The NHL's Western Conference has nine teams in contention for the eight playoff spots. San Jose will finish 3rd. The rest? Well, it boils down to this:
THE BATTLE FOR THE TOP: Seeds 1, 2 & 4 COMBATANTS: Detroit, Colorado & Vancouver Detroit [80pts, 35-16-8-2 with 21 games left] Colorado [80pts, 33-14-10-4 with 21 games left] Vancouver [75pts, 32-19-7-4 with 20 games left] HEAD-TO-HEAD: February 24 - Detroit at Vancouver March 3 - Vancouver at Colorado March 5 - Vancouver at Detroit March 8 - Colorado at Vancouver March 25 - Detroit at Colorado March 27 - Colorado at Detroit
THE BATTLE FOR THE BOTTOM: Seeds 5 through 9 COMBATANTS: Dallas, Nashville, Calgary, St. Louis & Los Angeles Dallas [70pts, 30-22-10-0 with 20 games left] Nashville [69pts, 30-22-7-2 with 21 games left] Calgary [68pts, 30-23-5-3 with 21 games left] St. Louis [67pts, 29-23-7-2 with 21 games left] Los Angeles [67pts, 23-17-14-7 with 21 games left] HEAD-TO-HEAD: February 23 - Nashville at Los Angeles February 25 - Los Angeles at Dallas March 2 - Calgary at St. Louis March 5 - Calgary at Dallas March 11 - Nashville at St. Louis March 13 - Calgary at Nashville March 14 - Calgary at St. Louis March 16 - St. Louis at Los Angeles March 20 - Nashville at Calgary March 20 - St. Louis at Dallas March 22 - Dallas at Calgary March 27 - Los Angeles at Calgary April 2 - Calgary at Los Angeles April 3 - St. Louis at Nashville
THE FLAMES: 30-23-5-3 for 68 points in 59 games IGINLA WATCH: 30 goals and 24 assists for 54 points in 58 games
I am a diehard fan and while I hate Gary Bettman & the NHL owners, I am glad that hockey is back. Life is good again though I will admit that the super local train home after Rangers games really sucks.