LA Kings: West Division power rankings after Week Six

LA Kings (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The LA Kings are playing better hockey lately and have gotten themselves back into the playoff mix in the West Division.

Most teams have now passed the quarter mark of their 56-game schedule this season. While the contenders and also-rans are already making themselves apparent in the other divisions, no division is tighter than the West, where still just seven points separate first place from eighth place.

Every team in the division is back in action now after a slew of postponements due to COVID-19, and the LA Kings, who not long ago looked like their season was heading off the rails, are starting to make a push.

Here’s how the division stacks up through six weeks.

1. Colorado Avalanche (9-4-1)

Last week: 2

It was a long day at Lake Tahoe for the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, but they managed to leave with two points after picking up a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Nathan MacKinnon did his thing, scoring a beautiful end-to-end goal and assisting on Colorado’s other two.

The Avs have won back-to-back games against the Golden Knights, so they’ll take over the top spot in our power rankings for now.

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

2. Vegas Golden Knights (10-4-1)

Last week: 1

The normally explosive Vegas offense has gone cold lately. The Golden Knights have scored three goals just once in their last five games, losing three of them. They’ll try to avoid a third straight loss to the Avalanche on Monday.

Next four games: @ Colorado, @ San Jose, @ Anaheim, Minnesota

3. St. Louis Blues (10-6-2)

Last week: 3

After finally wrapping up a seven-game set with the Arizona Coyotes, the St. Louis Blues split a pair of home games with the San Jose Sharks. The Blues have merely been treading water lately, but they still hold a slight lead for the top spot in the division, in large part because they’ve played three more games than the Golden Knights and four more than the Avalanche.

Next four games: Los Angeles (2), @ San Jose, @ Anaheim

4. Minnesota Wild (8-6-0)

Last week: 4

The Minnesota Wild returned from a two-week COVID break with an ugly loss in LA but then went into Anaheim and left with a pair of convincing wins over the Ducks. Again holding down the fourth spot in these rankings, Minnesota continues to look like the reliably middle-of-the-pack team that it seems to be just about every year.

Next four games: @ San Jose, @ Colorado, Los Angeles (2)

5. LA Kings (7-6-3)

Last week: 7

How about those LA Kings, huh?

Not long ago, this season was looking like another write-off for the Kings. All of a sudden, they’ve ripped off four straight wins, are starting to get healthier, and are back in the thick of things in the West. LA even has the same +3 goal differential that first place St. Louis does and has been surprisingly effective offensively. Led up front by their veterans, captain Anze Kopitar and a resurgent Dustin Brown, the Kings are averaging over three goals per game on the season.

Next four games: @ St. Louis (2), @ Minnesota (2)

6. Arizona Coyotes (7-7-3)

Last week: 5

The Coyotes weren’t able to keep the momentum going after winning four of the seven consecutive games they played against the Blues, following that up by dropping a pair of home games to the Kings. Arizona is in the midst of a nine-game homestand but only has one win to show through five games.

Next four games: Anaheim (2), Colorado (2)

7. San Jose Sharks (7-7-2)

Last week: 8

Not that it’s saying much, but that was probably the best week of the season for the Sharks. They collected three of four possible points in back-to-back games in St. Louis and picked up two of their three regulation wins on the season. Having played 14 of 16 games on the road so far, San Jose is now finally going to get to settle in for an eight-game homestand.

Next four games: Minnesota, Vegas, St. Louis, Colorado

8. Anaheim Ducks (6-9-3)

Last week: 6

Three straight losses for the Ducks last week, in which their league-worst offense managed a total of just four goals. Adam Henrique, who led Anaheim with 26 goals last season and is in just year two of a five-year, $29.125-million contract, was put on waivers after a slow start, which seems like a message to the rest of the team that no one should feel safe if things don’t start to improve.

Next four games: @ Arizona (2), Vegas, St. Louis