1. Calgary Flames (5-3-0, 10 pts, 1st in Division): Winning three of their four games this week against some pretty stiff competition has the much-maligned Flames sitting atop the Northwest Division early on. A scrappy 1-0 overtime win over Nashville spoke volumes about this team’s determination, while a 4-0 shutout at home against San Jose has to have the Flames in high spirits heading into this week. Miika Kiprusoff has started all but one game for the club, and while he hasn’t shown signs of tiring yet, it’s obviously still early. Rookie Henrik Karlsson got a bit of a freebie for his first win, as the Flames dominated the Blue Jackets 6-2 on Friday night.

  2. Vancouver Canucks (3-3-2, 8 pts, 2nd in Division): The Canucks have yet to win a game on the road, but haven’t lost in regulation at home either. They haven’t been able to win close games, evidenced by their two overtime losses. Backup goalie Cory Schneider has looked like he may be given a slightly larger role this year, with just two goals allowed and two wins in his two starts. Certainly not the start the Canucks were hoping for in a town where most people considered this team a preseason Cup favorite.

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  1. Minnesota Wild (3-3-1, 7 pts, 4th in Division): Winning two of three games against division opponents is a recipe for success no matter what team you are, and for a Wild club that started the season with losses to Carolina and Columbus, this past week had to be a welcome surprise. An impressive 6-2 win over Vancouver kicked things off on Tuesday, while they got 34 saves from Niklas Backstrom in Edmonton on Thursday. While the powerplay ranks highest in the league, it’s a bit concerning that their only wins are against Edmonton and at home against Vancouver, who have yet to win on the road.

  2. Colorado Avalanche (4-4-0, 8 pts, 3rd in Division): Pretty much the only thing that’s a guarantee on game day in Colorado is that the goal judge is going to be busy. Every game in the Avs’ young season has seen at least 4 goals scored with all but two seeing 6 or more. The Avalanche are tough to read so far, but one thing’s for sure: that 30th ranked team defense needs to be fixed immediately, or last year’s playoff appearance will quickly be forgotten.

  3. Edmonton Oilers (2-4-0, 4 pts, 5th in Division): After starting the season with wins over Calgary and Florida, the Oilers have now dropped four in a row, in increasingly worse fashion, falling 6-1 to San Jose on Saturday in what has to be their worst performance of the year. It’s tough not to like the Oilers with all the young talent they have, and the building blocks are clearly in place, but it would appear that, as expected, it’ll be another long winter in snowy Edmonton.

Len robinson
Sports Pundit member

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