Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: western conference
Brent Burns is exactly the sort of player the Sharks needed to get: a big fancy D-man. Now they have him, for one year. Will he stay? It’s a question that will be overplayed like Paula Abdul’s pop hit. We probably won’t get an answer for some time.
Google Brent Burns and you find a slew of articles saying he is wonderful and Doug Wilson is a shining champion for acquiring him. There’s not much noise about losing him, except from Minny. Wilson doesn’t want us worrying about that either:
From Craig Custance at the Sporting News (h/t MSNBC):
There just isn’t a night off playing in the West.
“You look at the teams out there, even L.A. is playing good right now,” Chicago forward Patrick Kane told SportingNews.com. “They’re competing for a playoff spot. All those teams out there are pretty good, especially when you go to Canada, too, and you see those hostile environments. ... You have to be on your game and mentally focused.”
With help from SportsClubStats.com, which uses a formula to predict playoff probabilities, and a little inside information from Chicago winger Adam Burish, whose Blackhawks are wrapping up a road trip that took them to half the Western cities, we break down the bubble teams.
Games played: 52
Probability of making the playoffs: 71.4 percent
read on to find out everyone’s chances
From the New York Times, a few words from the representative bloggers of all the NHL teams still fighting for their playoff lives:
Included in the west is my own overly-optimistic blurb on the Canucks. But I think my favorite of the bunch would have to be from the Edmonton Oilers blogger… gotta love that hockey hate…
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Owen Nolan called it “nuts … I’ve never been a part of something this tight.” Alex Tanguay ventured that there were “no easy games” anymore. Jarome Iginla calculated that it would take 96 points to guarantee his Calgary Flames team a playoff spot. Coach Mike Keenan acknowledged once again that he is no fan of the three-point game, in which two teams can — and frequently do - earn a valuable point if a game goes into overtime or a shootout.
All of them were talking about the crazy playoff race in the NHL’s Western Conference which — in the past week or so — sorted itself out into hockey’s version of musical chairs, with nine contenders essentially vying for eight spots. The usual cast of also-rans have fallen far enough off the pace that they retain only the slim, Leaf-like hope for a miracle finish and a spot in post-season play.