The St. Louis Blues are beginning to pull away from the Arizona Coyotes in the race for the West Division’s final playoff spot.
It was a big week for the St. Louis Blues in their pursuit of a postseason berth, and a tough one for the Arizona Coyotes.
Meanwhile, the LA Kings saw the beginning of what should be a great career, while the Anaheim Ducks closed the books on what was a great career.
Here’s how the Kings and everyone else in the West Division stack up in the latest edition of our power rankings.
1. Vegas Golden Knights (36-12-2)
Last week: 1
The Vegas Golden Knights saw their 10-game winning streak snapped by the Coyotes on Friday but bounced back with an overtime win against Arizona on Saturday.
Next four games: @ Minnesota (2), St. Louis (2)
2. Colorado Avalanche (33-12-4)
Last week: 2
Following a tough loss to Vegas on Wednesday, the Colorado Avalanche are now four points back of the Golden Knights for first place. They do, however, have a game in hand in a fairly weak remaining schedule. Six of their last seven games come against the Kings and San Jose Sharks, with the other being what could be a huge game against the aforementioned Golden Knights.
Next four games: @ San Jose (2), @ LA Kings (2)
3. Minnesota Wild (32-14-4)
Last week: 3
The Minnesota Wild had their seven-game winning streak snapped in the first game of a three-game home series against the Blues, but rebounded to get three out of four points over the next two games. Minnesota is just two points back of Colorado but the Avs have a game in hand in their soft remaining schedule, so it could be tough for the Wild to move up from third place.
Next four games: Vegas (2), Anaheim (2)
4. St. Louis Blues (23-19-7)
Last week: 4
Better late than never. It’s been an up-and-down season for the Blues. They did, however, just put together a four-game winning streak against two very good teams in the Avalanche and Wild, taking control of the race for fourth place, as a result. They’re three points ahead of the Coyotes and have three games in hand. Now, just getting six points over their last seven games would clinch a postseason berth.
Next four games: Anaheim (2), @ Vegas (2)
5. Arizona Coyotes (22-24-6)
Last week: 5
They snapped the Golden Knights’ winning streak but prior to that, the Coyotes dropped a pair of games to the Sharks that they just absolutely could not afford to lose. Arizona is going to need to win out and get some help now.
Next four games: LA Kings (2), @ San Jose (2)
6. San Jose Sharks (20-26-5)
Last week: 6
Last week we said the Sharks may only be capable of beating the Kings. It turns out they’re also capable of crushing the Coyotes’ playoff dreams. It’s still too little, too late for San Jose. A team that, for a long time, was a staple of the Western Conference playoff picture is just playing out the stretch of a second-straight lost season.
Next four games: Colorado (2), Arizona (2)
7. LA Kings (19-24-6)
Last week: 7
The Quinton Byfield era is underway.
Byfield has yet to hit the scoresheet through three games, but the 18-year-old hasn’t looked out of place. He is also giving Kings fans a reason to tune in as the team trudges toward a disappointing conclusion to their season. The Kings split four games with the lowly Anaheim Ducks this week and split their eight games overall this season. Reality has set in, and this team clearly still has a ways to go.
Next four games: @ Arizona (2), Colorado (2)
8. Anaheim Ducks (16-29-7)
Last week: 8
Saturday’s game wasn’t a lot of fun if you’re a Kings fan, but it was a nice send-off for Ryan Miller. The NHL’s all-time leader in wins among American-born goaltenders, who announced last week that he’ll be retiring after the season, added one more in Anaheim’s home finale.
After the game, all of the Kings showed their respect and congratulated Miller on a terrific career.
Next four games: @ St. Louis (2), @ Minnesota (2)