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What’s Going On In The Pacific Division: The Flames win streak comes to an end, Kings continue to struggle, and more!

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Photo credit:Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
2 months ago
It’s everyone’s favourite weekly article where we look at the Pacific Division.
The Calgary Flames had a three-game win streak snapped, the Vancouver Canucks got “griddied” on, the Edmonton Oilers aren’t looking too hot, and the Los Angeles Kings are “Kinging” it up again.
Without further ado, let’s dig into this week’s What’s Going On In The Pacific Division!

Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks have played two games since their week off, allowing 10 goals in the two games, one was a loss to the Edmonton Oilers by the score of 5-3, with the other being a 5-0 shutout against the Montréal Canadiens.
Their best forward this season has been Frank Vatrano, who leads in goals with 22 as well as points with 38. Troy Terry’s 37 points (15 goals) isn’t far behind, with Adam Henrique also in the vicinity with 15 goals and 35 points. Mason McTavish also has double-digit goals (13) and hit the 30-point plateau with 31 points.
John Gibson has been the better goaltender of the two Ducks netminder, posting a .901 save percentage and a 3.04 goals-against average in 33 games played. Lukáš Dostál is their goaltender of the future, and he has an .899 save percentage and a 3.61 goals against average in 24 games played.
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff recently released an article for Valentine’s Day where he matched two teams with a trade. For Henrique, he suggested a trade to the New York Rangers (with 50% retention) for Kaapo Kakko and a second-round pick in the 2024 draft. Kakko is a former second-overall pick and fits the Ducks’ window, so perhaps that’s a win-win trade for both teams.
Over their next five games, the Ducks will face the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Buffalo Sabres all at home. They’ll return for one game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, before facing their rivals, the Los Angeles Kings.

Calgary Flames

At the end of January, the Flames traded Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks… and then proceeded to win three straight games before being shut out by the New York Rangers on Monday.
There’s a new sheriff in town, as Nazem Kadri now leads the team in points with 44 (as well as 16 goals). The goal leader is Blake Coleman, who has 21 goals and 43 points. Yegor Sharangovich isn’t far behind, as he has 20 goals and 36 points. MacKenzie Weegar leads all National Hockey League defencemen in goals with 15, while also crossing the 30-point plateau. Not just that, but Jonathan Huberdeau has quietly been one of the Flames’ best producers recently, and now has eight goals and 31 points.
It’s not a stretch to say that Jacob Markström could get Vezina votes this season, as he has a .916 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average, along with a 17-14-2 record. The Flames are still sniffing around a wild card spot, and he’s a big reason for that.
Speaking of Markström, there have been a few reports this past week where it seems like he was nearly traded to the New Jersey Devils. It reportedly hit a snag with retention, but got to the point where the Flames asked Markström about his no-move clause.
The Flames next five games include a four game homestand, facing off against the San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets, and Boston Bruins, before heading up north to face the Edmonton Oilers. Talk about a tough schedule.

Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have come out of the gate slowly since the All-Star break, going 2-2. Interestingly, neither the win against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday nor their win against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday looked convincing until the third period.
Connor McDavid leads the team in points, with 21 goals and 77 points, including six assists against the Red Wings. The second member of the dynamic duo, Leon Draisaitl, has 25 goals and 62 points this season, while Zach Hyman has 32 goals and 49 points. On top of that, both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Evan Bouchard have 47 points. Evander Kane has been heating up in recent times, scoring four goals in four games since the break.
Stuart Skinner has a .909 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against average, but for the first time since prior to the win streak, had two straight games with a save percentage below .900. Calvin Pickard has only played nine games and has a .912 save percentage and 2.42 goals-against average.
The Oilers were also featured in Seravalli’s Doctor Love article. He suggested a three-team trade where Edmonton would get Jordan Eberle at 75% retention, with the Seattle Kraken getting a 2024 first-round pick and Raphaël Lavoie. The third team, the Chicago Blackhawks, would get a fourth-round pick in 2024 for 25% retention and Mattias Janmark to balance the books.
Over their next five games, the Oilers will have a three-game road trip against the Central Division, facing off against the St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, and the Arizona Coyotes, before returning home and hosting the Boston Bruins and the Minnesota Wild. That’s a tough schedule for the Oilers.

Los Angeles Kings

What a rough month and a half it’s been for the Kings. Since Dec. 28, they are 4-9-6, blowing a huge point lead on the Edmonton Oilers and are in the midst of a Wild Card battle.
Similar to how it’s been all season, Adrian Kempe (17 goals, 44 points), Kevin Fiala (13 goals, 43 points), and Anže Kopitar (15 goals, 42 points), lead the team in points. Quinton Byfield also hit the double-digit goal mark with 16, as well as the 30-point plateau with 38. Trevor Moore leads the team with 21 goals and has 36 points, while Phillip Danualt has 10 goals and 30 points.
Goaltending is the Kings’ biggest need at this year’s deadline. Former Flame Cam Talbot started the season hot, but is now down to a .909 save percentage and a 2.63 goals against average in 33 games played. Another former flame in David Rittich has taken over the reins in net, and has a .919 save percentage and 2.22 goals-against average.
The Kings have played two games since they fired Todd McLellan, shutting out the Oilers 4-0, but were then blown out 7-0 by the Buffalo Sabres of all teams. Maybe they’re a team that could deal for Markström, as their goaltending situation may sink them when they make it to the playoffs. We already know they like former Flame netminders.
Over their next five games, the Kings will continue their east road trip taking on the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, and Pittsburgh Penguins, before returning home and hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks haven’t played since January, but will return to action against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. Sadly, they’ll be without their leading scorer, Tomáš Hertl, who is out due to knee surgery to remove cartilage.
It’s a sad state to be in, as they should have fully committed to the rebuild during the 2022-23 season to attempt to land Connor Bedard. At least they’ll have a good chance to land Macklin Celebrini in the 2024 draft.
Over their next five games, the Sharks will return to a two-game road trip, taking on the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames on back-to-back nights, before a lengthy home stand facing off against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Vegas Golden Knights, and the Nashville Predators.

Seattle Kraken

Since returning from the All-Star break, the Seattle Kraken are 1-2-0, with their one win coming in a shootout. With that stretch, they now sit four games out of a playoff spot with three teams to pass in the standings.
Oliver Bjorkstrand has 13 goals and 40 points to lead the team in the latter category. Defenceman Vince Dunn isn’t far behind in the points department, as he has eight goals and 39 points. Jared McCann leads the team in goals with 21 and also had 38 points, with Eeli Tolvanen being the only other player to broach the 30-point plateau. 
Netminder Joey Daccord has continued his strong play, as he has a .921 save percentage and a 2.36 goals-against average in 36 games, along with a 15-11-9 record. It wouldn’t be surprising if he’s in contention for the Vezina Trophy. Phillipp Grubauer now has an .889 save percentage, along with a 3.10 goals-against average and a 6-9-1 record.
Will the Kraken be sellers at the deadline? Obviously, they’re still sniffing around a Wild Card spot, but they have quite a few soon-to-be unrestricted free agents that could get them a good haul: Jordan Eberle, Alexander Wennberg, Tomáš Tatar, and Justin Schultz. On top of that, Adam Larsson, Brandon Tanev, and Yanni Gourde will all be unrestricted free agents after the 2024-25 season. It’s probably not a great idea to go into a full rebuild, but a re-tool similar to the Flames may be the move for the Kraken.
In their next five games, the Kraken will finish their road trip with a game against the Bruins, before a lengthy home stand where they’ll face the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, Minnesota WIld, and the Bruins again.

Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks all but have the Pacific Division crown in the bag. They have a 36-12-6 record with 78 points, four more than the next best team in the National Hockey League, the Boston Bruins. 
After 54 games, Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller both have 69 points while hitting the 20-goal plateau. Defenceman Quinn Hughes has 12 goals and 66 points, while Brock Boeser has hit the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his career, along with 54 points. The Canucks also have seven more players with 20 or more points, with two more with 19 points for the season. They have scoring, and they have depth.
Not just that, but the Canucks also have goaltending, as Thatcher Demko has a .918 save percentage and 2.44 goals-against average, along with five shutouts which is the second-most in the league. Casey DeSmith isn’t too bad either, posting a .908 save percentage and a 2.67 goals-against average in 16 games.
Still, this didn’t stop the Canucks from being a national laughing stock. On Saturday, they headed to Detroit to face the Red Wings, and had a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. At this point, they were 29-0-1 when leading after two periods, but the Red Wings stormed back to tie it, and eventually won it in overtime. It was decided by a penalty shot, where Jake Walman hit “the Griddy” after scoring the game winner.
The Canucks will have a chance for revenge, as their first game of their next five will be against the Red Wings, while also hosting the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. After that, they’ll head on a three-game road trip facing off against the Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, and the Seattle Kraken.

Vegas Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights look like a contender with Adin Hill in goal. Since the last look at the Pacific Division, they’ve gone 1-1, beating the Arizona Coyotes, but falling 5-3 to the Minnesota Wild.
Mark Stone has run away with the point lead, as he has 16 goals and 52 points. Of course, Jack Eichel is injured, but he’s still second with 19 goals and 44 points. Jonathan Marchessault leads the team in goals with 27, but also has 43 points. William Karlsson, Ivan Barbashev, and Chandler Stephenson all have 30 or more points as well.
Adin Hill has continued to put his name in the hat for the Vezina Trophy, as he has a .933 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average in 20 games played, both stats lead the league for qualified goalies. Logan Thompson filled in nicely when Hill was injured and has a .906 save percentage and a 2.77 goals-against average in 31 games, but it’s Hill’s crease.
Defenceman Shea Theodore has returned to the ice, wearing a non-contact jersey back on Feb. 10. In fact, as this article was in production, he stepped on the ice in a regular jersey for practice. Theodore would be great for the Knights to have back, but there’s no update on Eichel as of yet.
Over their next five games, the Golden Knights will host the Carolina Hurricanes, head on a one-game road trip against the San Jose Sharks, return home to host the Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs, before heading to Ottawa to face the Senators.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.
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