Checking In with the Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks (12-2-1, 25 pts)

2nd in Western Conference, 1st in Pacific Division

The Ducks have been the second hottest team in the league so far this season (behind Chicago). Anaheim won all four of their games played last week, including a shootout victory over the aforementioned Blackhawks. They’ve played 10 games so far in February and have lost only one game (to Dallas).

The Ducks have been riding rookie goalie Viktor Fasth during this streak and the 30-year-old is still undefeated this season (8-0-0). Jonas Hiller just returned from an injury and posted a win in his first game back.

On the injury front, the Ducks only have to worry about Cam Fowler. Fowler has missed the past eight games due to a concussion but all signs point to him being back within a week or two.


Phoenix Coyotes (8-6-2, 18 points)

6th in Western Conference, 2nd in Pacific Division

Phoenix has been up and down lately, though it’s been more up than down. They won two of three games last week and then shutout the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

Mike Smith has started nine straight games since returning from injury and has been stellar (two or fewer goals in five of the nine games).

Phoenix is dealing with injuries to Matthew Lombardi, Radim Vrbata, Derek Morris and David Schlemko. All but Schlemko are expected back for the Coyotes next game on Saturday.


San Jose Sharks (7-4-3, 17 pts)

7th in Western Conference, 3rd in Pacific Division

The Sharks have been in a freefall since the calendar turned its pages to February.  They won all seven of their games in January and looked like one of the best teams in the league as their entire team was clicking.

As soon as February came around though, the Sharks have been horrific. They’ve now lost seven straight games and plummeted down the standings.  

Their offense has totally dried up (three or more goals in only one game during the losing streak) and even the defense has fallen apart. The Sharks were embarrassed 6-2 by the Columbus Blue Jackets last week.

Remember Patrick Marleau and his amazing goal scoring streak? He scored nine goals in the first five games of the year. Since then, he has only one goal in nine games (two total points).

The weirdest thing about this losing streak is that the Sharks have fallen off the wagon despite being ridiculously healthy. They only have two injuries to depth players Andrew Desjardins and James Sheppard.


Los Angeles Kings (5-6-2, 12 pts)

14th in Western Conference, 5th in Pacific Division

The Stanley Cup champs have been sputtering out of control since their first game against the Blackhawks. Jonathan Quick hasn’t quite looked right this season (3-5-2, 2.74 GAA, .895 SV percentage) and might still be dealing with some shoulder issues.

LA actually won two games last week, but both came when Jonathan Bernier was in net. They’ve yet to string three straight wins together so far this season.

The Kings have been hammered by injuries to the blue line. Willie Mitchell has a knee injury and no one knows when he’ll be back while Alec Martinez and Matt Greene are both on the IR.

Checking in with the Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks – (2-0-0, 4 pts, 6th in the West)

The Ducks are off to a pretty good start this season. They’ve played two games so far, both on the road and won against Vancouver and Calgary. Their defense has been really shaky out of the gate but their offense has been stellar as they’ve won their two games by a 12-7 margin.

The usual suspects (Selanne, Getzlaf, Perry, Koivu) have been doing most of the heavy work for them so far but there’s been one surprise to the season. That surprise is Daniel Winnik, the team leader in goals with 4. Winnik is shooting a ridiculous 66.7% so far on the season (four goals on six shots) so there’s no way he can keep this up.

Former Star Sheldon Souray has also started out the season well with a goal and two assists to lead the defense.

The Week Ahead:

Fri. Jan. 25 – Vancouver @ Anaheim

Sat. Jan. 26 – Nashville @ Anaheim

Tues. Jan. 29 – Anaheim @ San Jose


Los Angeles Kings – (0-2-1, 1 pt, 15th in the West)

The Stanley Cup champs are off to a rough start to the season. They’ve lost all three of their games by a 10-4 margin and Jonathan Quick has looked very beatable. They are 0-19 on the power play and their penalty kill has allowed at least one goal in each game so far this season.

Only two players on the team have more than one point (Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan) and they’ve been outshot in each game so far this season. Anze Kopitar did return from injury though during the week so they have their top center back.

The Kings are still missing two defensemen due to injury, Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene. Mitchell should return sometime during the next week of games.

The Week Ahead:

Sat. Jan. 26 – LA @ Phoenix

Mon. Jan. 28 – Vancouver @ LA

Thur. Jan. 31 – Nashville @ LA


Phoenix Coyotes – (1-3-0, 2 pts, 13th in the West)

Like LA, the Coyotes are also off to a poor start to the season. Their losses have come against Dallas, Chicago and San Jose while their lone win came against Columbus.

Mike Smith suffered a lower body injury in game two and missed their last games. Steve Sullivan leads the team with four goals and five points while Oliver Ekman-Larsson is off to a solid start with two goals and one assist.

Besides Smith, there are a few more injuries to note though some may not be significant. Martin Hanzal, Matthew Lombardi and Rostislav Klesla are all dealing with injuries.

The Week Ahead:

Sat. Jan 26. – LA @ Phoenix

Mon. Jan 28 – Nashville @ Phoenix

Wed. Jan 30 – Edmonton @ Phoenix


San Jose Sharks – (3-0-0, 6 pts, 2nd in the West)

The Sharks are off to a fast start to the season and are currently second only to Chicago and it’s been clicking on just about all cylinders for the San Jose.

They’ve scored at least two power play goals in each game and have been working with a deadly efficiency. Joe Thornton leads the league with nine points and eight assists while Patrick Marleau has six goals to lead the NHL. About the only weakness has been the penalty kill as they’ve allowed 5 goals on 14 chances.

They have two players with injury troubles at the moment. Brent Burns and Jason Demers have both not been on the ice yet this season and Burns was just placed on IR. The Burns IR move also allowed the Sharks to sign Scott Gomez, though I’m not sure why they would do that.

San Jose is in the midst of a six-game homestand to help get the season get kick-started.

The Week Ahead:

Sat. Jan 26. – Colorado @ San Jose

Sun. Jan 27 – Vancouver @ San Jose

Tues. Jan. 29 – Anaheim @ San Jose

Thurs. Jan. 31 – Edmonton @ San Jose