Well as the Admin Team knows I'm in a fighting mood so I figured I'd stir things up with my Western Conference projections Before getting into the overall standings projections here are some other Western Conference projections: (i) The 9th place team in the West will have as many or more points than the 6th place team in the East (ii) Two .500 plus teams will miss the playoff's in the West (iii) The West vs. East winning perecentage will be >=65% (iv) Point spread among positions 3-8 will be <=16 Now on to the Western Conference Standings projections ... 1st St. Louis Strengths - Everywhere except goal. Six 80+ rated players and that does not include Yzerman and Lecavalier. Plenty of depth to ensure that injuries will not be a problem. Weaknesses - If you can call having having Dunham (78 OV) and Biron (79 OV?) weaknesses than that's it. Summary: Easily tops in the West with only the Kings to really push them. 2nd Los Angeles Strengths - Maybe not as much of an All-Star cast as the Blues but the player mix and depth is equitable. Blake and Leetch manning the point and Bertuzzi, Murray, and Jokinen up front with depth at most positions Weaknesses - Left Wing is a bit thin and as such is vulnerable to injuries. Summary: Although this team will finish second in position I anticipate they will lead the conference in offense. 3rd Anaheim Strengths - One word ... Depth. The drop off from the Blues and Kings is noticable but the Ducks do not lack a few stars of their own and will skate four quality lines. Weaknesses - Chemistry could be an issue with such a differing cast of characters. Finding the right player mixes seemed to elude GM Gledhill last season but I would not bet on that happening again this season. Summary: By no means a lock for 3rd but on paper the team is marginally better than the competition and so has the inside edge. 4th Calgary Strengths - Besides being the youngest and possibly most exciting team to watch this year they are amongst the fastest skating teams top to bottom in the conference and will keep some teams on their heels. Weaknesses - Grit. Although there is definitely some grit players in the lineup using them effectively without compromising the speed threat could be a challenge. Summary: As the song goes 'We won't be fooled again'. Calgary showed last season they were ready and almost stole a play-off position. The aquisition of Stevens and another year of maturity will go along way. They will be a refreshing change from all the defence first teams in the division. 5th San Jose Strengths - Despite alot of trade activity the team still boasts a top 2 lines full of stars, Jovanovski and Schneider on the blueline, and Belfour guarding the net. Weaknesses - Lack of depth, especially on the blueline, has hurt this team in the past when injuries occurred and looks equally vulnerable this year. Summary: Too much talent to discount but not enough depth to be considered a true contender. 6th Detroit Strengths - Niclas Lidstrom and plenty of depth Weaknesses - Goaltending is only average and the team will utilize all it's depth players due to the frailty of some key players. Summary: Same offering as usual from the Wings ... Defence first and 4 solid lines but no real game breakers. Unfortunately the competition is pursuing the same strategy and doing it somewhat better. 7th Colorado Strengths - A number of skilled game breaker type players in Forsberg, Amonte, and Bure plus Brodeur in net Weaknesses - Team balance has been lost as the team tries to cut payroll and LW is rather weak Summary: How this team navigates the murky financial waters it is in will ultimately detremine the teams fate. 8th ??? Edmonton, Columbus, Chicago and maybe even Minnesota will duke it out all season for the final spot. Your guess is as good as mine as to who will come out on top.