The NHL Pacific Division has been wild through the first month of the season. The Vancouver Canucks (a team I blasted in my preview) lead the division and the Los Angeles Kings are last. Are you shocked? I certainly am. Let’s go through the division and see where things stand.
Record: 21-20-9 | Division Rank: 5th
The Ducks are somehow 5th in the division especially since there have been so many injuries in their line up, chief among them is the injury to Corey Perry. The Ducks will not be a playoff team if they cannot fix that brutal offense. Perry comes back in a little while, but will it be in time to save the Ducks? Will he even be good enough to help the Ducks?
Record: 22-22-4 | Division Rank: 7th
The Coyotes are what I think people expected them to be. How can I hate on that? I can’t. I called for them to be an 80 point team, and they are currently sitting on pace for 82 points. The Coyotes are an average team, but, also one that can cause problems in March for playoff teams. They are a pesky team and always have been.
Record: 32-13-5 | Division Rank: 1st
Thanks largely to the young guns (Gaudreau, Thachuk, and Monahan) and backup goalie David Rittich the Flames are first in the division. At first, there was uncertainty surrounding David Rittich, but since then he has taken over the number one spot with an 18-4-4 record and a 2.49 GAA and a .917 Saves Percentage as the starter. The Flames rode the hot glove of Rittich and it paid off.
Record: 23-23-3 | Division Rank: 6th
What is wrong with the Oilers? They look good on paper but to this point, it has not translated well on the ice. I am not sure if it is a talent issue, coaching issue, or some combination of the two. But something needs to be done soon before it is too late for Edmonton.
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Los Angeles Kings
Record: 20-26-4 | Division Rank: 8th (Last)
The Kings season has been surprising, and not in a good way. Expectations prior to the year were high and, so far, they have not lived up to them. The offense is struggling, their goaltending is shaky and their defense is subpar. It is near impossible to find a silver lining for this Kings team at the present moment.
San Jose Sharks
Record: 28-16-7 | Division Rank: 2nd
The Sharks have the ability to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference but whenever they seem to come close to reaching that point they hit a setback. But let me be clear, I am not saying they are having a bad season. I just do not think that the Sharks have peaked at this point.
Record: 23-21-6 | Division Rank: 4th
The Canucks got off to a fast start to the season but over the course of the year have leveled out and now find them outside of the Wild Card picture. I expect them to continue to slip down the standings, however, I must admit I was wrong about the Canucks, their rebuild might take less time then I expected.
Vegas Golden Knights
Record: 29-18-4 | Division Rank: 3rd
Anyone see the Golden Knights play lately? They are starting to look like the team that made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals a year ago.. After losing to the Bruins 4-1 on November 11th and falling to a record of 7-10-1; the Golden Knights have rebounded to a tune of 22-8-3 in their last 33 games, which is 47 of a possible 66 points. Or if you will a points percentage of .712.