[PAC vs NHL] 1-10-17

NHL Teams Points Average: 46.7

Pacific: 45.3
Central: 36.7
Metropolitan: 50.2
Atlantic: 45.3

NHL Teams at 50+ points: 9

Pacific: 2
Metropolitan: 4
Atlantic: 1

NHL Teams at 42- points: 8 

Pacific: 1
Central: 2
Metropolitan: 2
Atlantic: 3

Pacific Division Strength: Improving but remains in the shadows of Metropolitan

Now competitive with the Atlantic, mostly due to the falling Central division. Metropolitan division has become titanic, with the Rangers holding a ridiculous wild card spot at 57 points. The Canucks are struggling to stay competitive while the Jets seem to be slipping away.

Cup Chances (Points)

Sharks: 6.26%
Ducks: 6.22%
Oilers: 5.88%
Flames: 5.52%
Kings: 2.66%
Canucks: 2.62%
Coyotes: 0.00%


[All-Stars] Roster Opinion 2017

Captain: Connor McDavid (EDM)

Coach: Peter DeBoer (SJ)

Forwards: Jeff Carter (LAK), Johnny Gaudreau (CGY), Bo Horvat (VAN), Ryan Kesler (ANA), Joe Pavelski (SJ)

Defense: Brent Burns (SJ), Drew Doughty (LAK), Cam Fowler (ANA)

Goalies: Martin Jones (SJ), Mike Smith (ARI)


4 Sharks, 2 Kings, 2 Ducks, 1 from the rest. Oh boy.


Replacement Suggestions

Peter DeBoer: Deserves to go, does not deserve to be Pacific coach. Why: although the Sharks are a strong opponent, not all credit can be given to DeBoer, who has admitted that he inherited a well-coached team. Who should go instead: Darryl Sutter. Why: On top of keeping an injured LA Kings team in playoff contention this year, Sutter has led the team to two cups in the last few years. He has also coached teams in the Pacific division for 17 years. In addition, the game is in LA to celebrate 50 years of their hockey history.


Cam Fowler: Deserves to go, does not deserve this 3rd spot on D. Why: although he has been a part of the Ducks push for the Pacific title, other players have put up similar numbers as him from other teams. Who should go instead: Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Why: This is a controversial pick. Despite an another abysmal Coyotes season, Ekman-Larsson has done relatively well for himself. He is also a defenseman near the top of the points sheet for his team. This also preserves the Coyotes place in the all-star game after my next pick.

Mike Smith: Does not deserve to go. Why: Obviously I am not pinning the Coyotes record on him. However, his emotional attitude seems to weigh heavily with the team’s overall attitude. He’s not having a spectacular year, and there are much better goalies in the Pacific that are in the playoff hunt. Who should go instead: Peter Budaj. Why: Without Quick in the line-up for an extended period of time, Budaj has kept the Kings in the playoff race defensively. He has a few shutouts under his belt this year as well. Although a case could be made for Gibson, Talbot, or Johnson, Budaj has earned a spot in this year’s all-star game. Having this game in LA makes him not been chosen sting just that much more.


Notable names left at home

  • Leon Draisaitl (EDM)
  • Milan Lucic (EDM)
  • Jordan Eberle (EDM)
  • Corey Perry (ANA)
  • Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)
  • Jakob Silverberg (ANA)
  • Mikael Backlund (CGY)
  • Dougie Hamilton (CGY)
  • Alec Martinez (LAK)
  • Anze Kopitar (LAK)
  • Dustin Brown (LAK)
  • Henrik Sedin (VAN)
  • Joe Thornton (SJ)

[Game Report] SJ 6, DET 3 from 1-7-17

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Saturday game the Sharks played against the Red Wings. San Jose honored 50 years of hockey in the bay area, with origins in the California Golden Seals. The free t-shirt is the featured image.

Unsurprisingly for an Original Six team, red jerseys were numerous throughout the arena. Detroit is a team I highly respect. Growing up with a struggling Sharks team, the Red Wings were a near automatic loss for multiple seasons each meeting. Henrik Zetterberg of Detroit has become a near equivalent to Patrick Marleau of the San Jose. He and other veteran players of a changing Detroit team remain relevant to the game.

The Red Wings are in the hunt for a Wild Card spot at this point in the season, in danger of ending a 25 year playoff run.

San Jose offense was huge this game. Although it has been said before, the Sharks took that opportunity to become the last team this season to hit the 5 goal mark, exceeding it in this game by 1. The Red Wings did remain threatening for the remainder of the game. You cannot count a team like Detroit out, even down by multiple goals. (Recent evidence: the Centennial Classic) Captain Joe Pavelski netted two goals in a solid finish.

[AB] Sharks back-to-back in division

1-10-17 Edmonton Oilers (Sharks 5, Oilers 3)

1-11-17 Calgary Flames


Current standings:

(1) San Jose – 50 points

(3) Edmonton – 49 points

(4) Calgary – 46 points


With Edmonton just 1 point behind San Jose and Calgary looking to show their potential as a playoff contender, San Jose’s trip to Alberta this week is critical in the Pacific, especially as the official halfway point of the season.

Mildly interesting: Calgary does not venture south of the Canadian border during the month of January.

Boedker scored a hat trick.

[CA] Sens and Canes to take the gauntlet

Senators (15-9-2, 2nd in Atlantic):

  • 12-7 Sharks (Sens 4, Sharks 2)
  • 12-10 Kings (Kings 4, Sens 1)
  • 12-11 Ducks (Ducks 5, Sens 1)

Hurricanes (10-10-5, 7th in Metropolitan):

  • 12-7 Ducks (Ducks 6, Canes 5 in SO)
  • 12-8 Kings* (Canes 3, Kings 1)
  • 12-10 Sharks (Sharks 4, Canes 3)

Both Ottawa and Carolina look to grab points out in California during the second half of this week starting Wednesday night in San Jose and Anaheim. The Senators are coming off a frustrating 8-5 loss against the Penguins this past Monday. However, except for one more overtime loss, they have a record identical to the Sharks going into trip. Craig Anderson, the Sens’ netminder, was named as the first star of the week last week.  The Hurricanes had a rocky start to the season but are slowly working their way into becoming strong competitors this season.

*I will be attending the Kings-Canes game Thursday night in LA with a few buddies. The Kings will be looking to take advantage of a Carolina team in the 2nd of back-to-back games.

The Senators could come out with guns blazing against the Sharks, who have not played since their win against the Canadians 5 days ago. The Ducks are coming off of a hard loss against the Flames and should set the tone against the Hurricanes early tonight if they want a good chance of winning.


[CGY vs ANA] Flames light Ducks in the second

Flames 8 – Ducks 3


Ducks lost all control of their slot area today as 8 different Flames players were able to convert shots into goals. Tips in front, open men in the slot, and consistent board battles were the difference in this game. The Flames final goal was a 2 on 0 rush on a penalty kill to add salt to the wound. Ducks were able to tack in a couple goals in the final 4 minutes, but it would not be nearly enough to overcome the Flames flurry of goals in the second (5 in 6 minutes). Gaudreau’s presence was clearly a factor, drawing first blood and playing a role in the first three Calgary goals.

Kesler was the best Ducks player on the ice tonight, scoring twice and perhaps becoming responsible for the Ducks’ positives: face-off percentage and shots on goal. The Ducks will have a couple of days to regroup before facing the Hurricanes at home on Wednesday.

Both Carolina and Ottawa look to find success in the California gauntlet this week.

[ARI v EDM] Post buzzer goal costs Oilers a point and sparks hope for Coyotes

Coyotes 3 – Oilers 2 (Shootout)

Coyotes acted as gap control for the Pacific on Black Friday as they stopped the Oilers from getting both points. Fighting a tough series of games (5 losses of last 6), the Coyotes were able to fight back from behind for a win, led by Vrbata (assist and shootout goal) and Smith in goal.

McDavid started the scoring with a breakaway goal for the Oilers. Coyotes were denied a goal and Larsson would take the Oilers even further with a ninja-like one-timer. Domi would put the Coyotes on the board with a goal on the rush by trailing and using players in front of him as a screen. Coyotes captain Doan would tie the game with a redirect into the Oilers net. The Oilers brought the heat in OT with a powerplay, but the Coyotes held on. McDavid even “scored” on the final rush of OT, just milliseconds after the horn, which would not count. The Coyotes would go on to win in the shootout after both McDavid and Eberle did not score. Vrbata, on the other hand, would extend his career shootout goal count to 43, still the highest in NHL history.

[ANA v SJ] Ducks much needed victory brings CA teams within 1 point

Ducks 3 – Sharks 2

After a 3 game losing streak, Anaheim needed to take advantage of a SJ team in the 2nd of back-to-back games, and that’s just what they did.

With the Ducks struggling in the last week and with the Kings victory over Chicago, all California teams are within 1 point of each other (SJ/LA at 25 and ANA at 24). This creates a small gap between the upper 4 teams in the Pacific and the bottom 3.

Sharks drew first blood with a shot from the top of the circle by Couture but the Ducks responded with a goal from a strong rushing break to the net by Garbutt. SJ challenged this goal unsuccessfully, costing the Sharks their timeout. Rakell would slice the puck out of the air and redirect it into the Sharks net for the first Ducks lead of the night. DeMelo answered with a slapshot in the second, but Getzlaf would pull the Ducks ahead again with a PPG from the slot. Despite brief end game surges from the Sharks, the Ducks would hang on to a well-deserved, much needed victory.