From top to bottom, the Pacific Division is the weakest among the four in the NHL. There are a few above-average squads and there are a couple of clubs that stink worse than game worn socks.
How lame the Pacific Division is shows up on two fronts right off the top: This is the only division with only three teams that have positive goal differential and collectively against the NHL odds, they are -10.1 units (as of Nov. 17).
New Arizona Regime Has Coyotes as Pure Play Against Team
The word deplorable came into focus during last year's during the United States presidential campaign. (Which will not be touched with proverbial 10-foot pole.) In the NHL, it now has a new meaning and it applies to the Arizona Coyotes.
The Yotes ownership cleaned housed and brought in a new front office and coaches in hopes of pushing along the rebuilding process they were in the midst of. At 3-17 SU, this is truly a deplorable hockey franchise, being last in scoring and last in goals allowed. Good news, for NHL picks, betting against them is easier than shooting pucks in a barrel.
Los Angeles Still Needs More Offense
In prior years, if a team was scoring 3.1 goals a game like the Kings and had the second-best scoring defense and the top penalty-killers, you were among the best in the NHL. But not this year, as Los Angeles cannot even crack the Top 10 with that kind of offensive production. It is still too early in the season to worry about the playoffs for first-place L.A.; nonetheless, at some point if the scoring remains this high in the league, the Kings will have to make a trade for another scoring forward.
McDavid is Edmonton's Only Consistent Scoring Option
As was mentioned here a couple of weeks ago, Edmonton's dreadful start placed its head coach Todd McLellan on the hot seat. The Oilers were the oddmakers' choice to win the Pacific with an up and coming team, but offensively, other than super-stud Connor McDavid, Edmonton is aching for goals. As the fourth-worst bet in the NHL, the Oilers have more players with double digit penalty minutes than 10 or more points (7 vs. 5). It might not be time to panic, but it is certainly worrisome.
Sharks Poised For a Move
San Jose has been playing the best hockey in the division with 7-4 record and has a winning record both home and away. The Sharks defense and penalty killing have been a pillar of strength, listed 1st and 2nd, respectively, and if the offense starts to churn like it has lately, betting on San Jose will prove profitable.