The western conference has been on top of the world since the first puck drop. Each week the teams get better and better, with the exception of a few. Here are this week’s power rankings.
Oct 25, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler (17) is congratulated by Henrik Sedin (33) after scoring the game-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues during the overtime period at Scottrade Center. The Canucks defeat the Blues 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
(8) 1. The Vancouver Canucks have put on quite a performance this week, and they hold the number one spot in the power rankings. They were 3-0-0, winning all games on the road. That’s tough to do, but their scorers were hot. All three games went into extra time, the first against the New York Islanders, where Brad Richardson‘s overtime goal lifted them to a 5-4 victory. Next they battled the New Jersey Devils, who fought them to the shootout, where Mike Santorelli scored the winning shot. Their last adventure was in Missouri, where they battled the St. Louis Blues. Their speed on the ice was rewarded by Ryan Kesler‘s quick hand-eye coordination to knock the puck out of mid-air into the back of the net to win it in overtime.
(12) 2. The Minnesota Wild have had just as an impressive week as Vancouver. They went 3-0-0, winning two of the games at the Xcel Energy Center. Their first win was a great 2-0 shutout over the Nashville Predators. Justin Fontaine scored the first goal of the game. Then they took on the Carolina Hurricanes, where they beat them 3-1. Star forward Zach Parise scored the game-winning goal. They took to the road to finish their week in the windy city, where they handed the Chicago Blackhawks a loss. They 5-3 victory was insured after Jason Pominville scored to take the lead.
(2) 3. The Colorado Avalanche have been shown in the spotlight since day one. They have an impressive 10-1-0 record and are still rolling. They went to the Consol Energy Center to fight the Pittsburgh Penguins, where they defeated them in a close game, with the lone goal coming from Gabriel Landeskog. Jean-Sebastien Giguere recorded 34 saves in the shutout. They then traveled back home to face the Hurricanes. They went on to win 4-2 with the leading goal from Alex Tanguay. Their third game was also at home, where they defeated the Winnipeg Jets in a close 3-2 victory, thanks to Paul Stastny.
(3) 4. The San Jose Sharks played all four games this week on the road. The flying would seem to take a toll on them physically, but it wasn’t the case. They faced off in Detroit and took a 1-0 win in a shootout, with Logan Couture netting the winner, and Antti Niemi robbing Todd Bertuzzi of the equalizer. The next game was in Boston, where the Bruins ran away with the win in a close 2-1 battle. David Krejci scored in the last second of the third to give San Jose their first regulation loss of the season. Their next destination was Montreal where they beat the Canadiens 2-0. Logan Couture had the game winner there. Their fourth and final game of the week was a battle in Ottawa, where they ran away with a 5-2 victory with the game winner coming from Tommy Wingels.
October 18, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) moves the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
(1) 5. The Anaheim Ducks went 2-2-0 this week, which is a bit of a drought. Their first game was a bad loss in Toronto, where the Maple Leafs’ Phil Kessel scored a hat trick, and notched the game winner. They then traveled to Montreal, where they lost again by a score or 4-1. Tomas Plekanec had the game winner for Montreal. Then they moved over to Ottawa to face Jason Spezza and the Senators, who fell to the Ducks in a close 2-1 game. Ryan Getzlaf won the game in Ottawa. Their final game was in Columbus, where they defeated the Blue Jackets 4-3, with Corey Perry winning the game.
(4) 6. The Los Angeles Kings had a rough start to the week, but ended it strong. On Monday, they challenged the Calgary Flames in Calgary and lost 3-2. Calgary’s T.J. Brodie netted the game winner. They then had a two day rest, which led to their stunning 7-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. Mike Richards had the game-winning goal, and Anze Kopitar scored his first goal in 26 games. Their third game was on Sunday, which was a close 2-1 shootout victory over the ailing Edmonton Oilers. Richards almost had a go-ahead goal in the third, but it was called back after Matt Frattin interfered with Oilers’ goaltender Richard Bachman. They left it all up to the shootout, where Kopitar would bury the puck to end the game.
(9) 7.The Phoenix Coyotes were a little back and forth this week. They started the week on Tuesday with a win at home against the Flames. They defeated them 4-2, and Mike Ribeiro scored the GWG. They then traveled to Los Angeles to play on Thursday where they were dominated by a 7-4 score. Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar put the Coyotes back in their cage. They then went back to Glendale to host the Oilers, where they gained another victory in a close 5-4 game. Oliver Ekman-Larsson netted the game winner for the Coyotes Saturday night.
(14) 8. Jumping up the ladder this week are the Calgary Flames, who went 2-2-0 this week. They started in Los Angeles on Monday, winning 3-2 thanks to a goal by T.J. Brodie. They then faced off in Phoenix on Tuesday, where they were handed a loss by a score of 4-2. Game winner came from Mike Ribeiro. Their third game was Thursday, where they went to Dallas, losing 5-1. The winner for Dallas came from Alex Chiasson, Their final game of the week came at home on Saturday in a big 5-2 win over Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Mike Cammalleri scored the winner in that game.
Oct 28, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews (19) prepares to shoot during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
(5) 9. The Chicago Blackhawks had a rough week. They had a 1-1-1 record this week, with their only win coming on Tuesday in Florida. The close game against the Panthers ended in a shootout where Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp were the only ones to score. They flew to Tampa Bay to see if they could get another win, but fell to the Bolts in overtime, a bad 6-5 loss. Victor Hedman scored the overtime winner in Tampa Bay. Their third game was at home, where they lost to the Minnesota Wild in a 5-3 battle. Jason Pominville was credited with the game winner.
(11) 10. The Dallas Stars haven’t been playing the way I thought they would, and had a 1-0-1 record this past week. Their first game wasn’t until Thursday at home, where they took on the Calgary Flames. They took the win in a big 5-1 victory, having Alex Chiasson score the game winner for the Stars. Their next game was Saturday, a tough loss in a close 2-1 shootout against the Winnipeg Jets at home. Andrew Ladd had scored the goal in the shootout that won the game. The Stars play four games this upcoming week.
(7) 11. The St. Louis Blues’ week was much like the Stars. Their 1-0-1 record was not very good. They hosted the Vancouver Canucks on Friday, where they lost 3-2 in overtime. The game winner came from Mike Santorelli. Even though they lost, they still got one point out of it. They then faced the Nashville Predators in Nashville on Saturday, where they dominated them 6-1. T.J. Oshie was given the game-winning goal. The Blues are expected to win the Stanley Cup, or at least that’s what The Hockey News says, but they aren’t playing as well as they need to.
(10) 12. The Winnipeg Jets are having trouble finding their wings. They played four games, losing all but one. Their first was a home game against the Washington Capitals, where they lost to them in the shootout with a final score of 5-4. Martin Erat scored the winning goal in Winnipeg. They traveled to Nashville to take on the Preds, but lost to them in overtime, where Craig Smith buried the game winner. Their third game was in Dallas, where they defeated the Stars in a shootout to win 2-1. Andrew Ladd scored the shootout winner. Their final game came against the Colorado Avalanche, who ran away with a 3-2 victory over the Jets. Paul Stastny‘s goal was enough to end the game in Dallas.
Oct 24, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goalie Carter Hutton (30) and Nashville Predators center Craig Smith (15) celebrate after Smith scored the game winning goal in overtime at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators defeated the Jets 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Mike Strasinger-USA TODAY Sports
(6) 13. The Nashville Predators fell hard this week, with a record of 1-2-0. They first battled the Minnesota Wild in Minnesota, where they were handed a shutout loss. Justin Fontaine had the game winner against the Preds. They then faced the Winnipeg Jets at home, where Craig Smith scored the overtime goal to end the game 3-2 in favor of the Predators. Their final matchup was against the St. Louis Blues in Nashville. They lost to the Blues in a devastating 6-1 loss. T.J. Oshie‘s goal was the one they couldn’t answer. The Predators need to get their playing down, and they need to do it quickly.
(13) 14. Oh the Edmonton Oilers. What can you say about them? They were sluggish this week, winning just one out of four games. Their first game was Tuesday against the Canadiens at Rexall Place. They beat the Canadiens 4-3 in regulation, with Ryan Jones scoring their final goal. Their next game was Thursday at home. They hosted the Washington Capitals, who beat them 4-1. Joel Ward had scored the game winner in that game. Their third game was a close-but-no-cigar loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. The scoring back and forth ended when Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the final goal of the game. They then left Phoenix to go to Los Angeles to play the Kings on Sunday. They lost in a shootout, where Anze Kopitar lifted the Kings past the Oilers.