Feb. 10, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Anaheim Ducks right wing George Parros (16) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Around The Pacific: Do Or Die

Feb 10, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Benn Ferriero (78) celebrates with left wing Brad Winchester (10), center Andrew Desjardins (69) and defenseman Brent Burns (88) after scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at HP Pavilion. San Jose defeated Chicago 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

1. San Jose Sharks: (30-17-6, 66 points)

Since Last Week: The Sharks have slipped up a bit as of late. Of course, for the Sharks, slipping up is just a bad game or two before they get back to being the same old Sharks. They went 1-2 over the week, dropping a game to the Calgary Flames and being shut out by Jaroslav Halak and the St. Louis Blues. Fun fact: The Sharks haven’t beat the Blues this season (they’re 0-3 so far), and since these two teams are guaranteed to be in the playoffs, you can bet the last team San Jose wants to see is St. Louis.

Trending: Up. Perpetually up. San Jose is the likely Pacific Division champion with 4 (!) games in hand over the Los Angeles Kings, and likely ready to make yet another deep playoff run. It would take a cataclysmic event to take this team down.

Looking Ahead: The Sharks are in action TONIGHT versus the Washington Capitals, the second night of a back to back series that started last night versus St. Louis. You can catch this game on NBCSN if you are so inclined.

Feb 11, 2012; Uniondale, NY, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

2. Los Angeles Kings: (27-19-11, 65 points)

Since Last Week: Busy week for the Kings, playing four games over the last seven days, putting together a 2-1-1 record. As we all know they picked up a win against Dallas last night, a huge two points for the Kings, who are fighting tooth and nail to put some distance between themselves and the pack.

Trending: Up. They found some scoring from some unlikely sources last night, a huge boost for a team who’s scored less goals than any other team in the NHL, and when you give Jonathan Quick goal support, you’re going to see the Kings pick up wins more often than not.

Looking Ahead: They get a much earned break until Thursday night, when they will face the Coyotes at home.

Feb 7, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) faces the Dallas Stars attack during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

3. Phoenix Coyotes: (27-21-8, 62 points)

Since Last Week: Well, the Coyotes are sure on a nice little streak, aren’t they? Five in a row. 3-0 over the last week. Mike Smith is back in top form, Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney continue to pile up the points, and the Coyotes are on a run that’s putting them right back into top tier of teams fighting for a playoff spot.

Trending: Up. Up, up, and away. Can’t say much else about a team with a five-game winning streak. Now it’s time to see where they go from here.

Looking Ahead: And the next step is a match up against the Vancouver Canucks TONIGHT. If the Coyotes can continue their success tonight, they’ll start turning some heads around the league.

Feb 10, 2012; Buffalo, NY, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) celebrates a goal with center Mike Ribeiro (63) during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

4. Dallas Stars: (28-24-3, 59 points)

Since Last Week: 1-2-1 over the last seven days. A rough stretch for Stars fans, watching a victory in Buffalo slip away, and disappointing losses to the Coyotes and Kings. This is not the kind of performances the Stars want in the middle of February, and it could cost them.

Trending: Neutral. Precipice. In the middle. The tipping point. That’s the Stars. If they keep picking up only one win out of every four games, it’s pretty obvious the Stars won’t be a playoff team.

Looking Ahead: The Stars head to Detroit for a match up on Tuesday night. Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know the Red Wings are going for an NHL-record 21 wins in a row at home. Can the Stars spoil the party? Tune in to see Tuesday.

5. Anaheim Ducks: (22-24-9, 53 points)

Since Last Week: 3-0-1 over the last week. Well, it’s safe to say I was wrong last week, picking them to slip up and not continue their success. The Ducks are looking awfully dangerous, and they’re right on the tails of the Dallas Stars. Next week I might be talking about this team being right in the playoff race.

Trending: Up. A ridiculously impressive stretch continues led by the scoring of Corey Perry. Sounds a lot like last season. Maybe the Ducks just wanted the playoff race to be a bit tougher this year.

Looking Ahead: The Ducks and Wild go at it tomorrow night on NBCSN. The Wild continue to disappoint, and it could be another opportunity for the Ducks to make up ground on a pack team.

 

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Tags: Antti Niemi Anze Kopitar Bobby Ryan Corey Perry Jamie Benn Joe Thornton Jonas Hiller Jonathan Quick Kari Lehtonen Loui Eriksson Michael Ryder Mike Smith Patrick Marleau Radim Vrbata Ray Whitney Teemu Selanne

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