SEASON PREVIEW: The Pacific Division

All week long we are going to take a look at the different divisions in the NHL.  We don't know much about other divisions.  The Pens are in our mouth 24/7 because of the blog, so while you jokes are smokin and jokin reading about the Sharks in your spare time, we're making photoshops.
 
We probably pay less attention to the Pacific Division more so than any other. Pens only see the teams once a year, and besides watching the usual late night games during the season, we really couldn't care less about it. 
 
Last season in the Pacific:
 
 
How impressive is that? Everyone but Dallas made the playoffs. And Dallas had a chance last year to win their way into the playoffs, but they lost to Minnesota on the last day of the season.  Probably because of Alex Goligoski.
 
So let's take a look at the teams.
 

 

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The Sharks had a solid season last year, but they still haven't reached the Stanley Cup Finals despite being a powerhouse out west. In the offseason, the Sharks traded their entire team to Minnesota for some reason. The Sharks have made it to two straight Western Conference Finals but have only won one game.
 
 
Matchup with the Pens this year:
November 3, @ San Jose — Pens haven't won in San Jose in like 20 years.  We remember the old days when Lemieux would bring the smokeshow to town and score unlimited goals.
 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
Martin Havlat. What a player. He'll probably be hurt by November 3rd, but whatever.
 
Favorite Sharks moment last year:

 
 
Rinkotology player to watch:
Ryan Clowe. Clowe was a beast in the Rinko playoffs last year. Such an underrated player.
 
Best San Jose blog:
Fear The Fin.  Mr. Plank is one of our oldest friends on the Internet. You need to know about the Sharks, you go to Fear The Fin.
 
Predicted finish:
They probably will be in the race for the division all year. Probably second place, though.

 

 

Anaheim is easily one of the most annoying teams in the NHL. But they have unreal talent up front. Cam Fowler is a young D-man that is only going to get better. Last year their goaltending betrayed them. No clue how Corey Perry scored 50 goals.

Matchup with the Pens this year:
February 15 @ Consol
 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
Jason Blake, who could probably score against the Pens if he didn't have feet, is still in the NHL.
 
Favorite moment last year:
This disgusting goal by Bobby Ryan

 

Rinkotology player to watch:
Bobby Ryan. Ryan might benefit from people paying attention to Corey Perry.
Ducks are stacked with Bobby Ryan, Getzlaf, and Perry.
 
Best blog:
Battle of California. The iconic Earl Sleek and his cartoons have been around forever. Doesn't get much better.
 
Predicted finish:
Third in the division. No clue why either.  Probably could win the division if Hiller had a paint job for his mask. If Hiller stays healthy, look out. If he doesn't, peace.

 

 

Somehow the Coyotes keep playing solid hockey and making the playoffs. They don't stay long, but at least they get there. Might not be their best team this year. It is hard to like the team because it feels like everyone is just waiting until they move.

Matchup with the Pens this year:
March 5th @ Consol
 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
Michael Rozsival, because God hates us sometimes.
 
Favorite moment last year:
No clue.  Maybe that goal they scored in the playoffs.
 
Rinkotology player to watch:
Keith Yandle. Yandle was a beast in last year's playoffs. Last season had 11 goals, 48 assists. Huge.
 
Best blog:
Five For Howling has been getting it done for years. 
 
Predicted finish:
We always pick the Coyotes last. So why change that.

 

 

Kings made one of the biggest moves in the off-season trading for Mike Richards. Richards, even though he is a dick, still is a solid hockey player. He'll give the Kings some playoff experience when the time comes. The Drew Doughty situation seems like it might sink the ship before it even sets sail. 

Matchup with the Pens this year:
November 5th @ Kings
 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
Mike Richards.  This is good as gold.
 
Favorite moment last year:
When they did that one thing.  It was so nasty.
 
Rinkotology player to watch:
Anze Kopitar.  He's only missed 17 games in 5 years.  His plus/minus needs some work, but that's why Mike Richards is in town.
 
Best blog:
 
Predicted finish: First.  In The World.
 

Pacific Division is so stacked anymore that the Dallas Stars are probably better than their record indicates every year.  Jury is still deliberating on whether or not they won the GoGo/Neal-Niskanen trade.  Think about it.

Matchup with the Pens this year:
November 11 @ CONSOL, February 29 @ Dallas
 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
You can call him Al.
 
Favorite moment last year:
When they forgot to trade Brad Richards.
 
Rinkotology player to watch:
Leapin' Loui Eriksson.  His last two seasons had him battling injuries.  He put up 36 goals in '08-'09 when he was like 12 years old.
 
Best blog:
Defending Big D has been in the game for a while.
 
Predicted finish:
If people j'ing o to the Sharks are wrong, the Stars might be making some waves.
 
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fw7iF68JR8k/RighqQCmfHI/AAAAAAAACX4/Z5mBaYqY6EI/s320/fs2231.JPG
 
 
 

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