The Pacific Division is a tad top heavy. The Kings are Stanley Cup Champions with the same roster essentially. The Ducks are last year's division winners because Bruce Boudreau can win regular season games like no one's business. The Sharks drove themselves off a cliff but still are better than the other teams despite being a circus directed by meth addicts. For the remainder of the Pacific though, it's pretty ugly.
The Coyotes have no offensive depth, the Canucks are an injury away from being totally exposed, and the Flames are relying on Paul Newman's strategy from Slap Shot. Then there are the Oilers. The playoff bound Oilers! Well, the Oilers suck also. But less so than the other shitty teams! The skill they have on the wings is the type you can only acquire from losing horrendously for years on end. And those Oilers got themselves some good depth.
But then there is the center spot.
And their defense.
And the over reliance on a goalie who hasn't been a starter for a full season.
Yeah, as I mentioned they still suck, and this is pretty much an attempt at justifying a prediction I made before the season started while I was drunk. I mean for fuck's sake, their second best center was a fourth liner for the Coyotes a few seasons back. Then they have a guy who sounds like a Ben Stiller character named Will Acton, a series of small islands at center with Mark Arcobello, and whatever the fuck a Leon Draisaitl is.
Though this team is making the playoffs!
If they also grab some more defensemen that is. The current collection of fringe second/third pairing guys are going to keep getting dismantled by opposing top lines. Ben Scrivens will likely try to shoot himself before the All-Star break rolls around after facing fifty shots on average a night.
But they're making the playoffs!
Yes, despite being a constant lottery draft leader year after year, having the worst bunch of centers in the league, a mediocre defensive corps, and a goalie that likely will have to be tied to the goal posts to stop him from fleeing the arena, the Oilers will be in the postseason! Also provided that the Sedins return to their home planet, and the Coyotes fold in the middle of the season. You heard it here first.
The Kings have lost two games, but not in their typical "out shoot the opponent 100-5 and lose 2-1" fashion. Instead their two losses have featured them looking like crap. And that's bad. But they won their last game! That's good. Though the only line still really scoring is Carter and the kids. That's bad. But they are scoring at a pace of 150 goals between them! And that's good, though completely unsustainable.
Life could get easier if the first line starts putting up some points, and if the bottom six ever decided to contribute. I may have lost my mind, but I'd like to see Big Ol Bear (you know, Dwight King) on the first line with Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar. I have more confidence in those two clicking instead of Mike Richards or Jarret Stoll catching fire with Dustin Brown. A Justin Williams-Richards-Brown combo in theory could be pretty great. Then again, I want Alec Martinez paired with Drew Doughty, so don't listen to me.
Prediction: Kings out shoot Edmonton 55-12 and lose 2-1. Goal by Tyler Toffoli.