As a new feature here at Five for Howling we'll take a look back at the past week and how the competition in the rest of the Pacific Division fared. A couple things of note: Games +/- is how many games in hand we have on a given team. e.g. if the Ducks have played 3 more games than us they'd be a +3, The Kings having played one less would be a -1.
The Pacific division has been and likely will continue to be one of the closely bunched in the league. With each team having their ups and downs all the teams are within 5 points of one another. The Coyotes will have to be careful to be the first to gain some separation and each game, especially in the division will be important to collect 2 points in.
Dallas Stars - 1st in the Pacific Division
Overall Record: 16-8-2 for 34 Points. Games +/-: Even
Last Week: 2-0-1 (W - vs WAS, W - vs MIN, OTL - @ CBJ)
Upcoming games this week: Wed @ CHI, Fri vs. CAR, Sat @ PHX and Mon @ SJ
With an impressive win over Washington and following that up by collecting points over teams sliding down the standings in Minnesota and Columbus the Stars have turned what was supposed to be season of retooling into a division leading one instead. While the Brad Richards rumors continue to swirl and their own ownership issues as Tom Hicks tries to unload the team the Stars have hung tough and made the most of a difficult situation.
Top performer of the week: Brandon Segal with a goal and 3 assists and a +4 in 3 games.
Phoenix Coyotes - 2nd in the Pacific Division
Overall Record: 13-7-6 for 32 Points. Games +/-: n/a
Last Week: 2-1-1 (L - @NSH, W - @MIN, OTL - vs. FLA, W - @ANH)
Upcoming games this week: Thurs vs. MIN, Sat vs. DAL
Not a perfect week by any means, but the Coyotes have really shown up offensively outshooting teams rather than being the team getting out shot. The Coyotes are still responsible defensively, but try more often to push the puck the other way and it's started to pay dividends.
Top performer of the week: Keith Yandle - In the past 4 games he played 107:43 total minute an average of about 26:55. In those 4 games Yandle got 2 key assists and was a -1 against the top lines of the opposition.
Los Angeles Kings - 3rd in the Pacific Division
Overall Record: 15-10-0 for 30 Points. Games +/-: -1
Last Week: 2-0-0 (W - vs. FLA, W - vs. DET)
Upcoming games this week: Thurs vs. CGY, Sat vs. MIN, Mon @ DET
After losing 4 games in a row the Kings came into a week light on games and defeated the Panthers and carried that into the game with Detroit and managed to take out those stinkin' Red Wings in overtime.
Top performer of the week: Anze Kopitar with 2 game winning goals as well as an assist.
San Jose Sharks - 4th in the Pacific Division
Overall Record: 13-9-4 for 30 Points. Games +/-: Even
Last Week: 2-2-0 (L - vs DET, W - @OTT, L - @MTL, W - vs. DET)
Upcoming games this week: Wed @PHI, Thurs @BUF, Sat vs CHI, Mon vs. DAL
The Sharks have surprised many by coming out of the gates much more slowly than usual. They haven't played badly necessarily, but haven't shown the dominance that many are used to, but it's still early and when the defense gets it together the Sharks will push for the division title again.
Top performer of the week: Rookie Logan Couture had 4 goals and was +4 in this past week's 4 games.
Anaheim Ducks - 5th in the Pacific Division
Overall Record: 13-13-3 for 29 Points. Games +/-: +3
Last Week: 1-2-0 (W - vs FLA, L - vs DET, L - vs PHX)
Upcoming games this week: Tues @EDM, Wed @VAN, Fri vs CGY , Sun vs MIN
Don't be fooled by the illusion. The Ducks are still in the basement of the Pacific, they've just played 3 more games than any of the other teams which brings them a little closer in the standing for now. Not helping is Teemu Selane being out for a while with a day-to-day going pull.
Top performer of the week: Top goal scorer for the week? George Parros with 2. That's not a good sign, but good on George for a couple tallies.