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Western Conference Notebook (Dec. 1)

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
As the first quarter of the season passes, the balance in the Western Conference continues to be impressive. Usually the standings at Thanksgiving is a good indicator of how the conference will play out, but entering December only one Western Conference team has more than 30 points, and 11 teams have between 25-30 points.

All-Star Game Voting Update:
Sidney Crosby (PIT), Steven Stamkos (TBL), Jonathan Toews (CHI) hold down the top three spots in the voting at forward, followed by Alexander Ovechkin (WSH), Patrick Kane (CHI), and Michael Cammalleri (MTL). As of Wednesday morning, there was a gap of almost 19,000 votes between Toews (Forward #3 slot) and Ovechkin (Forward #4 slot) ... Duncan Keith (CHI) and Chris Pronger (PHI) hold down the top two sports in the voting at defense, followed by Nicklas Lidstrom (DET) and Kris Letang (PIT). As of Wednesday morning, there was a gap of just under 3,000 votes between Pronger (Defenseman #2) and Lidstrom (Defenseman #3) ... Carey Price (MTL) leads the voting among goalies by almost 30,000 votes over Sergei Bobrovsky (PHI), the next highest vote getter at the position ... Shea Weber is the Preds player with the most All-Star Game votes, a little over 37,000 votes as of Wednesday morning.

Central Division
Dan Cleary (Detroit) and Rick Nash (Columbus) led all Western Conference skaters with 10 goals during the month of November. Cleary did most of his damage at home with 7 goals in seven games at Joe Louis Arena in November, while Nash did most of his work on the road with 6 goals in six road contests during the month ... Columbus netminder Mathieu Garon led the NHL with a 1.20 goals against average in November. Chicago's Corey Crawford was the next best Western Conference goaltender last month with a 1.98 goals against average ... The division will play in five inter-Conference match-ups this week: Washington at St. Louis on Wednesday; Columbus at Buffalo on Friday; Pittsburgh at Columbus and Carolina at Nashville on Saturday; Nashville at Atlanta on Monday ... There is only one intra-divisional game on the schedule this week: Nashville at Columbus on Wednesday night.

Northwest Division
Edmonton's Jordan Eberle leads all Conference rookies with 15 points this season, but Colorado's Kevin Shattenkirk led all Conference rookies with 11 points during the month of November ... Calgary leads the Western Conference with four shorthanded goals this season ... Edmonton is the only team in the Conference without an overtime or shootout win in 2010-11 ... Colorado leads the division despite a 2-4-1 mark against fellow Northwest opponents, however the Avalanche are 8-3-1 against teams from the other two Western Conference divisions ... Entering this week's games, the Northwest Divison was home to the bottom three teams in the Conference standings ... The division will play in four inter-Conference match-ups this week: Edmonton at Montreal on Wednesday; Edmonton at Toronto on Thursday; Colorado at Carolina on Friday; Colorado at Tampa Bay on Saturday ... There are two intra-divisional games on the schedule this week: Vancouver at Calgary on Wednesday and Calgary at Minnesota on Friday.

Pacific Division
The LA Kings have killed off all 38 opponent power-plays at home this season, the only team in the NHL still perfect on the PK at home. Vancouver is second in the NHL, having allowed just four opponent power-play goals on home ice this season ... San Jose leads the conference with 23 power-play goals scored this season. The Sharks have scored 15 power-play goals at home, most in the NHL ... Phoenix posted a 7-game unbeaten streak from November 10-23, tied for the longest unbeaten streak in the NHL this season (Pittsburgh and St. Louis also posted 7-game streaks this year) ... The division will play six inter-Conference games this week: Florida at Anaheim on Wednesday; San Jose at Ottawa, Washington at Dallas, and Florida at Los Angeles on Thursday; San Jose at Montreal and Florida at Phoenix on Saturday ... There is only one intra-divisional game on this week's slate: Phoenix at Anaheim on Sunday.
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