I usually do things thing a little different when it comes to regular season predictions. Like last year, I will categorize teams into certain groups and make a quick analysis on each team. Unfortunately, the Western Conference is like the rich getting richer and the poor get poorer. It’s real easy to predict with this Conference, so let’s have some fun. here we go:
The Core: These teams will make the playoffs even with a rash of injuries. No questions or gaps.
Los Angeles Kings: Defending Champs. Enough said.
St. Louis Blues: Great group, great system, see Anaheim.
Colorado Avalanche: Can they repeat last year’s run? Yes!
Chicago Blackhawks: Pissed they lost to the Kings and will take it out on everyone else.
Dallas Stars: A team that could upset everyone this year.
Anaheim Ducks: Great regular season team, need to see more in playoffs.
San Jose Sharks: Until I physically see the Sharks out of the playoffs is when I’ll not put them in this group.
Wild Cards: These are the teams that will give the Core a run for their money and have legitimate shots at the playoffs. However, with wild cards, there are always questions.
Minnesota Wild: You can add anyone you want, but they made the playoffs last year because they won at home. How’s the goaltending?
Vancouver Canucks: Sacrificed some experience and got younger. Is a rebuild on the horizon? Maybe.
Phoenix Coyotes: They go as far as Mike Smith will take them. Another year of growing, but I’m waiting for the carpet to slip from underneath them.
Sophomores Just like in high school, they’re just there, the middle child, I don’t know where to put them.
Nashville Predators: Nothing bad to say about the Preds. However, only 5 teams can make the playoffs in their division, so they need a plague to hit one team to make it.
Calgary Flames: I like what there doing in Calgary. No where near playoffs yet, but getting over 84 points this year should be a modest goal.
Basement Dwellers The name says it all.
Winnipeg Jets: Goaltending, goaltending, goaltending…….goaltending, oh and Evander Kane saga to go along with Bogosian getting injured…..again.
Edmonton Oilers: Forget about the defense for a moment, let me see more than 203 goals this year and I’ll put you a LOT higher next year. Time to put it all together.
Your 2014-15 Western Conference regular season winner is: Colorado Avalanche