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Northwestern Showdown

Friday, 25.01.2008 / 1:44 PM / Features
By Jeff Paterson
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Northwestern Showdown
Last year at this time, the Canucks, Minnesota and Calgary were locked in a three-horse race for the Northwest Division title.

It was a battle that went down to the wire with the Canucks edging the Wild by a single point and clinching the crown on the final week of the regular season.

This year, the race looks it will be even tighter with Colorado very much in the mix making it a four-way sprint to the finish.

The following is a comprehensive breakdown of what each of the contenders has left on its schedule:



VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Points: 57 in 50 games (26-19-5)
Projected points: 93.5
Remaining games: 32 (16 home & 16 road)…15 of final 27 at home
Average winning percentage of remaining opponents: .584
Back to back games remaining: Five sets

INSIDE THE BOX
Jeff Paterson is a Team 1040 broadcaster and a regular contributor to the Georgia Straight.

E-mail him at jeff.paterson@team1040.ca
Games remaining against fellow frontrunners: 12 (7 home/5 road)
vs MIN 2 home/2 road
vs CAL 2 home/1 road
vs COL 3 home/2 road

The Canucks finish the season with nine straight divisional games…five of them are on home ice including the final four of the season)

Remaining game road blocks: The Canucks have a pair of four-game road trips. They have back to back games in Calgary and Colorado on March 25 and 26. They also play in Minnesota on March 28th so they run the gauntlet of the Northwest Division with three road games in four nights. The Canucks still have three games remaining against Dallas including both in Big D.

Fantastic Finish: Game 82 vs Calgary Saturday April 5 at GM Place

MINNESOTA WILD

Points: 59 points in 50 games (28-19-3)
Projected Points: 96.7
Remaining games: 32 (17 home & 15 road)
Average winning percentage of remaining opponents: .578
Back to back games remaining: Five sets

Games remaining against fellow frontrunners: 10 (6 home/4 road)
vs VAN 2 home/2 road
vs CAL 2 home/1 road
vs COL 2 home/1 road

The Wild finish the season with eight straight divisional games (four of which are on home ice)

Remaining game road blocks: The Wild plays seven of 10 games on the road between February 10th and 29th. Minny has one four-game road trip remaining. The Wild has one game each vs Detroit, Dallas & Anaheim and two left against San Jose.

Fantastic Finish: Game 82 @ Colorado Sunday April 6

CALGARY FLAMES

Points: 58 points in 50 games (25-17-8)
Projected points: 95.1
Remaining games: 32 (14 home & 18 road)
Average winning percentage of remaining opponents: .589
Back to back games remaining: Five sets

Games remaining against fellow frontrunners: 9 (4 home/5 road)
vs VAN 1 home/2 road
vs MIN 1 home/2 road
vs COL 2 home/1 road

The Flames finish the season with nine straight divisional games to finish (four of which are on home ice)

Remaining game road blocks: Flames play their final four regular season games on the road including two trips to Vancouver. They have a five game road trip through the difficult Pacific Division February 12th through 20th. They have two left with each of Dallas, San Jose and Anaheim (both games against the Ducks are in Anaheim).

Fantastic Finish: Game 82 @ Vancouver Saturday April 5

COLORADO AVALANCHE

Points: 56 points in 50 games (25-20-6)
Projected points: 91.8
Remaining games: 32 (15 home & 17 road)
Average winning percentage of remaining opponents: .599
Back to back games remaining: Four sets

Games remaining against fellow frontrunners: 11 (4 home/7 road)
vs VAN 2 home/3 road
vs MIN 1 home/2 road
vs CAL 1 home/2 road

The Avalanche finish the year with nine straight divisional games (four of which are on home ice)

Remaining game road blocks: The Avs play 10 of 14 games in February on the road including a five game trip that ends in Vancouver on February 27th. Colorado will play a pair of games in Minnesota in March. The Avalanche has two games left against Detroit, Anaheim and Dallas.

Fantastic Finish: Game 82 vs Minnesota Sunday April 6 at Pepsi Center

While Minnesota holds the Northwest Division lead at the All-Star Break, it’s almost a certainty that the division title won’t be decided until the final two weeks of the season. And keep March 30th in mind because that will be a Super Sunday – with the Canucks home to Calgary while Colorado is at Minnesota.