Now that all the trade deadline hoopla is over, lets take a look at how the Western Conference was altered. With only three teams clearly separating themselves from the pack, there are nine teams battling it out for the last five playoff spots. With such a tight race, there weren’t as many conference altering trades made as there were in the East.
All the big moves were made by the teams trying to stay alive in the playoff race. With Nashville and Los Angeles both trading away their first round picks to obtain a star player, will their gambles payoff or blow-up in their face? The Predators nabbed gridy two-way centre Mike Fisher to help solidify their centre position that has been decimated by injuries. While the Kings got the “Flying Refrigerator” Dustin Penner to add some size to their first line.
Minor moves were made by the rest of the teams in the West as they just tweaked their line-ups. Who are the favourites to come out of the West? Well the top three teams of Vancouver, Detroit and San Jose are all legitimate contenders for the Cup. With Fisher in Nashville and Penner in LA, you have to believe their playoff chances have improved. And with the standings so tight in the West, four good teams are going to miss the playoffs by only a few points this year.
In the end, my pick to come out of the West is Detroit. Even though they made no moves at the trade deadline, the Wings have gotten back a number of players back from injury which is like picking up a new player. And with such a proven veteran team, its hard to bet against them.
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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