Another week has passed into the NHL season as teams barrel towards the 1⁄4 mark of their schedule. The Pacific Division has featured some surprises and disappointments early in the 2021-22 campaign, but this week’s power rankings feature a new #1 for the first time since the start of the year.
1. Anaheim Ducks (10-4-3, 3-0-0, Last Week: #4)
Results: ANA 7 at SEA 4, VAN 1 at ANA 5, WSH 2 at ANA 3 (OT)
Schedule: 11/18 vs CAR, 11/22 at NSH
The Anaheim Ducks are absolutely rolling right now. After dispatching some struggling Pacific Division foes in Seattle and Vancouver, the Ducks made a statement with a victory over the Washington Capitals who sit third in the NHL. The win extended their current streak to a whopping eight games as they briefly take away top spot in these power rankings and the standings from the Oilers (although Edmonton still holds a better points percentage). Trevor Zegras has began to emerge over the last few games and along with a tremendous start from Ryan Getzlaf and John Gibson, the Ducks look real good.
HOT: Troy Terry has 11 points in 7 games
2. Edmonton Oilers (11-4-0, 2-2-0, Last Week: #1)
Results: EDM 5 at BOS 3, EDM 2 at BUF 3, EDM 5 at STL 4, EDM 2 at WPG 5
Schedule: 11/18 vs WPG, 11/20 vs CHI, 11/23 at DAL
The Oilers four week reign at the top of the rankings has come to an end mostly due to Anaheim’s strong play rather than the Oilers. Edmonton continues to roll although not quite at the pace that they started the season at. They are being lead by Leon Draisaitl who has an absolutely bonkers 33 points through just 15 games. He has 20 points in the last eight games and is playing on a whole different level from everyone else in the league right now. Good thing I own him in fantasy :)
HOT: Draisaitl has 20 points in the month of November and 10 in his last four games
3. Los Angeles Kings (8-5-2, 1-0-1, Last Week: #3)
Results: LAK 2 at OTT 0, LAK 2 at WPG 3 (OT)
Schedule: 11/17 vs WSH, 11/20 vs CAR, 11/21 vs ARI
The Kings continue to roll despite having their seven game win streak snapped with an overtime loss to the Jets on Saturday. LA has a nice lull in their schedule as they try to keep their points streak alive, they only have one game between last Saturday and this Saturday. Their game against Washington on Wednesday will kick off a seven game homestand for the club with their next road game not coming all the way until December 5th. They have a great chance to continue to momentum they gained on their 3-0-1 road trip and really become a force in the division.
HOT: Jonathan Quick is having a renaissance year with a 4-3-1 record and .935 SV% at Age 35.
4. Calgary Flames (8-3-5, 1-1-2, Last Week: #2)
Results: CGY 2 at MTL 4, CGY 1 at TOR 2 (OT), CGY 4 at OTT 0, CGY 1 at PHI 2 (OT)
Schedule: 11/18 at BUF, 11/20 at NYI, 11/21 at BOS, 11/23 vs CHI
If the Flames could just figure out overtime, they would be among the higher end of teams in the league. On one hand, they do have points in 13 of 16 games this year, but they have also won just eight of 16 games as well. It is particularly befuddling that they just can’t seem to put things together in the extra frame considering how well the team has played at even strength all season long. Calgary sits 1-5 in games that go past regulation and while points are points, they are often 1-2 teams each year that just miss out on playoffs because they had a dozen or so OTL’s that left points on the table.
HOT: Oliver Kylington has 11 points since October 25, which is tied for the most among all defenceman league-wide.
5. Vegas Golden Knights (9-7-0, 2-1-0, Last Week: #6)
Results: MIN 2 at VGK 3, VAN 4 at VGK 7, CAR 4 at VGK 2
Schedule: 11/18 vs DET, 11/20 vs CBJ, 11/22 at STL
Vegas continues to climb out of the hole they put themselves in with a slow start to the season. They have started 3-1-0 on this six game homestand and will have a chance to make it a really good homestand with winnable games upcoming against Detroit and Columbus. The Knights have also benefitted from the return of Mark Stone to the lineup as the team moves into the Wild Card bubble in the Western Conference. With the way they’re playing, it won’t be long until they’re grabbing a Top 3 spot in the Pacific.
HOT: Jonathan Marchessault has seven goals in six games
6. San Jose Sharks (8-6-1, 1-2-0, Last Week: #5)
Results: SJ 1 at WPG 4, SJ 2 at COL 6, SJ 4 at MIN 1
Schedule: 11/18 at STL, 11/20 vs WSH, 11/22 vs CAR
San Jose managed to stave off a 0-3 week with a road victory over a very good Minnesota Wild team. Things still seem to be falling back to Earth in San Jose as they get passed by other teams in the standings. They still do have the pieces on the team, but it just doesn’t feel like it’ll be enough, even when healthy. It also doesn’t seem entirely likely that James Reimer will maintain his ridiculous start for the course of a season, but at the same time, there is usually a team or two that shocks every year and maybe just maybe that team is San Jose?
HOT: Erik Karlsson has eight points in nine games this year, not ridiculously hot, but a step in the right direction for him after just 22 in 52 last year.
7. Seattle Kraken (4-10-1, 0-2-0, Last Week: #8)
Results: ANA 7 at SEA 4, MIN 4 at SEA 2
Schedule: 11/17 vs CHI, 11/19 vs COL, 11/21 vs WSH
The Kraken move up one spot in the rankings but it’s not due to their own merit, but rather the complete train wreck that is their Pac NW rival. For Seattle it was pretty clear from their expansion draft that they weren’t going to be a great team, but the fact that they did very little to acquire picks from the future in exchange for taking not-so-great contracts means that their draft looks like a total bust right now. A lot of this could be solved if Phillip Grubauer can return to the form he had in Colorado, or even just be better than he has been, because without him, this is a bad hockey team.
HOT: Jordan Eberle has six goals in five games
8. Vancouver Canucks (5-9-2, 0-3-0, Last Week: #7)
Results: VAN 1 at COL 7, VAN 4 at VGK 7, VAN 1 at ANA 5
Schedule: 11/17 vs COL, 11/19 vs WPG, 11/21 vs CHI
This is a bad hockey team right now, there’s no way around it. Ownership meeting with the general manager is just icing on the cake of a week that saw Vancouver get outscored 19-6 over three regulation losses on the road. Everything about the team is just a mess right now outside of a few guys like JT Miller and Thatcher Demko. The Canucks have a brief three game homestand to try and get things turned back in the right direction, but man is this thing going off the rails rather quickly.
HOT: JT Miller and that’s about it.
Do you think the Anaheim Ducks will make the playoffs?