The Pacific Division has proved those who doubted it wrong halfway through the season. Sure, there have been some rough patches (cough, Los Angeles Kings, cough), but teams like the Calgary Flames, Vegas Golden Knights and our San Jose Sharks have made it interesting. It’s a tight race between three teams who have found their groove at the halfway point. It’ll be a fight to the finish, that’s for sure.
Here’s how the rest of the division shaped up this week:
Anaheim Ducks (19-18-9)
The Anaheim Ducks kept themselves busy this week with three straight losses. The first came from the Ottawa Senators, aka the Ottawa Former Sharks. This one went to overtime with the Sens taking it 2-1. Jakob Silfverberg had the lone goal for the Ducks, while our old friends Dylan DeMelo and Chris Tierney each had an assist for the Senators. They didn’t have much luck at all when they faced the Pittsburgh Penguins, falling 7-4, with goals coming off the sticks of Ryan Getzlaf, Nick Ritchie, Jakob Silfverberg and Daniel Sprong.
Another overtime loss came from the Winnipeg Jets. The 4-3 loss saw goals from Andrew Cogliano, Brian Gibbons and Rickard Rakell. This was the eleventh straight loss for Anaheim. It’s been a hot topic between fans and commentators alike, but it seems as though General Manager Bob Murray plans to keep Randy Carlyle as head coach. Maybe a coaching change would be beneficial for this team, but for now the coaching staff’s jobs seem to be secured. Murray says he is focusing on the players and who will step up during this time. Yikes ... doesn’t sound great!
The Ducks will look to end their losing streak against the Detroit Red Wings tomorrow at 4:30 PT.
Arizona Coyotes (20-22-3)
The Arizona Coyotes had a good week, unless you’re Conor Garland’s face, but we’ll get to that in a second. The Coyotes played three games this week, following their 5-0 shutout win over the New York Rangers. They beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in overtime. Richard Panik had two goals, the other two came from Nick Cousins and Conor Garland. Garland kept his scoring streak going when they rolled into Edmonton to face the Oilers. He scored two of the three goals in their 3-2 victory — one of those goals coming off of his face. He returned to the game, though, because ... hockey players. The third goal was scored by Jordan Oesterle.
Then things went south for the Desert Dogs. The Calgary Flames beat the Coyotes 7-1. It was Coyote Ugly, you could say. Jordan Oesterle had the lone goal while Adin Hill was in net for all seven goals. As for Arizona news, the Coyotes acquired Jordan Weal from the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers received Jacob Graves from their ECHL affiliate and sixth-round pick in the upcoming draft.
The Coyotes take the Sharks on Wednesday at 7 PT.
A few stitches later and Conor Garland returned to the game.— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) January 13, 2019
Of course he did, he’s a hockey player. pic.twitter.com/j07PqPkzga
Calgary Flames (30-13-4)
The Flames are still standing strong in first place in the Pacific. They had yet another great week, finding themselves on a five-game winning streak. The first victory was over the Chicago Blackhawks. The 4-3 final saw two goals from Johnny Gaudreau, and singles from Sean Monahan and Garnet Hathaway. They went on to beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-3. Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik, Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk found the net, while David Rittich made 32 saves.
Another win came over the Florida Panthers, but the Panthers didn’t make it easy. The Flames mounted a comeback, eventually winning 4-3. Michael Frolik, Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk scored the goals. The big win came over the Arizona Coyotes over the weekend. The 7-1 victory saw two goals from Giordano and Tkachuk, while Gaudreau, Monahan and Sam Bennett had a goal a piece. Mike Smith made 22 saves.
The Flames see the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday at 6:30 PT.
We suggest watching tonight's highlight pack if you're into comeback wins. pic.twitter.com/I7QeMhXU0U— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 12, 2019
Edmonton Oilers (21-21-3)
The Edmonton Oilers had an interesting week. They kicked things off by losing 7-2 to our Sharks. You can find more on that game in our full game recap, but I’ll just remind you Alex Chaisson and Milan Lucic had the two goals, while Connor McDavid had zero. The next game went to a shootout against the Florida Panthers. The 4-3 victory saw two regulation goals and a shootout goal from McDavid, so I guess he’s still good. Darnell Nurse had the other regulation goal. The Arizona Coyotes delivered another loss to the Oilers. The 3-2 final saw goals from Connor McDavid and Kris Russell. Cam Talbot had 26 saves on the night.
Apparently the Oilers had their own skills competition this weekend. Ryan Spooner took the prize for fastest skater. Connor McDavid missed the event on his birthday due to illness. That was probably the most interesting news to come out of Edmonton this week.
Los Angeles Kings (18-25-3)
The Los Angeles Kings finally did something right this season: they let Snoop Dog into their broadcasting booth this weekend. You know what else they did right this week? Losing 3-1 to the Sharks on Monday. The only Kings’ goal was scored by Anze Kopitar. They went on to lose 4-1 to the Ottawa Former Sharks as well, which is fun. Chris Tierney got a pair of goals past Jonathan Quick, who made 23 saves on 26 shots. Again, the Kings only had one goal, this time it was scored by Kyle Clifford.
In the midst of all of this, the Kings regained their composure and pulled off a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kopitar had two goals, while Jeff Carter, Alex Iafallo and Brendan Leipsic each had a goal. Was it Snoop Dog who brought them luck? Knowing this Kings’ squad, I give all credit to Snoop.
The Kings visit the Minnesota Wild tomorrow at 5 PT.
Vancouver Canucks (21-21-5)
The Vancouver Canucks only played in two games this week and came out with an overtime loss and a blowout win. The loss came against the Arizona Coyotes. Sven Baertschi had two goals and the third came from Adam Gaudette. Jacob Markstrom had 18 saves on 22 shots.
The big win came over the Florida Panthers. The 5-1 final was a team effort with Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle, Brock Boeser, Markus Granlund and Ben Hutton all putting pucks in the net. Markstrom made 23 saves on 24 shots. It was a physical matchup that brought success to Vancouver. Josh Leivo made his return to the lineup after missing the last three games with back spasms. The Canucks also reassigned forward Adam Gaudette to the Utica Comets. He had three goals and four assists with the big club.
The Canucks face the Oilers on Wednesday at 7 PT.
Vegas Golden Knights (28-16-4)
The Vegas Golden Knights had a good week, but the Sharks had a better one, allowing them to swim past Vegas in the standings. The Golden Knights started their week off with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. The goals came off the sticks of Cody Eakin, Jonathan Marchessault, Brandon Pirri and our old friend Ryan Carpenter. They went on to lose 3-2 to the Sharks with goals coming from Jon Merrill and Tomas Nosek. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves against the Sharks.
Vegas found another win, this time in overtime over the Chicago Blackhawks. Carpenter struck again, while Alex Tuch, Paul Stastny and Shea Theodore also found the net. Fleury made 20 saves and was able to help bring the Golden Knights to victory in the extra frame. Let’s hope the Golden Knights stumble a bit more this week, for the Sharks sake.
The Golden Knights see the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow at 5 PT.