Garret Sparks

Photo credit: John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

COVID-19 is officially wreaking havoc on the NHL schedule and Pacific Division teams have not been spared.

8. Seattle Kraken (10-17-3)

Last week: 8

A 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks opened the week for the Kraken, but losses to the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers followed. Seattle has just one win in its last six games.

Jared McCann is putting together an excellent year, though. His career-high in goals is 14. So far this season, he already has 12 in just 25 games, giving him a share of the team lead.

This week: VS ARI, @ CGY (PPD)

7. San Jose Sharks (15-14-1)

Last week: 6

Not a good week for the Sharks. The aforementioned 3-1 loss to the Kraken was followed by a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, both at home. They’ve now lost five of their last seven games.

That was enough to drop San Jose to a new low for them in our rankings so far this season.

This week: VS VAN (PPD), VS EDM (PPD)

6. Vancouver Canucks (14-15-2)

Last week: 7

Is it possible that Bruce Boudreau has made himself the favorite for the Jack Adams just six games into his tenure with Vancouver?

The Canucks have still yet to lose under their new head coach, their record now a perfect 6-0-0 since the change was made. You’d have to think Boudreau will have a strong chance if this team makes the playoffs, though there’s still lots of work to do if that’s going to happen.

After a slow start to the season, Brock Boeser has picked things up lately. He has four goals and an assist over the last five games, scoring twice in Vancouver’s most recent game against San Jose.

This week: @ SJ (PPD), VS ANA (PPD)

5. LA Kings (14-11-5)

Last week: 5

The LA Kings lost some key players on their Eastern Conference road trip. Drew Doughty, Phillip Danault, and Cal Petersen have all been placed in COVID protocol, while Andreas Athanasiou is back on injured reserve.

That’s the bad news, but given the teams they faced, any Kings fan should be satisfied with them coming back with five of eight possible points from that trip. It concluded with a feel-good 3-2 comeback victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

Having been through a whirlwind year, Christian Wolanin scored his first goal as a King to tie the game at 2-2 in the third period.

Then there was Garret Sparks, playing in his first NHL game in more than two years, having gotten the call up from the Ontario Reign after Petersen was placed in protocol. Sparks stopped 33 of 35 shots in the victory. After the game, he made it clear what this night meant to him:

This week: VS EDM (PPD), @ VGK

4. Anaheim Ducks (17-9-6)

Last week: 3

Three out of four points isn’t a bad week, but after a 4-1 win over the Kraken, Thursday’s 6-5 overtime loss at home to the league-worst Arizona Coyotes was enough to drop the Ducks out of the third spot we had moved them up to last week.

Anaheim’s offense still had a good week, though, scoring nine times over the course of those two games. Trevor Zegras scored in both of them as he continues to insert himself firmly in the middle of the Calder Trophy race.

This week: @ EDM (PPD), @ CGY (PPD), @ VAN (PPD)

3. Edmonton Oilers (18-11-0)

Last week: 4

Edmonton’s losing streak extended to six games with a 5-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but they closed the week out with a pair of wins, 5-2 over the Columbus Blue Jackets and 5-3 over Seattle.

Warren Foegele has stepped up to help right the ship, scoring three times over the last two games, including the game-winner on Saturday.

Some warts have been exposed after an incredible start to the season, but perhaps those two wins can at least help Oilers fans breathe a little bit easier heading into what is now an extended holiday break.

Hopefully, someone’s buying this Oilers fan a new jersey…


This week: VS ANA (PPD), @ LA (PPD), @ SJ (PPD)

2. Calgary Flames (15-7-6)

Last week: 2

We have nothing new to share about the Flames, other than that apparently pretty much the entire team has tested positive for COVID-19 over the last week or so. They’ve been out of action since December 11th. The next game on their schedule that has not been postponed as of now is a home date with the Oilers on December 27th.

This team hasn’t gotten a lot of good news lately, so how about we give them some? While Calgary may have literally done nothing last week, no one else did enough to drop them out of the second spot.

This week: VS ANA (PPD), VS SEA (PPD)

1. Vegas Golden Knights (20-11-0)

Last week: 1

Make it five straight wins for the Golden Knights, who wrapped up a perfect 4-0-0 Eastern Conference road trip on Sunday with a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders.

The Knights now rank fourth in the league with an average of 3.48 goals-for per game. Most of their offense on Sunday came from their defense. Or, to be precise, from one specific defenseman. Shea Theodore scored a pair of goals, including the game-tying tally with under a minute to go and the Vegas net empty.

This week: VS TB, VS LA

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