Pacific Punches

With a 1 point spread between 4 out of the 5 teams, the Pacific Division is the tightest division among the league thus far.
With a 1 point spread between 4 out of the 5 teams, the Pacific Division is the tightest division among the NHL thus far.

Although the season is still at the beginning of its long enduring length, every game matters. The Pacific division is currently the closest as first place is only a 1 point spread among the four teams out of the five.

San Jose Sharks shares the lead with a 5-3-1 record posting 11 points.

The Sharks are the favorite to win the division, but in the early running they are not where many expect them to be. The scoring is there as they have one of the top goals for (35), but beating a team 7-3 in one game and losing 1-4 another is not going to cut it. Consistency is key and the Sharks need to play hard every night for them to produce as many expect.

  • Five more games to finish out the month: @TB, @ATL, @PHI, LA, COL.
  • Should win 3 out of 5, possibly 4.

Dallas Stars tie first at 4-2-3 for the season totaling 11 points.

The Stars are shaky in the early going. They seem to win a game, lose a game, no real streak yet. Veteran players Mike Modano (Center) and Jere Lehtinen (Right Wing) are on the injured reserve, as well as Brad Richards (Center) is currently day to day. Brendan Morrow, James Neal and shifty Mike Ribeiro lead the charge, however with all the firepower in the world, if you do not have a goalie that is playing well don’t expect any wins. Starter Marty Turco only has 2 wins in 7 starts. Sure he has a shutout, but that seems to be overlooked by his 3 overtime losses.

  • Five more games to hopefully put something together: @LA, @STL, TOR, FLA, @NSH.
  • They have a pretty easy schedule to get things going in the right direction. Expect 3 out of 5 with a good possibility of getting 4.

Phoenix Coyotes are currently tied in third place with a 5-2-0 record for 10 points.

The Coyotes are currently surprising many fans that seem to associate the loss in revenue from ticket sales with the teams play, but not for the reason of poor management. The team is second in the division with one of the lowest goals for at 18, but when goaltending only allows 10 goals against with 2 shutouts, a team can get on by for the time being. Who knows what the future holds for the organization, but when nothing is expected of you it tends to ignite something from within.

  • Six more games before month’s end: DET, LA, @NYR, @CLS, @STL, ANH.
  • A tough schedule, it really is a tossup. A split 3-3 should be the goal with hopes of more, of course wanting to win the 2 division games.

Los Angeles Kings share third place with a 5-4-0 record for 10 points.

Where did this team come from? They once had a 4 game winning streak, and after winning the other night against Dallas, they hope to beat that streak with their upcoming games. Veteran Ryan Smyth leads the team in scoring. Some may feel that he is trying to break the Olympic roster and he is playing with more drive this season. Whatever the reason, he is doing the things he needs to. The face of the organization, Anze Kopitar is also off to a good start as he is currently tied in points for the lead with 13. Controversy is stirring though within the organization as head coach Terry Murray gave a good media tongue lashing to Alexander Frolov and his poor play and lack of effort. Frolov is an unrestricted free agent, so the Kings hope his benching and his capability being dragged through the mud will turn him for the better. He better, otherwise expect his stock to go down as well as his bank roll. The only possible danger with the team is goaltender Jon Quick. Sure he has a 5-3-0 record in 8 starts, but his save percentage finally reached .900 after last night’s game.

  • Five more games in October: DAL, @PHO, CLS, @SJ, VAN.
  • Three divisional games are going to be tough, but they are young enough to keep up their play hopefully. Take 2 out of the 3 divisional games, losing to Phoenix, and split the other two.

Anaheim Ducks are not worth my time right now. 3-4-1 record for 7 points, they need to fix whatever is wrong and they need to fix it fast.


  1. Well, as you say EB, it’s a looooong season.

    You may be a little too ebullient with your Phoenix love
    and a little too quick to simply blow off Anaheim in your analysis. No insight into the Ducks problems?

  2. Koivu has not produced yet, with only 2 points in 8 games.

    Splitting up the Niedemeyers by losing Rob has to negatively impact Scott. Rooming with your brother and playing with him for a few seasons has to create some fun and comfort zone, now it is all gone.

    The rat Getzlaf is setting up plays, but not really putting the puck in the net.

    Pronger is no longer there to hold it down and that hurts bad.

    Overall, they don’t really have a good defensive core besides Scott Niedemeyer who is old, and their new players are still learning the system, as well as their current players are learning to play with the new guys.

    Just going to take time, time that will put them at the bottom of their division….like they are now.

  3. Raise your hand if you think anyone from this division has a shot of coming outta the Western Conference?

    Maybe if Jumbo Joe didn’t choke in each and every playoff he’s ever been in…

    He’s got a nose for the crease during foreplay, but always seems to blow his load before insertion.

  4. OK, EB, that’s a succinct, yet accurate, analysis of Anaheims problems. Good summary. Wasn’t Pittsburgh having a pretty mediocre season until they canned their coach last year? Not to suggest the same for Ducks, my point is that there is much hockey to be played and much can happen before playoffs begin- and that’s a long season in and of itself.

    But I still think you are giving Phoenix too much love.

    Also enjoyed b Lee’s spot on analysis of Jumbo Joes playoff performances as a sexual analogy. Funny yet accurate!

    Good stuff on this site- informative AND amusing.

  5. Who do you cheer for when Detroit plays Phoenix?

    Long season for Anaheim. Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan haven’t produced yet this season. They’ll turn things around when that top line starts clicking like it did last season.

  6. I think Anaheim is good, and will get better, but for the purposes of the article, they currently are not in any running like the other teams.

    As for who I cheer for, right now Phoenix. Red Wings need to worry about their division games, even so, they will start clicking mid season and should be in the playoffs. Phoenix on the other hand tends to trail off after the All Star break, so they need every win they can get right now.

  7. I’m not sure if Anaheim really isn’t worth your time or if your boss walked up while you were writing…Remember that Anaheim barely came in as an 8th seed last year and ousted the Sharks in the first round and came pretty darn close to doing the same to the Red Wings. I wouldn’t count them out so fast. If Getzlaf gets going…yikes…watch out

    And that is a tad blasphemous that you would cheer for Phoenix over Detroit. I’m kind of ashamed to know you.

  8. And then Phoenix wins. Hope you have your eye on some apartments EB, as you may get ousted from a true, blue Red Wing household.

  9. I am quite surprised as last time I wanted someone to win and lose, I was off by a mile.

    For those who watched the game, you have to applaud the Coyotes for their play. They ran a neutral zone trap that caused a lot of turnovers, as well as they applied heavy pressure in the offensive zone also causing turnovers allowing them to keep it in the Wing’s zone.

    They never quit and I hope they are able to keep it up the whole season.

  10. EB puts on a bold face but he cannot be enjoying the outcome of that game- first, Chris says that he is ashamed to know him and then he is threatened to be bounced out of the warm, comfy, confines of his home.

    Bet he wishes he could take all his Coyote bravado back.

  11. I wear my Coyotes hat proud.

    Friends, family nor anyone cannot deter me from believing in the Yotes!

    Last year they were in something like 5th before the All Star break. They are a good team, people try to make it sound like they stink. Look at Toronto and the Islanders, those are crappy teams.

  12. OK….two things and then let’s move on.

    1.) The season does not end at the All Star break. So being in 5th at that point doesn’t mean much, does it?
    2.) Yes- Toronto and Islanders are crappy. And so are
    Coyotes. What’s that saying? Misery loves company.

    On a more serious note- what’s up with Red Wings?
    Still without a win on the road. And they just don’t look real good, do they?

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