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Pacific Division Weekly: Farewell, Ryan Getzlaf

It’s the end of an era

Apr 24, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) acknowledges spectators following the game against the St. Louis Blues at Honda Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As San Jose Sharks fans, we’ve earned the right to dislike Ryan Getzlaf. The Anaheim Ducks captain has been a great annoyance over the years, but it’s still difficult to imagine an Anaheim team without him. The time has come for him to retire at the end of a less-than-impressive season for his Ducks. That’s just the way the Disneyland cookie crumbles, I suppose.

Anaheim Ducks (31-37-14)

As the Ducks bid farewell to their long-term captain, the club hasn’t been playing its best hockey. They lost three straight games, two to the Los Angeles Kings and one to the St. Louis Blues. When they saw the Sharks ... well, let’s ignore that 5-2 win.

The team’s playoff dreams are over, but they played one last game with Getzlaf in the rotation before a new chapter begins. The Ducks closed this season with a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.

Calgary Flames (50-21-11)

The Flames were red hot all season. It’s no surprise that they were able to seal the deal, holding on to first place and winning the division. Of course, they had a solid final week, despite closing on the road. They beat the Stars 4-2, the Vancouver Canucks 6-3, and finished off the Nashville Predators in overtime 5-4. The team did lose the final two games of the season, to the Minnesota Wild (3-2 OT) on Thursday and to the Winnipeg Jets (3-1) on Friday.

The Flames will take on the Stars in the first round of the playoffs, starting on Tuesday.

Edmonton Oilers (49-27-6)

The Flames’ biggest rivals, the Edmonton Oilers, finished the regular season sitting just below Calgary in the standings. Edmonton finished strong, clinching a playoff spot much like their nearby enemies. The final string of games saw high scoring, as the Oilers beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 and the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1. They did fall short, however, against the Columbus Blue Jackets, falling 5-2. They won the final two games of the season in bonus time before heading into playoffs.

The Oilers will take on the Kings in the first round, which kicks off on Monday.

Los Angeles Kings (44-27-11)

I hate to tell you this, but the Kings are going to the playoffs. I know, it’s unfair, it should be illegal, but here we are. LA went on a five-game winning streak as the regular season came to a close. They beat the Blue Jackets, Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Ducks again and the Seattle Kraken within that period. The final regular season game against the Canucks, and the streak came to an end with a 3-2 loss in overtime.

Dustin Brown announced he would be retiring after the postseason. That’s good news for Sharks fans who still hold that grudge against him for hurting our dear Tomas Hertl.

Seattle Kraken (27-49-6)

Oh, the sweet sweet Seattle Kraken. The team’s inaugural season was far from good, but there’s some charm to that. The Kraken lost their final five games, but tried their best, right? Even if the Vegas Golden Knights made breaking into the league look easy, the Kraken gave a more realistic view of being the newbies. They’ve earned the third-best odds of winning the lottery for the first-overall pick at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for a bummer of a season.

Vancouver Canucks (40-30-12)

The Canucks ended the season with a fairly split streak. They won games against the Kings, Kraken, and Stars, but they lost to the Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Flames and Wild, all in a last minute unsuccessful bid to make the playoffs, that the team was somehow still in contention for as the season was coming to an end. They’ll hope to return better next year as the off-season begins early.

Vegas Golden Knights (43-31-8)

I couldn’t be happier to share with you all that for the first time in franchise history, the Golden Knights are not heading to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That is partially thanks to the Sharks’ win over Vegas on Sunday, as well as to Joe Pavelski (and his Stars), who is getting his sweet, sweet 2019 revenge against the team.

Who cares that Vegas won their last game of the season 7-4 against the Blues? Not us! They’re out, and we get a break until next season. Take this one in, Sharks fans. No Getzlaf, no Brown after the playoffs, and no Vegas until October. I’ll toast to that.