Strong goaltending dominated last week in the Pacific Division. Ryan Miller, Frederik Anderson, Joni Ortio and a slew of back-ups all had great weeks.
The Anaheim Ducks remain the class of the division, going undefeated last week and holding an 11-point lead on the second place Vancouver Canucks. That being said, five teams have a legitimate shot at making the postseason, as the division’s middle class stays lumped together.
With the All-Star break on the horizon, here is a look back at the week that was in the Pacific Division:
Three Stars of the Week
- Ryan Miller (VAN): 3-0-0 with a 0.34 GAA, .988 Sv% and two shutouts
- Frederik Andersen (ANA): 2-0-0 with a 0.96 GAA, .964 Sv% and a shutout
- Corey Perry (ANA): Four goals, five points
Stat of the Week
Statistically, the Pacific Division may be the worst division in the NHL.
Highlight of the Week
1. Anaheim Ducks (30-10-6) LW: 1 (11 consecutive weeks)
The Ducks were a perfect 3-0 last week, blowing out the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils before squeaking by the Los Angeles Kings at home. While the teams behind them have started to find their groove, the Ducks keep coming away with two points more often than not, taking a double-digit point lead over the next closest team in the Pacific. Frederik Andersen has ensured all season that the Ducks would not miss a beat without Hiller. He’s the No. 2 star of the week.
2. Vancouver Canucks (26-15-3) LW: 2
After losing to the Nashville Predators last Tuesday, the Canucks went on an absolute tear. They shutout Philadelphia and Carolina in back-to-back games and followed that up with a 2-1 win in Florida on Monday. Vancouver is 3-1 so far on their five-game road trip heading into the All-Star break.
3. San Jose Sharks (24-17-6) LW: 3
As they’ve done so often as of late, the Sharks split their four games last week 2-2, doing just enough to hold on to their spot at No. 3. San Jose continues to be bad at home this month, going 1-3-1 as opposed to 3-1-0 on the road. They have a big showdown with the Kings on Wednesday night that could determine where the two teams lie in the power rankings at the All-Star break.
4. Calgary Flames (25-18-3) LW: 5
The Flames are on fire (pun most certainly intended). They’ve won four games in a row and three this week, including an OT win against the team they just jumped in the rankings. Joni Ortio has been a godsend for Calgary, piling up the wins in games his team is outplayed. Is this sustainable long-term. No. But it may hold up long enough for the Flames to make the playoffs.
5. Los Angeles Kings (20-14-12) LW: 4
Kings of the loser point, Los Angeles has a whopping 12 OT/SO losses this season. Getting the game into extra time is keeping them afloat, but they can’t keep losing OT games, can they? This is the lowest the Kings have been on my power rankings all season, but I would not be shocked to see the Kings do what they do best — sneak into the playoffs and make a run.
6. Arizona Coyotes (16-24-5) LW: 6
The Desert Dogs are fading fast. They lost all four games last week (0-3-1) and are on a five-game losing streak overall. Arizona also no longer has the Devan Dubnyk safety net to rely on when Mike Smith struggles. The Coyotes will start selling off assets sooner rather than later and may actually challenge Edmonton for the bottom spot in the division.
7. Edmonton Oilers (11-26-9) LW: 7
Edmonton went 1-2 last week, gaining ground on the Coyotes but no one else. The Oilers actually look fairly competitive now and a clearly a step above the Buffalo Sabres, who may be the worst team in recent memory. Playing .500 hockey won’t get the Oilers a playoff spot or McDavid, but it is enough to keep them in the top-5 draft pick wise, while instilling some minuscule amount of confidence for their team and fanbase.