Pacific Division Preview
With the central division out of the way here is my next installment in my series of division previews, today feturing the Pacific.Dallas Stars: The Stars did not do much this offseaon, besides losing Eric Lindros, Patrick Stefan, and gaining tough guy Todd Fedoruk. What the Stars should have been doing is looking for a foward, for they were a team that had difficulty scoring. If Mike Modano and Brendan Morrow can remain healthy the Stars offense might be decent, mostly it would be because of young guns Jussi Jokinen and Joel Lundqvist. This is a difficult position to predict, seeing how well the pacific did in the offseason, but I have decided to rank Dallas 4th in the division.
Los Angeles Kings: The Kings were one of the most improved teams in the offseason, with additions like Brad Stuart, Ladislav Nagy, Tom Preissing, Kyle Calder, and Michael Handzus. Young stars such as Micheal Cammelari, Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov, Anze Kopitar, and Jack Johnson continue to get better, while Jason Labarbera was one of the top goaltenders in the AHL but could not be called up due to him having to clear waivers if he did first. Taking this into consideration and ignoring Dan Cloutier’s recent performance, I predict the Kings will finish 3rd.
San Jose Sharks: The Sharks did not due much in the offseason. They lost backup Vesa Toskala, and big d-man Scott Hannan, and gained Jermey Roenick: The World’s Most Famous Clown (besides Bozo). But the sharks younger players are getting better. Top line foward Milian Michalek will look to net around 75-80 points this season while other young players like marc-edouard-vlasic and Christian Ehrhoff will look for around 30-40 tallies each. Carle a 42 point scorer will look to net around 50 points as he plays on the top line with possibly Kyle McLaren or Craig Rivet. With Toskala gone it’s Nabokov’s time to shine as the sharks look to him as their go to guy. And if Cheechoo can look to rebound this season and go back up to the 50 goal range, expect the Sharks to finish 2nd in their division.
Anaheim Ducks: Everyone is wondering if the Ducks can make it two in a row this year, but it all depends on the status of Scott Niedermeyer, and Teemu Selanne. If they come back the ducks may have another shot at the cup but if not their whole season is affected. Getzlaf, Pahlsson, Kunitz, Moen, and Perry continue to get better, and with the additions of Bertuzzi, and Schneider the ducks will finish 1st in their division, as long as solid netminding duo Giguere and Bryzgalov back up the team with continuous stellar play.
Phoenix Coyotes: The Phoenix coyotes are probably one of the worst teams in the NHL and that is because they did nothing in the offseason. The only positive thing about them is their defense which will be good in about 3 or 4 years. I really don’t have much to say about this team team because the following statement pretty much sums it up: Phoenix will finish 5th.