After two weeks of action, we are getting a better idea of what some teams will achieve this NHL season.
Although, it is still a tiny sample size and too early to jump to conclusions, but several teams are continuing to surprise us whilst others continue to disappoint.
With that said, let’s take a look at the power rankings for teams in the Western Conference heading into week three.
1) Los Angeles Kings (5-0-1)
The Los Angeles Kings continue to silence critics with their impressive 5-0-1 record after two weeks. They are the only team in the Western Conference without a regulation loss and are sitting in first place in the Pacific.
It looks like the combination of a coaching change and a healthy Jonathan Quick has revitalized the franchise early in the 2017/18 NHL season.
2) St. Louis Blues (6-2)
The St. Louis Blues started the season with an impressive 4-0 start, only to follow that up with two straight losses to the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
However, they quickly redeemed themselves by beating the Chicago Blackhawks in convincing fashion on Wednesday. Moving forward, we should expect the Blues to hover around the top five as one of the elite teams in the Western Conference.
3) Chicago Blackhawks (4-2-2)
After a 3-0-1 start, the Chicago Blackhawks have shown that they can be beaten. They suffered two disappointing losses to the St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild, along with a close overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
Despite these setbacks, the Blackhawks remain one of the top teams in the Western Conference after two weeks.
4) Calgary Flames (4-3)
After losing 3-0 to the Edmonton Oilers on opening night, the Calgary Flames have won four of their last five games. They beat out division rivals Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings.
Even though the Flames are one of the hottest teams in the west, they have a tough schedule ahead. As they will face the Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues in the following week.
5) Nashville Predators (4-2-1)
After a mediocre 1-2 start to the season, the Nashville Predators look to have turned things around. They picked up three wins in their past four games and collected points in all four games.
As many expected, Nashville should be a top candidate to win the Central Division this year. Fans shouldn’t expect the Predators to slow down anytime soon as they look to regain their dominant form displayed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring.
6) Vegas Golden Knights (5-1-0)
On paper, the Vegas Golden Knights are giving us little reason to believe they can’t stay competitive in the Western Conference. Through their first six games, they hold an astonishing 5-1-0 record.
Putting aside this wonderful start, many hockey analysts still think they will slide in the standings soon. We will get to see if these predictions are true next week when the Golden Knights face much tougher opponents in the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks.
They will need to do that without their starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury who is suffering from concussion issues. Things could get gloomy in Sin City without his stellar play in net.
7) Winnipeg Jets (3-3)
The Winnipeg Jets had a slow start to the season, going 1-2 in week one. However, they bounced back nicely with three straight wins against the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and the Carolina Hurricanes.
They might have found their new number one goalie in Connor Hellebuyck, who has posted a decent 1.66 GAA and recorded a save percentage of .938 or better in his last three starts.
8) Dallas Stars (4-3)
After a disappointing 1-2 start, the Dallas Stars are finding their game. They won three straight games and are on a roll heading into week three.
It will be interesting to see if they can add a few more wins next week against tough Western Conference rivals in the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers.
9) Anaheim Ducks (2-3-1)
The Anaheim Ducks are trying their best to hold things together despite having so many key players (Hampus Lindholm, Ryan Kesler, Sami Vatanen and recently injured Ryan Getzlaf) out of their lineup.
Injuries aside, the Ducks have been struggling to stay afloat in the Western Conference. They suffered two disappointing losses to the Colorado Avalanche and the Buffalo Sabres recently. Things look to be the same from here on out until their big name players return to the lineup.
10) Colorado Avalanche (4-4)
After starting the season with a surprising 4-1 record, the Colorado Avalanche has slowly come back down to earth. They have lost three straight games this week and have a tough schedule ahead.
The Avalanche will face the St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks in three of their next four matches. Expect them to slide in the standings.
11) San Jose Sharks (2-3)
As expected, many predicted the San Jose Sharks to take a major step back this season due to age and losing Patrick Marleau in free agency. That was evident in their back-to-back losses to start the season.
The Sharks are slowly turning in the right direction with two wins in their last three games but still have a lot of ground to make up. Perhaps they can do just that by taking advantage of their lengthy eastern road trip coming up.
12) Edmonton Oilers (2-4)
Nobody expected the Edmonton Oilers to start the season 2-4, as many experts picked them to win the Stanley Cup in 2018. Struggles in net with starter Cam Talbot are evident but it seems like the Oilers are missing Andrej Sekera more than they expected.
Having Leon Draisaitl out of the lineup hurts. However, it is still too early for Oilers’ fans to panic and as long as Connor McDavid is healthy, they will be playoff bound again.
13) Minnesota Wild (1-1-2)
After two weeks, the Minnesota Wild are still having trouble securing wins. Things looked more optimistic when they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2.
However, Devan Dubnyk hasn’t been helping his team win. He owns a 3.71 goals against average and a .894 save percentage, which isn’t good enough. If the Wild want to go anywhere this year, Dubnyk will have to step his game up soon.
14) Vancouver Canucks (2-3-1)
After an impressive 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers to start the season, the Vancouver Canucks have been free-falling. They have gone 1-4 in their next five games and seem to have trouble scoring as they rank 19th in the league in goals for (23).
Even with a relatively easier schedule ahead, the Canucks don’t look like they have the depth and firepower to keep up with the rest of the Western Conference and will continue to slide in the standings.
15) Arizona Coyotes (0-6-1)
The Arizona Coyotes are the only team in the NHL still trying to find their first win this season. This is rather disappointing for a team that made major upgrades in the offseason.
The biggest question mark for the Coyotes right now appears to be in net as neither Antti Raanta nor Louis Domingue has gotten the job done. It is still early, but general manager John Chayka might consider bringing in some immediate help in net soon before things get too out of hand in the desert.
He did just that by bringing up Adin Hill from the AHL Tucson Roadrunners to see what he can do. In two games against the high-powered offense of the Dallas Stars, he lost 3-1, (one goal was an empty-netter) and 5-4. There may a future for Hill in Arizona.
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