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Pacific Division Power Rankings 7
Wild Wild West Edition!
3/23/14 - By Ryan Hall -

With the season drawing to a close and most teams either in the stretch run or tank mode, the NHL is beginning to look forward to the best hockey of the year: the playoffs! However, before that can start, there still needs to be a resolution to the 6 month long saga that is the regular season. Like most good stories, Pacific Division teams have all had their share of ups and downs, with too many plot twists to keep track of. So, why not imagine what role these squads would play in a good old fashion spaghetti western; after all - to steal from Seth MacFarlane - 'there are a million ways to die in the West'.

#1 - San Jose Sharks (Outlaws)

The peaceful citizens of the sleepy little Pacific Division were comfortably watching the games roll by, with nary a care in their heads as it seemed to a be a foregone conclusion that the Ducks of Anaheim would rule the land unchallenged. Then suddenly a storm rolled into town with gunfire and smoke, and when it all cleared there stood a gang of outlaws announcing that this was THEIR division now. Led by Jumbo Joe, these gang of troublemakers have been laying waste to everything in their way, peeling off a 7-1-2 record in their last 10, while lifting their goal differential to 4th best in the league. With rumours flying that the Czech Kid is ready to bust out of the infirmary and rejoin the posse, things only look to get wilder in the Pacific.

Last Ranking: 2

#2 - Anaheim Ducks (The Law)

Like the sleepy lawmen who get too complacent, the Anaheim Ducks never thought this would happen to them. Sure they hit a rough patch going 4-4-2, but that didn't mean anything, did it? Then, suddenly those outlaws storm into town, claim the place, and the Ducks are left trying to figure out what happened. Once they get their heads around it though, Anaheim is sure to saddle up and hit the trail hard, with vengeance on their minds. And make no mistake, these lawmen aren't no Barney Fife types either! Led my Marshall Getzlaf, with Deputy Perry riding shotgun, they are more than capable of calling down hell on their prey; if they can catch them!

Last Ranking: 1

#3 - Los Angeles Kings (Mysterious Gambler in the Saloon)

With a hat pulled down low, and a long black trench coat, the Gambler sits in the back corner so he can keep his eyes on what is going on in front of him. But how dangerous is this man? And what is his game? No better description could be found for the Kings, who are nearly entrenched in the 3rd slot of the Pacific division with little chance to move up. That means they can afford to be patient for now, and get ready to strike when they think the moment is right. The question remains though: is this stranger the deadly gunslinger that terrorized people 2 year ago, or a nobody hiding from that harsh reality?

Last Ranking: 3

#4 - Phoenix Coyotes (Town Priest)

'Hard work, perseverance, and honest efforts' - a good Christina creed to live by, and the mantra of the Coyotes under Coach Dave Tippet. Yet, like a clergyman trying to bring religion to the Wild West, this often leaves Phoenix woefully underpowered when a fight breaks out (as their -5 differential indicates). Still, the good work must go on, and that means continuing to beat the same drum in hopes that compete level alone will make a difference; even as the rest of the locals begin to grab their guns or look for cover. With the playoffs looming in front of them, the Coyotes find themselves trapped in the middle of an increasingly hostile and violent shootout between teams packing firepower Phoenix can only dream about. Predictably, the result will probably not be pretty, but then again will anyone even notice when they go down? Such is the sad fate of supporting characters.

Last Ranking: 6

#5 - Calgary Flames (Hardworking Homesteaders)

A life on the soil, raising a good crop and a family. The hardworking homesteader is a staple of any good western movie - as is the inevitable moment when their property gets blown to pieces either during a gunfight, or by a deliberate act of devastation. While the Flames don't have to worry about anyone destroying the Saddledome, their continued insistence on giving a solid effort means they raise the ire of teams that would simply like to roll in, collect their points, and move on. Some might call Calgary heroic for this, but all too often it ends up looking stupid; especially for a team the needs to solidify a Top 5 draft position. Still, on some level it's hard to hate the Flames for trying, in the midst of a hostile and unforgiving division.

Last Ranking: 4

#6 - Vancouver Canucks (Town Drunk)

Stumbling blindly through the streets, muttering to themselves about their glory days, the Vancouver Canucks have officially become the sad spectacle of the Pacific. If you listen closely enough you can still hear fans arguing that this squad was one game away from the Stanley Cup; a fact that grows less and less relevant with each passing game. The mismanagement of Luongo, injuries, coaching, and the lack of identity should be enough to convince the Canucks to go home and sleep this one off. But like most drunks they just don't see how far gone they really are. That means it falls to the friends to intervene, so here, let me: "Go home and sober up Vancouver. Right now, you're a mess!"

Last Ranking: 7

#7 - Edmonton Oilers (Buxom Barmaid)

Looking good from a distance, and with enough there to catch the eye of most anyone, the Edmonton Oilers look positively perfect from across the room. Sadly, once you get close to them you realize that there is nothing to them at all; no beauty, no brains, no nothing! What looked like a campaign full of promise has become downright disastrous, with Saturday night's clash between Head Coach Dallas Eakins and forward Taylor Hall being the epitome of all that is wrong in Edmonton. This means that no one is paying much attention to the Oilers - other to see just how cheaply they can pry some of that talent away from them. With the wrong kind of suitors starting to crowd around, this girl better figure things out quickly!

Last Ranking: 5



Contact Ryan at ryanhall@letsgosharks.com





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