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.

10 Responses to Pacific Division Preview

  1. jarcpitre says:

    I agree with your rankings, however LA or Dallas is a toss up. LA doesn't have the goaltending and Dallas does in Turco. LA has alot of scoring talent and Dallas is running thin in this area. They both will be on the bubble of a playoff spot IMO. Good assessment.

  2. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    The only guarantee is Phoenix finishing 5th.

    Anaheim still has good up and coming stars and still have a top defense(albeit an aging one that will be retired or useless within the next year or two).

    San Jose is a great team, unique in that they've been a powerhouse for a couple of seasons, but are also an up and coming team. I could see them squeaking in 1st, but I best you it will all come down to the 8 Sharks-Ducks games.

    Dallas: Goaltending means so much, the fact is, no matter how boring a lot of people think the trap system is, it wins hockey games. The also have the shoot master (heh heh).

    Los Angeles: Can their new off-season acquisitions gel? Are any of them that great? The only one I think is really valuable is Preissing, who is such an under-rated guy. Their goaltending situation is sad. In a few years when Bernier comes up, they will definitely be a power house. But not this year.

    Phoenix: Unless Doan scores 60 goals and Aebisher finally becomes Patrick Roy's heir, they are doomed to mediocrity.

  3. turdfergusson says:

      Dallas is one of those teams that are just good every year. Good goalie, solid veterans , nothing flashy… 1, 2 AND 3 are gonna be fought out by the obvious.

       L.A.: Man i've always liked the Kings for some reason but the fact is that theres nothing in net. It's that simple. You can add 10 Ladislav Nagys and Brad Stuarts but it won't make a difference down the stretch when your team is weary and your goalie has to steal those 4 point divisional games… Crawford will right them but not this year. Expect them to come out hard then collapse as usual.

      Phoenix: No brainer here. It's gonna be a long hard road for this unit.


  4. leaffansareajoke says:

    That division bores the crap out of me.  The Ducks and Sharks are good teams no doubt, but even after winning a cup neither team scares me.

    Funny that the Flyers spanked the ducks too.  Badly.

  5. I_hate_LA says:

    If LA intends on starting the season with LaBarbara, Cloutiiiiiiiiiiiiiier, and/or Aubin they will be screwed come playoff time. Dallas would be my #3 pick over Lost Angeles. Overall, great assessment! Go NUCKS AND DUCKS lol =)!!!

  6. I_hate_LA says:

    I know. Tell that to the LA Queens who bragged about winning the series against the Ducks last season even after Anaheim won their first cup before them LOL!

  7. leaffansareajoke says:

    Haha yeah yeah…

    All in All, the Flyers always own the west coast.

    Out of 22 wins last year for them, 1 from the Ducks, 1 from the Wings,  1 from St Louis, 1 vs the Columbus Blue Jackets, 1 from the LA Kings, 1 from Anaheim, and 1 from Chicago.

    thats 1/3 of their wins in the west coast lol!

  8. CaptainAvery says:

    San Jose and Anaheim are gonna be competing for top spot and Dallas ain't to far behind them. It's a toss up I say between those three teams to win the Pacific Division.

  9. mojo19 says:

    Its funny, I wrote up my league standings predictions last night and put this division in the exact same order as you.

    I definitely think Anaheim and San Jose as 1-2, Phoenix as 5.

    The tough call here is Dallas and LA. Yes LA brought in a lot of help, Stuart and Preissing on the blueline are good d-men, I wouldn't call them impact players or game breakers but they're good. And Calder and Hanzus are excellent support players for Nagy, Frolov, Camaleri, and Kopitar.

    However I've seen Boston acquire a bunch of help via free agency in Leetch, Zhamnov, Scatchard, and I think someone else and still have a miserable year. LA is questionable in goal with Labarbera and Aubin and Marty Turco has the ability to steal games.

    So Dallas and LA, I'm not sure who will finish higher, but I stand by my LA pick because I think Kopitar is primed to explode for a monster year and Frolov, Camaleri and Nagy will all put up point per game-esk numbers.

  10. mojo19 says:

    I agree with everything you're saying, but I'm thinking LA will seek help in goal if they're struggling whether its Esche or via trade or whatever. I don't think they'll try the patch work they did last year with the Japanese experiment and old timers like Sean Burke (this also means no Cujo, hes done, sorry Joseph fans).

    So for that reason I think LA has a good shot at 3rd in the division.

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