Western Conference Notebook
Detroit continues to lead the division with 74 points, but the other four teams are separated by just two points heading into play on Tuesday. The Predators have been the big movers of late, earning 14 points in their past 10 games, most in the division and second-most in the conference behind Anaheim (17 points, 8-1-1) … All five teams in the division have two games remaining before the All-Star Break. Chicago is the only team with a home game (Thursday night vs. Columbus) … With 22 points, Chicago (11-6-1) and Nashville (9-5-4) have the best records inside the division, followed St. Louis (20 points, 10-10-0), and then Columbus and Detroit (both 16 points, 7-7-2) … Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom leads the NHL in plus/minus with a +37 rating … Detroit’s Chris Osgood tops all league netminders with a 1.95 goals against average, while Columbus netminder Pascal Leclaire leads the league with seven shutouts.
Following play on Monday, four of the five teams sat within two points of the division lead. Minnesota is on top of the division with 57 points, followed closely by Calgary and Colorado with 56 points and Vancouver with 55 points. Edmonton trails with 49 points … Vancouver has made the most of its divisional games, posting a 10-4-3 mark against fellow Northwest Division foes. However the Canucks are just 15-15-2 against everyone else … Colorado has also fared well within the division, posting a 10-5-1 mark, followed by Minnesota at 9-6-2, Calgary at 8-7-3, and Edmonton at 6-10-2 … Calgary’s Jarome Iginla leads the Western Conference with 32 goals (third in the NHL) and 63 points (tied for second in the NHL), just one point off the NHL lead.
The Anaheim Ducks are the hottest team in the NHL right now with a 8-1-1 mark in the past 10 games. The Ducks have moved into second place in the division, just one point behind the Dallas Stars … The Phoenix Coyotes have won almost half of their games against divisional opponents this season, going 12-6-0 against the Pacific Division and 13-15-2 against everyone else … Anaheim has posted a 11-6-4 record in the division, followed by Dallas at 11-6-3, San Jose at 10-8-5, and Los Angeles at 7-12-1 … San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov is tied for the league lead with 25 wins … San Jose’s Joe Thornton leads the Western Conference with 41 assists, just two off the league pace set by Sidney Crosby.