Every Wednesday I’ll be taking a look at the Pacific Division and doing a power rankings for the eight teams. As we’re still very early in the season, the rankings will bear a lot of similarity to the actual standings, but that should change over time. Here are my rankings for this past week.
1. Anaheim Ducks (5-1-1, 2-1-1) Last Week: 1
I’ve been following the Ducks closer than usual this year, mostly because I have John Gibson on my fantasy team (sacrilegious I know). I’ve got to say, they are just simply not that good of a hockey team. They’re riding an early season PDO bender and getting ridiculous goaltending from Gibson. That being said, you’ve got to respect teams that find a way to win, so that’s why they stay at #1 for now. Even if they did give up 30 shots in one period.
2. Calgary Flames (4-2-0, 2-1-0) Last Week: 3
The Flames faltered against St. Louis but came back with strong victories over very good teams in Colorado and Boston. Calgary has still been driven by their top line this season but is starting to see more contribution from other parts of the lineup, along with a revitalized Sam Bennett who’s looked very good lately.
3. Vancouver Canucks (4-2-0, 3-0-0) Last Week: 5
Losing Elias Pettersson really hurts the Canucks, but the rest of the team has still looked pretty good early in the season. They’ve won three straight on the road against quite good teams in Tampa Bay, Florida, and Pittsburgh. They’ll face one more test on the road in Winnipeg before returning to Vancouver.
4. Edmonton Oilers (2-2-0, 2-1-0) Last Week: 6
The Edmonton McDavid’s move up two spots thanks to another dominating performance by McDavid. McDavid. McDavid. No McDepth.
5. San Jose Sharks (2-3-1, 0-1-1) Last Week: 2
Any team with a defensive core like the Sharks won’t stay down for long, but they haven’t quite gelled yet early in the year so they sit at #5 for now. Other Pacific teams would be wise to try and gain ground on them while they can.
6. Los Angeles Kings (2-3-1, 1-2-0) Last Week: 4
Jack Campbell’s magical reign replacing Jonathan Quick came to a crashing halt with a pair of stinkers in Ontario against the Sens and the Leafs. One of those losses is more acceptable, one definitely is not.
7. Vegas Golden Knights (3-4-0, 2-2-0) Last Week: 7
Vegas has gotten some standout performances from Marc-Andre Fleury in their victories this year, including an absolutely amazing performance in a 1-0 shutout win in Philadelphia. Knights don’t look like the same team as last year, and seem to be missing Nate Schmidt.
8. Arizona Coyotes (1-4-0, 1-2-0) Last Week: 8
4 goals in 5 games is all you really need to say about another iteration of the hapless Coyotes. Alex Galchenyuk will be back soon, but don’t expect him to magically solve their problems. They continue to squander solid performances by Antti Raanta.