When it comes to which NHL division has been the most competitive in the 2019-20 season, the parity in the Pacific has been unmatched. According to sportsbooks, the Vancouver Canucks are the slight front-runners to claim the banner.
Vancouver is +275 to win the Pacific Division at Sportsbook, with the Vegas Golden Knights (+325), Calgary Flames (+350), Arizona Coyotes (+400), Edmonton Oilers (+400), San Jose Sharks (+3500), Anaheim Ducks (+25000) and Los Angeles Kings (+50000) behind them.
Canadian Clubs Leading the Way
As of January 29, all three Canadian teams occupied the top three spots in the division, with Vancouver (60 points) leading the way and Calgary (58) and Edmonton (57) not far off. Arizona (57) and Vegas (57) were within striking distance as of this writing.
To see the Canucks leading the way is nothing short of a major surprise. Head coach Travis Green has done a fantastic job of leading this youthful bunch, as Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes have paved the way in British Columbia. Offseason addition J.T. Miller has found his groove with the Canucks, notching 48 points in 50 games.
Vancouver boasts one of the best tandems between the pipes, with the established Jacob Markstrom (18-3-3, 2.71 goals-against average, .916 save percentage) and the up-and-coming Thatcher Demko (10-5-1, 2.93 GAA, .909 SV%) forming a brick wall in net.
Before the year, the Canucks weren’t expected to be contenders for another few years, but the rebuild has clearly been sped up in 2019-20. This team looks like it’s the real deal.
McDavid, Draisaitl Continue to Carry Oilers
Edmonton has finally got itself out of the cycle of mediocrity this season. The Oilers opened the campaign by winning seven of their first eight games while riding on the backs of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The superstar duo have done everything they can to propel the Oil, yet it’s the rest of the club that’s going to have to step up in order for Edmonton to be perceived as a true contender.
Flames Could Use Some Offensive Help
Calgary’s season has taken a turn since disgraced head coach Bill Peters was fired in November, and the Flames appear to have turned the corner under new bench boss Geoff Ward.
The Flames’ stellar 5-0 shootout record is a big reason they’re third in the Pacific at 26-19-6, but a lack of offensive depth up front could spell trouble for them unless general manager Brad Treliving pulls the trigger to get some scoring help at the trade deadline.
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|Vegas Golden Knights||+325|
|San Jose Sharks||+3500|
|Los Angeles Kings||+50000|
Odds as of January 29 at Sportsbook