2010-2011 HFNHL Season Preview: Western Conference

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Brock, Dec 21, 2010.

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  1. Brock

    Brock Registered User

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    1. Anaheim Ducks (Pacific Champs)
    The Ducks may very well be the most balanced and dangerous team in the HFNHL heading into the season. They roll three scoring lines, play great team defense, and get solid goaltending from Pekka Rinne. Throw in the fact that they play in a relatively weak division, and they should be the favourites to take the West.

    2. Vancouver Canucks (NorthWest Champs)
    The defending HFNHL Champs, the Canucks are back just as strong this year. They may have the best offense in the entire league and with Martin Brodeur in net, they shouldn't have any trouble keeping pucks out. That tough divisional schedule could hurt though.

    3. Nashville Predators (Central Champs)
    I'm really not a fan of the Central Division this year, a lot of teams with serious holes (especially in goal). But the Preds have the strongest offense and defense in the division. Hopefully Kari Lehtonen steps up his game. The Henrik Sedin, Rick Nash, Corey Perry line could end up being the best in the league.

    4. Calgary Flames
    The Flames probably have the third best team in the league on paper, but again the division is tough. They have a very solid team all around and will get good goaltending from Nik Backstrom.

    5. Colorado Avalanche
    The acquisition of Jonas Hiller was absolutely key for the Avs to step up this season. With their goaltending shored up, the rest of their team can really focus on doing the things they do well. Offensively, this club can swing with the best of them.

    6. San Jose Sharks
    With the benefit of playing in the mediocre Pacific division, the Sharks are a quality team. They have maybe the deepest offense in the league and can roll 4 quality lines capable of scoring. Their success wages on how much Marty Turco has left in the tank.

    7. St. Louis Blues
    The addition of J.S. Giguere should help get this team into the playoffs, but it's no guarantee. This is not a Blues team we're used to seeing, with a dominating offensive and defensive presence.

    8. Columbus Blue Jackets
    This could be a very dangerous team moving forward. The Jackets might just be a starting goaltender and another quality defender away from being near the top of this list. But without these additions, they may struggle to keep pucks out.

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    9. Los Angeles Kings
    The Kings are a young team on the rise. They've got quality youth at every position and will be very competitive in the playoff race. I'm just not sure they have enough top end talent offensively, and enough grit to get to the promised land.

    10. Detroit Red Wings
    These aren't your dad's Red Wings! King Henrik will do his part to make this team competitive, but will the rest of the team be up to the task? The team's forward and defense units aren't terrible, they just aren't great either.

    11. Edmonton Oilers
    If the Oilers could snag themselves a starting goaltender, they'd be in much better shape. But as it stands right now, the Oilers might have the worst goaltending in the league. While their offense is solid and their defense underrated, I'm not sure it'll be enough to compensate...especially in such a tough division.

    12. Phoenix Coyotes
    The Coyotes were big spenders this offseason and are making strides to getting to the playoffs, but I'm just not sure the team is talented enough just yet. Goaltender Steve Mason is going to have to steal a lot of games.

    13. Dallas Stars
    When do the Miikka Kiprusoff sweepstakes start? In all seriousness, this Stars team isn't that bad, but they could struggle without a lot of depth offensively. If the team is in doubt of missing the playoffs, they could start the world's largest bidding war for Kipper, considering the amount of teams in dire need of starting goaltending.

    14. Chicago Blackhawks
    It looked like the Hawks were primed for a step forward this season, and with some really good high end talent, they aren't far away. But a lack of quality depth and solid goaltending makes this team a serious pretender.

    15. Minnesota Wild
    Probably not the worst team in the league on paper, but playing in the league's toughest division doesn't help. They'll be hard pressed to find wins on a consistent basis when they play the Canucks, Flames, and Avs so often.

    Stay tuned for the Award Predictions!
     
  2. RedWingsLegacy

    RedWingsLegacy Registered User

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    Yikes 13th place for the stars :shakehead btw kipper isn't moving this year well I hope to plan this wrong didn't think my team was that bad got a very solid defense a great starter and very good wingers and top center and I'm still looking to improve at the second line center spot
     
  3. Dempsey

    Dempsey Registered User

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    9th in the conference would be a step in the right direction. Not a threat to the big boys of the West, but getting there. The playoffs are definitely the goal for this season.

    Great Job Brock!
     
  4. The old geezer

    The old geezer Registered User

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    Thanks Brock. I chuckled at the "These aren't your dad's Red Wings!" line ;)

    I'm almost glad the season will be really condensed this year ... it will shorten the pain IRL.

    I'm hoping you were generous in picking me at 10th b/c if the Wings are around that 10 spot come mid season, the competitive me will want to trade assets to make the play-offs ... and that would be a mistake.
     
  5. Canuck09

    Canuck09 Registered User

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    Who wants to see how Brock did?

    Luckily he was wrong about my team right Nick?:handclap:
     
  6. Dryden

    Dryden Registered User

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    Bang on!
     
  7. HFNHL Commish

    HFNHL Commish Registered User

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    Everything Brock said about the Ducks was correct except one thing...the goaltending from Rinne was horribly inconsistent.

    By most statistical measures, the Ducks should be a playoff lock. However, through the first half of the season, Rinne's save % was in the bottom third of the league, and so the team languished.

    When he finally started to heat up, the team came storming back to get itself into playoff position. Now, at the end, he appears to be falling apart. As good as Rinne is supposed to be, considering I outshoot opponents by 5 shots per game, I should be winning a helluva lot more...
     
  8. Canuck09

    Canuck09 Registered User

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    He was bang on about my team. Gustavsson surprisingly kept the team competitive early in the season but once I landed Giggy the team started to really come together.
     

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