We’ve reached (roughly) the halfway mark of the NHL season. The Pacific is as close as ever, everyone is streaking, and even the Ducks are looking like their old selves. Read ahead to get a look at each team, how they’ve performed since last week, where they’re headed, and what’s next.
Since Last Week: Three games, three wins. The Sharks became the first Pacific Division team to hit the 50 point mark, and they did it playing fewer games than all of the other teams in the division. In other words, the Sharks are a pretty good team. They picked up a huge win against the streaking Washington Capitals on Saturday night and are a fantastic 8-1-1 in their last ten games.
Trending: Upwards. As far upwards as it gets. The team has won four straight and haven’t lost in regulation since December 26th against the Ducks.
Looking Ahead: The Sharks are about to embark on a four game road trip, and the first stop on the trip is the Minnesota Wild, in a nationally televised game on Tuesday night.
Since Last Week: The Stars followed up their 5-4 loss to the Detroit Red Wings with two solid victories against Nashville and Edmonton, both with a 4-1 score. They’re an even 5-5 over their last ten games, but have been playing solid since the embarrassing 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 29th.
Trending: Upwards. Four goals in four straight games, three of those being wins, and the offensive explosion of Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro are the reasons for the Stars success over the last week. Benn is obviously having a career year, and as long as he can stay healthy, he’s going to continue to be the Stars leading point scorer.
Looking Ahead: The Stars set out on a brief, two-game west coast swing to face the Ducks and the Kings. Tomorrow’s tilt is against the Ducks and begins at 9:00pm. Remember this game is broadcast on FSSW+, so check your local listings and don’t miss out.
Since Last Week: Just two games for the Kings over the last six days, and they went 1-1. Both games were 1-0 scores, and both were snoozers. The Kings, while floruishing under new coach Darryl Sutter, are still having trouble finding offense. Losing to the lowly Blue Jackets without even scoring a goal was an example of how much work the team has left to do.
Trending: Neutral. The Kings are playing with fire, they’ve been spectacular with Sutter, but the magic needs to keep coming, and the offense needs to get going. They’re in the midst of a six-game home stand, but have split the games 2-2. Not the best of records, but the Kings have a habit of forcing games to overtime, giving them much needed points no matter the outcome.
Looking Ahead: The Kings are in action TONIGHT against the Washington Capitals.
Since Last Week: A 1-1-1 record over the last week may seem decent enough, but those two losses were dismal affairs. They were shutout by the Kings, and pounded by the Blues before finally regrouping to put a beating of their own on the Islanders.
Trending: Neutral. The team’s recent lackluster performance has all the makings of your run of the mill slump. How quickly they can bounce back is the real question. It doesn’t help with all the recent news that the Coyotes seem less and less likely to stay in Phoenix.
Looking Ahead: The ‘Yotes have a small three game road trip, starting with Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers.
Since Last Week: Surprisingly, the Ducks are 2-1, and have won two games in a row for the first time since October. The offense has exploded, and if it’s a sign of things to come, head coach Bruce Boudreau might finally have this team on the right track, but is it too little too late?
Trending: Upwards. Finally some confidence in Anaheim, finally some wins. The team is probably too far gone to save the season, but talk of blowing up the team in trades seems to have subsided a bit with the recent success. As long as Jonas Hiller’s recent injury is not serious, the team has good reason to be confident about the future.
Looking Ahead: The Ducks and Stars face off tomorrow night.