Bay Area

California Hockey Update

The 2013-2014 season is looking like it will be one to remember. Possibly the three best teams in the Western Conference all call the Golden State their home. And while the media and analysts will keep talking about the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks, it is time to take a look out west. Never before this year has California been blessed with such great hockey night in and night out. Here are updates on all three teams:

Anaheim Ducks:

The Ducks currently hold the longest winning streak in the NHL with nine straight wins. The most impressive aspect about the win streak is that six of the wins were on the road. Bruce Boudreau has finally put his trust in Jonas Hiller and its paying dividends. Hiller during this nine game win streak has gone 7-0-0 allowing just 13 goals. However, the Ducks are still having major power play problems. going a dismal 3-22 or  13.6 percent. On top of that, they haven’t scored a power play goal in their last six games. Anaheim is the best team in the NHL right now, but if their power play picks up they could be unstoppable.

Los Angeles Kings:

Los Angeles may be the most surprising team this season. The Kings are doing what they predicted currently sitting third in the Western Conference with 54 points, but how they are doing it is remarkable. Since Jonathan Quick injury, Los Angeles has gone 14-3-3. Little did Kings fans know that they actually had goalie depth. Ben Scrivens has done a nice job in relief of Quick, but rookie goaltender Martin Jones had done outstanding. The rookie has posted a 8-1-0 record with a 1.31 goals against average and a .953 save percentage. Goalie depth has been a key for all California teams, but none have shown it better than Los Angeles.

San Jose Sharks:

The most hot and cold team in the NHL has to be San Jose. After winning six straight games, the Sharks lost four in a row and now have won four of their last six. The loss of rookie star Tomas Hertl will certainly hurt them moving forward, but it should give the veterans a wake up call just as it did in their last win against Colorado. Joe Thornton and Brent Burns each had three points while Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau each had a shootout goal. This has to continue for San Jose to be successful. But the big key moving forward will be their power play. Unlike Anaheim who is fantastic 5 vs. 5, San Jose is just average. The power play woes must end if the Sharks wish to be more consistent. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

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Maxim Garshman

Maxim Garshman is a Bay Area native who now calls San Diego home. He has an expert voice on all things NHL and NFL, and currently works as the Chargers beat writer for Sports Out West.


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