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Around The Pacific: Kings, Coyotes & Stars Holding Steady

Since we last updated on the race in the Pacific Division, the San Jose have been able to maintain their lead in the Western Conference while expanding their lead in the division to six points. Los Angeles, Phoenix and Dallas have tightened up together, with just three points separating the three teams. Anaheim, while they did enjoy a brief good spell, have dropped back to the bottom of the conference standing and are eight points behind Dallas.

Dallas has been able to barely hold on in the standings, but are just three points ahead of 11th place Columbus. With seven of the next nine games against Western Conference teams deep in the positioning race, the Stars have an opportunity to either make a big move or significantly fall behind.

A detailed look at the division after the jump.

Pacific Standings

San Jose 31 19 7 5 43
Los Angeles 30 17 10 3 37
Phoenix 29 17 11 1 35
Dallas 29 13 8 8 34
Anaheim 29 10 13 6 26

(updated 12.7.2009 at 9:14 AM EST)

Despite all of the frustrations, the Stars are still just three points behind L.A. and nine back of San Jose. That's either completely amazing or extremely disturbing.

San Jose Sharks; 1st in the Pacific Division, 1st in the West

The Sharks are coming off two straight losses, including a shootout loss to St. Louis on Thursday. Here is what Fear The Fin had to say about the loss:

I would be remiss not to touch upon the travesty that was St. Louis-- the fact that a shorthanded goal was given up with six seconds remaining has probably been beaten to death in the game thread, but the truth is I didn't even bother to browse being in a pretty foul mood and all. My biggest issue during the last two minutes wasn't even the shorty, but the fact that the Sharks gave up a two on one roughly forty seconds beforehand. It was a great outlet pass sure, and you have to give credit to the Blues for busting their ass all game, but San Jose has to be aware the forwards are going to be creeping into the neutral zone well before they would usually. After that gets defused with an excellent save by Nabokov, the play heads the other way. And who gets off for a line change as the puck gets dumped into the offensive zone? Two players, Dan Boyle and Rob Blake. Joe Thornton gets a pass here as he was the requisite forechecker on the play (along with beating out the icing call), but Heatley and Marleau need to make a quick change so they don't get caught with tired legs in the defensive zone. Whether it was an honest mistake, competitive instinct, or a case of seeing that empty net opportunity to pad the stats a bit doesn't matter. That shift change needs to get done.

And now we move on.

Sharks Schedule

Next 5 Games

Los Angeles Wed 12/09 9:30 PM CST
Dallas Fri 12/11 9:00 PM CST
@ Phoenix Sat 12/12 7:00 PM CST
Anaheim Thu 12/17 9:30 PM CST
@ Dallas Mon 12/21 7:30 PM CST

Last 5 Games

Calgary Sat 12/05 L 1 - 2
St. Louis Thu 12/03 SO - L 2 - 3
Ottawa Tue 12/01 W 5 - 2
@ Vancouver Sun 11/29 W 4 - 2
@ Edmonton Fri 11/27 SO - W 5 - 4

San Jose Sharks Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jody Shelley other-excused 11/10/2009
Brad Staubitz other-excused 11/16/2009

Leading Scorer:

2009 - Joe Thornton 31 7 33 40 5 6 2 0 1 0 62 11.3

Los Angeles Kings; 2nd in the Pacific Division, 5th in the West:

The Kings are 4-1-1 in their past six games, with three straight wins over Chicago, Anaheim and Ottawa. Connie was impressed:

A great stat from the night was that Michal Handzus and Anze Kopitar both rocked it in the faceoff circle with 81% and 80%, respectively. Also, Wayne Simmonds has continued to impress everyone watching. Tonight he drew a penalty shot where he faked out Mike Elliott and slide the puck between his legs getting the lead back for the Kings. I'm so pleased with his entire game and development so far this season. Go Simmer!

The most surprising part of the game was the goal by Randy Jones in the first minute of the game. In the past that would be the kind of thing the Kings wouldn't be able to do. I seem to recall a game against the Detroit Red Wings two seasons ago where the puck dropped and I could feel it in my bones that the Kings would utterly fail. As predicted, Henrik Zetterberg scored about 51 seconds into the game. Someone can check that number, but I don't think I'm too far off since that memory is seared into my memory bank.

Kings Schedule

Next 5 Games

Calgary Mon 12/07 9:30 PM CST
@ San Jose Wed 12/09 9:30 PM CST
Phoenix Thu 12/10 9:30 PM CST
Dallas Sat 12/12 9:30 PM CST
@ Vancouver Mon 12/14 9:00 PM CST

Last 5 Games

St. Louis Sat 12/05 SO - L 4 - 5
Ottawa Thu 12/03 W 6 - 3
@ Anaheim Tue 12/01 W 4 - 3
Chicago Sat 11/28 SO - W 2 - 1
@ Vancouver Thu 11/26 L 1 - 4

Los Angeles Kings Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Rob Scuderi other-excused 12/07/2009


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brandon Segal other-excused 12/07/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Andrei Loktionov shoulder 11/26/2009
Ryan Smyth other-excused 11/18/2009

Leading Scorer:

2009 - Anze Kopitar 30 14 21 35 3 8 4 0 0 0 92 15.2

Phoenix Coyotes; 3rd in the Pacific Division, 6th in the West:

The Coyotes have won four straight now (and take on the Wild tonight), and Five For Howling has these thoughts:

Play for, you know, 40 minutes at least...
In the post game presser, Coach Dave Tippett even said that the Coyotes weren't putting in a whole lot of effort after they got the first couple of goals. More times than not the effort that they gave on Saturday won't be capable of winning them the game. If it wasn't for the outstanding play in goal and some lucky breaks the Coyotes could have lost that game rather easily. As Tippett said, we'll take the two points, but we can play better and we have to play better.

Give Bryz Some Room, Then Don't Hang Him Out to Dry
The Coyotes got the early lead on Saturday giving goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov some room to breathe and not have to hold the entirety of the team on his shoulders, at least for a little while. Except then the team just decided to go into prevent style play and Ilya was getting a lot more pressure than a shot here and there. When the Coyotes get the lead they need to keep playing as though they don't have it because when they back off the gas bad things quickly happen.

Coyotes Schedule

Next 5 Games

@ Los Angeles Thu 12/10 9:30 PM CST
San Jose Sat 12/12 7:00 PM CST
@ Detroit Mon 12/14 6:30 PM CST
@ Toronto Wed 12/16 6:30 PM CST
@ Columbus Thu 12/17 6:00 PM CST

Last 5 Games

Minnesota Mon 12/07 8:00 PM CST
Ottawa Sat 12/05 W 3 - 2
Calgary Thu 12/03 W 2 - 1
@ Anaheim Sun 11/29 OT - W 3 - 2
Dallas Fri 11/27 W 5 - 2

Phoenix Coyotes Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Peter Mueller other-excused 12/07/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kurt Sauer other-excused 10/07/2009

Lead Scorer:

2009 - Shane Doan 29 7 11 18 -8 15 4 0 1 0 84 8.3

Anaheim Ducks; 5th in the Pacific Division, 15th in the West:

The Ducks have lost two straight and are back at the bottom of the Western Conference. Anaheim Calling is not happy:

This is Anaheim Calling to the hockey world.

The Ducks continue to find impressive ways to lose. Wisniewski is apparently continuing to play with the flu and making mistakes rather than admitting he can't play-- thanks for being tough Wiz. The offense from the top line is picking up again with an upright Joffrey Lupul, but secondary scoring is non-existent. And now, it also seems the power play is drying up. But that's all the bad stuff. While it might be more prudent for Anaheim fans to start thinking of the 2010 draft rather than the 2010 playoffs, can you tell me if there's a bright spot on the Ducks roster right now that can have Ducks fans tricking themselves into believing a playoff run might be in our future?

Ducks Schedule

Next 5 Games

Dallas Tue 12/08 9:00 PM CST
@ Detroit Fri 12/11 6:30 PM CST
@ Columbus Sat 12/12 6:00 PM CST
@ Vancouver Wed 12/16 9:00 PM CST
@ San Jose Thu 12/17 9:30 PM CST

Last 5 Games

Ottawa Sun 12/06 SO - L 3 - 4
@ Minnesota Fri 12/04 SO - L 4 - 5
@ Dallas Thu 12/03 L 1 - 3
Los Angeles Tue 12/01 L 3 - 4
Phoenix Sun 11/29 OT - L 2 - 3

Anaheim Ducks Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ryan Whitney other-illness 12/07/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Teemu Selanne hand 12/04/2009
Ryan Carter foot 11/12/2009
Kyle Calder eye 11/29/2009

Leading Scorer:

2009 - Corey Perry 29 15 21 36 5 32 2 1 0 0 106 14.2