This past week is showing that the Pacific Division isn’t messing around this year. With the new Golden Knights in first place, and the Sharks at the bottom, let’s look at how the week has fared for everyone in-between.
Anaheim Ducks (2-1-1)
The Anaheim Ducks are struggling in the early minutes of each hockey game. Recovering from a 4-1 deficit in their season opener against Arizona, an injury struck Anaheim team did not look great. They managed to win that game, as well as a match up with the New York Islanders and an OT victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. They lost to Calgary, but that game brought the return of captain Ryan Getzlaf. Wednesday’s game against the Isles ushered in the return of the third best beard in Hockey, Patrick Eaves, who managed to get one into the net upon his return to the ice.
The Ducks take on the Avs, Friday at 6:00 PST.
Arizona Coyotes (0-2-1)
The poor Desert Dogs are just not great at this whole hockey thing. After losing a 4-1 lead to Anaheim, they tried their hand at some lineup changes. Raanta, acquired from the New York Rangers, made his Coyotes debut in game two after missing all of preseason with a lower-body injury. Vegas still pulled off a 2-1 victory. Arizona then sent Dylan Strome down to the Roadrunners, recalling Mario Kempe. None of these changes made a difference, and the Desert Dogs fell to the Vegas Knights in their home debut 3-0. Brendan Perlini suffered an upper-body injury during the loss to Vegas. The Coyotes responded by recalling Emerson Etem from the AHL. Meanwhile, Sharks fans still mourning the loss of Jason Demers just want him to be happy, and I think it’s safe to assume a 0-2-1 team isn’t exactly ideal.
The Desert Dogs will face the Red Wings tonight at 7:00 PST.
Calgary Flames (3-1-0)
Jaromir Jagr is still good at hockey. Jagr made his debut for the Flames on Wednesday night in a 4-3 OT win over the Kings in Los Angeles. He racked up almost 14 minutes, sitting pretty on the third line. Though he didn’t produce any points, his presence was enough. Matthew Tkachuk had two goals in the victory against the Kings on Wednesday. Before Jagr’s arrival to the Flame’s line up, they managed to pull off a regular season win in Anaheim for the first time since 2004.
Calgary plays Ottawa on Friday, 6:00 PST.
Edmonton Oilers (1-2-0)
I know, I’m just as shocked as you are that the Vegas Knights are undefeated while the Edmonton Connor McDavid’s have only one win under their belt. It’s early (at least that’s what we Sharks fans keep telling ourselves). Edmonton started off strong in a win against Calgary. McDavid had an opening night hat trick, making him one of four NHL players to do so. Backup goalie Laurent Brossoit relieved Cam Talbot in game two against Vancouver, making 19 saves on 19 shots. It wasn’t enough, leaving the Oilers with their first loss of the season. Canadian Thanksgiving left Edmonton with nothing to be thankful for with a 5-2 loss to Winnipeg. Andrej Sekera and Drake Caggiula are currently out with injuries.
The Oilers will face off against the Senators, Saturday at 7:00 PST.
Los Angeles Kings (2-0-1)
The Los Angeles Kings are everyone’s least favorite team, and having to write about them hurts a little more this week. The Kings offense has come together, leading them to victory in their season debut against Philly. Game two for the Kings really hurt for the Sharks. With a strong offense and to quote Logan Couture, “garbage hockey” from the Sharks, the Kings started their season undefeated. They fell short in overtime to the Flames on Wednesday night.
The Kings will see the Sabres on Saturday at 7:30 PST.
Vancouver Canucks (1-0-1)
The Canucks managed to beat the Oilers 3-2 in their season debut. With strong goaltending from Jacob Markstrom and a faster-paced offense, the Canucks looked… decent? Brock Boeser faded into the background when surrounded by vets, making him a healthy scratch. In their second game of the season, the Canucks couldn’t finish against the Senators in a 3-2 shootout loss. Boeser was again a healthy scratch, and the Vancouver offense was slow. Out-shot by the Sens, 0-4 on the power play, and Craig Anderson being well…Craig Anderson, the Canucks looked like the same team we’ve grown to know.
They’ll take on the Jets tonight at 7:00 PST.
Vegas Golden Knights (3-0-0)
Last but not least, sitting undefeated in first place, the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s hard to be mad at the new kids on the block, bringing much-needed energy to a city still grieving. In the team’s first win over Dallas, James Neal netted two late goals to give them a 2-1 victory. Neal saved the day again in game two against the Coyotes, scoring an OT winner. The Knights played their first ever home game at T-Mobile Arena for game three, winning another over Arizona. Marc-Andre Fleury was named one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week. Strong goaltending and offense leave the Knights looking good…for now.
The Red Wings are next for Vegas on Friday at 7:30 PST.