If you thought that the East was a little out of whack, then you may want to sit down for the West. Now, it's not as bad as some would think, but there are some choices out there that would make you scratch your head and want to kill whomever wrote this up. If you're really interested, email the Show and we'll pass along some information.
So, here's a look at the THN's Western Conference preview. The parenthesis are place where they stand as of Sunday Night:
1. Calgary Flames (3rd)
2. Detroit Red Wings (1st)
3. Anaheim Mighty Ducks (5th)
4. San Jose Sharks (T-7th)
5. Colorado Avalanche (6th)
6. Vancouver Canucks (9th)
7. Los Angeles Kings (10th)
8. Edmonton Oilers (T-7th)
9. Dallas Stars (2nd)
10. Phoenix Coyotes (12th)
11. Chicago Blackhawks (14th)
12. Columbus Blue Jackets (13th)
13. Nashville Predators (4th)
14. St. Louis Blues (15th)
15. Minnesota Wild (11th)
The thing I don't understand is how a team like the Predators, who had an amazing season last year, could be counted out so quickly. They have some above average goaltending in Tomas Vokoun, they were able to get Paul Kariya and Steve Sullivan on a line, plus Marek Zidlicky and Kimmo Timonen were amazing last year. Add that to the incoming of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter and you have a pretty good defensive crew to counteract the speedy offense.
The Stars are another team I don't really understand how they pegged so low. Sure, injuries and off-ice issues took their toll in '03-'04; but regardless of that, Mike Modano and Bill Guerin should still be considered premier forwards. Add that to the silence scoring machine Jere Lehtinen and gritty play of Brendan Morrow and you have a good combo to have a winning club. Not only all that, but Marty Turco can be a Vezina worthy goalie when he wants to be and with his 40 wins this year, that is something that backs it up.
Luckily for the author, the rest of the list isn't as asinine as the Eastern Conference was, but when you have a Toronto writer do the East, then you know it was going to be out there.
Everyone knew the West was going to be tough, but I think in the end it was pretty much assured what eight teams would be in, it was just in what order is the only thing to really be determined. I'm sure next season would be a little easier to gauge with the game actually back in action