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Pacific Power Rankings, Week 10: One thing on every team’s holiday wish list
2 months ago
The holiday season is here and the NHL is just days away from the Christmas Trade Freeze and break. We’re also getting into the holiday spirit this week by taking a look at what each team in the Pacific Division has on their holiday wish list to help their chances heading into the 2024 portion of the schedule.
Like the NHL, I will also be taking a break next week with not many games going on until after Christmas Day. We will be back with the Pacific Power Rankings in 2024 where we will have you covered right until the end of the regular season.
Thank you to everyone who has followed along so far and to all our readers here at FlamesNation! We hope you have a safe holiday season.
Let’s dive in to this week’s Pacific Power Rankings:
All stats collected from Natural Stat Trick
1. Vegas Golden Knights (21-6-5, 47 points)
Last week: 2 (+1)
Record this week: 2-1-0
The Vegas Golden Knights are rolling, winning two of three games this week and dropping only one regulation game in the month of December. This is a team who knows how to win and they’ll beat you any way you want to take them. Their +32 goal differential sits second best in the NHL and that is without their best defenceman Shea Theodore and number one goaltender Adin Hill.
Wish list: Keep the good times rolling
The Golden Knights are in a perfect spot heading into the break, so why hope for anything different after the holidays. It looks like Hill will be back as soon as this week so as the team is getting healthy again, the Golden Knights are just crossing their fingers that the break doesn’t slow down their torrent pace.
2. Los Angeles Kings (17-6-4, 38 points)
Last week: 1 (-1)
Record this week: 1-1-0
The Los Angeles Kings have hit their first real slide of the season, snapping their three game losing streak with a shootout victory over the Kraken this weekend. Only the Senators have less games played than the Kings this year but they are going to run into some back-to-backs over the coming weeks which should make it easier to see how they stack up against the rest of the division. With goaltender Phoenix Copley going down and being placed on LTIR, Cam Talbot is going to have to stay in form to keep the pace in the Pacific.
Wish list: Pierre-Luc Dubois to step up his game
After being acquired in a trade and signed to a nice ticket this off-season, Dubois was supposed to be the piece that is going to put the Kings over the top. So far this year, he’s only mustered 12 points in 27 games. While we can say this is a guy adjusting to a new team, Kings fans would love some more production from their $8.5 million man.
3. Vancouver Canucks (21-9-2, 44 points)
Last week: 3 (-)
Record this week: 3-0-1
While the rest of the league is looking on for the Vancouver Canucks regression to come along, the team just keeps on winning. The Canucks set out on the road for their final stretch before the break and had a good showing picking up three of four points during a back-to-back weekend stretch against the Wild and Blackhawks. While their stars continue to impress, their depth has been the saving grace. Nils Hoglander looks like he has found his home as a hardworking forechecker alongside Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller, and third liner Dakota Joshua now has three goals and four points in his last three games.
Wish list: Keep getting the bounces
The Canucks’ PDO still remains at a league high 105.24 with a 13.38% shooting percentage (1st in NHL) and a 91.87 SV% (2nd in NHL). It will come but even with regression, this Canucks team has stacked up enough points in the early goings that there is a cushion for a possible slump in the numbers.
4. Calgary Flames (13-14-5, 31 points)
Last week: 5 (+1)
Record this week: 2-0-2
The Calgary Flames continue to be in every game they play but aren’t getting the results they perhaps deserve. While playoffs might not be in their future this year, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for those bought into the re-tool mentality. The young guys are playing well and giving the fan base hope for the future, while there are still a lot of unrestricted free agents to be potentially dealt at the deadline for assets. If they play it right, an on the fly re-tool is well within reach and the Flames could be back to competing in the Pacific sooner than we thought.
Wish list: A Christmas miracle for Huberdeau
I know, this one is reaching, but it’s Christmas and that means miracle season! But in all seriousness, having a guy with a $10.5 million cap hit who hasn’t recorded a point in December hurts the re-tooling process and all we can do is hope that he can benefit from the surge of youth that will be injected into the lineup in the coming months and years.
5. Edmonton Oilers (13-14-1, 27 points)
Last week: 4 (-1)
Record this week: 1-2-0
Just when we thought the Oilers were back to their winning ways, their goaltending looked like it was going to hold down the fort until a trade could be made, and McDavid is playing like the best player in the world again, both Florida teams came to town and put them right back into another hole. Their eight game winning streak was snapped over the past two games, being outscored 12-5 by the Lightning and Panthers on aggregate. Still one game under .500 on the season, there is a lot of work to be done to get them back in the hunt.
Wish list: Another long winning streak
It just goes to show how bad the Oilers were out of the gates that even after a stretch of eight consecutive wins, the Oilers are still well out of a spot in the playoffs. They are going to need at least one more lengthy win streak this season to pull close to a wild card spot, which is getting more and more competitive by the day.
6. Seattle Kraken (10-14-9, 29 points)
Last week: 2-0-2
Record this week: 2-0-1
This season is a write off for the Seattle Kraken with basically no path to qualifying for the playoffs this year. It looks like the Kraken’s management team has also started to pick up on this and are starting to give some of their young guys a chance to develop at the NHL level. Third overall pick Shane Wright was called up this week and has shown well in the AHL, producing 16 points in 20 games. It’ll be fun to see what he can do if he can get an extended look at the top level.
Wish list: Tomas Tatar to bring a scoring touch
The Kraken acquired veteran forward Tomas Tatar in exchange for a fifth-round pick this past weekend. While this was a cap clearing move from the Avs side, there’s a real opportunity to capitalize on a fairly inexpensive pick up for Seattle. For a team that sits in the bottom of the league in shooting percentage, a veteran who has scored at least 10 goals in the past five seasons could provide a scoring spark once he gets settled in to his new home.
7. San Jose Sharks (9-19-3, 21 points)
Last week: 7 (-)
Record this week: 1-2-0
The San Jose Sharks continue to prove that they aren’t the worst team in the league anymore as they have pulled themselves out of last place in the NHL standings for the first time this season. Before dropping their last two games, the Sharks we 4-1-1 in December and David Quinn looks like he has his team fighting in every game.
Wish list: Selling high at the deadline
The Sharks are in the midst of a full on blow it up rebuild which means wins might not be the best thing for the club right now. However, with the Sharks starting to piece together some solid play, the stock of some players they want to get assets for grows. Some key targets that the Sharks might look to get some good return for are starting goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood and forward Anthony Duclair, who is already starting to garner some attention from clubs around the league.
8. Anaheim Ducks (12-19-0, 24 points)
Last week: 8 (-)
Record this week: 2-2-0
After being held without a win in regulation December, the Anaheim Ducks strung together back-to-back wins for the first time in over a month. First, it was a solid 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, in which Adam Henrique was able to net a hat trick against his former team. Then last night, a gutty 4-3 over the Red Wings. Are the Ducks back? Probably not.
Wish list: Zegras bouncing back in a big way
Star forward Trevor Zegras is currently on the IR and has not seen game action since November 7th. His stats before however weren’t anything to write home about, picking up two points in the 12 games he appeared in this season. He is travelling with the team on the current road trip and there’s hope that he can get himself going once he’s back to being 100% healthy.
Have any additional items that your team can put on their wish list for after the break? Let us know in the comments!
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