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Pacific Division Weekly: Trouble in Vegas

Except when they play the Sharks, unfortunately.

Mar 3, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (90) makes a pad save against Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) during the third period at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

There’s nothing worse than seeing your rival lose consecutive games, only to come back from the dead and beat your favorite team. Unfortunately for San Jose Sharks fans, that’s been the reality with the Vegas Golden Knights this week. They’re not playing well against anyone else, but still beat the boys in teal with ease. At least we can talk about all those times they lost this week, right?

Anaheim Ducks (26-21-9)

The Ducks started the week with a goal familiar to Sharks fans: Beat LA. They played the Los Angeles Kings in the second game of a six-game homestand and sadly for said Sharks fans, one of them had to win, and it wasn’t the Ducks, falling 4-1. The only Anaheim goal was scored by Troy Terry. Their next game was against the New York Islanders, where they fell 4-0.

They got one more chance this week against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. They were able to pull off a 4-3 victory, with John Gibson making 31 saves between the pipes.

Calgary Flames (32-14-7)

Now that the number of games played have started to even out, the Flames are sitting pretty at the top of the division. They started the week on a high note, beating the Minnesota Wild 7-3 at the Saddledome on Saturday. Matthew Tkachuk and Tyler Toffoli scored a pair of goals each, while Blake Coleman, Erik Gudbranson, and Andrew Mangiapane netted singles.

They saw the Wild again, traveling to St. Paul to beat Minnesota 5-1 in front of their own fans. Jacob Markstrom made 32 saves in net. Calgary wrapped up the week with a 5-4 overtime loss to the struggling Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

The day before losing to Montreal, the Flames acquired goaltender Michael McNiven from the Habs in exchanges for future considerations. They also signed forward prospect Rory Kerins to an entry-level contract this week.

Edmonton Oilers (30-21-4)

The Oilers took the ice four times this week, starting with a 4-3 victory over Joe Thornton and the Florida Panthers. Derek Ryan scored a hat trick, with the extra goal from Leon Draisaitl. The next night was against the Carolina Hurricanes, who defeated the Oilers 2-1 on Sunday.

Martin Jones and the Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t score a goal against Edmonton, who got the 3-0 shutout win. No, Edmonton did not win because Jones was in net, believe it or not. Finally, they rounded out the week and road trip with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Guess who scored two goals? You guessed it, Evander Kane, because for some reason he is still in the league.

Keeping the goaltender market moving, the Oilers sent Alex Stalock back to San Jose this week. Hope they enjoy those future considerations. The team also signed a handful of prospects this week from the AHL club. Meanwhile, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was placed on injured reserve after leaving the game against the Panthers, while Kyle Turris was activated from IR ahead of the game against Chicago.

Los Angeles Kings (29-19-7)

It pains me to tell you all that the Kings are second place in the division. I don’t understand how we have gotten to this place. They had a good week, too, which makes this even more difficult to talk about. It started with that 4-1 win over the Ducks.

They came home to host the Islanders the next night, winning 5-2. Trevor Moore, Matt Roy, Quinton Byfield, Phillip Danault and Brendan Lemieux put the pucks in the net, while Cal Peterson made 26 saves between the pipes.

However, in Monday’s game against the Bruins, they got absolutely smashed. 7-0 was the final score and it was a beautiful disaster. The week finished off strong with a 4-3 loss to Joe Pavelski and the Dallas Stars to kick off a four-game road trip. I hope Pavs still holds resentment in his heart for the Kings. He did earn an assist that night.

Seattle Kraken (17-34-5)

The Kraken played two games this week and one of them was the 3-1 loss to the Sharks, one of our finest memories in the last few days. The next game was a 4-3 home victory over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday. Colin Blackwell, Yanni Gourde, Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Wennberg scored the goals, while Chris Driedger held it down in net with 19 saves.

The team has been pretty quiet otherwise, too, staying healthy and not diving headfirst into the trade waters just yet.

Vancouver Canucks (27-23-6)

The Canucks had an OK week, but nothing to stand out above the thick of the Pacific playoff race. It started out with a road back-to-back series, first with a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday. Goals were scored by Matthew Highmore, Tyler Meyers, Juho Lammikko, Tanner Pearson and Elias Petterson. Monday’s game did not go so well. They lost to the New Jersey Devils with a painful 7-2 final score.

Things got back on track when they faced the Islanders last night, pulling out a 4-3 victory thanks to goals from Nils Hoglander, Brad Hunt, J.T. Miller and Vasily Podkolzin.

Vegas Golden Knights (30-21-4)

Let me tell you about all the times Vegas lost this week. First came a 3-1 loss to the struggling Arizona Coyotes in Glendale on Friday, followed by a 3-2 loss against the Colorado Avalanche back home at T-Mobile arena on Saturday. Great, we love to see it.

I thought they played another game before seeing Boston, but I guess they didn’t. It turns out they went straight to playing the Bruins after seeing the Avalanche and lost that game 5-2. The beautiful game!