Change is finally coming in Vancouver, Drew Doughty returns to the lineup for LA, and Calgary just keeps winning.
8. Vancouver Canucks (8-15-2)
Last week: 8
Canucks fans finally got their wish. A long overdue house cleaning happened in Vancouver on Sunday. Head coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning were fired, along with assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner and assistant GM John Weisbrod. Stan Smyl will serve as interim GM while the team searches for a new one, while former Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, and Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau is back behind the bench in Vancouver.
There’s a lot of work to do still to fix the Canucks. But at least that work can finally begin now.
This week: VS LA, VS BOS, VS WPG, VS CAR
7. Seattle Kraken (9-13-2)
Last week: 7
This team is on an impressive run right now. Friday’s 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers improved the Kraken to 5-1-1 over their last seven games.
He missed the start of the season recovering from shoulder surgery, but since returning, Yanni Gourde has quietly been having a very productive season for Seattle with 16 points (6-10-16) in 20 games.
FROM 👏 HIS 👏 KNEE!!! pic.twitter.com/9g1dOblNCB
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) December 4, 2021
This week: VS PIT, VS WPG, VS CBJ
6. San Jose Sharks (13-11-1)
Last week: 6
A five-game road trip that started with three wins ended with a pair of losses for San Jose, most recently Sunday’s 6-4 defeat at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After a down season a year ago, the Sharks have to be encouraged by Erik Karlsson’s production so far this season. He’s scored three goals in the last four games and has 14 points (6-8-14) in 19 games on the year.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 6, 2021
This week: VS CGY, VS MIN, VS DAL
5. LA Kings (10-9-4)
Last week: 5
It was an eventful week for the LA Kings. They fought back from a 4-1, third-period deficit against the Ducks, only to lose in a shootout. They fittingly lost a 3-2 decision to the Calgary Flames in Darryl Sutter’s return to LA, a game that finally saw Alex Edler record his 100th career goal, his first as a King and his first in general since February 25th, 2020.
And just like that, Alex Edler has career goal No. 💯❗
— NHL (@NHL) December 3, 2021
Then on Sunday came a daunting road match-up with the Edmonton Oilers, who entered the game with a 9-1-0 home record. And all the Kings did was play perhaps their best game of the season, outshooting the Oilers 40-22 in a 5-1 win.
It was just their second win in their last nine games, but that performance will keep the Kings from moving down in our rankings this week. Drew Doughty returning ahead of schedule from his knee injury also helps. He had a goal and two assists in Sunday’s win.
— Eric (@kingsgifs2) December 6, 2021
This week: @ VAN, VS DAL, VS MIN
4. Anaheim Ducks (13-8-4)
Last week: 4
In between a shootout win over the Kings and a shootout loss to the Flames last week was a wild 6-5 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. The kids on Anaheim continue to impress. We’ve talked about Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras, but how about Jamie Drysdale?
— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) December 2, 2021
Drysdale now has 13 points (3-10-13) in 25 games this season. Not too shabby for a 19-year-old defenseman.
A challenging week could be ahead for the Ducks, as they’ll play five road games in seven days.
This week: @ WSH, @ BUF, @ CBJ, @ PIT, @ STL
3. Vegas Golden Knights (14-10-0)
Last week: 3
After that 6-5 loss to the Ducks, the Golden Knights responded with a 7-1 stomping of the Arizona Coyotes on Friday, then a 3-2 win over the Flames on Sunday.
Max Pacioretty has been scorching since returning from injury. He now has four goals and three assists in five games since rejoining the lineup.
— Did VGK Score?! (@DidVGKScore) December 4, 2021
This week: VS DAL, VS PHI, VS MIN
2. Edmonton Oilers (16-7-0)
Last week: 1
Losses to the Kraken and Kings to close out this week — the first time this season that the Oilers have dropped consecutive games — drop them out of the top spot.
This isn’t the sort of Connor McDavid highlight we usually see.
connor mcdavid has been assessed a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct for this hit on adrian kempe. pic.twitter.com/UGcCF2IQhK
— zach laing (@zjlaing) December 6, 2021
With Edmonton down 2-1 and under seven minutes to go in what had been a frustrating game for him and his team, McDavid got himself ejected for that hit on Adrian Kempe. The Kings made him pay, scoring three times — including a goal from Kempe, his second of the game — on the five-minute major to put the game away.
This week: VS MIN, VS BOS, VS CAR
1. Calgary Flames (15-5-5)
Last week: 2
Despite Sunday’s loss in Vegas, Calgary still retakes the top spot. The loss was just the Flames’ second in their last nine games, as their great start to the season continues to show no signs of slowing down.
Last Thursday marked Sutter’s first game back in LA (as well as the return of Trevor Lewis) since the team fired him after the 2016-17 season.
Trevor Lewis and Darryl Sutter get a warm welcome back into the Staples Center at the first TV timeout. pic.twitter.com/RTZQYRHNR6
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) December 3, 2021
The Flames made it a happy return for them. Long-time Kings’ nemesis Matthew Tkachuk scored what ended up being the game-winning goal.
— NHL (@NHL) December 3, 2021
This week: @ SJ, VS CAR, VS BOS