Originally posted on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 9/30/13
The Pacific division is good for a few things. The number one thing it is good for is falling asleep to on a long winter night. Here is our preview of it. Pacific Division (In order of predicted finish) 1. San Jose Sharks The Sharks didn’t change a whole lot this summer but they never do.  Tyler Kennedy brings his bottom six abilities to the team.  Raffi Torres was back after signing a new deal, but then karma reared it's ugly head. A big question mark for the Sharks will be the health of Martin Havlat, who basically had his groin rebuilt.  If he stays healthy, he could be that added piece that puts the Sharks in their first Stanley Cup. Player to watch Antti Niemi.  Niemi was a rock for the Sharks last season, posting a 2.16 GAA, .924 SV% and 4 SO. Player not to watch Tyler Kennedy.  How many more times can you watch him come down the wing and miss the net? He could die in the Western Conferenc. Games vs. the Penguins Dec. 5 @ PIT, 7 pm Mar. 6 @ SJ, 10:30 pm 2. LA Kings After getting through two grueling series against the Blues and Sharks, the Kings bowed out in five games to the Cup Champion Blackhawks last playoffs.  Backup goalie Jonathan Bernier was dealt in the offseason to Toronto.  Dustin Penner and Rob Scuderi both left via Free Agency.  Willie Mitchell is back after sitting out last season because he didn’t want to play. Player to watch Jonathan Quick.  He didn’t have a great regular last year but was dominate in the playoffs with a 1.86 GAA,  .934 SV%, and  3 SO. Player not to watch Daniel Carcillo.  There are few players in the game who are as dumb as Carcillo, he’s toned it down but he’s still worthless. Games vs. the Penguins Jan. 30 @ LA , 10:30 pm Mar. 27 @ PIT, 10:30 pm 3. Anaheim Ducks Bobby Ryan is no longer a Duck after they put him out of his misery and traded him to Ottawa for Jakob Silfverberg and friends.  The Ducks may need to bring back Gordon Bombay to show Bruce Boudreau how to coach in big games.  A great regular season, followed by a playoff disappointment has been a common theme for Boudreau that doesn‘t have to do with him making unlimited trips to the Jack in the Box.  Good news is Teemu Selanne will return for his 100th career season.  Player to watch Ryan Getzlaf.  He had a bounce back season last year with 49 points in 44 games.  He also has a new contract that will keep him a Duck for life alongside Corey Perry. Player not to watch Sheldon Souray.  He’ll miss the start of the season with an injury.  But his biggest problem is he still thinks it’s still 2003.  Hard to get over a bad slashing penalty he took in Game 2 against the Red Wings that cost the Ducks the game.  Games vs. the Penguins Nov. 18 @ PIT, 7:30 pm Mar. 7 @ ANA, 10:00 pm 4. Edmonton Oilers A lot of change happened for the Oilers this offseason.  Craig MacTavish is the new GM after everyone realized Steve Tambellini was not good at his job.  Ralph Kruger was fired and replaced by the Canadian media’s favorite person to jerk off to, Dallas Eakins.  David Perron was brought in from the Blues for Magnus Paajarvi.  Andrew Ference was given a big deal to provide some veteran presence on the blue line, and Boyd Gordon was given a ridiculous contract to play third line center.  Andrew Ference is their captain. Think about that. Player to watch Taylor Hall. Hall had a really solid season last year.  He averaged more than a point per game for the first time in his career. Player not to watch Ryan Smyth.  His biggest contribution nowadays seems to be whining about not playing. Games vs. the Penguins Oct. 15 @ PIT, 7:00 pm Jan. 10 @ EDM, 10:00 pm 5. Vancouver Canucks Where to start?  A bizarre offseason for the Canucks started with the trading of coaches with the Rangers.  Alain Vigneault was fired and John Tortorella was brought in.  The shocker this offseason was the move to deal Cory Schneider to New Jersey at the draft.  No one saw this coming, as it was anticipated that Roberto Luongo would be dealt.  Instead, Luongo is the starting goaltender for good in Vancouver. Hopefully the Canuck's season includes someone telling the Green Men they just aren't relevant anymore. Player to watch Zack Kassian. He had an alright season with Canucks last year but could be the type of player who thrives under Tortorella, unless he tweets too much. Player not to watch David Booth.  He once scored 60 points in an NHL season but hasn’t been close since.  Games vs. the Penguins Oct. 19 @ PIT, 1:00 pm Jan. 7 @ VAN, 10:00 pm   6. Phoenix Coyotes The Coyotes are staying in Phoenix and everyone is still a little butthurt about it.  Hot head Mike Ribeiro was given a sizable contract to be the No. 1 Center on a team lacking scoring punch.  A few other moves were made, but GM Don Maloney knows what he is doing and the Coyotes will be a competitive team again in the Pacific. Player to watch Oliver Ekman-Larsson.  One of the most underrated players in the NHL.  He could be a Norris candidate.  Player not to watch Paul Bissonnette.  He’s not that good of a player, but he’s always had his twitter account to fall back on.  Yes, Paul is a funny guy for robbing NHL teams and providing an outdated role to his team. Games vs. the Penguins Feb. 1 @ PHO, 8:00 pm Mar. 25 @ PIT, 7:00 pm   7. Calgary Flames It doesn’t matter. Player to watch Wouldn’t recommend watching any players from the Flames this season. Player not to watch All of them. Games vs. the Penguins Dec. 21 @ PIT, 1:00 pm Jan. 11 @ CGY, 10:00 pm
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