2018 NHL Pacific Division Preview

2018 NHL Pacific Division Preview

The Pacific Division, what I think will be one of the toughest divisions in the league. This division has some of the best players in the league, and some of the best emerging players ready to make a mark. This off-season had a team always struggling to get out of the 1st and 2nd round, get a Norris Winner (San Jose) and the emerging Vegas Golden Knights who shocked everyone, incl. myself.

Anaheim Ducks, start off the season losing Corey Perry. A key piece in that offense, a person who day in and day out has played a big part on the ice. But they will look for Gibson to help carry them and steal some wins for them. I do like him as a potential Vezina Candidate, but will be hard for them to get 95 points this year unless their prospects can fill in the void for Perry. Arizona Coyotes, have everyone believing they have improved and I believe so too. Their team is full of young talent and a goalie who had very similar stats to Vezina candidate, Marc Andre Fleury. The Calgary Flames, added much needed offensive depth to their team with the additions of Derek Ryan, James Neal, and Elias Lindholm. Their much needed depth will help them improve their 27th ranked offense of 2.67 Goals per game, and finally give Mike Smith the offensive support he needs to secure games. The Edmonton Oilers, what can I say, the team has if not, the best player in the league with Connor McDavid, but cannot find any defensemen or other forwards for help.I do not think they addressed this need properly in the off-season, as they go into the season with a similar team as last year. Lacking depth, the Oilers will struggle yet again this year, but will be a team that will be great to bet the over 5.5 on. The LA Kings, the team that just lost their captain Dustin Brown for weeks with a finger injury will miss his leadership in the dressing room. But they do not have much to worry about, LA Kings have been a 2nd Half team, and added KHL monster, Ilya Kovalchuk. This team continues to find a way into Stanley Cup discussions (especially after winning it as an 8th seed), and I do not expect them to miss a beat. They will continue to be a top tier team in the Pacific Division. Doug Wilson, what can I say about this guy. After missing out on the Tavares sweepstakes, he came out with an answer and absolutely fleeced Ottawa by getting Erik Karlsson. A Norris winner, gets added to a deep blue-line already, and instantly makes San Jose cup favourites in my opinion. This Sharks team, becomes very close to the Predators as both teams carry great defensive depth and Karlsson’s offense just adds to the fuel when teams will be facing the Sharks. This Sharks team will cut some slack on Martin Jones workload and will help him improve his 2.55 GAA. The Vancouver Canucks, what a long season it will be for them. Losing out on long time Nucks Sedins was a tragedy, but they enter 2018-19 with Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and young stud Elias Petterson. Couple of youngsters who are a part of the Canucks future for years to come. But this team lacks defense, and have inconsistent goaltending. They will provide us with “flashiness” and some very surprising wins, but expect them to be in the race for that 1st overall pick. And Finally, the Vegas Golden Knights. A team many pegged to be in the bottom of the league last year, emerged as Stanley Cup finalists. This team is fast, gritty, and well coached by Gallant. Last year, Vegas had one of the best, home records in the NHL (29-10-2), teams entered Vegas as favourites during the start of the season, and lose. I do not expect this team to slow down, especially after adding Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny. This team added extra depth to their team, and will battle the Sharks and my sleeper, the Flames for the division.

  • Anaheim Ducks: 95.5 Points
    • Key Acquisitions: Brian Gibbons, Andrej Sustr, Luke Schenn
    • Key Departures: Francois Beauchemin, Antoine Vermette, Kevin Bieksa, Derek Grant, J.T. Brown, Jason Chimera,
    • BET: UNDER 95.5 Points
  • Arizona Coyotes: 82.5 Points
    • Key Acquisitions: Aex Galchenyuk, Michael Grabner
    • Key Departures: Max Domi, Luke Schenn, Zac Rinaldo
    • BET: OVER 82.5 Points
  • Calgary Flames: 94.5 Points
    • Key Acquisitions: James Neal, Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, Derek Ryan,
    • Key Departures:  Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, Matt Stajan, Kris Versteeg, Nick Shore, Matt Bartkowski,
    • BET: OVER 94.5 Points
  • Edmonton Oilers: 92.5 Points
    • Key Acquisitions: Tobias Rieder, Mikko Koskinen, Kyle Brodziak,
    • Key Departures: Michael Cammalleri, Laurent Brossoit, Eric Gryba
    • BET: UNDER 92.5 Points
  • LA Kings: 94.5 Points
    • Key Acquisitions:  Ilya Kovalchuk, Peter Budaj
    • Key Departures:  Tobias Rieder, Torrey Mitchell, Scott Wedgewood, Christian Folin
    • BET: OVER 94.5 Points
  • San Jose Sharks: 101.5 Points
    • Key Acquisitions: Erik Karlsson
    • Key Departures: Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo, Mikkel Boedker, Jannik Hansen, Joel Ward, Eric Fehr, Paul Martin
    • BET: OVER 101.5 points
  • Vancouver Canucks: 76.5 Points
    • Key Acquisitions: Tim Schaller, Jay Beagle
    • Key Departures: Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Jussi Jokinen,Derek Dorsett, Nic Dowd,
    • BET: UNDER 76.5 Points
  • Vegas Golden Knights: 96.5 Points
    • Key Acquisitions: Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny, Daniel Carr, Nick Holden
    • Key Departures: James Neal, David Perron, Luca Sbisa,Jason Garrison,
    • BET: OVER 96.5 Points
  • To Win Division: Sharks (+220), Golden Knights (+275), Flames (+560)
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