Pacific Division Roundup: Where things stand coming out of the All-Star break
9 months ago
It’s Monday, so it’s time for a Pacific Division Roundup!
Sadly, this past week was the worst part of the season, where unserious hockey is played. The all-star break. So for most of these sections, we’ll look at the schedule for the week, and pick up any bits of news along the way…
The Edmonton Oilers’ week:
Our beloved Oilers sent three players to the all-star game, but it could have realistically been five. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Stuart Skinner made the trip to south Florida, where the Pacific Division team fell 6-4 to the Central Division team. McDavid scored a goal, while Draisaitl added an assist. Skinner allowed three goals on seven shots.
As for the skills competition, McDavid went 8-8 in the Accuracy Shooting challenge but didn’t win because Oilers fans can’t have anything nice. Skinner also scored a full-ice goal from behind his own net (he also did this in an actual game in the Western Hockey League.) That’s pretty cool, and you can watch it below.
This week we’re back to real hockey, with the Oilers playing the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 7, the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb.9, the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 11, and the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 12, all away from Rogers Place.
The Seattle Kraken’s week:
There are no interesting notes on the Kraken, other than that they lead the Pacific Division with 63 points. Well, they’re actually tied with the Los Angeles Kings but have played four fewer games.
Like the Oilers, they’ll also be on an Eastern Conference road trip, playing the New York Islanders on Feb. 7, the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 9, the New York Rangers on Feb. 10, and the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 12.
We’ll see if they can maintain the lead by next week’s article.
The Los Angeles Kings’ week:
The LA Kings were the only Pacific Division team to actually play a game this past week! They lost 5-4 in overtime to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Adrian Kempe continues to impress, scoring two goals in this game to bring his season total to 22 goals and 36 points. Goaltending remains an issue for the Kings, as Pheonix Copley allowed five goals on just 30 shots for a .833 save percentage.
They only have one game on tap this week, playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at home on Feb. 11.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ week:
Per the team’s Twitter page, captain Mark Stone went under the knife and had back surgery. He is considered to be out indefinitely. This is his second back injury in the past two seasons, which is worrisome, to say the least.
Assuming he goes on the long-term injury list, Vegas should get around $12.25 million in cap space at the deadline, which means that they can afford to make some big moves.
The Knights have three games on the docket this upcoming week, playing the Nashville Predators away on Feb. 7, the Minnesota Wild away on Feb. 9, and the Anaheim Ducks at home on Feb. 12.
The Calgary Flames’ week:
The Flames are currently out of a playoff spot, albeit tied on points with the Colorado Avalanche.
Like the Oilers and the Kraken, the Flames are on an Eastern Conference road trip and will visit the Rangers on Feb. 6 (the day this article comes out!), the Red Wings on Feb. 9, and the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 11.
The Vancouver Canucks’ week:
The Canucks traded captain Bo Horvat to the Islanders in exchange for Anthony Beauvillier, a prospect in Aatu Raty, and a 2023 first-round pick, which is top 12 protected. Beauvillier has nine goals and 20 points in 49 games, and is a fine middle-six forward.
Ratu has seven goals and 15 points in 29 American Hockey League games, as well as two goals in 12 NHL games. Furthermore, that draft pick will likely sit in the 13-16 range if the Islanders fail to make the playoffs. The only way this could be a top-10 pick is if the Islander’s pick somehow moves up exponentially in the lottery, and the Islanders proceed to suck in 2023-24.
The Islanders went on to sign Horvat, who is having a career-year in a contract season, to an eight-year, $8.5 million deal. Fun fact: Horvat has an inflated 21.7 shooting percentage, so make of that what you will.
Just a weird trade all around.
The bad teams of the Pacific Division:
The only notable news is that Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist in the Pacific Division’s loss to the Central Division in the all-star game.
As it stands:
Here are the Pacific Division standings as of February 6th, 2023.
Obviously, not much has changed since last week’s article. The only Pacific Division team that played this past week was the Kings, who lost in overtime. The Oilers are still in an advantageous spot, as their next five games are against non-playoff teams. They also have games in hand against both the Kings (three) and the Knights (one).
If they could win all four games, who knows, perhaps they’ll even be at the top of the Pacific Division!
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