Pacific Power Rankings, Week 20: The race for the Wild Card heats up

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Mackenzie
4 months ago
Welcome back to another edition of the Pacific Power Rankings! Every week of the regular season, we’ll take you through how one of the most competitive divisions in the NHL is stacking up.
If you want to take a deeper dive into what else is going on in the Pacific Division, be sure to read Brennan Delaney’s weekly Pacific Division Notebook.
Let’s get into this week’s rankings:

1. Vancouver Canucks (38-16-6, 82 points)

Last week: 2 (+1)
Record this week: 1-2-0
It looked like it was going to be another ugly week for the Vancouver Canucks with losses to the Avalanche, Kraken and trailing the Bruins 2-0 heading into the third period on Saturday night. A huge comeback win might just be what the Canucks needed to break out of their four game slide. We are seeing some regression on the puck luck front and the power play has been atrocious lately, but with elite goaltending and Quinn Hughes in your lineup it’s hard not to stay positive that the Canucks will get themselves back on track.

2. Edmonton Oilers (34-20-2, 68 points)

Last week: 1 (-1)
Record this week: 1-2-1
Goaltending issues have come full circle for the Oilers as Stuart Skinner has looked pretty shaky in his last few outings. He did come up big when it counted making 40 saves in a crucial 4-2 win over the Kings to hold onto third place in the division. That also snapped a three game losing streak for the team and it’s important to note that they still have games in hand on a majority of the division.

3. Los Angeles Kings (29-18-10, 68 points)

Last week: 4
Record this week: 2-2-0
The loss to the Oilers definitely hurts this Los Angeles Kings team as they just can’t seem to beat Edmonton when it counts. That loss aside, this team has looked pretty good since Jim Hiller took the helm, going 6-3-0 under their new bench boss. Their young guys are stepping up and that’s complimenting some of their veteran talent who has been doing this for a long time. The Kings will definitely be looking for a goalie at the deadline and that could very well be the difference between an early exit and a deep run.

4. Vegas Golden Knights (32-19-7, 71 points)

Last week: 3
Record this week: 0-2-1
Everything that we’ve praised the Golden Knights for this entire season seemed to come crashing down this week. Adin Hill has lost three straight games, including getting pulled in a defensive meltdown against the Maple Leafs and Mark Stone is now out week-to-week. Is another Golden Knights salary cap masterclass on the horizon? Only time will tell but with a rematch with the Maple Leafs and a date with the Bruins this week, they are going to need to tighten it up on the back end.

5. Calgary Flames (28-25-5, 61 points)

Last week: 5 (-)
Record this week: 2-0-0
The Calgary Flames have now rattled off three straight wins to once again push themselves back into the playoff conversation. What’s more impressive is who those three wins were against. The Jets, Oilers and Bruins all sit within the top three in their divisions and are widely considered as Stanley Cup favourites this season. If the Flames can continue to get the goaltending from Markstrom and contribution from across the lineup, this isn’t a team I would want to see in the first round.

6. Seattle Kraken (24-22-11, 59 points)

Last week: 6 (-)
Record this week: 2-1-0
The Seattle Kraken capped off a good week with a 4-3 comeback win over the Bruins on Monday and it looks like Philipp Grubauer is really fighting to get his starting job back from Joey Daccord since returning from injury. Daccord hasn’t been great recently, losing four of his last five starts. The Kraken are an attack by committee club and they’ll need to keep that going if they want that second Wild Card spot. Jared McCann is doing his part with eight points in his last five games.

7. Anaheim Ducks (20-35-3, 43 points)

Last week: 7 (-)
Record this week: 0-2-1
We’re still seeing improvement on this Anaheim Ducks roster every week, including Pavel Mintyukov putting up his first career three assist game in a horse race 7-4 loss against the Blue Jackets. The problem for the Ducks is that they aren’t piecing together anything positive for more than a stretch of a game or two. Maybe with another top tier draft pick, which we they are in line for this season, we’ll start to see a little bit more forward progress.

8. San Jose Sharks (15-36-5, 35 points)

Last week: 8 (-)
Record this week: 0-1-0
There was only one game on the schedule for the San Jose Sharks this week and it was against a red hot Nashville team who completed their Pacific Division sweep on Sunday against Anaheim. Four days off prior to their singular contest clearly didn’t help the Sharks as they have now dropped five of their last six games.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Let us know in the comments!
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