Coyotes cling to playoff spot; Pacific Division review Part I


Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Well it wasn’t the best start for the Phoenix Coyotes. What did anyone expect with no camp and ownership again looming large? You didn’t expect Smitty to go down for several games or give up 12 goals in the 2 games against Chicago. But here we sit after 13 games hanging on to the last playoff spot looking squarely at the Blackhawks if the season ended today. Let’s take a look at the division the Coyotes are currently defending champs of.

Let’s start our review of the Pacific with the surprising Anaheim Ducks. Well surprising to most but me. See we had a round table discussion and I was the only one including the Ducks writer who picked Anaheim to contend with the Coyotes for the Pacific crown. I was not sold on LA this season. Ducks are very talented and solid in net. They have lines that can score with anyone. Fun to watch group who seemed to play hard even last season when they finished last in the division.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s continue on with the Los Angeles Kings. I picked them to come in dead last in the division this season. Number one reason was the hangover from winning it all and the fact they have such a wishy washy schedule with Staples center being a madhouse.  The Kings were in fact not really in the running last season until late. It was San Jose and Phoenix back and forth for the title. LA got hot and had excellent play in net last season winning the Cup from the 8th seed. Their captain is a ghost and not many put too much stock in his irritating game on the ice. They are coming off a 5 game road trip for a stop at home with Columbus then 3 on the road including Chicago and a pair in Canada with Edmonton and Calgary. Unless Quick can get hot I see the Kings floating around the basement of the Pacific.