| Pacific Division Power
80's Song Style!
|11/17/13 - By Ryan Hall -
Pacific Division Power Rankings 80's Song Style!!
By Ryan Hall As the middle of November rolls on by, the NHL begins to near its
quarter mark. The last 10 games have started to provide some clarity on the
league, with several teams rounding into shape; and a few others showing their
True Colours. Whether they've been playing like Smooth Criminals or They Still
Haven't Found What They're Looking For, the teams of the Pacific Division have
been acting like they have their own personal 80's theme song on repeat. With
that in mind, let's drop in a listen to what's been on their tapedecks!
(NOTE: The Power Rankings take into effect how well a team has been
performing so far based on the expectations of that team heading into the
season, as well as the level of play that they have been exhibiting.)
1) Anaheim Ducks (Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves)
a surprise division title last season and a red hot start to this campaign, the
Ducks have been living the good life and proving their no fluke. Bolstered by
an undefeated home record, depth in net, and a 6-2-2 mark in their last 10,
Anaheim has not only been setting the pace in the Pacific, but proving they
aren't just here for the weekend or back for a day; they're back to stay!
Still, with only a +15 goal differential to match their 15 total wins, the
margin of error is slim for this team, but for now those darks clouds are the
smallest hint on the horizon. Right now the Ducks are walking on sunshine baby
oh, and don't it feel good!
Previous Ranking: 2
Coyotes (St. Elmo's Fire by John Parr)
"I can see a new horizon,
underneath the blazing sky. I'll be where the eagles flyin' higher and higher!"
These words mark the opening lines of the chorus to this signature 1985 song,
and this season is shaping up to be a turning point for the Coyotes as well.
After years mired in franchise uncertainty, the mists have cleared and rather
than just soldiering on Phoenix have become men in motion with a torrid 8-1-1
record over their past 10 games. With all this success has come raised
expectations which mean the Desert Dogs need to prepare to get everyone's best
shot, and that will require finding a way to score more, as their paltry +7
mark highlights how easily this inferno could be quenched.
3) San Jose Sharks (Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi)
The Sharks used to dominate their competition, then the offense went on strike,
they went down on their luck, and things got tough; so tough. From an 8-1-1
start, the boys in teal posted a 5-1-4 mark in their last ten games, with the
majority of them being closely contested affairs in which they Sharks only
managed to score 3 more goals then they allowed. However, despite the sudden
power outage the Sharks have managed to hold on, getting points in all but 1
game during their latest stretch - even if it hasn't been pretty to watch. The
return of a healthy Brent Burns should help to alleviate some of the problems,
and with 2 games in hand to make up a single point, San Jose isn't far back of
first in Pacific. With 20 games down, and only 2 regulation loses, the Sharks
are a quarter of the way there, even if they're living on a prayer right now.
Previous Ranking: 1
4) Los Angeles Kings (Don't Worry, be
Happy by Bobby McFerrin)
Talk about a 10 game emotional rollercoaster!
While the Kings have started to regain their form, injuries have begun to take
a bite out of their lineup, yet Darryl Sutter and gang just keep on smiling.
Goalie Jonathon Quick expected to miss 4 -6 weeks with a groin injury? Don't
worry, be happy! Jeff Carter out at least 2 weeks with a foot fracture? Don't
worry, be happy! Kyle Clifford and Matt Greene on the IR as well? You guessed
don't worry, be happy! Maybe it's the play of Ben Scrivens in net, or
the fact that Drew Doughty is starting to look like a Norris trophy lock, but
nothing seems to faze LA these days. So, who am I to point out Scrivens is
unproven, or the offense tends to be streaky, or that they're only 2 points up
on Vancouver for the last playoff spot? As long as they keep winning they'll
prove the truth of Mr. McFerrin when he sang "In every life we have some
trouble, but when we worry we make it double. Don't worry, be Happy!"
Previous Ranking: 5
5) Vancouver Canucks (Broken Wings by Mr. Mister)
The remake of the Vancouver Canucks continues to progress, with some
there being some noticeable steps forward during this latest batch of games.
Goaltender Roberto Luongo is staring to round into form, the offense is
beginning to click, and the Canucks are learning how to fly under Torts. But it
isn't all sunshine and happiness yet, as this squad continues to have trouble
winning at home with a baffling 4-3-1 mark so far this season; proving that
there is still work to be done. Yet the progress is undeniable, as Vancouver
has become a defensively responsible, shot blocking team that seems poised to
'take what was wrong and make it right again.'
Previous Ranking: 6
6) Calgary Flames (I Think
We're Alone Now by Tiffany)
Oh the Flames
what a difference a
month can make! In October this club was everyone's sweetheart, playing with
moxie and determination, getting scoring from everyone, and causing Calgarians
to dream about what they might accomplish. Then the calendar flipped to
November, the bottom fell out, and now the only noise is the beating of their
goalies hearts as they face wave after wave of unimpeded attackers. I could
give you all the grizzly details, but with a 2-7-1 record and 30 shots against
per game, it's pretty obvious that the Flames are in over their heads. There
are two bright spots though, as Sean Monahan looks like a star in the making,
and Mike Cammalleri is clipping along at nearly a PPG pace. Still, with such a
thin roster Calgary can't support them meaning that they, and the Flames, are
all alone now.
Previous Ranking: 3
7) Edmonton Oilers (Never
Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley)
Poking fun of the Oilers is easy, so
much so that it almost feels mean. This squad not only has failed to score
goals, but they haven't found a way to play defense either, and now rumors are
starting to fly about locker room problems. With that in mind, I think it's
safe to say we were all Rick-rolled by Edmonton in the offseason, and boy did
they get us good! But in true trainwreck fashion, the Oilers ineptitude goes
even deeper, as they refuse to give up any one of their 5 young first round
picks (Hall, Eberle, Gagner, Nugent-Hopkins, and Yakapov) in order to address
other weaknesses. Add in that the signing of retread crazed goalie Ilya
Bryzgalov and maybe the real victims in all of this are the Oilers themselves!
Previous Ranking: 7
*Power Rankings will be updated
approximately every 10 games*
Contact Ryan at
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