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Kingston, ON • Canada • 20 Years Old • Male
Before we start, I'd like to send out my thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family and friends of Rick Rypien. He was a great player who had a bright future in the NHL and also a player who knew his role and played it tremendously. He will be deeply missed in the hockey community. The speculation is that Rypien committed suicide. Having gone through this with family members, I know how tough it is right now for the Rypien family and wish them the best.

Okay now, let's talk standings. This is a little thing I like to do annually. This is the 3rd time I've posted my predictions and amazingly enough, most are scary accurate. This is how its gonna work. There will be 5 parts; Part 1 (obviously) will be solely based on the Western Conference. Part 2 will be the Eastern Conference, part 3 will be Western Conference Play off predictions, part 4 will be Eastern Conference Play off predictions and then part 5 will be my NHL Award predictions (where I reveal the winner of the Stanley Cup!!). I wrote these predictions at the start of August because I had promised them in mid - late August and obviously there has been a lot of tweaking between then and now. So, sit back and enjoy. Also, if this doesn't piss you off, you're not a real hockey fan.

2011-2012 Western Conference Standings

1)Vancouver Canucks- X factor: Roberto Luongo, Kesler and the Sedins are beasts.
2)Detroit Red Wings- X factor: Nick Lidstrom's last year will add fuel to the fire.
3)L.A Kings- X factor: Once the NHL laughingstock, the totally revamped and awesome Kings are more mature and a better team than last year with the addition of Mike Richards.
4)San Jose Sharks- X factor: Added speed on the wing with Havlat and improved defence with Burns. Niemi will be sharp.
5)Chicago Blackhawks- X factor: Added tons of veteran presence and toughness. Kane will have a big year.
6)Anaheim Ducks- X factor: The RPG line is perhaps the NHL's best and Cam Fowler is expected to have a huge year.
7)Minnesota Wild- X factor: Added scoring and Nicklas Backstrom is one of the NHL's top goalies. Josh Harding is a very solid back up should there be an injury.
8)Columbus Blue Jackets- X factor: The addition of James Wisniewski came at a high price, but he will be a solid defenceman for years to come. Also, with Jeff Carter now centering him, Rick Nash will break 100 points.
9)Nashville Predators- X factor: Nashville lost a lot this off season and filled the voids with Nick Bergfors and Zach Stortini. The only way I can envision the Preds making the play offs again is if Pekka Rinne has an even more stellar year than his last.
10)Calgary Flames- X factor: They have a win now mentality in Calgary but they have a weak roster. The once powerful Flames have been extinguished and its really time for a rebuild.
11)Dallas Stars- X factor: The loss of Brad Richards was a big one and they really did nothing this off season.
12)St. Louis Blues - X factor: They really have the potential to be an excellent team but I have a gut feeling they will be once again hampered with injuries. Sorry Blues' fans!
13)Colorado Avalanche- X factor: Its Matt Duchene's time to shine. Its a contract year and he will be huge. Not to mention Landeskog will have a great chance to crack the line up. They will fail to make the play offs because Duchene can't do it all himself. They only way they will make it is if Stastny has a great year.
14)Edmonton Oilers- X factor: Patience, Oilers' fans. Patience.
15) Phoenix Coyotes- They have awful goaltending. They're crazy if they think Mike Smith can carry the load. Hopefully this is their last year in the desert. Poutine anyone?
Okay, that does it for part 1. Part 2 will be posted in a few days. Is it October yet?

A lot goes into my blogs, so I'd really appreciate a follow if you're on twitter!!
August 16, 2011 10:56 PM ET | Delete
those are pretty solid predictions, i have to disagree with you on dallas, i think they will be lower, and anaheim will finish 6th if they get selanne back, if not they will be fighting for 8th
August 16, 2011 11:24 PM ET | Delete
Pho - Higher upDal - LowerNas - in playoffsSJ - Leads divisionMin - Not in playoffsonly things i disagree with
August 17, 2011 2:16 AM ET | Delete
Solid predictions overall. I have serious doubts that Minnesota will be playoff bound and don't think Phoenix go from 6th to last just because Bryz has moved on (even as bad as a Smith/Labarbara duo looks to be). Somehow I think Nashville, with a game entirely grounded on defense, will make the playoffs once again.
August 17, 2011 9:03 AM ET | Delete
Minny and CBJ will fight over the 8th seed but St Louis will be there too and no way Nashville doesnt make it. Chicago I think wins the division too.
August 17, 2011 9:13 AM ET | Delete
I still believe that St. Louis will win the division this year. yes, Nashville, Chicago, and the all-mighty Wings will be there to prove me wrong (as well as the Jackets), but I have a feeling Davis Paynes club will be the Lighting of this year and surprise everyone making it to the Western Conference Finals in 2012.
August 17, 2011 9:14 AM ET | Delete
and BTW, great blog, can't wait for the rest of the series!
August 17, 2011 11:59 AM ET | Delete
lol stars are making the playoffs what a joke your joking right
August 17, 2011 1:49 PM ET | Delete
Thanks guys for your positive feedback!--first time in three years I've had this many positive responses. And to Dallasstars, are you kidding me?
August 17, 2011 3:53 PM ET | Delete
The hard thing about predicting the Blues is they have a ton of depth and a bunch of talented players, but they don't have anybody who can change a game like Toews or Hossa or Keith; or Datsyuk or Zetterberg or Lidstrom; etc. They have about nine legitimate top-six forwards, but they're also the only team in the Central that has NO elite players.
August 17, 2011 3:56 PM ET | Delete
Exactly!! I mean, they do have Stewart, but that's really it.
August 17, 2011 5:26 PM ET | Delete
They have some guys who might be able to take the next step, but right now I think their best overall forward is Backes. Stewart's a better goal scorer, but Backes is the total package (though he could probably stand to spend a little less time in the box).
August 17, 2011 9:07 PM ET | Delete
August 17, 2011 9:11 PM ET | Delete
August 17, 2011 9:11 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
August 17, 2011 9:23 PM ET | Delete
August 18, 2011 1:57 AM ET | Delete
August 18, 2011 1:13 PM ET | Delete
HockeyBuzz really needs to fix that^
August 18, 2011 9:04 PM ET | Delete
if the jets were in the west, they'd be sitting in 6 to 8th come season end. no such luck in the east though.
August 18, 2011 9:54 PM ET | Delete
The West is far stronger than the East. Chicago needed 97 points to make the play offs in the Eighth seed, compared to the NYR's 93 point 8th seed. Doesn't seem like much but it is.
August 19, 2011 3:01 AM ET | Delete
mike richards and gagne still dont put the kings over the sharks
August 19, 2011 9:43 AM ET | Delete
If the Jets were in the West, they'd be sitting at 13th, 11th AT BEST. The West is stronger overall than the East. That's common knowledge.
August 20, 2011 12:36 PM ET | Delete
I think Oil will be better than Col, Dal,Phoe
August 20, 2011 5:44 PM ET | Delete
No way Minne/Columbus finish higher than the Flames.
August 22, 2011 7:16 PM ET | Delete
What gives this "expert" the feeling that the Blues will have injury issues again?? They have depth, talent, and won't finish 12th. But, when you're 15 and passing off other's knowledge and information as your own....I guess I shouldn't expect anything to insightful.
August 23, 2011 1:48 AM ET | Delete
Ah, Yes. Clearly this is other people's knowledge. If you read it correctly, you'd notice I said, "They really have the potential to be an excellent team but I have a gut feeling they will be once again hampered with injuries." You know what I'd like to see you do Bleed_BLUE_76? Post your own standings and see how much haters you get. Won't feel nice when people call you incompetent right
August 23, 2011 1:49 AM ET | Delete
And, what does this have to do with my age? I'm not even 15 actually, I'm 17 now. You just need to get a life man if you come on here to troll my opinion.
August 23, 2011 4:03 AM ET | Delete
Solid predictions... Very close to what I believe how the west will end up. However, I believe Nashville will make the playoffs over Minnesota. All in all good predictions.
August 23, 2011 4:03 AM ET | Delete
Solid predictions... Very close to what I believe how the west will end up. However, I believe Nashville will make the playoffs over Minnesota. All in all good predictions.
August 23, 2011 4:12 PM ET | Delete
I have to agree with most that Nashville will be there in the end, with either Minny or Columbus getting bumped. Dallas and Calgary probably finish a little lower, but I have a gut feeling that Vancouver doesn't have the ride they had last year. Edmonton and Minny will give them a little more trouble this year.
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