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Vancouver Canucks clinch Pacific Division with victory over the Calgary Flames

Vancouver Canucks
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
17 days ago
It’s official — the Vancouver Canucks have won the Pacific Division.
With a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, the Canucks improved to 50-22-9 on the season. They have 109 points and are now out of the reach of the Edmonton Oilers, who sit in second in the Pacific Division with a 49-25-6 record and two games to play.
For Vancouver, it’s the team’s first division crown since the 2012-13 season, which was the fifth of five consecutive times finishing at the top of the Northwestern Division’s standings. The Oilers last won their division all the way back in 1986-87.
Ahead of Vancouver’s game on Tuesday, Edmonton head coach Kris Knoblauch was asked if the Oilers will be resting some players during their final two games of the season. Knoblauch said it’ll depend on the result of the Canucks game, so the team will be able to prioritize rest now that there’s nowhere for them to move in the standings.
“We’re going to wait and see and make that decision tomorrow after Vancouver’s game (before making lineup decisions,” Knoblauch said after Monday’s win over the Sharks. “If Vancouver wins, it’s really easy for us to take guys out, because those games don’t mean anything, we’re definitely finishing second place.
If they lose, then that makes it a little more difficult. The goal is to win as many games as possible and we’d like to finish first in our division, but we have to make those decisions later. Right now, we kind of have an idea. After (Tuesday) night, I think we’ll be really making decisions then.”
For Edmonton, this means there’s nothing left to play for during the final couple of games of the season. The Oilers will play the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday and then they’ll wrap up the regular season on Thursday with a game in Colorado against the Avalanche.
That said, we still don’t know who the Oilers will face in the first round, though it looks at this moment like it’ll be the Vegas Golden Knights. They’re currently in third place in the Pacific Division, one point up on the Los Angeles Kings. Both teams have one game remaining, as Vegas will play the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. will play the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
The Oilers have gone up against the Kings in back-to-back years in the first round of the playoffs and they edged out a seven-game victory in 2021-22 and they finished off the series in six games in 2022-23. Edmonton ran into Vegas in last year’s second round and lost in six games as the Golden Knights went on to win their first-ever Stanley Cup.

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