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Week 1 by the Numbers: Pacific Division

The first week of the NHL's regular season has provided plenty of "buzz" fodder, be it good, bad, or otherwise.  But in the interest of objectivity, let's let the numbers do the talking.  Here are the cold, hard stats behind week 1 in the Pacific Division:

11 - teams in the NHL with as many or fewer goals than San Jose's Tomas Hertl

46.2 - Hertl's shooting percantage, with 6 goals on 13 shots

15/20 - players on San Jose who have tallied points through the first three games

2 - point total of Los Angeles Kings' leading scorers Jeff Carter, Jake Muzzin, Matt Frattin, and Anze Kopitar

28 - teams with fewer goals against than the Edmonton Oilers

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, los+angeles+kings, pacific+division, phoenix+coyotes, san+jose+sharks

Seven storylines in the bigger, better new Pacific Division

For its 20th birthday, the Pacific Division got a few new playmates as the NHL's geographic realignment meant out with the East and in with the new.  After jettisoning the Dallas Stars, the Pacific added former Northwest Divisioners Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton to its existing tenants: Phoenix, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and San Jose.  As the season gets under way, here are a few storylines worth following among the NHL's West-coast contingent.  

1) Will Jonas Hiller stay a Duck?

This is sort of an aside to the more obvious storyline in Anaheim: Teemu's "last season."  Hiller has never known any other home since the Ducks signed him as a free agent in 2007, but there are plenty of places that would welcome him with open arms.  With Victor Fasth proving to be a more than capable 1A goaltender and white-hot prospect John Gibson waiting in the wings, one has to wonder if Hiller wouldn't be the perfect expendable asset to help GM Bob Murray fill some gaps in the reigning Pacific Division Champs.  Hiller's stock isn't quite where it was before his bizarre, vertigo-shortened 2010-11 campaign, but he has still proven he can be a dependable backstop and could probably challenge for a starting job with any number of organizations.  There’s no immediate pressure for Murray to make a move, nor is there any guarantee he will, but Hiller represents a very playable chip if the Ducks need some pieces later in the season. 

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, los+angeles+kings, pacific+division, phoenix+coyotes, san+jose+sharks, vancouver+canucks

Making The Case For The Kings To Retire Rob Blake’s #4

Two subjects have been the topics of heated debate this summer among Kings fans:

1)  Ilya Kovalchuk

2)  Now that Rob Blake has retired should the Kings retire his #4?

I’m not going to get near the Kovalchuk mess.  I think enough has been said ad nausem on the topic and it’s time for Kings fans to move on - unless he somehow ends up in LA after all.  I’d like instead to address the question of whether the Kings should retire Rob Blake’s jersey?

For those who aren’t familiar with the nuts and bolts of the story, many Kings fans hold a grudge against Rob Blake because they feel he put money ahead of all else and deserted the Kings for greener pastures in Colorado, and then later in San Jose, when he had the chance.  My personal opinion is that Blake was first and foremost a professional athlete and you gotta make your money when you can.  It’s a limited window of opportunity for a player to get paid and I don’t begrudge anyone who makes that a priority.  Could Blake have handled the situation better?  Probably.  Only he can really answer that.

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  Tags: los+angeles+kings

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