The NHL took a break for the All Star festivities, which have been covered elsewhere on this blog. The Pacific division won, which I guess is cool? Also to be honest that's kind of hilarious since it's, like, pretty easily the worst division in the NHL this year, as we've been going over every other week in this very feature! Since that aforementioned break took place during the last two weeks we've got less to talk about than usual, with all the teams in the division having played somewhere between 2-5 games. Still, it's a good time to take a snapshot as we see where everyone stands coming out of the ASB and getting ready to make a push for the playoffs.
As always, all of our advanced stats come to you courtesy of War on Ice and are at even strength only.
CF%: Corsi For % (percent of all shot attempts)
FF%: Fenwick For % (percent of unblocked shot attempts)
PDO: Save percentage plus shooting percentage
SC%: Scoring Chance %, based on shot location
HSC%: High-danger scoring chance %, based on shot location
|1. Los Angeles||49||
|2. San Jose
And here's a quick overview of what the Wild Card race looks like today:
WC 1: Colorado Avalanche, 57 points, 26 ROWs (52 GP)
WC 2: Nashville Predators, 56 points, 22 ROWs (50 GP)
-Wild (55 points, 23 ROWs, 49 GP)
-Ducks (51 points, 20 ROWs, 47 GP
-Canucks (51 points, 16 ROWs, 50 GP)
-Jets (47 points, 22 ROWs, 49 GP)
-Flames (45 points, 20 ROWs, 48 GP)
-Oilers (43 points, 15 ROWs, 50 GP)
1. Los Angeles (last time: 1, record since 1/20: 1-3-0): The Kings finally had a pretty bad stretch for the first time in a while, winning just one of their last four games heading into the All Star Break. They lost a pair to Minnesota & Arizona before getting a much-needed comeback OT win against the Sharks, then finished the pre-ASG schedule off with another loss to the Avalanche. Suddenly the ridiculous lead in the division is down to merely a comfy one, as the Kings are 7 points up on San Jose but have played one more game. Can the Kings maintain their lead heading down into the playoff stretch run, or is this the start of the race finally getting interesting?
2. San Jose (last time: 2, record since 1/20: 3-0-1): The other half of that equation is of course the Sharks, who picked up 7 out of a possible 8 points before the All Star Break. Of course, they could have been really in the race for the top spot had they not blown it at home against the Kings on the 24th; had they not allowed the tying goal by Vinny Lecavalier with just 13 seconds left in regulation and held on to win instead, they would be sitting just four points back with a game in hand (the Kings would have had 2 less points at 61 and the Sharks would have had one more at 57), instead of 7 points back. That's a pretty big swing, right? Phew.
3. Arizona (last time: 3, record since 1/20: 2-2-0): A middling .500 record for the Coyotes, the team that's in a playoff position yet had no representation on the Pacific all-star team. Guess you shouldn't have traded your one all star away, Yotes. Now they have the resurgent Ducks to deal with as they try to hold onto that playoff spot.
4. Anaheim (last time: 5, record since 1/20: 3-0-0): The Ducks went a perfect 3-0 to really put some pressure on the Coyotes again for third in the division, as they sit just 2 points back with 2 games in hand. The Ducks are also in the Wild Card race, 5 points behind the Predators but with 3 games in hand on them.
5. Vancouver (last time: 4, record since 1/20: 1-2-0): Vancouver dropped 2 of their last 3 games before the ASB, falling from 4th to 5th in the division. They're still tied in points with the Ducks so things aren't completely hopeless for them yet, but they've also played 50 games, which is tied for the most in the division. And obviously with their pathetic 16 ROWs (one more than the Oilers!!!) they absolutely have to finish at least a point ahead of anyone for a hope at a playoff spot, because they sure aren't gonna win any tiebreakers.
6. Calgary (last time: 6, record since 1/20: 1-3-0): In that ever-competitive race to the bottom among the Canadian teams of this division, the Flames dropped 3 of their last 4, putting them a solid notch below Vancouver. Good work, Calgary!
7. Edmonton (last time: 7, record since 1/20: 0-2-0): And finally, in last place as usual, here's the Oilers, who managed to win neither of their two games. But hey, they lost fewer games than the Flames and Kings, so uh, good work Edmonton? I guess?
Here's what the next week of games will look like for the division (remembering that there are no games tonight, Monday 2/1). All times are- you guessed it- Pacific time.
||-||@MTL (11 am)
||@NYI (11:30 am)
That's all for this time, see you again in a couple of weeks!