NHL Pacific Division Preview 2022-23

by Scott Rickenbach

Pacific Division 2022-23 Point Total Predictions

Anaheim Ducks – 76 points last year. Predicting a range of low 80s to mid 80s this season. This team is starting to build talent quite nicely and the addition of John Klingberg from Dallas is huge. Overall the Ducks appear to be a team on the rise without a doubt but the key will be key what kind of goalie play they get. John Gibson has not exactly been spectacular in recent seasons and his back-up Anthony Stolarz still quite inexperienced and inconsistent. 
  
Calgary Flames – 111 points last year. Predicting them to land right around the 100 mark this season. Team chemistry will have to jell quickly but the fact is the Flames did a good job at least in terms of replacing Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau. Now they have Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazeem Kadri on board. They also added MacKenzie Weegar who is a solid contributor. Will Jacob Markstrom bounce back in goal and be strong this season with consistency? That and team chemistry early in season is why this team’s point total will drop some this season in my opinion. 

Edmonton Oilers – 104 points last year. Predicting a range of around the century mark this season. The Oilers are so strong with their top line but do they have the depth to take them to the next level. Adding Mattias Janmark further bolsters this club but the goaltending, as usual, is a question mark. Jack Campbell was not exactly dominant last season and Stuart Skinner is the other part of the tandem and is still young and needing more experience. Will the defense be strong enough in front of those goalies too? Again this season if you like high-scoring games tune into Edmonton.  

Los Angeles Kings – 99 points last year. Predicting a range of mid to upper 90s this season. This team built up with youth and is has passed the growing pain stage. Now with the addition of Kevin Fiala this team has bolstered talent up front. Still the Kings don’t have a lot of scoring depth and relied heavily on Anze Kopitar. Goalies Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen will have to be very good because the Kings just don’t score a ton but this a solid club that is definitely trending the right direction. 

San Jose Sharks – 77 points last year. Predicting a range of low to mid 70s this season. Sharks lost veteran Brent Burns and the team is going through a bit of a rebuild. Though it is not a full rebuild so there is a chance there could be a spark with all the newcomers added the existing core that remains. But it also is tough to trust the goal-tending in San Jose. James Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen will be the guys between the pipes for San Jose. This team will have to battle to stay out of the basement of this division this season. 

Seattle Kraken – 60 points last year. Predicting a range of low to mid 70s this season. Andre Burakovsky, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Justin Schultz…those are type of guys that can help this team a lot and are new faces on the club this season. However, this team allows too many shots and too many goals and whether it is new acquired Martin Jones or Phillipe Grubauer between the pipes, the defense tends to struggle in front of them. The additions should help this club and they will be better than last season but that is not saying a lot. Will battle San Jose to see who can avoid the basement in this division. Dave Hakstol has not performed well as an NHL coach and that is another strike against the Kraken. 

Vancouver Canucks – 92 points last year. Predicting a range of low to mid 90s this season. The Canucks were a different team once Bruce Boudreau took over for Travis Green. The results speak for themselves. Now they get to have a training camp with him and start the season with him and this will be interesting season in Vancouver as a result. If Thatcher Demko continues his year over year improvement in goal that we have seen this team will be tough to play against for sure. Just don’t know if this team has the depth overall and also the scoring depth to be able to improve much on last season’s final point total. This could be another building year for Vancouver but this is a quality roster that is building the right way.   

Vegas Golden Knights – 94 points last year. Predicting a range of upper 80s to low 90s this season. Really like the hiring of Bruce Cassidy as head coach. But this team has lost a lot of talent from the top rosters it once had. They are still a solid club but also have bitten by the injury bug already heading into this season. With Robin Lehner not playing this season and of course Marc-Andre Fleury having moved on long ago from Vegas, the Golden Knights goalie situation is a big concern too. Were it not for Cassidy at coach this team would slip even further but odds are he works a little magic here and the Golden Knights maintain a competitive team but they still could fall short of the playoffs when you look at how tough the West looks this season. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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