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Pacific Division Power Rankings
We wish you a Merry Christmas Edition!
12/15/13 - By Ryan Hall -

Pacific Division Power Rankings We wish you a Merry Christmas Edition! By Ryan Hall It's the most wonderful time of the year isn't it?! December brings holidays, plenty of hockey, and enough games to start measuring what each team is lacking; as with Tuesday's games every team has officially hit the 30 game. Some teams have been playing nice, while others have developed naughty habits that are threatening to turn a promising start into a lump of coal. However, at heart each of these teams are just big kids chasing a puck around the rink, and with Christmas in the air thoughts of toys and presents are floating in every player's head. In this edition of the Power Rankings we'll take a look at what each team is lacking, and hoping to find underneath their tree's come December 25th!

#1 - Anaheim Ducks (Transformers)

For the second time in a row the Ducks find themselves occupying the top spot in the Pacific Division Rankings due to their Grinch-like play at home, where they remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss! Sadly, things aren't quite so good for Anaheim when they hit the road with a rather Who-vian 10-7-3 mark, meaning that a truly Merry Christmas would involve a way to take some of their home play with them on the road; a problem more vexing than the instructions on changing Optimist Prime into his robot form! Still, if the Ducks want to truly contend they'll need to find a way to master this skill, or else come April they run the risk of being discarded alongside all those impossibly difficult action figurers!

Last Ranking: 1

#2 - Vancouver Canucks (Toboggan)

After a rough first couple months the Canucks have really started to hit their stride, backed in no small part by the solid goaltending of Roberto Luongo. This improved play has turned a nightmare before Christmas break into a time of goodwill and peace for Van-city, and the festivities just continue to roll. Right now, the most pressing need facing this team is simply a way to keep riding the wave of success, and nothing says cruising in style like a waxed wood toboggan barrelling down a snow packed hill. While there may be bumps, and perhaps a crash or two since the offense isn't lighting the world on fire, at the moment Torts and co. seem capable of navigating any obstacles that might crop up.

Last Ranking: 5

#3 - Los Angeles Kings (Tickle-Me-Elmo)

You might be asking 'Why on earth the Kings would be hoping for a laughing Muppet doll underneath their Christmas tree' so let me tell you: no team has endured more injuries, inconsistency, and general dark clouds in this division than the LA Kings so far. Through it all they keep on ticking along, though they must surely be longing for some laughter and happiness during the holidays and into the New Year, and nothing embodies that more than the infamous Elmo. Additionally, though many people have claimed that the Muppet toy is annoying, what better attribute could be used to describe Darryl Sutter's squad that checks, grinds, and gets under the skin of opponents every game. Tickle-me-Elmo and the Los Angeles Kings: can't you see the similarities?!

Last Ranking: 4

#4 - San Jose Sharks (Tonka Trucks)

Picture it if you will: Christmas morning and little Joe Thornton and the Sharks gather around the tree to see what Santa has left them. After ripping through mounds of wrapping paper they find themselves face-to-face with an entire fleet of cast metal toy dump trucks, front-end loaders, and plows; the perfect gift for a team that often mails-in the work ethic! Let's be honest, the past 10 games haven't been all that merry for the Sharks, and the only ones to blame for the ups and downs are the boys in teal themselves who far too often are content to sit around rather than getting in the dirt to play. No further proof is needed than the current 4 game losing streak, and the fact that after 10 games the Sharks were +24 in goals, and in the next 21 they're only +2. The only remedy to all that affects them is hard work, perseverance, and maybe a visit from the ghost of Sharks failures past.

Last Ranking: 3

#5 - Calgary Flames (1980's DeLorean DMC-12 Model Car)

The Flames really are a hard team to read, aren't they? Like little Timmy in the Christmas Carol we know there is something dreadfully wrong with them, yet the moxie and spunk they show makes it hard not to feel sympathy for this never say die squad. Sadly, while Timmy is eventually rescued by a rehabilitated Ebenezer Scrooge, there is no one to save the Flames from their play in November which proved a fatal blow to contending. If there was a way to go back in time and change the past than the Flames would gladly take it I'm sure, however the DeLorean from Back to the Future just doesn't exist; and neither do mulligans in hockey. Still, the return of Mike Giordano has helped to stabilize their backend, and that should mean that Calgary will continue to be a thorn in the side of teams for a while longer. Now, if only Marty had left them a note about taking a month off…

Last Ranking: 6

#6 - Phoenix Coyotes (BB Gun)

'Twas two weeks before Christmas, and all through the desert; not a goal horn was sounding, and the Coyotes were hurt!' Okay, poetry aside, the desert dogs have been on the decline for a while now caused by their inability to score goals. When you add in the poor play of Mike Smith it becomes clear that Phoenix is facing a plate of fruitcake while the real contenders are eating cookies! Unfortunately, the play in net doesn't look to have an easy answer (unless Thomas Greiss can work a Christmas miracle), so what the Coyotes really want for Christmas is a legitimate sniper who can add some firepower to their attack. Until they find that missing piece though, things are looking grim for the only team bringing a pop gun offense to the league's toughest division.

Last Ranking: 2

#7 - Edmonton Oilers (Legos)

I was sorely tempted to move the Oilers up from 7th this cycle as there has been definite signs of life in this squad. Heck, they have almost caught the Flames! Yet watching the two clubs play I can't help but feel that Edmonton just doesn't quite get it yet. They're getting close, but as any kid can tell you, Christmas being close just isn't as good as it being there. What this squad lacks is that final step where they put all the pieces together, learning how everyone fits and overlaps to form a sturdy and enduring construction. While the big day hasn't yet arrived in Edmonton, I swear there are times when you can catch the jingle of sleigh bells heralding its arrival. The rest of the Pacific Division should take note, as with a little more time something truly magnificent could start to emerge in Edmonton.

Last Ranking: 7



Contact Ryan at ryanhall@letsgosharks.com


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