Pacific Division - Preview

Things are looking up for Jonas Hiller and the Anaheim Ducks. Can the netminder stay healthy this season?

Projected Standings:
1.  San Jose Sharks
2.  Anaheim Ducks
3.  Los Angeles Kings
4.  Phoenix Coyotes
5. Dallas Stars

San Jose's acquisitions of Martin Havlat and Brent Burns bolster an already potent offense.  They had to deal away Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi, but may have regarded the former as a bit of "addition by subtraction" anyhow.  Anaheim gets Hiller back. But can he stay healthy?  If he can, Anaheim will be a force with which to be reckoned.  Los Angeles was aggressive in setting themselves up for this season.  They added Dustin Penner, Mike Richards, and Simon Gagne while trading away mostly picks and prospects.  Now if only they can get Doughty signed...

After the top three teams there is a fairly significant dropoff.  Phoenix dealt away their #1 goaltender, and it is hard to be confident in the tandem of Mike Smith/Jason LaBarbara.  Kyle Turris has been groomed for a Top 6 role, and will get his shot this year.  Dallas did well to acquire a true PPQB in Alex Goligoski, but they will have a hard time compensating for the loss of two-thirds of their #1 forward line in Brad Richards and James Neal.

1.  San Jose Sharks
Key Off-Season Acquisitions: Martin Havlat, Brent Burns, and Michal Handzus
Key Off-Season Losses:  Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi, Ian White, and Charlie Coyle
Top Prospects:  Alex Stalock
Fantasy Sleeper: Martin Havlat

Top 9
Marleau - Thornton - Havlat
Clowe - Couture - Pavelski
McGinn - Handzus - Mitchell

 

Top 4 Defencemen
Boyle - Murray
Burns - Vlasic

 

2. Anaheim Ducks
Key Off-Season Acquisitions:  Andrew Cogliano and Kurtis Foster
Key Off-Season Losses:  Ray Emery and Andreas Lilja
Top Prospects:  Kyle Palmieri, Justin Schultz
Fantasy Sleeper: Kurtis Foster

Top 9
BRyan - Getzlaf - Perry
Blake - SKoivu - Selanne
Beleskey - Cogliano - Palmieri

Top 4 Defencemen
Visnovsky - Lydman
Beauchemin - Fowler

 

3.  Los Angeles Kings
Key Off-Season Acquisitions:  Simon Gagne and Mike Richards
Key Off-Season Losses:  Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Ryan Smyth, Michal Handzus, and Alex Ponikarovsky
Top Prospects:  Andrei Loktionov, Tyler Toffoli
Fantasy Sleeper:  Dustin Penner

Top 9
Penner - Kopitar - JuWilliams
Gagne - MRichards - DBrown
Parse - Stoll - Richardson

Top 4 Defencemen
Doughty - Mitchell
JJohnson - Scuderi

 

4.  Phoenix Coyotes
Key Off-Season Acquisitions: Daymond Langkow, Boyd Gordon, Raffi Torres, and Mike Smith
Key Off-Season Losses:  Ilya Bryzgalov, Vern Fiddler, and Ed Jovanovski
Top Prospects:  Brett MacLean Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Brandon Gormley
Fantasy Sleeper: Brett MacLean

Top 9
Whitney - Langkow - Doan
Korpikoski - Turris - Vrbata
Pyatt - Hanzal - MacLean

Top 4 Defencemen
Yandle - Morris
Aucoin - Klesla

 

5.  Dallas Stars
Key Off-Season Acquisitions: Michael Ryder, Vern Fiddler, Sheldon Souray, and Adam Pardy
Key Off-Season Losses:  Brad Richards and Jamie Langenbrunner
Top Prospects:  Jack Campbell
Fantasy Sleeper: Michael Ryder

Top 9
Morrow - Ribiero - Ryder
Ott - Benn - Eriksson
Burish - Fiddler - Dvorak

Top 4 Defencemen
Daley -Goligoski
Robidas - Souray

 

Links:
Atlantic Division Preview (8.4.11)
Northeast Division Preview (8.7.11)
Southeast Division Preview (8.10.11)
Central Division Preview (8.14.11)
Northwest Division Preview (8.20.11)

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