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Pacific Power Rankings, Week 9: Sharks climb out of the basement, Kraken have another set back

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Photo credit:San Jose Sharks
Justin Mackenzie
2 months ago
As the puck hits the ice for week nine of the 2023-24 NHL season, the Pacific Division had yet another very interesting week.
Records were set, point streaks reached new heights, and winning (and losing) streaks had significant implications for spots in the league standings. So let’s stop waiting around and get right into this week’s Pacific Power Rankings.
All stats collected from Natural Stat Trick

1. Los Angeles Kings (16-5-4, 36 points)

Last week: 1 (-)
Record this week: 2-1-1
Despite picking up their 11th straight win away from home only to immediately lose to both New York teams at the end of the week, I am still really high on the Los Angeles Kings and their roster so they get to stay in the top spot for at least another edition of the Power Rankings.
While their four line potent offence is getting a lot of the attention from around the league, it’s their defence that might be even more impressive. They have only allowed a stingy 58 goals against (least in the NHL), and if Cam Talbot can hold his current form the Kings will continue to be the class of the division on both sides of the ice.
Stick taps: The Kings of the road
As I talked about last week and above, the Kings have been excellent on the road this season. This week, they cemented themselves in the NHL history books by breaking the record for most consecutive road wins to start a season. The record clinching 11th victory came at the iconic Bell Centre after a 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

2. Vegas Golden Knights (19-5-5, 43 points)

Last week: 2 (-)
Record this week: 3-0-0
After a brief period of some tough losses for the Vegas Golden Knights, they are back in form going a perfect 3-0-0 on the week. While they now sit six points clear of second place in the Pacific Division standings, it’s too hard to give them back top spot with the Kings having four games in hand on them. With that said though, I wouldn’t be surprised if the two teams do some flip flopping for the rest of the year.
The bad news for the Golden Knights? Shea Theodore looks like he won’t be returning anytime soon after undergoing surgery a few weeks ago. The good news? Alex Pietrangelo has fit in nicely on the top power play unit and has found some chemistry with Ben Hutton on the first pair.
Stick taps: No starter, no problem
Adin Hill is still out with the lower body injury he sustained a few weeks ago, but that hasn’t slowed down the dynamic goaltending the Knights have gotten so far this season. Logan Thompson’s .919 has kept afloat the leagues second best team save percentage (.920) while Vegas is sporting a record of 8-3-3 when their backup goaltender is between the pipes.

3. Vancouver Canucks

Last week: 3 (-)
Record this week: 2-1-0
The Canucks kicked off a nice week with the first ever Hughes Bowl when brother Jack and Luke came to town with New Jersey to face off with their older brother and Canucks captain Quinn Hughes. Unfortunately for the eldest of the three, Vancouver came just short of a great comeback in the 6-5 loss but it was a good night for the Hughes family as the brothers put up a combined six points.
The Canucks were also able to get off their win one, lose one streak with their first set of back to back wins in almost a month after beating the Minnesota Wild and Carolina Hurricanes at home.
Stick taps: It’s Miller time in Vancouver
I’ve talked a lot about the Canucks scoring trio of Hughes, Miller, and Pettersson so naturally, here we go again. J.T. Miller matched the franchise record for the fewest games to 40 points in a season, tying Tony Tanti who also did it in 28 games.

4. Edmonton Oilers (12-12-1, 25 points)

Last week: 5 (+1)
Record this week: 3-0-0
Just like that, the Edmonton Oilers are back to .500 and right back in the mix. The Oilers win streak hit seven games after beating the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-1 on Sunday. They now sit only three points out of the second wild card spot in the West with a few games in hand on the teams ahead of them. We knew it wasn’t going to last forever, but it looks like the Oilers are once again a playoff team who could make a run.
Edmonton is looking more like the team that finished last season on a nine game win streak than the second worst team in the league we saw earlier this season. Connor McDavid also looks to be back in that form with 23 points over his current nine game point streak.
Stick taps: Bouchard stays hot
McDavid isn’t the only player on the Oilers riding an impressive point streak. Evan Bouchard’s 11 game point streak matched the longest by a defenceman this year. Over the stretch, Bouchard has 5 goals and 11 assists.

5. Calgary Flames (11-13-3, 25 points)

Last week: 4 (-1)
Record this week: 1-3-0
The Calgary Flames have continued their up and down season in a perfectly sporadic way. Two less than impressive losses to the Wild and Devils, a gutsy win against the Hurricanes, and a barn burner loss against the Avalanche made up the week for Calgary. Needless to say it’s getting really tough to see where this team stacks up against the competition from game to game.
One positive is that the youngsters are still getting it done for the Flames with Connor Zary leading the way and edging himself into a stacked Calder Trophy race. Some of the more veteran names might not be on the roster for much longer but if the first batch of players getting their shot with the big club is any indication, I am excited to see what Ryan Huska with his lineup in the coming months.
Stick taps: Hungry for the Wolf
During last Tuesday’s morning practice, goaltender Jacob Markstrom sustained a fluky finger injury when a puck hit an unprotected part of his hand. Markstrom’s injury made room for the Flames most hyped prospect Dustin Wolf. Wolf, who has been up and down already this season will finally get a stretch in the NHL where he’ll be able to get multiple starts. He’ll be a fun watch while Calgary’s starting goalie is on the shelf for a bit.

6. Seattle Kraken (8-14-7, 23 points)

Last week: 6 (-)
Record this week: 0-2-1
While some teams are streaking up the standings, the opposite is going on with the Seattle Kraken. Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild was their eighth in a row. Expectations were high after a run in last years playoffs, but I think it’s time to remember that this is only the third year the franchise has existed with still a lot of growing pains to address.
The Kraken are the leagues worst in goals against above expected (10.33) and aren’t getting a save from their .882 save percentage goaltending. Philipp Grubauer heading to the IR is only going to amplify the problem in between the pipes. I don’t expect the Kraken to be turning a corner anytime soon.
Stick taps: Bjorkstrand cracks 300 points
Second year Kraken and the forward group’s leading scorer Oliver Bjorkstrand hit 300 points on Saturday night with a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bjorkstrand has been a pretty steady player throughout his NHL career with a split of 139 goals and 161 assists.

7. San Jose Sharks (8-18-3, 19 points)

Last week: 8 (+1)
Record this week: 2-0-1
What a week it was for the San Jose Sharks. Two impressive comeback wins against the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings and one that fell just short in Vegas shows that the Sharks are not just going to roll over and gift two points to their opponents.
Since their horrendous start to the season, the Sharks look like they aren’t going to be the historically bad team we thought they were going to be. The team is now 5-3-2 over their last 10 games and are close to moving out of last spot at the bottom of standings for the first time this season.
Stick taps: Magic in the Motor City
Trailing the Red Wings 4-0 over halfway through the second, things weren’t looking good for the Sharks. It only took 5:28 for the gap to be closed on the way to the 6-5 victory, capped off by Mikael Granlund’s overtime winner. The four goal comeback was the first of it’s kind in the NHL this season and the first for San Jose since game three of the 2011 conference quarterfinals.

8. Anaheim Ducks (10-17-0, 20 points)

Last week: 7 (-1)
Record this week: 0-3-0
The Anaheim Ducks are awful and I look like an idiot for thinking that this team was a sleeper playoff pick. They can’t get any offence going, sitting second last in the NHL in goals for (38) and aren’t getting much help on the back-end with a -21 goal differential.
Since their early season run 6 game win streak, they have a 3-13-0 record, including a span where they lost eight consecutive games.
Stick taps: Two year anniversary of Zegras to Milano
There isn’t much to celebrate in Anaheim right now so we’re going with a blast from the past. Thursday marked the two year anniversary of Trevor Zegras’ unreal pass to former teammate Sonny Milano:
Have any additional stick taps for the week? Let us know in the comments below!

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