Western Conference Notebook (Jan. 6)

Thursday, 01.06.2011 / 6:21 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
The Holiday Season has passed and the calendar has moved into the 2011 portion of this season's schedule. As most teams move toward the midpoint of the schedule -- every team has played at least 38 games and four Western Conference teams have already played its 41st game of the season -- I figured it is time to take a stab at some mid-season All-Division Teams for the Central, Pacific, and Northwest.

Plenty of very worthy players were left out, so if you disagree with the selections shoot us a message with your choices.

Between now and the end of the season, opions will likely change -- there's a lot of the season left. But let the debates begin....


Central Division
Forwards: Rick Nash (CBJ), Patrick Sharp (CHI), Henrik Zetterberg (DET)
Defensemen: Nicklas Lidstrom (DET), Ryan Suter (NSH)
Goaltender: Jaroslav Halak (STL)
Top Rookie: Alex Pietrangelo (D, STL)

A loaded crop of defensemen to select from. Shea Weber may very well earn an All-Star Game invitation, Duncan Keith is the reigning Norris Trophy winner, etc. At the end of the day, Lidstrom has been outstanding (top three among NHL defensemen in goals, assists, and points while being, well, Nick Lidstrom on defense) and the difference in the Predators team play with and without Suter was eye-opening while he was injured earlier in the season. Nashville has the Western Conference's stingiest defense, so a strong case could be made for a Preds goaltender (and both Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback have been impressive). 



Northwest Division
Forwards: Matt Duchene (COL), Daniel Sedin (VAN), Henrik Sedin (VAN)
Defensemen: Brent Burns (MIN), Ryan Whitney (EDM)
Goaltender: Roberto Luongo (VAN)
Top Rookie: Taylor Hall (F, EDM)

If not for an injury, Colorado forward Chris Stewart would have been in; Stewart had 11 goals and 25 points in 23 games before being sidelined. And Jarome Iginla could just as easily earn a spot at forward. It was tough to keep defenseman John-Michael Liles (Colorado) out, but just look at what Burns and Whitney have accomplished. Fellow Edmonton rookie Jordan Eberle is stride-for-stride with Hall.



Pacific Division
Forwards: Anze Kopitar (LA), Corey Perry (ANA), Brad Richards (DAL)
Defensemen: Toni Lydman (ANA), Keith Yandle (PHX)
Goaltender: Jonathan Quick (LA)
Top Rookie: Logan Couture (F, SJ)

Jon Quick or Jonas Hiller in net; tough to make a call -- Hiller's done an admirable job behind a banged-up (and very young) defensive corps and his 19 wins are second in the NHL. Maybe I should change my mind again? And some other real interesting options on defense. Dan Boyle in San Jose and Lubomir Visnovski in Anaheim could easily be included and LA's Drew Doughty was a Norris Trophy Finalist last season. But Yandle leads his team in scoring (playing over 24 minutes a game) and Lydman leads the Western Conference with a +21 plus/minus rating (and like Hiller has done it with a young banged up Ducks d-corps).
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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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