Pacific Division Round Up: The Golden Knights continue to roll
And amazingly, the Sharks aren’t the worst team in the Pacific.
The Vegas Golden Knights are battling it out with the the Los Angeles Kings for tops in the Pacific Division. Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes are just trying to figure out how to win.
Here’s a quick look at the rest of the Pacific division:
Anaheim Ducks (2-3-1)
A mini break might be what the Ducks need to right the ship. Anaheim last played on Sunday, a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres and won’t play again until Friday night, when they host the Montreal Canadiens. The Ducks are suffering from a lack of fire power. The team has scored just two goals in its last two games and both of them were shorthanded. Anaheim also lost 3-1 to Colorado on Friday.
Injuries are plaguing the team. Forward Ryan Getzlaf is day-to-day. Forwards Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves and defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen are all on the IR list. Head coach Randy Carlyle says backup goaltender Ryan Miller may be moved off the IR soon.
The Ducks play the Canadiens at 7:00 PST Friday.
Arizona Coyotes (0-5-1)
The poor Coyotes are still looking for their first win of the season. Rookie goaltender Adin Hill made his NHL debut Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars, but lost 3-1. He’s the third goalie to take over the crease for the Coyotes this season. Arizona also lost a pair of to Original Six teams. The Boston Bruins steamrolled the Coyotes 6-2 on Saturday. The Detroit Red Wings won 4-2 on Thursday.
Arizona’s starting goaltender, Antti Raanta, is out day-to-day. Forward Brendan Perlini and defensemen Jakob Chychrun and Kevin Connauton are also injured.
The Coyotes finish out the second half of a home-and-home series with the Stars tonight. Game time is 7:00 PST.
Calgary Flames (4-2-0)
The Calgary Flames are also on a mini break, but that’s following a solid win over the Vancouver Canucks. Jaromir Jagr recorded his first point for the Flames during Saturday night’s 5-2 victory. It’s good bounce back for the Flames, who were shutout by the Ottawa Senators 6-0 on Friday.
Winger Micheal Ferland is day-to-day.
The Flames play the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at 6:00 PST.
Edmonton Oilers (1-4-0)
The Oilers are struggling early in the season. Reigning league MVP Connor McDavid has six points (three goals, three assists) in five games and is a troubling minus-2. Number one goaltender Cam Talbot isn’t doing well either. He’s been pulled from two games already and has a 3.96 GAA and .880 SV%. It’s also not great news that forward Leon Draisaitl is on the IR list. He has missed two games so far, after suffering an eye injury and concussion during last week’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. Edmonton lost 5-3 to the Hurricanes on Tuesday and 6-1 to the Sens on Saturday.
The Oilers play tonight in Chicago at 6:00 PST.
Los Angeles Kings (5-0-1)
Looks like a change behind the bench worked out well for the Kings. Los Angeles leads the Pacific Division, so far undefeated in regulation. Adrian Kempe netted his first NHL hat trick to help the Kings to a 5-1 win over the Canadiens Wednesday night. LA is also getting contributions from the big guys. Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. Drew Doughty has five points this season (two goals, three assists).
Forwards Marian Gaborik and Kyle Clifford are on IR.
LA plays the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. Game time is 4:00 PST.
Vancouver Canucks (2-2-1)
The Canucks are trying to figure out who the number one goaltender is. Vancouver tossed Anders Nilsson between the pipes on Tuesday night and Nilsson shut out the Sens 3-0. That’s a big change from earlier in the week, when the Canucks lost 5-2 to Calgary on Saturday and 4-2 to Winnipeg on Thursday. Jacob Markstrom was in net for both of those losses.
The Canucks have some injuries to contend with. Forward Loui Eriksson did not travel with the team on its five-game road trip. Forward Brendan Gaunce and defenseman Alex Edler are both on IR.
The Canucks play in Boston tonight at 4:00 PST.
Vegas Golden Knights (5-1-0)
Las Vegas GM George McPhee is looking pretty smart. He’s put together the first expansion team to go 5-1-0 in its inaugural season since the Montreal Canadiens did it 100 years ago. McPhee swooped in and grabbed backup goaltender Malcolm Subban off of waivers from the Boston Bruins before the start of the season. Subban had 30 saves in Tuesday’s 5-4 win over the Sabres. He also won 3-1 Sunday night against his former team.
Subban could see more action in the coming days. Starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is on IR for at least this week. Fluery took a knee to the head in Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Red Wings. Forward Jonathan Marchessault was also placed on IR after the game. The Knights beat the Bruins on Sunday.
Las Vegas plays the St. Louis Blues Saturday at 7:30 PST.