2019/20 Pacific Division

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ESQ
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2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by ESQ » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:44 am

Looking around the division, I think it will be a dogfight to the finish, and the Canucks will be right there - not because the team is suddenly a contender, but because a weak division has remained weak.

Last year, the Central took both wildcard spots. Vegas took 3rd in the Pac with 93 points. I believe that the Pacific's #3 seed will be the easier path the Playoffs this year than the Central.

Flames - they had a fairy-tale season last year with no serious adversity or injury. When confronted with adversity in Round 1, they were done in 5. I believe Gaudreau was hurt, putting up 1 assist in 5 games, and getting countless whacks to the wrists. I think they're the most likely to drop out of the playoff picture.

Sharks - they got lucky with an incredible trade for Karlsson. They gave up virtually nothing to acquire him. BUT, to keep him, they gave up Pavelski, their best forward (IMO) and leading goal-scorer. The reason I wanted the Canucks to get Karlsson was we wouldn't be giving up anything to fit him in, but San Jose took a huge loss to keep him. Could work out, but with Thornton still up-in-the-air, the loss of the Joes could be a big deal - especially if Karlsson misses half the season...

Vegas - will the fairy tale finally come to an end? Year 1 it was Karlsson and Marchessault putting up unreal numbers. Year 2, at least by the time the playoffs rolled around, it was Stone/Pacioretty?Stasny playing unbelievable hockey. Now, they have no cap space and only 5 D and 1 G signed. Nobody's been able to predict what this team would do, and I don't think I can now either.

Arizona - adding Kessel was huge. Looking at that lineup though, it seems like they over-achieved last year.

Anaheim - maybe addition by subtraction with Perry, but they are still old and had the worst offence last season and haven't made any big moves. They have cap room and all their picks, could they take a run at an offer sheet?

Edmonton - basically no additions, no major roster shake-ups, they swapped one mediocre goalie for another. They bought-out their best (when healthy) defender. They're basically rolling the dice with the same team that has made the playoffs once in the past 3 years.

Kings - they seem to be happy in the toilet for now. The tank got them a 5th overall, but their lottery odds are far better than their playoff odds. Could a new coach (3rd in 2 years) make a difference? Another team with a lot of room and all their picks.

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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by ESQ » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:00 pm

Canucks with Myers, Miller, Ferland in.

Spooner and Hutton out.

I'd say the Canucks are the most-improved in the Pac.

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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by Chef Boi RD » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:03 pm

Really not sure what’s going on in Edmonton. Very quiet off season for them. Benning is saying to the Albertan teams this summer “this is how you do it biotches!”
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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by Diehard1 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:10 pm

ESQ wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:00 pm
Canucks with Myers, Miller, Ferland in.

Spooner and Hutton out.

I'd say the Canucks are the most-improved in the Pac.
Yep probably are the most improved. Had a lot of ground to make up though.

Flamers, Vegas, Sharks still better than Nucks.

Yotes around the same with Kessel and likely a full Raanta season.

Oil, Kings, Ducks still look bad.

Nucks should be close to getting in. It’s not a given but I’m getting more confident with each move Jimbo makes. Hopefully it continues.

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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by Benjo » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:24 pm

RoyalDude wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:03 pm
Really not sure what’s going on in Edmonton. Very quiet off season for them. Benning is saying to the Albertan teams this summer “this is how you do it biotches!”
Edmonton is saddled with even worse players signed to even worse contracts than the Canucks. Holland can only put polish on the turd until some of those horrendous deals expire. Astounding they are even more cap strapped than the Canucks with that lineup.

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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by Cherry Picker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:29 pm

Diehard1 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:10 pm
ESQ wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:00 pm
Canucks with Myers, Miller, Ferland in.

Spooner and Hutton out.

I'd say the Canucks are the most-improved in the Pac.
Yep probably are the most improved. Had a lot of ground to make up though.

Flamers, Vegas, Sharks still better than Nucks.

Yotes around the same with Kessel and likely a full Raanta season.

Oil, Kings, Ducks still look bad.

Nucks should be close to getting in. It’s not a given but I’m getting more confident with each move Jimbo makes. Hopefully it continues.
Flames weakness is between the pipes. They may sink some.
Sharks are not much better in net and losing Little Joe removes their most clutch player. Big Joe ain’t getting younger.
Yotes top six is not impressive even with Kessel. Doubt they improve much.
Vegas has the division locked up already. They look solid everywhere.
Canucks have the best goalies after Vegas and LA. They are definitely competing for a top three slot.
LA has goalies, but not getting any younger. I don’t think they did much to improve.
Anaheim looks to be on the way down.
Edmonton did nothing significant, but they may be improved because they are healthy on D to start the season. They need some scoring wingers badly.
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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by The Brown Wizard » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:46 pm

Ya the sharks are interesting. Will EK come back like days of old or has his 2nd tier career begun now?

I'd say Pavelski was a close 2nd to Couture as far as clutch for them but ya...thatll really sting.

Vancouver can challenge for the division if they can gel fairly early. Expect some confusion and a mediocre start possibly while the pieces fall into place. Could be til xmas before we see what we really have
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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by The Brown Wizard » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:50 pm

RoyalDude wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:03 pm
Really not sure what’s going on in Edmonton. Very quiet off season for them. Benning is saying to the Albertan teams this summer “this is how you do it biotches!”
It is odd that the new gm hasnt done fuck all. Theyre populating their top 2 line wings with rubbish and need to add some scoring punch desperately.

Maybe Holland is a dumbass after all :lol:
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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by ESQ » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:26 pm

Uncle dans leg wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:46 pm
Ya the sharks are interesting. Will EK come back like days of old or has his 2nd tier career begun now?

I'd say Pavelski was a close 2nd to Couture as far as clutch for them but ya...thatll really sting.

Vancouver can challenge for the division if they can gel fairly early. Expect some confusion and a mediocre start possibly while the pieces fall into place. Could be til xmas before we see what we really have
They basically gave up little Joe for EK. If EK is hurt, they could be in trouble. They score, but their goaltending is shaky...and they're old.

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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by ESQ » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:28 pm

Uncle dans leg wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:50 pm

It is odd that the new gm hasnt done fuck all. Theyre populating their top 2 line wings with rubbish and need to add some scoring punch desperately.

Maybe Holland is a dumbass after all :lol:
Seems to be rebuild #3 there. But I don't know what other options they had.

For me the Sekera buyout was the really bizarre move. Lose your best Dman for cap space, then do nothing with that space.

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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by ESQ » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:50 pm

ESQ wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:26 pm
Uncle dans leg wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:46 pm
Ya the sharks are interesting. Will EK come back like days of old or has his 2nd tier career begun now?

I'd say Pavelski was a close 2nd to Couture as far as clutch for them but ya...thatll really sting.

Vancouver can challenge for the division if they can gel fairly early. Expect some confusion and a mediocre start possibly while the pieces fall into place. Could be til xmas before we see what we really have
They basically gave up little Joe for EK. If EK is hurt, they could be in trouble. They score, but their goaltending is shaky...and they're old.
NBC had a piece on the sharks outlook after losing Doonskoi, Nyquist and Pavelski - basically they lost a very good 2nd line.

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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by UWSaint » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:12 am

ESQ wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:44 am
Looking around the division, I think it will be a dogfight to the finish, and the Canucks will be right there - not because the team is suddenly a contender, but because a weak division has remained weak.
The Canucks are fortunate. This is a weak division. It was a weak division last year. And I don't think any team got clearly better this offseason other than the Canucks.

I think the Flames start from a stronger baseline than you give them credit for and that their fairy tale season last year wasn't punching that much above their expected weight. Still, anytime you have a big question in net, you are vulnerable.

And so that applies to the Sharks as well. Going into last season, I would have considered Jones to be a good goaltender and Dell to be a backup that might be able to step up if Jones got hurt or suffered. But they were both pretty awful last year. I think Jones will bounce back some, but it remains a question. The offseason has made this team far worse. The Sharks have lost quality players: Pavelski, Doonskoi, Nyquist, and Braun without brining in any more-than-marginal immediate NHL talent. That is a LOT to lose. They still have an impressive team with a good mix of experience and young talent, but they are going to need to adjust. We've seen this team wobble before and everytime it seems like a new player steps up.

Its hard to evaluate Vegas because their offseason isn't over. They've got to move more out. I've got huge doubts about their defensive quality and depth. They need their Age 30 and up players to continue to be valuable; if Fleury or Pacioretty start to decline, they may be in for a rude awakening. They need to not only get under the cap, but (IMO), address that (likely with Gusev rights). I suspect they are floating one of their top 6. Expansion teams will have a prospect bubble, and now is when Vegas is going to really feel it. They don't have the pool of 2014-16 draft picks to fill out rosters on cheap contract and maybe find diamonds in the rough that can add super value on ELCs. As a result is, they've added to their core group with full market price talent, and their great expansion draft players are getting paid. There are times I think Vegas is the best in the Pacific and yet if they finished out of the playoffs, I wouldn't be surprised. All the cracks are visible.

Arizona has Kessel -- that's an upgrade on Galchenyuk, but I think that we might have learned that Kessel is a far better player with other talent than carrying a line. So who's that telent? Keller if he moves another step forward. But if he doesn't? AZ basically adds Schmaltz, who was injured last year. But I am not sure Schmaltz is really a difference maker -- I think they overvalued him and put a heck of a lot of weight on one good 3 month run in Chicago. Soderberg's career year won't be duplicated. Defense is solid, but in net? Be wary of one-year wonders after a career of mediocrity (Kuemper -- goes to Markstrom, too, by the way, but Marky's floor is higher). Is Raanta even available? If he is, is he done? It wouldn't surprise me if even after the Kessel trade this group has trouble getting 220 goals. This is an organization whose fate seems to be perpetually knocking on the door.

LAK, Edmonton, and Anaheim don't matter much. They were bad last year, there were reasons they were bad (they aren't talented rosters with one off year or injuries). If Quick is done, LAK needs to unwind the whole thing. They probably need to anyway. Anaheim has Gibson; Gibson gives them a shot (see the Canucks in Bobby Lu's first season), but its a long shot. Edmonton has McDavid, he is God, so anything's possible. But I don't think any of these teams have a good case that they are going to take a playoff spot away.
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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by UWSaint » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:18 am

Last thought, even if the top 3 teams look like good bets to make the playoffs again -- say a 75% chance for each -- that's still better a than even chance that at least one won't make the playoffs. I think someone's going to lose a firm grip on a spot, and they will end of fighting the Canucks and Coyotes for it.

Better teams in the central, but I'm not sold that the division will necessarily produce 5 spots.
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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by Island Nucklehead » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:34 am

UWSaint wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:12 am
The Canucks are fortunate. This is a weak division. It was a weak division last year. And I don't think any team got clearly better this offseason other than the Canucks.
An excellent post, as usual, UW. I think it boils down to this. Benning has added the pieces he needed to, he's done his job. IMO, his best offseason yet.

I still have it as Vegas/Calgary/San Jose at the top, but we should be right there. I think Anaheim/LA/Edmonton will be the bottom dwellers. If Arizona ever puts it together we could be in a battle with them. We have a fair ways to go overall, but picking up 15 points over the course of the season seems very doable, which would put us firmly in wildcard or three-seed territory.

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Re: 2019/20 Pacific Division

Post by Jovocop » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:55 am

Island Nucklehead wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:34 am
UWSaint wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:12 am
The Canucks are fortunate. This is a weak division. It was a weak division last year. And I don't think any team got clearly better this offseason other than the Canucks.
An excellent post, as usual, UW. I think it boils down to this. Benning has added the pieces he needed to, he's done his job. IMO, his best offseason yet.

I still have it as Vegas/Calgary/San Jose at the top, but we should be right there. I think Anaheim/LA/Edmonton will be the bottom dwellers. If Arizona ever puts it together we could be in a battle with them. We have a fair ways to go overall, but picking up 15 points over the course of the season seems very doable, which would put us firmly in wildcard or three-seed territory.
If Pettersson (missing 11 games) and Boeser (missing 13 games), Edler (missing 26 games), Tanev (missing 27 games) can remain healthy over the season, the Canucks should at least get another 10-15 pts. The addition of Miller and Ferland up front should provide some needed protections for Pettersson and Boeser.

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