opposing opinions is better than a herd of people all nodding in agreement at the same thing .

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#80 Reg Dunlop
August 22 2013, 01:25AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Great another DSF comment section.Takes the joy out of reading the comments.

DSF claims he's got 'all night'. This is the root of the problem and I have the solution. Send a prostitute to his basement apartment on Van Island, keep him busy for awhile. Anyone know any male hookers?

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#81 Big Cap
August 22 2013, 02:04AM
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RE: Post #80

@ Reg Dunlop

Classy!

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#82 russ99
August 22 2013, 07:49AM
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We still don't have a playoff-quality bottom six, and few (if any) of our bottom six players can shut down the big, tough key players in our division.

So I'm picking the Oilers 5th, behind LA, San Jose, Vancouver and Phoenix. But we may sneak into the playoffs at the expense of the team placing 4th in the Central Division.

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#83 Todd
August 22 2013, 08:16AM
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madjam wrote:

I rather enjoy reading DSFs insight in the comments . Sometimes having good debates with opposing opinions is better than a herd of people all nodding in agreement at the same thing .

I don't think anyone has a problem with opposing views and discussion. It's just that when you constantly talk in a patronizing tone it really bothers people and just makes you an ahole regardless of the message. The know it all, I'm right, you all know nothing bit reeks of insecurity and really turns everyone off. DSF does have decent points sometimes but his message is 100% lost due to the never ending nauseating, pompous and patronizing delivery.

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#84 Spydyr
August 22 2013, 08:22AM
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madjam wrote:

I rather enjoy reading DSFs insight in the comments . Sometimes having good debates with opposing opinions is better than a herd of people all nodding in agreement at the same thing .

I like DSF's insights along with the opposing view point.I actually agree with him on some points.Debate is great.What I don't like is more then half the comments either by or directed to DSF.He is not the smartest person here and his delivery could use some work.It is the Oilers Nation not the DSF nation.

Seems I'm part of the problem as this is another post concerning him.

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#85 God
August 22 2013, 08:44AM
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Looking at the division, I think it's safe to bet the Oil will finish 4-5, 6 being a complete disaster. I'd say the true wild card of this division is the Canucks.

The Sedins are in a contract year, but I doubt that'll suddenly remove the baby fat. Kesler is perpetually injured but gets 2nd line matches, he could bounce back, I think he won't. Booth, Kassian and Burrows all took a nap at season's end and into the playoffs. They all seem like the kind of 2-way players that Torts could ignite, though I hope that doesn't happen.

The Nucks D is solid though a couple injuries could expose a lack of depth. Torts does make instant impacts though he's never coached in such a fickle city with an ignorant fan base.

I think the Canucks could be anywhere from missing the playoffs (which would be beautiful) to winning the division. Thoughts DSF? Hockey is much more dynamic than pulling previous years statistics from a small sample size. We all know your bias but you have yet to truly embrace the uncertainty of your own team. Nuck fans are like the S&P 500 begging for another round of QE, unfortunately in your books that's only a President's Trophy.

The Canucks will not win the Stanley Cup this year, easy prediction.. Lou can't play in the playoffs, D-depth is an issue and I'm not impressed with Booth, Kassian and Burrows in the top 6.

DSF, the ball is in your court....

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#86 Clyde Frog
August 22 2013, 09:02AM
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DSF trundles back to his computer bleary eyed but feeling triumphant!

He had rushed his nightly ritual of washing mother and had seen his weekly allowance cut in half as a result... But it had been worth it! He had freed himself up to crush the hopes and dreams of Oiler fans on the internet!!

Besides after 47 years he had saved up enough of his allowances to float himself through leans weeks like this. That and mother had recently restocked his cabinet of Cheeto's and Dr.P...

Sitting down at his desk, pausing briefly to pray at his Gillis shrine, he sets to work..

Before the satisfied chuckle could escape his lips, the reality of the last several posts sets in. How could these fools still cheer for the team?

He had posted several compelling arguments backed up by minutes of Googling! Yet these fools still dare to dream! This will not stand!!!

Mixing equal parts Cheeto and Dr.P in a bowl he gently stirs the concoction until it becomes the nourishing paste that will sustain him through the morning and into the afternoon. He will need the time and energy to devise new statistics backed up by new googlings to irrevocably prove that the Oilers are the worst team in the league and to crush absolutely the dreams of an entire fanbase.

A mad gleam enters his eyes and he begins to laugh maniacally, "muwhahahaHAHHAHAHAHA!" Well at least until mother yelled downstairs threatening the other half of his allowance unless he respected the silence rule while her stories are on.

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#87 Oiltimer
August 22 2013, 09:12AM
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TOO MANY IFs to be even on the bubble unless they all come out positive.

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#88 DSF
August 22 2013, 10:01AM
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God wrote:

Looking at the division, I think it's safe to bet the Oil will finish 4-5, 6 being a complete disaster. I'd say the true wild card of this division is the Canucks.

The Sedins are in a contract year, but I doubt that'll suddenly remove the baby fat. Kesler is perpetually injured but gets 2nd line matches, he could bounce back, I think he won't. Booth, Kassian and Burrows all took a nap at season's end and into the playoffs. They all seem like the kind of 2-way players that Torts could ignite, though I hope that doesn't happen.

The Nucks D is solid though a couple injuries could expose a lack of depth. Torts does make instant impacts though he's never coached in such a fickle city with an ignorant fan base.

I think the Canucks could be anywhere from missing the playoffs (which would be beautiful) to winning the division. Thoughts DSF? Hockey is much more dynamic than pulling previous years statistics from a small sample size. We all know your bias but you have yet to truly embrace the uncertainty of your own team. Nuck fans are like the S&P 500 begging for another round of QE, unfortunately in your books that's only a President's Trophy.

The Canucks will not win the Stanley Cup this year, easy prediction.. Lou can't play in the playoffs, D-depth is an issue and I'm not impressed with Booth, Kassian and Burrows in the top 6.

DSF, the ball is in your court....

I'd say that's a pretty decent analysis but the only way I see them missing the playoffs is if a lot of things go wrong.

One factor you haven't addressed is the team's management insisting that they will be going all out to try and insert some youth into their lineup.

http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/hockey/vancouver-canucks/Putting+Johnny+spot/8818161/story.html

With Kassian getting a more prominent role and with Niklas Jensen, Brendan Gaunce, Bo Horvat, Kellan Lain and others pushing for spots, the team might look quite a bit different than last season.

How well that strategy works out is, of course, an unknown but Tortorella has a pretty strong track record of getting production out of young players.

Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Callaghan all thrived under Tortorella.

I think the major reason behind his hiring was his willingness to work with young players, something Vigneault didn't have the patience for.

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#89 God
August 22 2013, 11:11AM
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@DSF

The hopes in Torts are valid but still an 'if' albeit a probable one. You're right about Torts and the young'uns but I'd have reservations about considering them a division contender from the past few years results. The big names on this team may simply be those guys that don't know how to get it done when it counts. Call it a lack of heart, call it AV's inability to rally the dressing room. I'd suggest that it's management ignoring the elephants in the room and knowing when to file for divorce.

The Oil are trending upward with the slow but sure maturation process. The Canucks have stagnated at best with a trend downward as recent success would suggest. Will Torts be better than AV? The Rangers didn't think so. I guess we'll find out.

I think this team was modelled for AV's style, not Torts'. Living in Van, I'll be watching attentively, and vindictively. Waiting to call out, once again, Nuck fans' delusional optimism.

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#90 Pucker
August 22 2013, 05:01PM
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I miss hockey season.

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#91 **
August 22 2013, 06:35PM
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reading about the Calgary flames it feels like an out of body experience, to see a rebuild from the other side of the mirror.

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#92 **
August 22 2013, 06:37PM
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Jonathan, would the addition of another quality bottom six center be enough to leap the Oilers over the coyotes and ducks?

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#93 OutDoorRink
August 23 2013, 07:18AM
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Hey hey hey everyone. Give old dsf a break. I really need him to continue posting. I'm using his comments as a source material for my study of Enuresis.

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#94 THRNHJE
August 29 2013, 12:31AM
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@OutDoorRink

Not sure how his posts are in any way related to his prowess in controlling urinary function.

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