Well, well, well. The Los Angeles Kings are back, the San Jose Sharks are sharking it a little early and the Flames keep squeaking by. The Anaheim Ducks are still the class of the division and have been for four months, but a couple teams are beginning to catch a glimpse of the division’s top spot off in the distance.
It was a wild week in the NHL. So without further ado, let’s take a look back at the week that was in the Pacific Division:
Three Stars of the Week
- Tyler Toffoli (LA) – Three goals, five points and helped LA crawl back into contention
- Joe Thornton (SJ) – Pacific Division-leading five assists and six points
- Brent Burns (SJ) – Led all Pacific defensemen with three goals
Stat of the Week
Anaheim’s +9 goal differential is by far the lowest of any division leader. The next closest team is the New York Islanders at +22.
Highlight of the Week
1. Anaheim Ducks (35-15-7) LW: 1 (15 consecutive weeks)
We’re still having fun and the Ducks are still the one. Although a pair of Canadian teams are inching closer to the top, the Ducks still have a double-digit point lead over the rest of the division. Anaheim is struggling lately, however, losing four of its last five games including two of three last week. Keeping the puck out of their net has been an issue lately, as the Ducks have allowed 20 goals in their past five games.
2. Vancouver Canucks (32-21-3) LW: 2
The Canucks went 3-2 in a busy week for the team from B.C. A 1-1 split with the Wild coupled with victories over the Blackhawks and Bruins, made last week a signature week for a Vancouver team hoping to do more than just make the playoffs in 2015. The Canucks embark on a five-game Eastern Conference road trip this week.
3. Los Angeles Kings (26-18-12) LW: 5
Guess who’s back? Back again? Kings are back. Tell a friend. Don’t look now, but Los Angeles has won five games in a row, including three last week, to pull itself within two points of a playoff spot. The Kings are the biggest riser in this week’s Power Rankings as everyone is just waiting for the defending champs to stop messing around and start making a powerful playoff push.
4. Calgary Flames (32-22-3) LW: 3
The Flames defeated the Canucks and Bruins en route to a 2-1 week last week, keeping them in the Pacific Division’s top three in the standings. All metrics point to a regression at some point, but with 25 games left, that regression might not fully manifest itself this season. Calgary has two tough matchups at home this week before heading out East.
5. San Jose Sharks (29-21-8) LW: 4
San Jose is sputtering, and needs to correct that fast because LA is nipping at their heels. The Sharks went 1-1-1 last week and are 2-4-2 in February. Goaltending has been a major issue and it may end Antti Niemi’s tenure in San Jose a little early. If they thought the way last season ended was bad, following it up by missing the playoffs would be so much worse.
Lots of questions about Niemi today. I believe #SJSharks are open to moving him in the right deal – like all of their pending UFAs
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) February 17, 2015
6. Arizona Coyotes (20-31-7) LW: 6
Losing every single game in a week is not exactly an ideal situation, unless of course a run for Connor McDavid is in order. The Coyotes showed some signs of life by starting the month 3-1-1, but it’s been all downhill since.
7. Edmonton Oilers (16-32-10) LW: 7
The Oilers went 1-2-1 in the final four games of their six-game road trip. They’re playing respectable hockey, it’s just too little, too late. Arizona and Edmonton are five points apart at the bottom of the Pacific Division, but the Oilers are playing better than the Coyotes right now. The race for No. 29 will be an intriguing one.