Brownlee’s Western Conference Predictions: Blockhead or Genius?

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Making predictions is about the easiest way there is to look like a blockhead. Then again, the flipside is that once in a blue moon you get lucky and come off like a genius, a puck clairvoyant. I’m willing to roll the dice on either possibility by laying out how I see the playoff race in the Western Conference unfolding. Specifically, how it’ll go for the six teams, including the Oilers, who are battling for the final three spots.

The top five teams in the Western Conference will be Detroit, San Jose, Minnesota, Anaheim and Dallas, with the only the order to be decided. I know, how bold.

That leaves Calgary, Vancouver, Colorado, Nashville, Edmonton and Phoenix, all separated by just seven points going into action tonight, dicing for sixth, seventh and eighth.

OK, OK, the fine people of Columbus would like it known they’re good enough, at the very least, to vault over Phoenix when all is said and done. They’re probably right, but I’m not laying out all the remaining games for the Blue Jackets.
Here’s how it looks to me. Or not…

RIGHT NOW (6:45pm Tuesday)

6. Calgary 37-25-10 for 84 points
7. Vancouver 37-26-10 for 84 points
8. Colorado 39-29-6 for 84 points
9. Nashville 36-29-8 for 80 points
10. Edmonton 36-32-5 for 77 points
11. Phoenix 36-32-5 for 77 points

CALGARY

March
18. at CBJ WIN OT
20. COL WIN OT
22. MIN LOSS
24. at COL LOSS
25. VAN WIN
29. EDM LOSS
30. at VAN LOSS OT

April
1. at EDM WIN OT
3. at MIN LOSS
5. at VAN WIN
RECORD 5-4-1

VANCOUVER

March
20. at EDM LOSS OT
21. MIN LOSS
25. at CGY LOSS
25. at CGY LOSS
26. at COL WIN OT
28. at MIN WIN
30. CGY WIN OT

April
1. COL WIN
3. EDM LOSS OT
5. CGY LOSS
RECORD 4-4-2

COLORADO

March
20. at CGY LOSS OT
22. at EDM LOSS
24 CGY WIN
26. VAN LOSS OT
28 EDM WIN
30 at MIN LOSS

April
1. at VAN LOSS
6. MIN WIN
RECORD 3-3-2

NASHVILLE

March
18. WSH LOSS
20 DET LOSS
22 CHI WIN
25 CBJ WIN
28 at CBJ LOSS OT
30 at DET LOSS

April
1. at STL LOSS
3. STL WIN
4. at CHI LOSS OT
RECORD 3-4-2

EDMONTON

March
18. PHO WIN
20. VAN WIN OT
22. COL WIN
24. MIN WIN
26 at MIN LOSS
28. at COL LOSS
29. at CGY WIN

April
1. CGY LOSS OT
3. at VAN WIN OT
RECORD 6-2-1

PHOENIX

March
18 at EDM LOSS
20. LA WIN
22. ANA LOSS
25 SJ LOSS
27 at LA WIN
30. at SJ LOSS

April
3. DAL WIN
4. at DAL LOSS OT
6 at ANA LOSS
RECORD 3-5-1

AFTER 82 GAMES

6. Calgary 42-29-11 for 95 points
7. Vancouver 41-30-12 for 94 points
8. Colorado 42-32-8 for 92 points
9. Edmonton 42-34-6 for 90 points
10. Nashville 39-33-10 for 88 points
11. Phoenix 39-37-6 for 84 points

—Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5 pm on Total Sports with Bob Stauffer on Team 1260.

  • Wanye Gretz

    Holy Crap Brownlee? Where is the team spirit? Two points out of the playoffs? Hells No!

    I predict the Oilers will win 8 of their remaning 7 games, and will be retroactively credited with a win for an October 5-2 loss to the Canucks, on the grounds that there were too many men on the ice.

  • Muller

    Should be interesting if they go back to Rolo again against Vancouver, Garon has had success against the Nucks. Seeing Robin has made his predictions, I've been making my own at Mullers hockey picks.com for the past three years. Check it out if you wish.

  • Bobby Robertson

    Robin quick question.

    Theoretically lets say the Oilers make the playoffs. Will any of the injured players be ready to play in them? I know they all had season ending injuries, but that was with the assumption the Oilers weren't going to make it. IF they do, can any of them come back?

  • RobinB

    BR: No chance Horcoff, Torres and Souray could play even if the Oilers got into early June. Their surgeries require extensive rehab — their goal is to be completely fit by training camp.
    As for Moreau, I don't know. He didn't have surgery, but with him re-breaking the same fracture that kept him out of the start of the season, you've got to know the medical staff will play it very safe with him. I can't see it, bit I'll have to ask Ken Lowe on him.

  • Gord Mark

    RB: Did you get a chance to have a chat with or about Torres? Has he still been hanging around the team?

    Also, because I don't think I'll see this anywhere else, can you do some digging for some Pouliot quotes from MacT and then interview the kid and come up with a story for this site?

    He's most likely on his last chance and that story's getting lost in the shuffle and I'd like you to shine a little bit of light on it.

  • RobinB

    Gord: Raffi's around. I asked about him the other morning after your note — I just haven't seen him. Different hours for all the rehab guys, as I said.

    Maybe on Pouliot — that's not a bad idea, although at this time of season with every game being so important, players are hesitant to talk about their particular situation as opposed to the team thing. I'll keep it in mind.

  • Gord Mark

    Thanks, RB.

    I get your point on the timing of a Pouliot piece; I just find his situation intriguing given his draft pedigree and the glut of young talent he's now encountered in his quest to make the top 13 come the '09 season.

    In any case, I think there's a story there. Kid's putting up close to a PPG in his second season in the A, gets a call and plays the last ~50 games of the '07 season but then finds his way back to the minors for the vast majority of the following season.

    The guy's really picked up his play in the last few games and after looking like he was primarily worried about not being scored upon during the first couple of games of his recall, now he's starting to create some chances as well.

    Also, here's another idea for you and maybe something you can give us a little insight on: if you put Souray back in the lineup now — or even if you're looking ahead to next season — considering that Smid and Greene are out 5th and 6th dmen, which one of them would sit for Souray, and in your opinion, why?