by Forechecker on 10/03/08 at 03:53 PM ET
So who’s the best in the West???
For the method behind this madness, refer to my Eastern Conference predictions posted earlier today. Keep in mind that the expected winning percentages don’t include Shootout Wins. So without further ado…
1. Detroit Red Wings: Duh.
2. Dallas Stars: They always seem to be under the radar, but they’re scary-good.
3. San Jose Sharks: Talented and deep, but the coaching change is a big risk and they’ll travel more than any other team in the NHL.
4. Anaheim Ducks: Having Selanne and Niedermeyer ready from the start will help, but the Pacific is tough.
5. Nashville Predators: Shh… They like it when everyone picks them to fail.
6. Edmonton Oilers: A healthy Souray and new guy Visnovsky should help spark the offense.
7. Minnesota Wild: If Gaborik gets hurt again, they’re dead in the water.
8. Chicago Blackhawks: Can Denis Savard coach a team up to meet higher expectations?
9. Vancouver Canucks: It’ll be ugly, but Luongo and healthy D should carry them to plenty of OT games, earning precious points.
10. Phoenix Coyotes: They’ll score more goals, but can’t afford to allow more along the way.
11. Calgary Flames: That roster is shallower than a kiddie pool.
12. Columbus Blue Jackets: Leclaire must be as good or better than last season to carry them higher.
13. Colorado Avalanche: Having Sakic back for one more year costs them a chance at John Tavares.
14. Los Angeles Kings: As my 5 year-old says, “they stink.”
15. St. Louis Blues: Contending for the basement even before Erik Johnson got hurt.
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