The Vegas Golden Knights are in first place in the NHL. The Los Angeles Kings may never win again. The Oilers are teasing their fans again.
Meanwhile, LV beats CAR, 5-1. Golden Knights now first in the NHL. As we all predicted— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 22, 2018
1st: Vegas Golden Knights
31-11-4 (66 points) / +34 goal differential
The Golden Knights went 2-1-1 on a four-game road trip last week. They lost 1-0 to Nashville, beat Tampa Bay 4-1, lost 4-3 in overtime to Florida, and hammered Carolina 5-1. With that last win over the Hurricanes, the Golden Knights pulled into first place in the league. At this point, the conversation around whether Vegas is for real or not is completely dead and we’ve moved on to a conversation about whether Vegas is a Stanley Cup favourite. What a world.
2nd: San Jose Sharks
26-14-6 (58 points) / +8 goal differential
The Sharks have been rolling since coming off their bye week. They own a 5-1-0 record in their last six games and have climbed to second place in the Pacific Division. The important thing also for San Jose is that they’re getting wins over other teams in the division like Anaheim and Los Angeles.
3rd: Calgary Flames
25-16-5 (55 points) / +5 goal differential
The Flames came out of their bye week with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, but still sit in third place in the Pacific Division. The loss was their first one in 2018 and the Flames haven’t been dropped in regulation since Dec. 29 against Anaheim.
You're not allowed to do this, Dustin Brown. pic.twitter.com/ZE7AzyXaLr— Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) January 19, 2018
4th: Los Angeles Kings
25-17-5 (55 points) / +19 goal differential
The Kings have fallen off a cliff. Since beating Edmonton 5-0 to kick off the new year, L.A. lost six games in a row and now sit on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Considering how well they were playing earlier on in the season, it seemed that the Kings were a lock to make the playoffs. But their surprising depth scoring has dried up and their goalies aren’t operating at a .940 save percentage anymore. To make matters worse, the Kings will play 11 of their next 13 games on the road. Another thing to note, for some reason, Dustin Brown wasn’t suspended for that hit on Justin Schultz posted above.
5th: Anaheim Ducks
22-17-9 (53 points) / 0 goal differential
The Ducks had a decent 2-2 week last week, beating Pittsburgh and Los Angeles and getting dropped by San Jose and Colorado. They currently sit in fifth in the division, but based on the way things are going down the road in Los Angeles, they might not be there for long.
6th: Edmonton Oilers
21-23-3 (45 points) / -18 goal differential
The Oilers came out of their bye week with a commanding 5-2 win over the not-very-good Canucks, meaning Edmonton is now on a three-game winning streak. They’re one game into a five-game homestand right now, so if the Oilers are somehow going to do the impossible and climb back into relevance, they have a good starting point. A win over Buffalo on Tuesday would give the Oilers a four-game win streak for just the second time this season. Another interesting note: Edmonton is 9-2-0 against the Pacific Division this season.
7th: Vancouver Canucks
18-23-6 (42 points) / -31 goal differential
The Canucks welcomed Bo Horvat back to the lineup on Sunday, which is a good thing considering the team went into a tailspin without him. After Horvat got hurt in a 3-0 win over Carolina in early December, the Canucks won just four of 19 games. Since coming out of their bye week, Vancouver has dropped two games, one to Edmonton and one to Winnipeg. To the surprise of nobody expect maybe their ownership group, the Canucks are geared up to sell at the trade deadline.
8th: Arizona Coyotes
11-28-9 (31 points) / -54 goal differential
Arizona went 1-02 last week, meaning they’ve earned a point in six of their last seven games. Since the turn of the new year, the Coyotes are 2-1-5, which is kind of a bizarre record. But hey, they’re gaining ground on Vancouver by capitalizing on the loser point.