Pacific Division Round Up: The not-so-mighty Ducks

Making a trade and winning two games this week wasn’t enough to move the Ducks up in the standings this week.

It’s been a rough season for our Southern California rivals. We’ve watched two teams we’ve grown so used to seeing in the playoffs slip further and further from their spot in the post season this year. The Anaheim Ducks weren’t supposed to be this mediocre and their fans are not too pleased. The front office made some changes to the lineup and the team won two games, but they are no longer the Mighty Ducks.

Anaheim Ducks (21-20-9)

The Anaheim Ducks started their week off with a trade, sending Andrew Cogliano to the Dallas Stars for Devin Shore. The left winger had five goals and 12 assists in Dallas. He’s since played four games with the Ducks and has yet to put up a point. Since a coaching change seems to be out of the question at this point, a trade was pretty necessary, even if the only result was a little spark being lit under their skates.

The Ducks responded to the lineup change with a 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Rickard Rakell scored the lone goal for the Ducks. Things turned around when they ended their losing streak with a 3-0 shutout win over the Minnesota Wild. Brian Gibbons, Adam Henrique and Rickard Rakell scored, while John Gibson stood strong in net, making 37 saves. They kept that momentum going, beating the New Jersey Devils 3-2, but then fell back into their old way with a 0-3 shutout loss to the New York Islanders.

The Ducks face the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday at 7 PT.

Arizona Coyotes (22-22-4)

The Arizona Coyotes are playing, dare I say, good hockey? They played three tough games this week and won two of them, losing the other in overtime. I refuse to remind you of the big win they had over the Sharks. I don’t count that win, personally. But I will let you know they lost in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after, so take that, I guess? The two goals came off the sticks of Clayton Keller and Derek Stepan. Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves on the night.

They bounced back to beat a slowly burning out Toronto Maple Leafs team, sorry Patty. The 4-2 victory saw goals from Lawson Crouse, Vinnie Hinostroza, Clayton Keller and Mario Kempe. Kuemper made 24 saves, proving he may be able to keep this team together through their goaltending woes.

The Coyotes see the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday at 4:30 PT.

Calgary Flames (32-13-5)

Yes, The Calgary Flames are still good. But, they did lose their first game of the week to the Buffalo Sabres in overtime. The 4-3 victory favored the Sabres, with goals from Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Noah Hanifin to plead the Flames’ case. They bounced back against a struggling Detroit Red Wings team, coming out on top with a 4-6 final. Sam Bennett found the net twice. T.J. Brodie, James Neal, Mark Giordano and Sean Monahan also found the net, sealing the deal for the Flames.

It was a fun rivalry game when the flames rolled into Edmonton to face the Oilers. The game ended with a 5-2 win for the Flames. It was a team effort with goals coming off the sticks of Mark Giordano, Mikael Bucklund, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Oliver Kylington. Zero goals were scored by Connor McDavid, but we’ll get to that next.

The Flames’ old flame Dougie Hamilton returns to Calgary with his new team, the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday at 6 PT.

David Rittich arranged for his brother with Autism to meet Harvey the Hound this weekend. I’d like that to be our Flames’ highlight of the week because it is too cute not to share!

Edmonton Oilers (23-23-3)

It’s no secret the Edmonton Oilers are not playing up to par this season, but they had a pretty okay week. They kicked things off beating the Buffalo Sabres 7-2. Now let me remind you, this isn’t the Sabres team we’re used to seeing. They’re pretty good and I think the result of this game was an upset. Zack Kassian and Milan Lucic each had two goals because why not. Connor McDavid got on the board once, along with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl. They went on to win another one, a 3-2 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Jujhar Khaira and Connor McDavid found the net in regulation, with the  winning goal coming from Alex Chiasson in the shootout.

Things went downhill quickly, though. Starting with a visit from the Calgary Flames. The 5-2 loss saw another goal from Milan Lucic, welcome to the Twilight Zone. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the second goal. That was bad, but it got worse. They fell 7-4 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Draisaitl had two goals and both Zack Kassian and Brandon Manning found the net as well, but it was a done deal for the Hurricanes.

The Detroit Red Wings are up next for the Oilers on Tuesday at 6 PT.

Los Angeles Kings (19-26-4)

Somehow, there is no news for the Kings this week. I think they’ve just accepted their fate at this point. They started things off on the right foot this week, though. They sent their first game of the week  against the Minnesota Wild into overtime. Sure, they lost 3-2, but at least they got a point out of it. They went on to beat the Dallas Stars 2-1 in regulation. Dustin Brown and Carl Hagelin found the back of the net, while Jack Campbell made 29 saves in net. That’s considered a successful night for this Kings team.

Things were looking up until they went to Colorado. The Colorado Avalanche absolutely destroyed them, the score ending with a 7-1 final. Jonathan Quick allowed five goals on 22 shots before being replaced by Jack Campbell, who would let two more slip past him. Ilya Kovalchuk had the only Kings goal, the only real positive thing to come out of this one for LA.

The Kings play the Blues today at 1 PT.

Vancouver Canucks (23-21-6)

The Vancouver Canucks had a pretty solid week, allowing them to move up the standings into fourth place. They fell to the Oilers in a 3-2 shootout loss. Marcus Granlund and Brandon Sutter had goals to tie it up and send the game to overtime, but couldn’t close it out. They then beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3, with goals from Brock Boeser, Sven Baertschi, Alexander Elder and Loui Eriksson.

Things remained good for the Canucks, beating the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat and Antoine Roussel found the net, while Jacob Markstrom made 35 saves between the pipes. Pettersson made his return to the Vancouver lineup after missing five games with a sprained knee. His return was instantly notice, making a notable impact with a goal and an assist.

The Canucks face the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday at 7:30 PT.

Vegas Golden Knights (29-17-4)

The Vegas Golden Knights only played two games this week and came out with an even split in results. They started things off with a 4-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Brandon Pirri had the only Vegas goal. They redeemed themselves on Saturday when Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins rolled into Sin City. The 7-3 game ended in Vegas’ favor. Jonathan Marchessault netted a hat trick. William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty, Oscar Lindberg and Shea Theodore all found the net as well. Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves on 37 shots. Colin Miller made his return to the Golden Knights lineup in Saturday after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury.

The Golden Knights play the Minnesota Wild today at 3 PT.