San Jose Sharks Somehow Still Afloat In Pacific Division


Despite a six-game losing streak, the San Jose Sharks are somehow still afloat within the mediocre Pacific Division. Now, that doesn’t mean the Sharks should feel any sense of comfort following their 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night as San Jose sits just four points ahead of the last place Anaheim Ducks. In fact, San Jose has four teams nipping at their heels, all just one point behind the second-place Sharks.

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Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Kings continue to sit comfortably up at the top of the Pacific Division. The Kings extended their margin over the rest of the division with a six-game winning streak, although they’ve dropped two consecutive games for only the third time this season. It will take quite a surge, or let down, for Los Angeles to fall from the first place position in the Pacific.

Surging from the cellars right into the middle of the pack are the two Western Canada teams as the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers have used extended winning streaks to erase their porous start to the year. Although they still possess the league’s worst defense, power play and penalty kill, Calgary has rattled off six-straight wins and are undefeated in the month of December, including a victory over San Jose. Four of those six wins have come in a shootout or overtime, but the Flames have inserted themselves right back into the division race.

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Todd McLellan has the Oilers playing some of their best hockey in years as Edmonton had their own six-game winning streak, that was snapped against the Rangers on Tuesday night. Taylor Hall has been absolutely lights out for Edmonton as he has five goals and four assists in his last five games, including the game-winning overtime goal against the Sharks last week.

Similar to San Jose, it’s been a rough go of late for the Arizona Coyotes who have lost six of their last seven games. Things won’t get any easier for the league’s 29th-rated defense as starting netminder Mike Smith will miss the next 8-10 weeks following core muscle surgery.

The Vancouver Canucks continue to hold on by a thread in the division as they’ve dropped both of their games during the past week by a 10-2 margin to begin a six-game road trip. The Canucks have the look and feel of a team that could begin to fall down the standings in the coming weeks.

Rounding out the division are the Ducks who have yet to fully put together all the pieces this season. Anaheim hasn’t played since Dec. 11 when they were dismantled by the Carolina Hurricanes. The Ducks are still looking to revive their dormant offense which remains last in the league in terms of goals scored with only 56 through 29 games.

Next: Sharks Snap Six-Game Slide With Win Over Canadiens

San Jose continues their road trip with two more stops in Canada as they face the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators the next two nights, before heading back into the Western Conference to take on the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.