The Pacific is the NHL’s weakest division by nearly every measure, something that’s caught Drew Doughty off guard.
“I’m a little surprised,” The Kings d-man said, per the Los Angeles Daily News. “Typically our division is one of the tougher ones. Right now, it doesn’t seem that way.”
Doughty’s right. Heading into the Christmas break, the Pacific is the only division with just one 40-plus-point team — the Kings, who have 42 — and of the NHL’s bottom-10 teams, five come from the good ol’ Pacific.
The Canucks, on 35 points, sit 21st overall. Arizona (34 points) is right behind at No. 22, while Calgary (also on 34 points) sits 23rd.
Edmonton, with 32 points, is at No. 26 while Anaheim managed to climb out of the league basement on Tuesday night, securing one point in an OT loss to the Rangers.
With that, the Ducks went into the break on 30 points — one ahead of last-place Columbus.
Of course, a few things have improved since earlier this month, when Brough wrote Five Fun Facts About The Terrible Pacific Division. The Flames have gotten better — they’re 8-2-0 in their last 10 — and actually managed to win some games in regulation (two in the last six days.)
The Oilers, meanwhile, are 7-3-0 in their last 10 and, for the first time in a long time, head into the holiday break in the thick of a playoff race.
And the positives don’t stop there.
San Jose leads the NHL in road wins! Anaheim has the league’s best penalty kill! The Kings are second in goals allowed!
So hey, maybe the Pacific Division isn’t so bad after all.
(As long as you don’t look at the standings.)