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West update: Now the Kings lead the Pacific Division

Mar 31, 2012, 12:41 AM EDT

I’m a big fan of parity in the NHL, but for those who glorify the days of stability and a handful of teams running roughshod over competition, this has been a dark month or two. The Pacific Division might be the greatest enemy of consistency, as the top spot is being treated like a hot potato going from the San Jose Sharks to the Dallas Stars and finally to the Los Angeles Kings after tonight’s results.

To keep with the tradition of wide-ranging West impact updates, I’ll go ahead in order of where the teams rank as of this writing.

(3) Los Angeles 4, Edmonton 1

The Kings beat down a beaten down Edmonton Oilers team tonight to (more than a little bit ridiculously) take the division lead. Jonathan Quick needed a laughable 13-for-14 save night to beat the Oil while four different Kings found the net.

(4) Nashville hops over (5) Detroit (read here); (6) Chicago was idle

Vancouver Canucks kick around Stars down to seventh place

Hopefully the Dallas Stars didn’t get too comfy in third place because the second place Vancouver Canucks destroyed them 5-2. There really wasn’t much of a doubt about this one, as the Canucks just looked downright better than the Stars. (Probably because, at least at this moment, they very much are.)

(8) Phoenix was idle

(9) San Jose was idle, too, but …

The road to the playoffs looks like it will go through the Sharks – in one way or another. First, San Jose begins a home-and-home with the Stars on Saturday. There isn’t much of an excuse for them to be worn out against Dallas tomorrow considering the fact the Stars got kicked around tonight. (Oh, and Ray Ratto points out that the Stars are an ugly 1-10-2 on the tail end of back-to-backs this season.)

If that wasn’t big enough, the Sharks’ final two games of the season are a home-and-home set against the current Pacific leader Los Angeles. It’s anyone’s guess what exactly will be on the line then, but it’s hard to imagine those games being anything but huge.

Finally, moving on from the Pacific-specific teams but certainly a Pacific-relevant development:

(10) Colorado deals a big blow to (11) Calgary

The Avalanche face some tough odds to make the playoffs, as they’ll likely need to root for a lot of two-point games and extreme results (up-and-down won’t cut it). If nothing else, they probably won’t need to worry much about the Flames after handling them by a score of 4-1.

Colorado also has some positives to build on for next season, particularly with the stretch run work of Semyon Varlamov, who stopped 38 out of 31 shots to keep the Avs alive – for the moment.

  1. blomfeld - Mar 31, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    “current Pacific leader Los Angeles” ? … yes, the eventual winner we’ll have you know !

    We LA Kings fans aren’t the least bit concerned about this drivel from O’Brien and the venomous “horde” which you LA Kings detractors constitute … the bottom line is that we won again tonight and so we now sit atop the Pacific Division, which is after all our rightful and ordained spot in the grand scheme of things … Sisters Schmisters we say, as the playoff “dance” can’t now start soon enough ! …

    • mpelzmann - Mar 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      The kings always have their clock operator to fall back on

  2. creasemasta41 - Mar 31, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    And the video king is back again….

    • blomfeld - Mar 31, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      Yes friend, I was away this past week for a work conference down in Atlanta. But check this out … I went a couple of days early on the weekend, rented a car and made the pilgrimage to Augusta … and man was that ever great ! :) Even though I couldn’t get into Augusta National itself with me being a commoner and all, it was still fantastic just to peer down Magnolia Lane and take a picture, all the while thinking that Tiger and company will be walking on that hallowed ground in just a few days time ! Suffice it to say, despite not having my gear with me, I rented some clubs and played a couple of rounds at the Augusta municipal course, which was only a couple of miles down the road ! :)

      • creasemasta41 - Mar 31, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        Elvis is great, but you need to get with the times my man

      • blomfeld - Mar 31, 2012 at 7:26 PM

        Creasemasta41 – sorry man, but “no can do” … with all due respect to “Drake featuring Lil Wayne” and others, I just can’t relate to today’s music … I don’t know what it is with these artists now, but somewhere along the line they completely abandoned the message of “hope and decency” ? … and I think that’s a shame …

        case in point … first listen to your selection and see how you feel ? … then listen to this excellent number by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and honestly ask yourself which of the two songs is more moving and uplifting ? … the answer is pretty obvious, which underscores the fact that “newer” isn’t always better ! :)

  3. AlohaMrHand - Mar 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    the Sharks don’t deserve a playoff spot.Even if they do manage to sneak it they’ll be out by the first round.

  4. paledevil - Mar 31, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Say what you want.. Back in the day Elvis was the greek god of kool. To the Kings good hunting!

    • blomfeld - Mar 31, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      You Got It Pontiac !

      Of course I realize that Elvis was never a hockey fan … but if he was, then I just know for a fact that he would have supported the LA Kings ! :)

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