Following up on my Eastern Conference Overview, it’s only fair to do the Western Conference Interview. Here we go:

The Central:

Teams: Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, and The St. Louis Blues.

Contenders: Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, and The St. Louis Blues.

Pretenders: Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, and The Dallas Stars.

Breakout Team: Minnesota Wild

Why: I know, I know, yes I put the Colorado Avalanche in as pretenders. Before any of you jump to conclusions, answer the question, what has Colorado done in the last 5 years? Were not in the Patrick Roy era anymore, time to let the past go. As far as the rest of the division, it’s very weak, and it will be dominated by the Chicago Blackhawks. The Nashville Predators will succeed this season thanks to Goalie Pekka Rinne, Rinne alone will get 20 wins for the team. Chicago fans, get off cloud nine, Minnesota are always contending, especially at the end of the season and against teams in their division, nobody will be handing the the Central to you just yet.

The Pacific:

Teams: Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Los Angelas Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, and the Vancouver Canucks.

Contenders: Anaheim Ducks, Los Angelas Kings, San Jose Sharks, and the Vancouver Canucks.

Pretenders: Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames.

Breakout Team: Phoenix Coyotes.

Why: The stronger division of the West (clearly), and of the contenders, it will be the hardest division to win. The Ducks are a team of full firepower offense but are lacking defensively, unlike the Vancouver Canucks who preach defense and let the offense come second. The San Jose Sharks and The LA Kings have what every team wishes they had, a little bit of everything. Both teams solid contenders for not only the best of the West, but also for THE Stanley Cup. As we saw with LA, if you got the right players, and you use them properly, anything is possible, even an 8 seed winning the Cup.

Go Hockey.