The Oilers gave their fans a glimmer of hope with a huge win over the Lightning but gave it all back with three losses on their California road trip. Elsewhere, the Flames could be without starting goalie Mike Smith after he suffered an injury on Sunday.
I am starting to hear the name James Neal on the #trademarket as we inch closer to #TradeDeadline Neal is a UFA. He has 24 goals 1 more already than last season & is on pace for 36 total this season. Multiple teams are interested at this point. @NHLNetwork @GoldenKnights— Brian Lawton (@brianlawton9) February 12, 2018
1st: Vegas Golden Knights
36-15-4 (76 points) / +35 goal differential
The Golden Knights had an up-and-down week last week. They were on the latter-part of a six-game road trip and beat San Jose but lost to Pittsburgh. They returned to Vegas on Sunday and lost to the Flyers but will play eight of their next nine games at home. As an interesting side note, the Golden Knights are apparently considering a James Neal trade leading up to the trade deadline. Neal has 24 goals and is a UFA at the end of the season. Despite the fact Vegas is doing better than anyone could have imagined, they still need to consider the future, and dealing Neal for futures and adding another player to fill his role could satisfy both short- and long-term goals.
2nd: San Jose Sharks
30-18-8 (68 points) / +9 goal differential
The Sharks started the week by dropping back-to-back games to Colorado and Vegas but finished strong by beating the Oilers and Ducks. They now sit alone in second place in the Pacific Division, but the clump of three teams behind them — Calgary, Los Angeles, and Anaheim — are all within three points.
3rd: Calgary Flames
29-19-8 (66 points) / 0 goal differential
The Flames kicked off a six-game road trip last week with wins over Chicago, the Islanders, and New Jersey, but they got dropped by the Rangers. They’ll play Boston and Nashville this week before heading home. Since dropping six games in a row, the Flames have won four of their last five games. That said, Mike Smith left Sunday’s game with a lower body injury. Apparently it isn’t serious, but losing Smith for any extended period of time would seriously put a wrench in Calgary’s playoff push.
4th: Los Angeles Kings
30-20-5 (65 points) / +26 goal differential
The Kings beat the Oilers at home last week and then kicked off an Eastern road trip with a win against Florida and a loss to Tampa Bay. They’ll play five more on the road before returning home for an extended stretch.
5th: Anaheim Ducks
27-19-11 (65 points) / -4 goal differential
The Ducks finished off an Eastern road trip with an odd 7-4 loss to the Maple Leafs and a 4-3 overtime win against Buffalo. They returned home and beat the Oilers but then lost to the Sharks in a shootout. They’ll jump back on the road this week for a trip through the Central Division.
2016: Could trading Taylor Hall improve the Oilers' woeful defense?— Kyle Morton (@k_morton9) February 12, 2018
2017: Could trading Jordan Eberle give the Oilers more balanced lines?
6th: Edmonton Oilers
23-27-4 (50 points) / -25 goal differential
The Oilers had an ugly week last week. It started off nicely, as the team pounded the Lightning 6-2. But after that, it all went to hell. The Oilers went on a three-game California trip with a nice chance to make a move up the standings, but they got dropped in all three games. It would be shocking if they didn’t sell at the deadline.
7th: Vancouver Canucks
22-28-6 (50 points) / -33 goal differential
The Canucks lost three games last week, contributing to a four-gam losing streak overall, but they snapped out of it on Sunday with a 6-0 spanking of the Dallas Stars. The more games they lose the better, though.
8th: Arizona Coyotes
13-32-10 (36 points) / -64 goal differential
The Coyotes lost to the Jets, beat the Wild in overtime, and then lost to the Flyers in the shootout. They’re now six points clear of the Sabres for 31st place.