After three weeks of NHL action, we are seeing some teams pull away while others are still having trouble finding traction.
With so many talented teams in the Western Conference, it is never too early to get a good jump on your opponent and the Vegas Golden Knights are doing just that.
Here is a look at the power rankings of teams in the Western Conference after three weeks.
1) Los Angeles Kings (8-1-1)
The Los Angeles Kings continue to stay hot. They earned three more wins against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens. Meanwhile, they lost a close one to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.
Los Angeles remains in first place in the Western Conference and the Pacific Division.
However, the Kings recently placed star center Jeff Carter on injured reserve after he suffered a cut to his ankle tendon by a skate and is out indefinitely. This is a huge loss for the Kings and we will see if they can manage without number 77 for an extended period.
2) Vegas Golden Knights (7-1-0)
The Golden Knights have definitely outdone themselves and have exceeded many pre-season expectations. It’s hard to call them a fluke especially after seeing them go 7-1 to start the season.
Despite losing Marc-Andre Fleury, the Golden Knights continued to win games, defeating both the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks this week.
From here on out, no one should take Vegas lightly as they are in second place in the Pacific Division and are a top three team in the Western Conference.
I wouldn’t bet against them.
3) St. Louis Blues (7-2-1)
The St. Louis Blues continue to surge as they collected points in four straight games, including a convincing 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
Alexander Steen had a night to remember, picking up one goal and three assists for four points in the game.
The Blues are now in sole possession of first place in the Central Division and are one of the hottest teams in the NHL heading into week four.
4) Chicago Blackhawks (5-3-2)
The Chicago Blackhawks are in a slump. They lost three of their last four games against teams (Vegas Golden Knights, Edmonton Oilers) they should have beaten.
They have a shot to get back on track with a game against the Nashville Predators on Friday.
Despite their recent struggles, Patrick Kane has been doing his part offensively. Number 88 extended his point streak to six games against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.
5) Nashville Predators (4-3-2)
The Nashville Predators took one step forward and two steps back this week.
After pulling off a tight 1-0 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers they lost their next two games to the New York Rangers and the Calgary Flames.
Consistency remains a problem for the Predators. They can turn things around against a struggling Chicago Blackhawks team to kick-start the weekend.
6) Calgary Flames (5-5)
The Calgary Flames have been free falling. They lost three of their last four games to the Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues.
They fell out of the top three in the Pacific and may continue to slide in the following weeks. They have a tough week ahead having to face the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins early next week.
7) Dallas Stars (5-5)
After pulling off four consecutive wins, the Dallas Stars winning streak ended after losing to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
It’s difficult to call the Stars a contending team, as they can’t seem to beat worthy opponents (Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers) in their conference.
They had a relatively easy month to start the season but haven’t really capitalized, and this may come back to bite them later in the season when they battle for a playoff spot.
8) Vancouver Canucks (6-3-1)
The Vancouver Canucks are hanging on in the standings and keeping up with most of the powerhouse teams in the west.
They have won five of their last six games and are on a four-game winning streak.
Despite losing key players on defense (Alexander Edler, Troy Stecher), they still continue to win games. The Canucks are third in the Pacific and have more points than the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks.
9) Winnipeg Jets (3-3)
The Winnipeg Jets only had one game this week, but they took care of business beating the Minnesota Wild 4-3.
They are well-rested heading into a busy week four. They are playing teams they have a chance at beating in the Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, and Dallas Stars.
Expect the Jets to stay in the middle of the pack in week four.
10) Anaheim Ducks (4-4-1)
The Anaheim Ducks are slowly coming together, getting two more wins this past week.
The team is looking healthier with Ryan Getzlaf and Hampus Lindholm both returning to the lineup this week.
Anaheim should continue to move up in the standings in the following weeks and are a team everyone should watch.
11) Colorado Avalanche (5-4)
Much like the Vancouver Canucks, the Colorado Avalanche continue to outplay their pre-season expectations.
Their resiliency has been impressive as they have remained competitive and have been pulling off some surprising wins. They lost a close 4-3 match to the St. Louis Blues only to follow that up with an impressive win over the Dallas Stars.
It’s too early to label the Colorado Avalanche as a lottery team, as they are still hovering above a .500 record.
12) San Jose Sharks (4-5)
The San Jose Sharks won three of their last five games and looks to be on the uptrend.
Despite their slow start, they have slowly found their game lately.
The biggest surprise so far is that Brent Burns has yet to score this season.
After scoring 29 goals in 2016/17, Burns has yet to score in nine games this season. This is rather disappointing and if the Sharks want to climb up the standings, their star defenseman must step up his game soon.
13) Minnesota Wild (3-3-2)
The Minnesota Wild still have trouble finding consistency in their game.
They split last weekend with a win against the Calgary Flames and a loss against the Vancouver Canucks.
It was recently announced that Zach Parise will miss at least two months after having surgery on his lower back. This is a huge blow for the team, and they must now look to players like Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Tyler Ennis to step up offensively in absence of their all-star forward.
14) Edmonton Oilers (3-5-1)
Things are looking a little better for the Edmonton Oilers as they earned points in three of their last four games.
Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula returned to the lineup against the Pittsburgh Penguins and seemed to have given the Oilers some extra punch.
Despite Edmonton’s early struggles, they should be able to string together a streak of wins soon. Connor McDavid has remained productive, scoring ten points in his first nine games this season.
15) Arizona Coyotes (0-9-1)
After three weeks, the Arizona Coyotes are still looking for their first win of the season!
Big changes might be around the corner for the Coyotes’ organization.
Under these circumstances, trades rarely come to fruition right away, so the first real big move may come at the expense of the coaching staff.
Although, it is not entirely Rick Tocchet’s fault for the Coyotes 0-9-1 start someone has to take the fall and his time in Arizona as a head coach may be over soon.
Do you agree with this week’s power rankings? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to vote in the poll.
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