Pacific Division Roundup: Golden Knights add Ivan Barbashev, Sharks deal Timo Meier, and more
6 months ago
Well, that was a week.
With the trade deadline approaching quickly, it’s evident that the Oilers need to make a big trade to re-energize this team. Let’s look at the week for each Pacific Division team…
The Edmonton Oilers’ week:
It was a great start to the week for the Oilers, as they beat both Pennsylvania teams, including a 7-2 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Penguins. This was all undone with a 6-5 loss to the lowly Blue Jackets. In this game, the Oilers went down 4-0 in the second period, before a goal change motivated them to tie the game before the end of the period. Ultimately, two weak goals in the third sunk them.
Since the all-star game, Skinner has had three games with a save percentage above .917, but he hasn’t been great overall. He has a .898 save percentage in his five games played. Jack Campbell has been even worse, posting a .871 save percentage in the six games he’s played in. This includes no games with a .900 save percentage in his last five.
If the Oilers wish to make a deep playoff run, they need saves from these two, especially Jack Campbell.
This upcoming week, the Oilers will play the Boston Bruins (who are on a six-game winning streak) at home, the Toronto Maple Leafs at home, and then a home and away with the Winnipeg Jets. All three of these teams are playoff teams, so they need to go 2-2 at the bare minimum.
The Vegas Golden Knights week:
The Golden Knights played three games this past week, with all three of those games going to overtime. They finished their week 1-0-2, which included a shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Their only win was against the Calgary Flames, with former Oiler Laurent Brossoit picking up the dub.
Vegas also placed captain Mark Stone on the long-term injured reserved list, meaning that they have freed up $9,500,000 in cap space, just in time for the trade deadline. Expect Vegas to be a big player on Friday. They’ve already made one move to add to their scoring depth…
The Knights also have four games on tap this week, with an away game against the Colorado Avalanche, and home games against the Carolina Hurricanes, the New Jersey Devils, and the Montreal Canadiens.
The Los Angeles Kings’ week:
The Oilers are just two points behind the Los Angeles Kings in the standings, so it’s imperative to view their results from the past week.
Great news for the Oilers, the Kings had a weak week. They lost 2-1 to the Minnesota Wild, lost 4-3 in overtime to the New Jersey Devils, and beat the New York Islanders 3-2, before wrapping up their week with a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers.
Will they be big players at the trade deadline? I’m not too sure. They were on the precipice of a Jakob Chychrun deal a few weeks ago, but that fell through.
This upcoming week, they’ll be in Winnipeg on Tuesday, before returning home to play the Canadiens and the St. Louis Blues.
The Seattle Kraken week:
Oilers fans couldn’t have asked for better luck in terms of Seattle’s week. The NHL’s newest team lost all three of their games, losing 4-0 to the San Jose Sharks (how?), a 6-5 loss to the Bruins, and a 5-1 loss to the Leafs.
As always, let’s look at how the three former Oilers did this past week.
Jordan Eberle: 3 games played, 0 goals, 2 assists, -3
Justin Schultz: 3 games played, 0 goals, 0 assists, -3
Adam Larsson: 3 games played, 0 goals, 0 assists, -6, broken ankles.
Like with the Kings, I find it unlikely that the Kraken will be active at the trade deadline. With that being said, they have one of the weirdest upcoming road trips, playing the Blues, then the Red Wings, then the Blue Jackets, before heading to Colorado.
Hopefully, the Kraken continue their losing ways and find themselves out of a playoff spot by the next article.
The Calgary Flames’ week:
Speaking of teams that find themselves out of a playoff spot, the Flames currently sit on 66 points, four back of the Kraken for the second wildcard spot.
They had a pretty iffy week, losing 4-3 to the Flyers, then beating the Arizona Coyotes 6-3, before losing to the Knights 4-3 in overtime, and 4-1 to the Avalanche.
Last season, it was pretty evident that they got a coaching bump from Darryl Sutter, but that has appeared to have worn off. It would be pretty funny if the Flames missed the playoffs.
This upcoming week, they’ll play the Bruins and Maple Leafs, both on a back-to-back, before playing the Wild at home on Saturday.
The Vancouver Canucks’ week:
Vancouver lost 5-4 in a shootout to the Nashville Predators, but beat the Blues 3-2 in overtime, before losing 3-1 to the Bruins.
They only play two games next week, sparing their fans from disappointment. They’ll take on the Wild at home on Thursday, and the Leafs at home on Saturday.
Unlike several Pacific Division teams, the Canucks should be relatively active on Friday, as Luke Schenn, Brock Boeser, and maybe even J.T. Miller could be available at the deadline.
The bad teams of the Pacific:
San Jose Sharks: The Sharks made a massive move on Sunday, moving Timo Meier to the New Jersey Devils in a nine-player, four-pick trade. If any of the tanking teams deserve Connor Bedard, it’s the San Jose Sharks as they’ve been a continual playoff team for the past two decades until recently.
Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks have actually been playing alright since the new year. Not great, but they’ve been fine. Last week, they won two games, lost in overtime in another one, and lost 6-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. There are only five points that separate the 32nd-ranked team and the 28th-ranked team, with the Ducks ranking 31st.
Let’s look at how the former Oilers (and Erik Karlsson) did this past week:
Ryan Strome: 4 games played, 1 goal, 2 assists, +2
Dmitry Kulikov: 4 games played, 1 goal, 2 assists, +5
Matt Benning: 3 games played, 0 goals, 0 assists, +1
Erik Karlsson: 3 games played, 1 goal, 2 assists, +1
As it stands:
Here are the Pacific Division Standings as of Monday, February 27th…
Winning the division (or even the Western Conference) isn’t out of the question for the Oilers. However, their goaltenders need to start making saves if they wish to make a deep run. Moreover, their 12-4-6 record since I joined Oilers Nation doesn’t feel nearly as good as it is on paper.
Over the next few weeks, their only “easy” game is against the Ottawa Senators, with the rest of their games being against playoff teams, or teams (such as the Buffalo Sabres) battling for a playoff spot.
It’s a good test for the Oilers, hopefully, they can ace it.
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