Another week has gone by and the playoff picture is coming more and more into focus. Four teams in the Pacific Division have a prime opportunity at a playoff spot, but only three may make it.
As the road to the Stanley Cup Playoffs nears it’s end, let’s take a look back at the week that was in the Pacific Division.
Three Stars of the Week
- Jordan Eberle (EDM): Three goals, seven points
- Jonathan Quick (LA): 3-1-1 with a 1.01 GAA , .956 Sv% and two shutouts
- Johnny Gaudreau (CGY): Three goals, five points
Stat of the Week
The Pacific Division has the worst goal differential of any division in the league at -101. The next closest is the Atlantic Division at -49.
Highlight of the Week
1. Anaheim Ducks (44-20-7) LW: 1(19 consecutive weeks)
The Ducks continue to plug along at the top of the division, as they have done for about five months now. Anaheim broke a three-game losing streak with wins over two playoff-caliber teams (Minnesota and Nashville) to end the week. While the Canucks still have a chance to make things interesting with their games in hand, the Ducks’ 13-point lead should ensure a third consecutive division title.
2. Vancouver Canucks (39-25-4) LW: 2
After getting obliterated by the Kings on Thursday, Vancouver thrashed the lowly Maple Leafs to salvage their week. Spots 2-4 in the division are separated by only one point, so the difference between hosting a playoff series in round one and missing them all together is razor thin. The Canucks play more games here on out than any other team in the division and they need to take advantage of it.
3. Los Angeles Kings (34-22-13) LW: 4
Los Angeles went 3-1-0 last week – earning a pair of shutouts and allowing a total of four goals. The Kings are in the middle of the bog in the heart of the division and wild card race, but, aside from Minnesota, are playing the best hockey of the bunch. After playing so poorly on the road early on, the Kings have a chance to atone for those woes, as they finish the regular season’s final 13 games with nine contests away from home.
4. Calgary Flames (38-26-5) LW: 3
The Flames went 2-1-0 last week, including an impressive win over the Ducks. With 14 goals in three games, Calgary’s offense just exploded, including a three-goal, five-point week by Johnny Hockey. Their ROW advantage over the Kings and Jets are keeping them in a playoff spot, but they also have the best record of the group in the last 10 games.
5. San Jose Sharks (34-27-8) LW: 5
It’s just not going to happen. The Sharks on the verge on missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-03 season. It would only be the sixth time in franchise history that San Jose would not be participating in the postseason dance. Making up a five-point deficit is not impossible, but it’s just not going to happen.
6. Edmonton Oilers (19-39-12) LW: 7
The race for the bottom spot in the division and in the Western Conference is heating up. The Oilers get the slight nod over the Coyotes this week because they went 1-1-1 last week. As a result, Edmonton has tied the Coyotes with 50 points. There is no way the Oilers would pass on either of the two centers at the top of the draft, but of the three (Buffalo, Arizona), they would be the most content having to settle for Noah Hanifin.
7. Arizona Coyotes (21-41-8) LW: 6
2-15-2 — that is the Coyotes’ record since Feb. 5. The effort is there on a nightly basis, but the skill simply isn’t. Even though goaltender Mike Smith is playing his best hockey of the season lately, the Coyotes can’t manage to score more than one goal on most nights. Their two extra ROWs keep them above the Oilers in the standings for now, but that is likely to change.