The St. Louis Blues have been leaving the door open to a playoff spot, but the LA Kings don’t seem too interested in taking it.
So that could’ve gone better.
The Sharks have spent the last two weeks singlehandedly crushing the LA Kings’ playoff hopes and making Kings fans feel silly for ever thinking there was going to be a playoff run. In large part due to their success against the Kings, the Sharks have now even managed to work themselves back into the West Division playoff race, as that fourth seed remains up for grabs thanks to the continued struggles of the St. Louis Blues.
Here’s how the Kings and everyone else in the division stack up in the latest edition of our power rankings.
1. Colorado Avalanche (25-8-4)
Last week: 1
There are no signs of slowing down from the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche had a perfect 4-0 week that included a 9-3 waxing of the Arizona Coyotes and have now gone 14 games without a regulation loss.
Next four games: @ Wild (2), @ Ducks (2)
2. Vegas Golden Knights (24-10-2)
Last week: 2
The Vegas Golden Knights split pair of home games with the Kings last week and then dropped two to the Minnesota Wild. Vegas has only won three of its last eight games and has also been held to two regulation goals or fewer in five of its last six games. While their eyes have been on catching the Avs for the top spot, the Knights may need to start peaking over their shoulder at the Wild, too.
3. Minnesota Wild (23-11-2)
Last week: 3
Because suddenly Minnesota is only two points back of Vegas for second place. After dropping a pair of games to the suddenly surging Sharks to start the week, the Wild bounced back in a big way against Golden Knights. Now they’ll put their 11-game home winning streak on the line against Colorado.
Next four games: Avalanche (2), @ Blues (2)
4. Arizona Coyotes (18-15-5)
Last week: 4
It was the Jakob Chychrun show on Sunday night. The 23-year-old blueliner scored all three Coyotes goals in a 3-2 win over the Ducks, including the tying goal with 4:51 to go and the winner in overtime.
Arizona is currently in the driver’s seat in the race for the West’s final playoff spot.
Next four games: @ Kings (2), @ Golden Knights (2)
5. Sharks (17-16-4)
Last week: 7
The Sharks are starting to make things interesting. They’ve won four in a row and six of their last eight games. Their schedule will provide them a chance to keep this going, too, as their next five games are all against the Ducks and Kings.
Next four games: Ducks, Kings (2), Ducks
6. St. Louis Blues (16-15-6)
Last week: 5
The Blues played a pair of tight games against the Avalanche over the weekend but didn’t come away with any points. And with just two wins in their last 13 games and none in their last six, this is a team that’s starting to get a little desperate for points.
Next four games: Golden Knights (2), Wild (2)
7. LA Kings (14-16-6)
Last week: 6
Four games against the Sharks in the last two weeks looked like a great chance for the Kings to really start to make a push for a playoff spot. Instead, they came away from those four games with a grand total of zero points. If Martin Jones only had to face the Kings, he’d be a Hall-of-Famer. The Kings’ next two games against the Coyotes, the team they’re now seven points back of for fourth place, are pretty much must-wins.
Next four games: Coyotes (2), @ Sharks (2)
8. Ducks (11-21-7)
Last week: 8
Until there’s anything else positive or interesting to talk about with the Ducks, we may just have to start putting a Trevor Zegras highlight in this section every week.
Next four games: @ Sharks, Avalanche (2), @ Sharks