NHL Teams Points Average: 46.7
NHL Teams at 50+ points: 9
NHL Teams at 42- points: 8
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)
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.