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Part II: Vegas Rates the West

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A couple of days ago I posted the over/under numbers for the Eastern Conference which showed the Southeast Division as a toss up (which I agree with). Today I'll take a look at the professional what the pro odds makers think of the Western Conference.

Unlike the East where many teams are expected to be close to making the playoffs, there is a clear division into "haves" and "have nots" in the West. You have eight teams that are favored to get in and 7 that are not.


2007-08 over/under season point totals
106.5 ANA
105.5 DET
103.5 SJS
I would agree that these teams are the class of the conference, Detroit would earn fewer points in they were not in the weakest division in hockey, but they might break 110 points if they stay reasonably healthy all year.
97.7 VAN
97.5 MIN
97.5 DAL
97.5 COL
95.5 CAL
After the top three Vegas sees five other playoff teams but basically rates them all equal at 97.5 points a piece. Personally I think Vancouver is too high because they have little offense and if Luongo misses any stretch of time they're in trouble. I also think Calgary is over rated here. I think their defense might be worse after adding Sarich and Adrian Aucoin.
85.5 STL
84.5 LAK
83.5 NAS
I think one of this group of three will jump up and make the playoffs. St. Louis is better but really old up front. On paper the Kings are much better but it make take some months for them to jell. I think Nashville will be the team to challenge, their coach also gets them going and I think Radulov can help fill the void created by Kariya's departure. The bottom of Nashville's division is still pretty bad.
79.5 CBJ
77.5 CHI
75.5 EDM
71.5 PHO
I think Phoenix will win the race to finish last. They had 5 goalies in camp and I'm not sure any of them were a real solution. They will be very young and will struggle to score goals all year.