Martin Havlat, Mark Giordano

Northwest Division Watch (February 25)

Every week, we’ll provide updates for each division. The biggest contenders and/or closest races will receive the greatest amount of attention.

Note: I’ll keep commentary to the teams who are in the most pressing situations, so nothing on the Canucks, Avalanche or Oilers.

Bold = playoff contender; Italics = likely lottery fodder.

Northwest Division outlook (February 25 -March 3)

1. Vancouver Canucks (39-14-9 for 87 pts; 62 Games Played)

Current streak: One win

Week ahead: Three home games – vs. Boston (Saturday), vs. Columbus (Tuesday) and Nashville (Thursday).

2. Minnesota Wild (32-23-6 for 70 pts; 61 GP)

Current streak: One loss.

Week ahead: @ Anaheim (Fri), home vs. Chicago (Mon), @ Islanders (Wed) and @ Rangers (Thu).

Thoughts: The Wild face two huge games, one against the Ducks tonight and the other versus the Blackhawks on Monday. They would do well for themselves if they can win both, especially in overtime.

3. Calgary Flames (31-23-8 for 70 pts; 62 GP)

Current Streak: One loss.

Week ahead: Home vs. San Jose (Fri), home vs. St. Louis (Sun), @ St. Louis (Tues) and @ Chicago (Wed).

Thoughts: This week looks like a serious challenge and opportunity for the Flames. the toughest test comes tonight against the red-hot Sharks. The most important game comes against their bubble mates the Blackhawks, while a home-and-home with the downtrodden but occasionally dangerous Blues serves as the meat to this week’s sandwich of games.

4. Colorado Avalanche (26-28-7 for 59 pts; 61 GP)

Current streak: One loss.

Week ahead: Three away games – vs. Los Angeles (Sat), Anaheim (Sun) and San Jose (Tues)

5. Edmonton Oilers (20-33-8 for 48 pts; 61 GP)

Current streak: One win.

Week ahead: Four home games – vs. St. Louis (Fri), Boston (Sun), Nashville (Tues) and Columbus (Thurs).

Commodore rips into Babcock on social media

Mike Commodore
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Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.

Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.

As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.

Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”

Commodore wasn’t done there:

And there was much, much more.

To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.




Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”