Tuesday, 9 October 2012


As we wind closer and closer to Thursday's official launch, we are still firing away with our wild and baseless predictions. This time, my unprofessional opinion sets its sights on the best coast- the Western Conference.

Home of last year's Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings, the Western conference has a consistently elite pool of talent. Which ones do I predict will end up in the top five? Which ones are the most likely to raise the pixelated cup?

Read on to find out.

5. Detroit Red Wings

I have been constantly see-sawing between the Red Wings and the Nashville Predators for the fifth spot, but I've finally made up my mind and put the Wings ahead by a hair. Despite losing captain Nicklas Lidstrom, an important backbone of a slightly aging team, I think Detroit's experience keeps them in the top five. While I think they may slip in the coming seasons, the team still has enough talent to stay in the race for this upcoming year.

4. Chicago Blackhawks

Despite having a statistically awful year last season, I still think the hawks have enough raw talent to remain a competitor- at least on paper. While goaltending with Crawford still seems like a very real issue, it's hard to look at the Blackhawk's roster and not predict them going far. Keith, Toews, Sharp, and Kane are all too good to let this team slip away from a top five spot in the west.

3. St. Louis Blues

Coming off of a season the benifitted from a mid-season coaching swap by bringing in Ken Hitchcock, the St. Louis Blues are an incredibly sound team on almost all fronts. With four balanced lines and tight defensive unit, the Blues are a good bet to take the central division. Throw in a healthy Andy McDonald and the team should build upon last year's success.

2. Los Angeles Kings

It was close for the LA Kings, almost taking the number one spot here, since they are fresh off of a Stanley Cup, they should naturally be number one, right? Well there is no doubt that the Kings are a talented team, and were an unstoppable force in the playoffs, and while I'm not trying to discredit their accomplishment in any way, they also had a lot of good breaks. In the 2+ months of playoff hockey, not a single member of the Kings' defensive core was injured- a feat that almost seems statistically impossible. This no doubt benefited the Kings, and while there is no such thing as a Stanley Cup hangover in the video game, you need to remember that the Kings weren't always so hot in the regular season, as they were one of the lower scoring teams in the league.

1. Vancouver Canucks

Yes, it's true. Full disclaimer, I'm a Canucks fan. But on paper, in game, and everywhere else, the Canucks still look to be one of the teams to beat. They still have a season or two before their top players (the Sedins, Burrows) start to show a noticeable decline, and don't have to worry about a rehabilitated Ryan Kesler. There's always the looming cloud over their head as a team that "can't get it done", but that shouldn't cause too much of a problem in our simulated season. Additionally, the game doesn't consider "goaltending controversy awkwardness" as a team statistic, which should keep on ice tensions to a low.


  1. Ducks are gonna win the West and Luca Sbisa will win the Art Ross

  2. I have to bring up that all these teams but the Kings and Blues lost in the first round and that's not saying much for the Blues who went on to get shut out of round 2. I'm gonna have to pull for the Coyotes for the Western followed by the Canucks.

  3. Oh and thanks for the Blackhawks/Coyote game. :)