In a normal season, there would be a four-week training camp and several exhibition games by the time the season started to help with a Pacific Division preview. In 2013, there was one week and no games, respectively.
Thus, at the outset of the season, teams and analysts get to give more respect to established players and teams. It also forces one to put more credence in early results.
The Pacific Division has played a collective 26 games, fewer than it would play in the preseason. Normally, that would represent 6.3 percent of the schedule. Thanks to the lockout, it is 10.8 percent this year.
Previews cannot wait until teams find their identity because teams cannot wait until they find their it. The Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings will not be able to wait four months to find their games and still make the playoffs, because the season will be over.
So who is in, and who is out? Teams are previewed in order of their predicted finish...