Oct 12, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
This past week had some great games and even greater news stories. Between the Tomas Hertl 4-goal rally and Joe Thornton’s crazy statement, the Western Conference was a dominant one. Let’s take a look at where I think each team falls in the power rankings of the Western Conference.
1. The Colorado Avalanche have been on fire, winning their three games this past week. These include wins over the Toronto Maple Leafs (2-1), the Boston Bruins (2-0), and the Washington Capitals (5-1). With new coach Patrick Roy, the Avalanche have their best start in franchise history. Huge contributors include goaltenders Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Semyon Varlamov, and first overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon.
2. The San Jose Sharks have played just as well as the Avalanche. They are also 5-0-0, winning 3 games this week. Their first win was a 9-2 victory over the New York Rangers, where we witnessed a young Tomas Hertl score 4 goals. They then defeated the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4-1, and then beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Hertl, Patrick Marleau, and Brent Burns scored goals against Ottawa.
3. The St. Louis Blues are expected to be the top team this year, and they aren’t having a bit of trouble so far this season. They won their two games this week. The first game was a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The next game was a 5-3 win above an ailing New York Rangers. Contributing players are Alex Steen, David Backes, and T.J. Oshie.
October 13, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks celebrate the 4-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
4. The Anaheim Ducks have won every game since their first game, a loss to the Avalanche, including two this week. Their first win was a big 6-0 shutout over the New York Rangers and then a 4-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators. Big players are Corey Perry and Jonas Hiller. This team is on a win streak, and I think they can continue it, especially after breaking the shots/game record for the franchise. They shot 56 times in the 4-1 over Ottawa.
5. The Calgary Flames are stunning everyone by their performance this season. This week, they held down two wins to have a perfect week. Their first game was against the Montreal Canadiens. The game ended in a 3-2 win for Calgary. Then they challenged the New Jersey Devils, where they defeated them 3-2. Big players in Calgary are goaltender Joey MacDonald, center Jiri Hudler and defenseman Mark Giordano. This team looks mean going into this week.
6. The Los Angeles Kings played four games this week, losing the first and winning the last three. They lost their first game to the New York Rangers by a score of 3-1. Their second game was a nail-biting win over the Ottawa Senators by a score of 4-3. The next game was just as close, ending with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Their last game was a victory over the Florida Panthers, an easy 3-0 shutout. Players to watch are Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar.
7. The Chicago Blackhawks played three games this week and won two of them. They first lost to the St. Louis Blues by a 3-2 score. They then took over the New York Islanders by a score of 3-2. They finished the week by beating the weak Buffalo Sabres by a close score of 2-1. The Blackhawks have been on the fence in my opinion, but I think they can pull it out. Look out for Jonathan Toews and Corey Crawford.
October 13, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Phoenix Coyotes forward Shane Doan (19) is congratulated by forward Mike Ribeiro (63) after his 3rd period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Center. The Coyotes defeated the Hurricanes 5-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
8. The Phoenix Coyotes are doing good, winning three of their four games this week. They lost to the New York Islanders by a whopping score of 6-1. They got their act together and beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Then they went on to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers (2-1) and the Hurricanes (5-3). A huge player was captain Shane Doan. This team is looking to make a name for themselves.
9. The Minnesota Wild are making their way through the season, and this past week was a positive one for the team. They first played the Nashville Predators and lost 3-2. They then took on the Winnipeg Jets and beat them 2-1. Their final game was another victory over the Dallas Stars by a score of 5-1. Zach Parise and Niklas Backstrom are huge players.
10. The Winnipeg Jets are looking decent even though they sit towards the bottom of the standings board. They battled three times this week, and they lost two of them. Their first game was a close loss to the Minnesota Wild. They lost 2-1. They hoped to win their next game against the Dallas Stars, but they fell to a bad start and lost 4-1. Their final game was a nice shutout of the New Jersey Devils. They won 3-0. Big players are Evander Kane, Ondrej Pavelec, and Andrew Ladd.
11. The Nashville Predators are struggling again this year, but this week was a good one. They won two of their three games. Their first win came over the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-2. They lost the next game was a bad loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 4-0. They pulled themselves together and defeated the Islanders 3-2. Shea Weber and Seth Jones are huge players on defense. These two wins are the only wins the Predators have this season.
Oct 11, 2013; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin (91) looks up at the replay of his goal as he celebrates with his teammates during the second at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Fred Greenslade-USA TODAY Sports
12. The Dallas Stars were 50/50 this week, winning their first game and losing their second. The first game was a win over the Jets by a score of 4-1 and the second game was a loss to the Wild by a score of 5-1. They’ve had 5 goals for and 6 goals against. Newly acquired Tyler Seguin is a big player along with new captain Jamie Benn. I think this team will jump a few spots in the rankings next week.
13. The Vancouver Canucks didn’t do too hot this week. With three games, they could only win one of them. Their first game was against the New Jersey Devils, which ended in a tight game. The Canucks won 3-2 in overtime, with Mike Santorelli scoring the game winner. They then played their playoff rivals the San Jose Sharks, where they were dominated 4-1. Hopeful to get back to the win column, they fell to the Canadiens by a score of 4-1.
14. The Edmonton Oilers are letting me down, just like I’m used to. They participated in three games this week, and only won one of them. The first game was against the New Jersey Devils, who fell to the Oilers 5-4 in a shootout. They then played Montreal, where they fell to them with a score of 4-1. Their last game of the week was against the Maple Leafs, and they blew the game. They let Toronto come back, with the help of Joffrey Lupul. They lost to the Leafs in overtime after Dave Bolland found the back of the net.
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