Anaheim Ducks (23-17-9)
The Ducks had an interesting week. They kicked things off with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. John Gibson stood strong, making 23 saves. LA tied it up in the third, but Ryan Kesler scored in the middle of the third to bring home the W for the Ducks. This was the Ducks first Freeway Faceoff rivalry win this season.
Up next for Anaheim was a visit from our Sharks. I won’t go into too much detail, but the Sharks dominated the Ducks, winning 6-2. Rickard Rakell scored on a 5-on-3 power play. Ryan Getzlaf netted one a minute and a half into the third period, but it was too late. San Jose headed back up north with a win under their belt.
On Tuesday, the Ducks took on the New York Rangers in an interesting match up. Anaheim banged out four first period goals, while the Rangers netted two. The Rangers would come back to score one on the power play in the second, but the Ducks finished it off with two in the third. John Gibson had another big night, making 41 saves. The Ducks warming up offensively, paired with a strong goalie between the pipes will make the second half of the season more interesting for sure. The Ducks currently sit in fifth place.
The Winnipeg Jets roll into Anaheim tonight at 7:00 PST.
Arizona Coyotes (12-28-9)
The Desert Dogs are still sitting dead last in the division, but managed to pull off two impressive wins this week. They put an end to their 12-game losing streak to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. Christian Dvorak had two goals, with Zac Rinaldo, Brendan Perlini, and Christian Fischer also scoring. The win was a big one for the Coyotes, ending a three-game losing streak. They came out on top, 5-2.
The Coyotes pulled out with an overtime winner against the New York Islanders on Monday. This was the fifth game straight the Desert Dogs have picked up a point in. Defensemen Luke Schenn got Arizona on the board and Brendan Perlini scored to give them the lead. They managed to kill off a penalty in the final three minutes of the game, sending the game to overtime. Nick Cousins netted one in the first five minutes of overtime. Are the Desert Dogs turning their season around? They certainly look better than their rocky start, but that doesn’t say much.
The Coyotes will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at 6:00 PST.
Calgary Flames (25-16-7)
The Sharks are currently only a point ahead of the Calgary Flames. Calgary has hit a bit of a rough patch coming off their bye week. Things started out somewhat decent against the Winnipeg Jets. They managed to come out with a point, holding off the Jets in overtime but failing in the shootout. Prior to this match up, Calgary was on a seven-game winning streak. Goaltender Mike Smith made 35 saves against Winnipeg. It was another overtime loss for the Flames when they took on the Buffalo Sabres. Mike Smith played a pivotal role in holding the Sabres off to overtime, saving 31 of 33 shots.
Yesterday they faced off against the Los Angeles Kings. Want to take a guess on how it ended? If you guessed a loss in OT for the Flames, you nailed it! Sure, they have walked away with points in their last ten games, but it’s undeniable that they have hit a bit of a rough patch. Mike Smith had 25 saves against the Kings, and the Flames’ offense failed to get pucks in the net. They lost 2-1 to division rivals.
Mike Smith’s big saves earned him a nod for the All-Star Game, replacing the injured Jonathan Quick.
The Flames hope to turn their luck around before heading to the All-Star break in another division match up against the Edmonton Oilers tonight at 7:00 PST.
Edmonton Oilers (21-24-3)
Things are still not looking great for the Oilers. They’re sitting third from the bottom in the division. They came out on top against the Vancouver Canucks, who are one spot below them in the standings. Patrick Maroon scored two in the 5-2 victory. This offensive surge is a rare one for the Oilers. Forward Ryan Strome has gone one full month without scoring a goal.
The Oilers’ woes returned on Tuesday against the also poor performing Buffalo Sabres. They were shut out 5-0. It’s no secret Connor McDavid has been struggling with illness for the last month, but between line changes and forwards like Strome not delivering, it’s been beyond tough for this team. Getting shut out by a team in 30th place is troubling. The Oilers have a lot of work to do.
Edmonton hopes to change their luck tonight against Calgary at 6:00 PST.
Los Angeles Kings (26-18-5)
Listen up, I know we’re going through a lot right now. Martin Jones is hurt, we are looking at weeks without Jumbo Joe Thornton, it’s certainly rough. What brings me comfort is knowing the Kings are currently out of a playoff spot, and only walked away with one regulation win this week.
Prior to their meeting with the Ducks, the Kings found out the verdict on Dustin Brown’s ugly hit to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Justin Schultz. Brown somehow managed to avoid a suspension, walking away with a $10,000 fine (that I saw a GoFundMe circulating on Twitter to help him pay for. If that was not a joke the internet needs to be canceled immediately).
The Kings fell short to the Anaheim Ducks for the first time this season. It appears the L.A. team that was heating up is cooling down. They took on the crumbling New York Rangers on Sunday and pulled off a 4-2 victory. That win put an end to their six-game losing streak. The good news is that they lost their next game, falling 6-2 to the Vancouver Canucks. Jonathan Quick really struggled, allowing four goals in the first period. Now that we know he is facing an injury, I can’t help but feel empathetic towards Kings fans (you’ll never hear me say this again). They faced yet another division rival yesterday against the “struggling to win in regulation” Calgary Flames. Tanner Pearson netted the overtime winner for the Kings, giving them a much needed two points. Don’t worry, they’re a game in hand and the Sharks are still sitting above them in the standings.
The Kings are donezo until after the All-Star break, which Jonathan Quick will miss. The netminder has been struggling as of late, and he is choosing to take the weekend off to heal an injury that has clearly been nagging at him. Due to protocol, for sitting out of the All-Star game he won’t be able to be in net the first game coming off the break.
The Kings will be playing without Jonathan Quick on Tuesday against the Dallas Stars at 5:30 PST.
Vancouver Canucks (19-23-6)
This week we LOVE the Vancouver Canucks, but more on that hot take later. Let’s start with their not-so-exciting games this week. Saturday, they fell 5-2 against the Edmonton Oilers. Daniel Sedin and Brandon Sutter had the two goals for the Canucks. They played back-to-back on Sunday, managing to hold the very hot Winnipeg Jets to only one goal. Bo Horvat returned to the lineup for the Canucks for the first time since December 5. Anders Nilsson was between the pipes and pulled off an impressive 35 saves on 36 shots. The Canucks are struggling, but to hold the Jets to only one goal is fairly impressive (we Sharks fans know that too well at this point).
Here’s the news we like: the Canucks beat the Los Angeles Kings. They managed to pull off a 6-2 win over our SoCal enemies. Loui Eriksson put two goals past Jonathan Quick in the first period, with Thomas Vanek and Sven Baertschi following suit. The second period consisted of two goals from break out star for the Canucks, Brock Boeser. Overall, an impressive victory for a struggling Vancouver team.
They’ll take on the Buffalo Sabres tonight at 7:00 PST.
Vegas Golden Knights (32-11-4)
Hate to be the one to tell you this, but the Vegas Golden Knights are still good. They started out the week shooting down fellow conference leaders the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1. Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves. This was the new club’s second win against the usually unstoppable Lightning team. Things weren’t all fun and games in Florida, the Golden Knights fell to the Florida Panthers in overtime on Friday.
They ended up winning again, this time against the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1. This win took them to the top of the standings, giving them the most points in the league at 66, one above the Tampa Bay Lightning. They’re two wins away from tying the record for most wins for an expansion team, which is currently shared by the Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers. Like I say every week, this team is for real and I am frustrated as a result.
The Vegas Golden Knights take on the New York Islanders tonight at 7:00 PST.