Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bubble Boys-- Northwest Division

We continue on our journey as the Bubble Boys dwindle down, we go to the Northwest Division.

CALGARY FLAMES: The biggest buzz of camp is obviously Theo Fleury and whether or not he could make the Flames on a try-out. He's played well in his time during the pre-season and has survived some cuts, but will this Cinderella story come to an end?? Odds are, he'll get signed and go to Abbotsford, but if he does make it, he'll have to fight off Brandon Prust and Fredrik Sjostrom to do it. On the defensive, Adam Pardy will be in deep to make the team, especially with Steffan Kronwall and Anton Stralman on his heels.

COLORADO AVALANCHE: It'll be a three-way fight for the final two spots on defense, as Kyle Quincey, Tom Preissing, and Kyle Cumiskey will be duking it out for an everyday spot. The youth up the middle will be something to be seen, especially depending on what happens with Matt Duchene. The T.J.'s, Hensick and Galiardi, will be jockeying for scoring line time, while Ryan Stoa will be biding his time while something on the left side opens up.

EDMONTON OILERS: Oddly, this won't be about Rob Schremp, who has been on the bubble for years, but it'll be more about if M-A Pouliot will be able to crack the line-up on the bottom line, same with Ryan Potulny, including the fight with J-F Jacques and Liam Reddox on the left-hand side for the final spot.

MINNESOTA WILD: With Wade Dubielwicz being sent to Houston of the AHL, the goaltending situation will be clear with Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding. The only fight will be between Derek Boogaard and Colton Gillies, though in a real fight Boogaard will destroy. Also, if Benoit Pouliot will overtake Kyle Brodziak for the final center spot for the Wild.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS: With the addition of Mikael Samuelsson, the right hand side has been clogged up, with Jannik Hansen and Rick Rypien going at it for the final spot, maybe an longshot of Tanner Glass coming out of nowhere. Also, if Michael Grabner will crack the line-up over Darcy Hordichuk, on the left side. The spotlight on Cody Hodgson will also be high, as he seems to be ready to go, but could be held down just because he couldn't get a top-six spot.

We'll wrap it up tomorrow with the Pacific Division and then more gimmicks to be had in time for the season to get started up.

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