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Pacific Division Weekly: McDavid’s point streak snapped

The Kings have fall off of a cliff, while the Vegas Golden Knights are slowly creeping their way back up the standings.

Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during the pre-game skate wearing a Hockey Fights Cancer jersey before the game against the Chicago Blackhawks on November 20, 2021 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

You know you’re pretty good at hockey when people are reporting on your point streak ending, and that’s what is happening with Connor McDavid right now. The Oilers’ star has had a hot start to the season, but unfortunately, he recorded his first game this season without a point, ending his 17-game point streak to begin the campaign.

Despite this, Edmonton has been doing amazing. Let’s take a look at how our division rivals have fared thus far this season.

Anaheim Ducks (10-7-3)

Listen, if you’re a Ducks fan you can’t be dissatisfied with the way the team has played this season. They were projected to be a bottom-feeder and are three games above .500 as of right now. However, Anaheim is slowly falling off the tracks, having dropped their last three games in regulation.

The team got shut down by the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1, in a game where Troy Terry buried his 12th goal of the season, just pure insanity. After that, they lost another close game, this time to the Nashville Predators, 3-2, where Rickard Rakell scored a goal in his return from injury. On Wednesday night, the team fell to the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 5-2. It seems like this team may be losing their spark? We’ll see if they can get back on track next week, as they slowly slip out of the playoff race.

Since extending his point streak to 16 games, Troy Terry has gone without a point through his last two games. He’s still been noticeable offensively, but the Ducks need him to get on the board if they want any chance of competing.

Calgary Flames (12-3-5)

The Flames have been a pleasant surprise to watch this season, and that continued with another great week during which they saw the ice four times. To start off, Jacob Markstrom posted a 27-save shutout in a demanding 5-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. They then spoiled the New York Islanders' home opener at the UBS Arena, with Brad Richardson scoring the first goal in the arena’s history on route to a 5-2 victory.

After that, the Flames earned their second shutout of the week, as Dan Vladar visited his former team in Boston, saving all 29 shots he faced for a 4-0 win. To close out the week, Calgary played a tight match against the Chicago Blackhawks but pulled ahead at the end to secure the 5-2 win.

Forward Johnny Gaudreau is on a five-game point streak and four-game goal streak. Through the entirety of this week, he put up 5 goals and 7 points, a big part of this team’s success.

Edmonton Oilers (14-5-0)

This team possesses the two best players in the league, and that alone is enough to carry them to victories on a nightly basis during the regular season. The Oilers took three wins through the four games they played this week, and continued to show why they should be feared.

Edmonton took down the Winnipeg Jets in a 2-1 shootout win. Stuart Skinner saved 46 shots, a career-high for him. Then came a a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, where Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both recorded a multi-point game. They were upset by the Dallas Stars by a score of 4-1, in McDavid’ first game without a point this season, but he bounced back the following game with a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes, recording 4 points.

Draisaitl tallied 3 goals and 7 points this week, while McDavid had 4 goals and 7 points. The pair have just been so dominant, and it’s hard to tell which of the two has been better than the other.

Just something fun: Draisaitl is on pace for 86 goals in a full season. I say he does it.

Los Angeles Kings (8-8-3)

Well, the Kings are currently on their second five-or-more games losing streak of the season after a loss on Wednesday night. They were riding an immense hot streak that burnt itself out, and now they’re back in the cold again.

The team lost all four games they played this week. They started off the week getting shut out by the Washington Capitals, 2-0. After that, they fell 5-4 to the Hurricanes, in a game featuring two goals from Adrian Kempe, but the team's goaltending let them down. After that, they struggled against the Coyotes on the second half of the back-to-back and scored just one goal before losing in heartbreaking overtime. Finally, they capped the week off by getting blown out by the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 6-2 effort in which rookie defenseman Sean Durzi scored his first career goal.

The last time the Kings went on a losing streak, they responded by winning seven straight games and going on an eight-game point streak. Could that happen again?

Seattle Kraken (6-12-1)

Well, it’s safe to say the Kraken aren’t going to go on a miraculous inaugural run like the 2018 Vegas Golden Knights.

The team struggled early on this week, falling 4-2 to the Blackhawks before getting manhandled by the Avalanche, falling 7-3 while Chris Driedger put up a .692 save percentage. Philipp Grubauer wasn’t much further ahead of him, with a .824 save percentage.

However, after taking these two losses, something lit a spark under them and they took down two top teams in the Eastern Conference, beating the Capitals 5-2 in a 4-point effort from Jaden Schwartz, and then shutting down the Hurricanes 2-1.

Through his last two games, Grubauer has been a changed man in between the pipes, saving 72 of 75 shots faced, good for a .960 save percentage. If he can keep this up, it will be huge for the Kraken going forward, as goaltending has really been their Achilles’ heel this season.

Vancouver Canucks (6-12-2)

You know, if they weren’t in the Sharks’ division, I’d feel bad for the Canucks. They went all in this season, took on defender Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s bad contract to get a big top-six piece in Conor Garland, traded their ninth overall pick at the draft, and all they have to show for it is being six games back of .500 on the season so far.

The Canucks took a 4-2 loss to the Avalanche, with Colorado netminder Darcy Kuemper shutting the door to get his team the win. After that, the Canucks managed to snap their five-game losing streak thanks to Thatcher Demko saving 37 shots that came his way in a 3-2 win over the Jets.

However, after that win, it was back to mediocrity for the Canucks, getting shutout by 30th-ranked offense in the Blackhawks, before getting demolished by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-1. Bo Horvat snapped his seven-game goal-scoring drought for the lone Vancouver goal.

Vegas Golden Knights (12-8-0)

Let’s be honest here, the Golden Knights are really just trying to survive until they get Jack Eichel into the line-up after the Olympic break, and so far they’ve done a good job, improving with three wins through four games this week.

They started off the week with a nice 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Zach Whitecloud had two goals in his return from a month-long absence. They then took down the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2, thanks to a last-minute goal from Mattias Janmark. They ended up taking their first loss of the week to the St. Louis Blues despite getting off to an early two-goal lead, allowing five unanswered goals to fall 5-2. To conclude their week, they took down the Predators, and Mark Stone scored his first goal of the season (an empty net, but a goal is a goal).

The team got Max Pacioretty back on Wednesday after missing 17 games due to a foot injury. He recorded 1 assist along with 3 shots on goal through 17:13 minutes. He’s a crucial piece to their top-six, and having him back in the line-up will be huge.