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Pacific Divison Notebook: Canucks still riding high, Flames trade rumours, and more

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
3 months ago
A lot has changed in the Pacific Division since the last Notebook.
Edmonton is currently on a three-game win streak and now hit double digits in points but still rank seventh in the division. The Golden Knights and Canucks are flying high at the top of the standings and the Oilers need to jump the Flames, Kraken, and Ducks to get into the playoff mix. 
Let’s look at how all eight teams have been doing this past couple of weeks. 

Vegas Golden Knights:

13-3-1, 64 goals for, 40 goals against.
There’s been no Stanley Cup hangover for Vegas this season, as they lead the league in points with 27. Since the last Notebook, Vegas is 2-2-0, so maybe, just maybe, they’re coming back down to earth.
William Karlsson has led the team all season, scoring eight goals and 19 points in Vegas’ 17 games. Moreover, Jack Eichel has seven goals and 18 points, Mark Stone has five goals and 17 points, and defenceman Shea Theodore has four goals and 16 points.
Vegas’ goaltending tandem has also been great this season, with Adin Hill posting a .928 save percentage and a 2.07 goals-against average. Logan Thompson has a .925 save percentage and a 2.27 goals-against average as well.

Vancouver Canucks:

12-4-1, 72 goals for, 41 goals against
I don’t think anyone had the Canucks being at the top of the league in points with 25. Many, including myself, definitely thought they’d compete for a wild card spot, but they’ve had an insane start to their season so far.
There are three players tied for the league lead in points, and all three of them happen to be on the Canucks. Quinn Hughes is breaking out in a big way this season, and so too is Elias Pettersson. J.T. Miller also has 27 points, while Brock Boeser has 13 goals and 21 points.
Not just that, but Thatcher Demko is an elite goaltender. He has a .932 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average in 11 games played.

Los Angeles Kings:

9-3-3, 58 goals for, 43 goals against
Los Angeles finished third in the Pacific Division for the past two seasons, and it looks like they’ll do the same again in 2023-24.
Their offense has been spearheaded by several player such as Adrian Kempe (seven goals, 16 points), Kevin Fiala (three goals, 16 points), and Anže Kopitar (eight goals, 15 points). Furthermore, Trevor Moore and Quinton Byfield each have 13 points as well.
It looks like Cam Talbot is playing like he did in 2016-17 as well, as he has a .927 save percentage and a 2.11 goals against average in 12 games played. Their back up goaltender, Phoenix Copley, has only played four games, only playing one in November.

Anaheim Ducks:

9-7-0, 49 goals for, 51 goals against
Since the last Pacific Division Notebook, the Ducks have gone 2-3-0 in their last five, while allowing seven more goals than they’ve scored.
Frank Vatrano is still scoring at a great pace, totalling 11 goals and 16 points. Mason McTavish is tied in the points lead with seven goals. Ryan Strome (two goals, 14 points), Troy Terry (five goals, 12 points) and Pavel Mintyukov (one goal, 10 points) are their other double-digit point-getters.
Last time, we noted how Lukas Dostal had overtaken John Gibson as the starting goaltender. Well, that’s not the case, a week and a half later, as his save percentage has dropped from .920 to .893, while Gibson’s has increased from .910 to .927. 

Seattle Kraken:

6-8-4, 47 goals for, 65 goals against
Despite losing twice to the Oilers and only picking up two wins in their last six, Seattle sits two points out of a wild card position.
Vince Dunn is by far their best player, picking up two goals and 16 points in their 18 games. Their other double-digit point-getters include Jaden Schwartz (eight goals, 15 points), Oliver Bjorkstrand (six goals, 14 points), Eeli Tolvanen (three goals, 11 points), and Jared McCann (seven goals, 10 points).
Goaltending has been rough for the Kraken, as both Joey Daccord and Philipp Grubauer have a save percentage below .900, and a goals-against average above 3.

Calgary Flames:

6-8-2, 44 goals for, 55 goals against
It sucks that Edmonton is having a rough season, but Oilers fans can smile knowing that the Flames also are having a tough one too. In fact, defenceman Nikita Zadorov asked for a trade, specifically to Toronto after the Flames lost to the Leafs.
Scoring has been tough for the Flames, as they only have one player with double-digit points. Elias Lindholm leads the team in points with three goals and 11 points in 16 games. Andrew Mangiapane, Nazem Kadri, and Jonathan Huberdeau all have nine points, but yikes.
Goaltending hasn’t been great either for the Flames, as Jacob Markstrom has played the majority of Calgary’s games and has a .906 save percentage and a 2.66 goals-against average.

Edmonton Oilers:

5-9-1, 44 goals for, 55 goals against
It was a tough start to the season, but it seems things are turning around for Edmonton, as they’ve won their past three games.
Calgary has many players under 10 points, but the scoring is spread out. The total opposite is the case for the Oilers. Leon Draisaitl leads the team in points, as he has six goals and 21 points in 15 games. Zach Hyman (eight goals), Evander Kane (seven goals), and Evan Bouchard (three goals) all have 15 points. Connor McDavid sits at four goals and 13 points, with two goals coming in his last two games. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the other player with double-digit points, as he has three goals and 11 points. The next player in scoring is Warren Foegele, with three goals and six points.
In those three games, netminder Stuart Skinner had a .942 save percentage and was 3-0-0. Before these three games, he had an .854 save percentage, but it has now risen to an .880 save percentage.

San Jose Sharks:

3-13-1, 26 goals for, 73 goals against
Ladies and gentlemen, the San Jose Sharks have played .500 hockey (3-3-0) since the last Pacific Division Notebook.
As you can tell with their 26 goals, scoring as been at a premium this season. However, they have one player with double-digit points, as Tomas Hertl has three goals and 11 points in 17 games. Aside from that, 24-year-old Fabian Zetterlund and 25-year-old Luke Kunin lead the team in scoring with four goals.
Despite allowing 10 goals in two straight games, Sharks’ goaltending hasn’t been that bad this season. Mackenzie Blackwood has played most of the games, posting an .898 save percentage and a 4.02 goals-against average. Kaapo Kahkonen has an .896 save percentage and a 3.86 goals-against average in seven games. They’re both below the .900 save percentage marker, but the Sharks being awful definitely isn’t because of the goalies. 

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