Canucks Kraken

Photo credit: Abbie Parr/NHLI via Getty Images

The LA Kings are on the rise, frustration is mounting with the Oilers, and the Flames are finally playing again.

8. Seattle Kraken (10-19-4)

Last week: 8

Seattle has gone 1-1-1 since play resumed, most recently suffering a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. It doesn’t look like they’ll be escaping the basement of the Pacific Division standings anytime soon. They’re now 11 points behind the Canucks and San Jose Sharks. Any dream of the Kraken having a Golden Knights-style inaugural season is long dead at this point.

This week: VS OTT

7. San Jose Sharks (17-15-1)

Last week: 7

San Jose has won two of three since the break and has played some, uh, interesting games.

Their first game back was a crazy 8-7 shootout win over the Arizona Coyotes. Then on Sunday, they found themselves down 6-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins after the first period, but fought back to within 6-5 in the third, only to end up losing 8-5. It may not be a bad idea to bet the over on a Sharks game right now.

This week: @ DET, @ BUF, @ PHI

6. Vancouver Canucks (16-15-3)

Last week: 6

The LA Kings ended Bruce Boudreau’s hopes of running the table in Vancouver, but the Canucks bounced back against the Kraken on Saturday. They have still yet to lose in regulation under Boudreau, owning a record of 8-0-1.

This week: VS OTT

5. Anaheim Ducks (17-11-7)

Last week: 4

We’ll grant that they’ve had a tough schedule, having played the Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche, but the Ducks are winless in three games since the break, as well as winless in four straight overall. They’ve struggled to generate offense, scoring a total of just four goals over those last three games.

This week: VS PHI, VS DET, VS NYR

4. Edmonton Oilers (18-12-2)

Last week: 3

Are we panicking yet, Oilers fans?

Edmonton is 0-1-2 since play resumed and has just two wins in its last 11 games. They were hoping Mike Smith’s return would help stabilize the goaltending situation, but he’s struggled so far, allowing 10 goals over two starts. The Oilers have gone from looking like the class of the Pacific Division early on in the season to looking like a team that may end up fighting just to make the playoffs.

They did a play fun game against the New Jersey Devils on New Year’s Eve, although the ending wasn’t fun for the Oilers. The Devils tied things up with under a minute to go and then won 6-5 in overtime.

Here, though, have a Connor McDavid highlight.

This week: @ NYR, @ TOR

3. LA Kings (16-12-5)

Last week: 5

With a little help from the Oilers and Ducks’ recent struggles, the Kings vault all the way up to the third spot this week.

They deserve credit in their own right, though. LA is 7-3-1 over its last 11 games. They rang in the new year with a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. They may have just found themselves a nice new line, too. Viktor Arvidsson (two goals, two assists), Trevor Moore (one goal, three assists), and Phillip Danault (one goal, two assists) combined for 11 points as a unit in the team’s most recent victory.

This week: VS NSH, VS DET

2. Calgary Flames (17-7-6)

Last week: 2

The Flames had a longer COVID break than anyone. They finally returned to action last Thursday for the first time since December 11th. They haven’t looked rusty, though, winning each of their first two games back so far, 6-4 over the Kraken and then 5-1 over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

How much is it gonna cost Calgary to keep Johnny Hockey in Southern Alberta beyond this season? An unrestricted free agent this summer, Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists in Sunday’s win and is now up to 36 points (13-23-36) in just 30 games so far this season.

This week: @ FLA, @ TB, @ CAR

1. Vegas Golden Knights (22-12-1)

Last week: 1

Mattias Janmark scored twice in the third period for Vegas to erase a 4-2 deficit to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, with his second goal tying things up with under 10 seconds to go.

They went on to lose 5-4 in overtime, but even with that loss, the Golden Knights are still 10-2-1 over their last 13 games. They haven’t lost a game by more than one goal since November 22nd.

This week: VS NSH, VS NYR, VS CHI

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