Pacific Division Round Up: Coyotes continue to climb

Vegas is in second now. Everything is disappointing.

The Arizona Coyotes only won two games last week but that doesn’t matter in this Pacific Division nightmare we’re living in! The Vegas Golden Knights are slowly creeping up on them, however. The top spot in the division is only separated by one game coming out of the holiday break. And man, did we need a break ...

Anaheim Ducks (15-18-4)

The Anaheim Ducks are ahead of the San Jose Sharks in the division now. That hurts a little, to be honest. Making the standings a little easier on Sharks fans though, the Ducks still had a rough week. They played a back-to-back starting with a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers and ending with a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. They beat the New York Islanders 6-5 in a shootout on Saturday. They wrapped it all up with a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers.

The Ducks had some injuries this week. Troy Terry will miss roughly ten weeks after breaking a bone below his kneecap. Derek Grant will also be out for several weeks with an upper body injury.

The Ducks will return from the break with a game against the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at 7 p.m. PST.

Arizona Coyotes (21-14-4)

The Arizona Coyotes are in first place and Phil Kessel and Taylor Hall are teammates in the desert. Imagine hearing this a year ago. Anyway, they struggled a little bit last week. They beat the Sharks in a game I’m ignoring on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Minnesota Wild beat them 8-5. They finally found their groove again when they beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Taylor Hall netted his first goal in a darker shade of red. Finally, they lost 3-2 to the Nashville Predators. Antti Raanta made 38 saves and they still lost.

Goalie Darcy Kuemper is week-to-week with a lower body injury he sustained against the Wild on Thursday, where he had to be helped off the ice. We’re wishing him a speedy recovery.

The Coyotes will return against the Golden Knights on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT.

Calgary Flames (19-15-5)

The Calgary Flames are in fourth place after yet another Pacific team managed to only win one game last week. On Tuesday, they fell 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. They lost 4-3 in overtime to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. They bounced back against Joe Pavelski’s Dallas Stars, delivering a 5-1 beating to our old friend. Finally, they were shut out 3-0 by the Minnesota Wild.

Calgary will face Edmonton tonight at 6 p.m. PT.

Edmonton Oilers (20-16-4)

The third place Edmonton Oilers won twice last week. I guess that’s good for them. They opened up their week with a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. They lost 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues next. On Friday, they lost 5-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. They beat the Canadiens 4-3 then lost to the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 to finish it off. They played a lot of games last week, eh?

The Oilers will host the Flames on Friday at 6 p.m. PT.

Los Angeles Kings (15-20-4)

One thing that helps me sleep at night is knowing that the Los Angeles Kings are still in last place in the Pacific. The Sharks are not far ahead, but that doesn’t matter because the Kings are still the worst. They somehow won last week, though, beating the Boston Bruins 4-3 in overtime. The rest of the week they were bad again, though. They lost 3-2 (in OT) to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2 to the Buffalo Sabres and finally 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues.

The Kings and the Sharks will kick things off after the break tonight at 7 p.m. PT.

Vancouver Canucks (19-15-4)

The Vancouver Canucks had a good week. Sure, they started it off with a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, but they quickly recovered, earning a 5-4 win against the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime, beating the Penguins 4-1 and scoring three third period goals to beat the Oilers 4-2.

Alex Edler returned to the lineup after missing ten games. He had an assist in his first game back on the ice.

The Canucks will play the Kings on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT.

Vegas Golden Knights (20-14-6)

The Vegas Golden Knights started their week off with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. They followed that up with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks. They played the Sharks next but I don’t remember that game nor it’s final score. Sorry about that. Finally, they were delivered a lovely 7-3 loss from the Colorado Avalanche. You just love to see it.

Cody Glass returned to practice, but won’t return to the lineup until after the holiday break.

Vegas will host Anaheim tonight at 7 p.m. PT.