NHL Pacific Division Weekly: The Red Hot Flames

Listen up, shark lovers. I know that all you have in mind right now is a wonderful Thomas Hertl contract extension. I’m there with you, I swear. However, there is a lot going on in division that we have to talk about. Like how the Calgary Flames are sitting at the top of the standings as they quietly approach the trade deadline.

Anaheim Ducks (27-26-11)

Remember when ducks were okay? Those days are gone, our orange enemies have fallen out of the rankings and will need to jump five teams to secure the Wild Card position. This week definitely didn’t help – they didn’t win a single game. The New Jersey Devils beat them 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday, the New Yorkers knocked them down to Earth with a 4-3 defeat the following night and then concluded the wild ride with a 4-3 overtime loss to New. York Rangers.

Back in the pool (center), the Florida Panthers handed them Joe Thornton a 3-0 loss.

So the fiery sale began in Anaheim, with the team shipping Josh Manson, Nicholas Deslaurier, Humbus Lindholm and Cody Curran to make room for their young stars, along with earned prospects and picks.

Calgary Flames (37-16-8)

The Flames continues to maintain its position in the top three this week. The game began with a 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, and concluded a four-game match. Blake Coleman, Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli found the net to give their team the win.

However, the roles were switched when they went on the road the next night against the Colorado Avalanche and were closed 3-0. They got their groove back on again on Wednesday, when they beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3. It was such a team effort that Milan Lucic grabbed the board that night. The Buffalo Sabers came into town after that, and Calgary still got a point in a narrow 1-0 loss in overtime.

The Flames won’t fix what isn’t broken, adding forward Kaley Yarnrock in exchange for a huge load of draft picks at the Seattle Kraken: 2022 FLA second-round pick, 2023 third-round pick and 2024 seventh-round pick.

Edmonton Oilers (35-23-4)

Edmonton started this week in better shape than its predecessor. The Oilers haven’t played their best hockey game since the All-Star break, but things are starting to turn with four straight wins this week. First came a 4-1 home win over Tampa Bay Lightning.

Next was in the form of a 7-5 win over the Red Wings. Evander Kane scored twice while Conor McDavid, Kyler Yamamoto, Warren Voigel, Zach Hyman and Devin Shore all found the net once. Next came the Al-Saif team, who held only one goal in the final 6-1. After closing out a five-game house, McDavid had a three-point game in a 6-3 win over the Devils.

Injuries have kept Oilers’ squad in flux, but the goalkeeper is the deciding factor in Edmonton. Something to watch on Monday is approaching.

Los Angeles Kings (34-22-8)

Let’s take a moment to remember the beautiful Sharks’ 5-0 victory over the Kings for a second. Let’s really soak it in. Well, now for the rest of the week.

Sadly, the Kings defeated Joe Thornton and the Panthers 3-2 in a penalty shootout on Sunday, spoiling everyone’s favorite Eastern Conference team with a perfect run through California. However, they lost 3-0 in their next match against Avalanche, so they made up for it. Then, the Sharks had another chance to beat the Kings, ending their season streak with a perfect sweep. I wish we could say this happened, rather than a 3-0 closure.

The team made a quick trip to Nevada afterward, where the Vegas Golden Knights reminded the Kings they were a slate completely plagued with injuries, handing the team a 5-1 loss.

Despite holding a thread in the post-season race, the Kings appear to be pleased with the call-up players’ performance, and will likely look to add reinforcements to pass the team during this recovery period.

Seattle Kraken (18-38-6)

The struggling Seattle Kraken played only two games this week, but they won the first game. The 4-3 penalty shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens saw goals from Ryan Donato, Jared McCann and Yanni Gorde line up. Philip Grobur saved 30 balls to help his team win the match.

They had no luck against visiting Lightning on Wednesday, as they fell 4-1 with a lone goal that came from Gord’s wand.

Eyeing its future on the team’s first commercial deadline, Kraken aims to hoard draft picks versus players who only made the move to Seattle last summer.

Vancouver Canucks (30-25-7)

The Canucks had a week of ups and downs, while the team was at a home of seven games against Eastern Conference teams. The match began with a 4-3 loss in overtime against the Washington Capitals on Friday. Things got worse from there as they fell 2-1 to Lightning on Sunday. Canucks’ only goal was scored by GT Miller.

Things looked for the team when they beat the Devils 6-3 on Tuesday. Pacific teams love to beat the Devils by scoring six goals this week. Bo Horvat scored twice, while Tanner Pearson, Nils Hoeglander, Brad Hunt and Juhu Lameko scored. On Thursday they saw the Red Wings lose 1-0, the only goal scored by Pius Sutter midway through the second half.

While the Canucks may really be “one good half” of the playoffs, this run is completely improbable, and it seems as if the team admits it, with several players’ names relaying in the trade rumours. They’re not committing to buy or sell just yet, with two games left before Monday’s deadline.

Vegas Golden Nights (34-26-4)

How would you feel if I told you that Vegas lost most of their games this week with a lot of goals? The match began with a 5-2 loss to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. Next, they lost 6-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. But wait! there is more! They finished the road trip with a 7-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Everything was great and we loved it

Unfortunately, ice on the ground seemed to be the answer, as the team made two consecutive five-goal runs, beating the Panthers (Boo!) 5-3 on Thursday and the Kings 5-1 on Saturday.

It’s another team that can’t get a break from injuries this year and the bad news keeps coming: Jacques Eichel (upper body injury) was a game-time decision against the Kings. He’s already played, but that’s something to watch, especially with injuries piling up. The biggest question before the trading deadline will be how they handle injuries to the net, something that could make or stop the qualifying round.

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