With a network as vast as ours here at SB Nation, we figured we'd put our fine hockey bloggers to good use. You've got questions every week. We know. And we're here to help.
Each Monday at noon ET we'll take your questions on Twitter at @SBNationNHL. Our NHL Blog Council (made up of different bloggers from around the SBN hockey network) will meet and consider your queries. And on Wednesday we will render our verdicts to the masses.
Without further ado...
Blog Council: COMMENCE
@SBNationNHL Who finishes Top 3 in the terrible Pacific?— Donald Ademaj (@donnyademaj) December 7, 2015
Brendan Porter, Five For Howling: The Kings seem to have a stranglehold on the top spot, while San Jose's 4-8-0 home record seems bound for improvement. The Ducks are making a run up the standings while the Canucks and Coyotes falter, so I think Anaheim completes the recovery and makes the top three.
Laura Astorian, St. Louis Game Time: Choosing Pacific top three, man, talk about picking a White Elephant gift. "Oh, look, you got me a Bruce Boudreau. This is super useful present. I will treasure this always."
*throws away after early playoff exit*
It's harder for me to choose this than it would be to choose the top three in an actual good division, because there's no consistency to the badness. The Coyotes were good there for a while, now they're not. The Ducks were awful, then pretty OK, then meh. Vancouver? Who knows.
I'd say this:
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks (they seem to be trying again this year, so good for them)
Anaheim Ducks, only because they can't be terrible all season long
Taylor Baird, Defending Big D: I don't believe in Arizona's sustainability. They were a cute first quarter story, but I just don't see them able to take enough points away from teams outside of their division to keep pace with teams like the Kings. I think it's LA's division title to lose, but the other two spots are crapshoots at best. I'll pick Cali to take the Pacific sweep (LA, San Jose and Anaheim) because the Sharks and Ducks seem to be more talented than the other middling teams in the division. One thing I know with almost certainty is that the Pacific will not send a single team as a Wild Card, because the Central Division is just too, too good. #ConferenceIIIFTW
Kyle McIlmurray, Winging It In Motown: Honestly, LA will run away with that division. Hands down. I would really like to see Arizona make the top-three, but I'm not sure they have enough magic (or PDO) to do it. Screw it. Anaheim ends up being number 2, Arizona squeaks in at number 3.
Jake Sundstrom, Fear The Fin: I know this is a boring answer, but it's going to be the Kings, Ducks and Sharks. Anaheim isn't as bad as certain-Anaheim-bloggers would want you to believe and unfortunately the Kings are every bit as good as they always are. The rest of the division sucks — yes, even you Vancouver, we see you. And you too, Arizona. Get back to the lottery.
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@SBNationNHL will the 3-3 allstar game MINUS the fantasy draft be a BANG or a BUST?— Joe Schell (@Joe_Schell) December 7, 2015
Brendan Porter, Five For Howling: I was very disappointed to see the NHL eliminated the All-Star Fantasy Draft, though I totally understand why. The problem with the All-Star Game has always been the reluctance of the players to exert much effort to play the game. If the open ice doesn't speed things up a bit, I don't know what will.
Laura Astorian, St. Louis Game Time: I think that the three-on-three format will be a success if not just because John Scott will be out there huffing and puffing and making Preds GM David Poile angry about something inconsequential instead of angry about actual real world issues.
Losing the fantasy draft, though, will be rough. That morphed into the best part of the weekend because we were allowed, as fans, to see the players have a personality. I don't care if it was probably aided by a few vodka sodas, it was nice to see guys who are usually instructed to have the conversation skills of a 2x4 have fun.
Taylor Baird, Defending Big D: People watched the actual games before? All kidding aside, the skills competition is more along the lines of what fans want to see at the ASG (if they're even paying attention to it). It was the one place we saw some personality come out from the NHLers in attendance. When they added the draft, we got to see some hilarious one-liners and laugh at Phil Kessel sitting up there all alone as well as getting traded for Tyler Seguin (which was some wonderful shade thrown and just shows us that these guys aren't oblivious to the league and what happens in it outside of their own teams). But yes, let's make the ASG as milquetoast as possible, because how dare an NHL player have personality?! TL;DR: big ol' bust without this aspect, even if it was corny to begin with.
Kyle McIlmurray, Winging It In Motown: For me? Bust. All-star games are lame, and very hard to be interested in. I'm sure there are fans who think otherwise, but it's not for me.
Jake Sundstrom, Fear The Fin: Well I'm actually going to watch the All-Star Game this year, so that's a step in a positive direction, I guess. I never cared for the fantasy draft, personally, because if I wanted to see a bunch of middle-aged men get wasted I could go to any bar at any time of day to get a similar experience. So, sure, bang. Why not?
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@SBNationNHL USA World Junior team: Gold medal, or the Goldest medal?— Jason McAdams (@JMill1120) December 7, 2015
Brendan Porter, Five For Howling: Goldest-est.
Laura Astorian, St. Louis Game Time: Goldest! They have to get past Russia this year, right? Watching Don Cherry's annual anti-Russia freak-out (which was kind of warranted last year in regards to the anthem thing) is fun, but we haven't seen a good "the Americans beat us" tirade in a while. I think we're overdue.
Taylor Baird, Defending Big D:
Kyle McIlmurray, Winging It In Motown: I really like Team Sweden this year, but the Red, White, and Blue looks as good as it ever has. Prediction: Auston Matthews turns into a bald eagle and pokes out the eyes of his enemy with his hint golden freedom beak.
Jake Sundstrom, Fear The Fin: Are we still doing this? Canada's going to win, act like it really, really matters and I'll be busy doing literally anything else instead of watching people get all worked up over literal children playing ice hockey.
(USA USA USA)
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Brendan Porter, Five For Howling: The key to maximizing the intake of oxygen is to streamline the nasal passages to allow for an uninterrupted flow of oxygen. The curve of Wilson's nose at the nostrils impedes the suction of oxygen to the brain, whereas Lucic's nose is more aerodynamic.
Laura Astorian, St. Louis Game Time: I am not a science person. I teach psych, which is kind of a science but not, so I will kind of answer this question to where it sounds like science, but isn't.
Based on my scientific estimation, Lucic's nose looks to have a capacity of at least two fluid ounces. Wilson, due to its misshapenness, may only have a capacity of 1.75 fluid ounces. If it were more structurally intact, I'd say it's possibly a draw.
I'm disappointed the nose-off didn't include Chris Thorburn vs. Alexander Steen.
Taylor Baird, Defending Big D: Lucic seems to have a longer nasal passageway, so I'm going to give him the very slight edge in this contest.
Kyle McIlmurray, Winging It In Motown: Lucic. His nose is the size of a Buick.
Jake Sundstrom, Fear The Fin: This is tough because while I feel Milan Lucic is the obvious choice because of Owen Wilson's broken nostrils, he also strikes me as a supreme mouth-breather. So I'm going to go with Wilson because he looks like the kind of guy who knows you're supposed to breathe in with your nose.