Pacific Division: Facts, Figures, Predictions

*Doug Weight is the only Oiler to post 82 points in a season since 1992. He did it three times; 104 in 1995-96, 82 in 1996-97, and 90 in 2000-01.

*A fifth consecutive playoff appearance for the Anaheim Ducks next spring would set a new franchise record.

*The Ducks were the class of the league last season on both the powerplay and penalty kill. Five-on-five wasn’t Anaheim’s strong suit, however, as its 127 even strength goals ranked 26th in the NHL.

*Among 34 goalies who have appeared in 100 games over the last four seasons, Mike Smith is tied for 27th in save percentage (.911) and 32nd in GAA (2.80).

*Drew Doughty is just the second player to average 28 minutes per game in back-to-back seasons for the Los Angeles Kings. He joins Rob Blake, who did so in 1999-00 and ’00-01.

*Joe Thornton and Henrik Sedin are second and third, respectively, behind Jaromir Jagr on the assists leaderboard among active players; Thornton with 948 and Sedin with 748. Fourth place? Jarome Iginla, at 662.

Predictions

1- Anaheim: The Ducks aren’t deep up front, but loaded on the back end. John Gibson shines in first full season.

2- Calgary: On paper, the Flames had no business being the worst defensive team in the league last year. Expect much better results with bounceback year on blue line plus addition of Brian Elliot.

3- San Jose: It’s time we begin acknowledging Joe Pavelski as one of the 10 best players in the league.

4- Edmonton: McDavid is the main attraction, but Peter Chiarelli is building something special. The Oilers will win a Stanley Cup within five years.

5- Arizona: Don’t count out the Coyotes as a surprise playoff team.

6- Los Angeles: After Team USA debacle, things don’t get better for Dean Lombardi as slow decline in LA continues.

7- Vancouver: The Canucks showed up at the Hashtag-*INSERT QUIRKY SYNONYM FOR BEING BAD*-For-*INSERT NAME OF PRESUMPTIVE FIRST OVERALL PICK* party two years too late.

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