Sunday solidified quite a few trends, but it ended with a resounding one: the Anaheim Ducks are the hottest team in California right now.
The Ducks beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 without Ryan Getzlaf’s services to take their fifth victory in a row. They also beefed their standings points edge to three points (31 to 28) in the West and NHL over Colorado and Chicago.*
If you want a symbol of how well things are going for Anaheim, just soak in this goal by Corey Perry:
Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks lost their fifth game in a row, coughing up a 3-1 and 4-3 lead to the Winnipeg Jets to fall 5-4 via the shootout.
The Sharks might kick themselves for leaving points on the table, as they lost one of those five games in OT (4-3 to Los Angeles on Oct. 30) and three of them via shootouts. They’ve only won one of four “skills competitions” so far in 2013-14, which might be surprising for a team as loaded with offensive talent as San Jose is.
Maybe Antti Niemi’s getting a little tired? Either way, the two California teams that were active on Sunday seemed to be going on divergent paths.
* – Although the Ducks have played three more games than the Avs and one more than the Blackhawks to get there.
Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.
“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly.
So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.
That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”
The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.
“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”
That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.
Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen
The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.
The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.
Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.
Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.