Friday, September 26, 2008

Pacific Division

The Pacific division is set to be one of the toughest divisions in the NHL this coming season. The division's top two teams in Dallas and San Jose are almost guaranteed to make the playoffs, and a third is likely to do so as well.

#1 Dallas Stars
Stu Barnes may have moved into coaching, but the bedrock of the Dallas Stars is in goal. Marty Turco is the best goalie in the league, and is more than capable of carrying the team. However he now has the supporting cast to help him. Dallas doesn't have many big names (besides the aging Mike Modano), but has solid depth all around, and a talented forward in Brad Richards. That said, an injury to Turco would end their season.

#2 San Jose Sharks
This team is also able to benefit from top quality goaltending, and have the league's second best goalie in Evgeni Nabokov. The team however is weaker as a whole. They have lost both former Sabre Brian Campbell, and current Sabre Craig Rivet from their defense, and instead are going to have to rely on the overpriced Boyle. Up front the team is based around it's veterans like Jeremy Roenick, former Sabre Mike Grier, and the very talented Jonathan Cheechoo.

#3 Phoenix Coyotes
The desert dogs are a team on the rise, and have a shot at making the post season this year. They need to hope that goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's success last season was not a fluke, and that they can get better production from their younger players. They have also brought in Olli Jokinen from Florida, who while very talented leads the league in games played without a playoff appearance.

#4 Anaheim Ducks
While stocked with good players, this is a team that may be too dysfunctional to have a phenomenal season. They have a good shot at getting third in the division, but won't be able to get into the top two. The team is over the cap and is still trying to get Teemu Selanne onto the team. While stocked with good players like the Niedermayers and Gigure in goal, the team has also traded away other top line talent like Andy McDonald.

#5 Los Angeles Kings
The Kings being at the bottom of this conference shouldn't surprise anyone. They have a young team, a number of goalies that nobody has heard of, and a history of finishing last. The team is barely over the cap and has no expectations to do anything.

See also the reviews of the Central division and the Southeast division

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