LA Kings: West Division power rankings after Week 1

LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The first week — albeit abbreviated — is in the books for the 2021 season. The LA Kings had a tough couple of games, losing leads in the third period and eventually the game in overtime. Looking around the rest of the West Division, here are our power rankings after the first week.

1. Vegas Golden Knights (2-0-0)

It’s not exactly a surprise to have Vegas atop the West Division power rankings after the first week. They are likely going to hover around the top three all year long. Vegas used a big third period in the season opener, topping the Ducks by a 5-2 score. In Game Two, the Golden Knights needed just seven seconds in overtime to take the two-game set.

Next four games: Arizona (2), @ Arizona (2)

2. Colorado Avalanche (1-1-0)

The Avalanche took one on the chin via the St. Louis Blues in the season opener, but they responded with a resounding 8-0 victory on Friday night. In that game, Colorado went five-for-seven on the power play as Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog scored his 200th career goal. A likely Hart Trophy finalist, Nathan MacKinnon chipped in a goal and two assists.

Next four games: @ LA Kings (2), @ Ducks (2)

3. St. Louis Blues (1-1-0)

On the other end of it, the Blues started off on the right foot, defeating the Avalanche 4-1 on the road, but Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly said the team embarrassed themselves in the second game. Both Oskar Sundqvist and Jaden Schwartz already have two goals apiece, but they’ll be without forward Sammy Blais for one more game for his illegal check to the head on Devon Toews.

Next four games: San Jose (2), LA Kings (2)

4. Minnesota Wild (2-0-0)

Coming off two thrilling comeback victories against the LA Kings, the Minnesota Wild’s schedule projects to be favorable for the next several games. Is this team legit, or did Los Angeles beat themselves? Perhaps we won’t know until they play the teams listed above them. For now, I have them ranked as number four but trending upward, and Matt Dumba looks healthy. That’s great news for the Wild.

Next four games: @ Ducks (2), San Jose (2)

5. Arizona Coyotes (1-0-1)

Eventually, the Coyotes could be at the bottom of the West Division. I don’t know what to make of this team through two games. Phil Kessel is off to a hot start, scoring three goals: one on the man advantage. The Coyotes dropped their season opener to the Sharks by a 4-3 score but rebounded to top San Jose in Game Two, backed by Oliver Ekman-Larsson‘s three-assist night. I need to see more from the Coyotes before declaring them a surprise team in the West.

Next four games: @ VGK (2), VGK (2)

6. San Jose Sharks (1-1-0)

The good news for the Sharks is Tomas Hertl already has three goals, including two on Opening Night. It’s early, but San Jose’s penalty kill has not looked sharp, killing off 71.4 percent of penalties, placing them in the bottom ten of the league.

Next four games: @ Blues (2), @ Wild (2)

7. LA Kings (0-0-2)

In theory, the Kings should be 2-0-0 and atop the West Division with Vegas. But two third period collapses were detrimental, leaving both contests with one point. The good news here — LA is getting secondary scoring from Jeff Carter‘s line, who looks healthy for the first time in a while, and they have killed off all 11 penalties. But the schedule is about to get tougher. Where will the Kings be in the standings next week?

Next four games: Avalanche (2), @ Blues (2)

8. Anaheim Ducks (0-1-1)

In the early goings, the Anaheim Ducks have struggled to score. After a 5-2 drubbing on Opening Night against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Ducks scored just one goal. As noted, Vegas needed just a few seconds for the remaining point. Maxime Comtois has all three goals for Anaheim this season. Can someone else step up? Will the Ducks’ front office break the trend and call up Trevor Zegras?

Next four games: Wild (2), Avalanche (2)