PACIFIC HEIGHTS 2014-15

Lowetide
August 14 2014 10:46PM

bullit3

After weeks of ciphering, I have figured out the Pacific Division for 2014-15. Now, if you click-through it will ruin the surprise of the actual season, so consider this a spoiler alert on winter. Up next: where do they finish?

CALGARY FLAMES

  • Pacific Division: No. 7
  • Western Conference: No. 14
  • Overall: No. 28

The Flames added a veteran goalie in Jonas Hiller and Mason Raymond to somewhat make up for Mike Cammalleri flying the coop. The club has a nice rookie in Johnny Gaudreau and could keep Sam Bennett in the NHL, too. Rumors swirl about Kevin Hayes signing in Calgary to form a Boston College line, but this is a lottery team in 2014-15.

ARIZONA COYOTES

  • Pacific Division: No. 6
  • Western Conference: No. 13
  • Overall: No. 24

Arizona has a goal-scoring problem and didn't improve it over the summer. Adding Sam Gagner and losing Mike Ribeiro is a wash at best, and Radim Vrbata was a big part of this team's success. The Coyotes often surprise with late-summer additions, but from here I think they fall back significantly in 2014-15.

EDMONTON OILERS

  • Pacific Division: No. 5
  • Western Conference: No. 10
  • Overall: No. 21

The Oilers made improvements in goal during the season, and added quality and depth on the blue line over the summer. I think they could be playoff contenders with a veteran 2C, but he hasn't arrived yet and management is burning daylight. As it stands, they are improved but shy of the postseason in 2014-15. Taylor Hall may kick out the jams and push through anyway. 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS 

  • Pacific Division: No. 4
  • Western Conference: No. 8
  • Overall: No. 16

The Canucks traded Ryan Kesler but received pretty good value. And they added Radim Vrbata and for my money that was their best move all summer. Ryan Miller was signed to stop pucks and he should do the job. I think they squeak into the playoffs.

ANAHEIM DUCKS

  • Pacific Division: No. 3
  • Western Conference: No. 6
  • Overall: No. 10

The Ducks traded for Ryan Kesler, but lost underrated Mathieu Perreault. Defensively, I've never been convinced of the quality of their blue, and Anaheim is less proven in goal than they've been in quite some time. I think they make the playoffs, but do not have the same season as one year ago.

SAN JOSE SHARKS

  • Pacific Division: No. 2
  • Western Conference: No. 4
  • Overall: No. 6

San Jose's offseason was beyond weird. Having said that, they remain a stunning team in terms of talent and absolutely capable of winning Stanley. The biggest hurdle for this team might be ownership and management getting out of their own damn way. Weird. Real weird.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

  • Pacific Division: No. 1
  • Western Conference: No. 1
  • Overall: No. 1

I think the Kings have a good chance to win two Stanley's in a row. Reason? That Gaborik trade was exactly what they needed: Another impact offensive player who could also play the game. Jacques Lemaire should be getting Christmas cards from Dean Lombardi.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.