Russo's Western Conference predictions

  • Updated: September 30, 2013 - 9:37 PM
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MICHAEL RUSSO’S WESTERN CONFERENCE PREDICTIONS

1. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

2013: 36-7-5, 1st in NHL (77 points)

• No Stanley Cup hangover for Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, the NHL’s deepest blue line and the league’s most disrespected stingy goalie, Corey Crawford.

2. LOS ANGELES KINGS

2013: 27-16-5, 5th in West (59 points)

• 2012 Cup champs still are stacked with experience up front … and Jonathan Quick in net. Enough said.

3. ST. LOUIS BLUES

2013: 29-17-2, 4th in West (60 points)

• Blues are the sum of their parts. No explosive point-getters, but tons of balance and size and a defensive structure.

4. SAN JOSE SHARKS

2013: 25-16-7, 6th in West (57 points)

• Made the playoffs in 14 of the past 15 years, and Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski are poised to lead a team that went 12-5-1 down the stretch and nearly upset the Kings.

5. ANAHEIM DUCKS

2013: 30-12-6, 2nd in West (66 points)

• Maybe the NHL’s most shocking team last season, the Ducks will be relying on young Jakob Silfverberg and Emerson Etem to aid top-liners Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.

6. MINNESOTA WILD

2013: 26-19-3, 8th in West (55 points)

• Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu will get support. Look for a breakout season from Charlie Coyle and impacts from Jason Pominville and young Nino Niederreiter.

7. VANCOUVER CANUCKS

2013: 26-15-7, 3rd in West (59 points)

• Goalie controversy theoretically has disappeared with Roberto Luongo the last man standing, but it’ll be fun watching John Tortorella make the Sedin twins block shots.

8. DALLAS STARS

2013: 22-22-4, 11th in West (48 points)

• Tyler Seguin has a lot to prove after being banished from Boston under much scrutiny, and look for big, talented Alex Chiasson to be given an important role.

9. EDMONTON OILERS

2013: 19-22-7, 12th in West (45 points)

• Lots of potential offense with Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and newbie David Perron, but this is a tiny team.

10. COLORADO AVALANCHE

2013: 16-25-7, 15th in West (39 points)

• Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan O’Reilly, No. 1 overall pick Nathan MacKinnon and the Avs’ other cast of forwards should pile up goals, but the blue line is lousy.

11. NASHVILLE PREDATORS

2013: 16-23-9, 14th in West (41 points)

• Can a healthy Pekka Rinne return to form behind a new cast including Matt Cullen, Viktor Stalberg, Matt Hendricks and future stud defenseman Seth Jones?

12. WINNIPEG JETS

2013: 24-21-3, 9th in East (51 points)

• The talent on the ice beyond just Evander Kane is starting to become clearer, but it could be a tough transition to the Western Conference.

13. PHOENIX COYOTES

2013: 21-18-9, 10th in West (51 points)

• The team finally is owned by a person — not, uh, a league — but even with Mike Ribeiro and a star-in-the-making blue-liner in Oliver Ekman-Larsson, it’s hard to see much to fear.

14. CALGARY FLAMES

2013: 19-25-4, 13th in West (42 points)

• Flames are in complete rebuilding mode, which isn’t a bad thing for what was a blah team that lacked prospects. They’re coming off a great draft, but that won’t help this season.

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San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 88 FINAL
Charlotte 79
Philadelphia 103 FINAL
Detroit 109
Dallas 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
NY Islanders 3 FINAL
Boston 2
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Chicago 2 FINAL
Nashville 3
Arizona 0 FINAL
Minnesota 2
Carolina 0 FINAL
Calgary 5
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Columbus 5 FINAL
San Jose 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
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