Between the loss of Jonathan Quick and the firing of both their head and assistant coaches, the Los Angeles Kings really had a week. Sure, there were highlights around the division like the Philadelphia Flyers taking wins over both Southern California teams and the continuous rise of the Calgary Flames, but all eyes seem to be on the struggling Kings team, and rightfully so. Here’s what you may have missed as you watched our rivals crumble.
Anaheim Ducks (6-6-3)
The Anaheim Ducks started their week out with a loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Pontus Aberg had both of the Anaheim goals in the 3-2 defeat. The New York Rangers came to town and also beat the Ducks. This time it was 3-2 in a shootout. Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg had the two goals. On Sunday, they pulled off a win in overtime over the Columbus Blue Jackets. 3-2 was the final, seeing a hat rick from Cam Fowler. He scored the two regular time goals and the ovetime winner. What a game for that guy.
Guess who is injured? Ryan Getzlaf. He’s day-to-day with an upper body injury. He didn’t join his teammates on the ice against Columbus. He was injured earlier in the season with a lower body injury, so this isn’t related. This Ducks team just struggles with injuries.
The Ducks face the L.A. Kings on Tuesday at 7:30 PT.
Arizona Coyotes (7-5-0)
Guys! The Arizona Coyotes are currently sitting above two of our least favorite teams in the division. The Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings are all sitting below the Desert Dogs on the table. What a time to be alive! The Coyotes are hot, currently on a five-game win streak. On Tuesday they took down Chris Tierney and the Ottawa Senators 5-1. Let me give you a brief Cobra update: he had an assist. That was it. Okay, back to the Coyotes. Alex Galchenyuk, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Richard Panik, Brad Richardson, and Derek Stepan had the goals.
They faced the Carolina Hurricanes next and found themselves victorious again. This time the win came in overtime, but a win is a win. The Coyotes came out hot, scoring three goals in the first period. Brad Richardson scored one shorthanded, Brendan Perlini had the second on the power play and Nick Cousins brought their lead to three. The Hurricanes did mount a bit of a comeback and scored three unanswered goals in the second and third periods. Michael Grabner scored a minute into overtime, adding another win to the Coyotes hot streak.
The Coyotes take on the Philadelphia Flyers today at 6 PT.
Calgary Flames (9-5-1)
The Calgary Flames have bounced back and found themselves at the top of the division this week. They had four games this week and won all three of them. The first win came over the Toronto Maple Leafs. They beat them out 3-1, surprisingly. Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan and Michael Frolik had the goals. They played the Buffalo Sabres next, winning that one 2-1 in overtime. Buffalo struck first, but Matthew Tkachuk tied it up in the third period. Johnny Gaudreau scored less than three minutes into the extra frame.
Up next on the Flames’ schedule came the Colorado Avalanche. This one was a high scoring game, the Flames coming out on top 5-6. Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan, Michael Frolik, Elias Lindholm and James Neal had the goals. Everyone got in on this win. The Flames took on the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday and won 5-3. Mikael Buckland had another goal, while Sean Monahan had a pair of goals. What a week for the Flames.
The Flames play the Ducks on Wednesday at 7:30 PT.
Edmonton Oilers (8-4-1)
Looking back at last season, who would have guessed all three of the Western Canada teams would be on top of the division about a month into the season? What world are we living in? The Edmonton Connor McDavid’s won two of the three games they played this week. They lost the first one against the Minnesota Wild 4-3. McDavid notched a goal on the five shots at goal he took. Leon Draisaitl and Alex Chaisson had the two other goals.
They were back in form when the Chicago Blackhawks rolled into town, shutting them out 4-0. Drake Caggiula had a pair of goals, Alex Chaisson and Jason Garrison had the other two goals. They beat out the struggling Detroit Red Wings next, 4-3. The Red Wings were able to hang on but in the end, Caggiula and Chaisson’s scoring streak took them down. They had a goal apiece, while Kyle Brodziak had two goals.
They’ll take on the Washington Capitals today at 4 PT.
Los Angeles Kings (4-8-1)
Wow, what a rough season the Kings are having. From losing Jonathan Quick indefinitely to injury, to borrowing from their AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, to fill gaps in their roster left and right, things just seem to keep getting worse. The Kings are the first team this season to drop their head coach, as they bid farewell to John Stevens and replace him with Willie Desjardins. Assistant coach Don Nachbaur was also fired.
The Kings had two games this week and won one of them. The first was a 5-2 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers. Jeff Carter and Ilya Kovalchuk had the two L.A. goals. Now starting goalie Jack Campbell had a .867 save percentage. They came back with a vengeance against the Columbus Blue Jackets, though, winning that one 4-1. Dustin Brown had a goal and two assists, Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist and Alex Iafallo and Anze Kopitar each had a goal. Drew Doughty also had two assists, showing that the Kings’ offensive core might be finding their groove.
It’ll be a new start for the Kings when they face the Ducks on Tuesday at 7:30 PT.
Vancouver Canucks (9-6-0)
Your Stanley Cup Champion Vancouver Canucks! They won three straight games this week, proving yet again that they will win the Cup. I think at this point, I’m only half joking. They beat the Minnesota Wild 2-5. Elias Pettersson had two goals because of course, he did. Jake Virtanen, Markus Granlund and Ben Hutton had the other goals. They then won 4-2 over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jake Virtanen had two goals, while Brendan Gaunce and Antoine Roussel also got on the board.
Then came the big one, a high scoring battle with the Colorado Avalanche. They came out on top, winning 7-6. Brock Boeser had his first of the game in the first period. Come the second, it was a back-and-forth scoring rampage. Boeser tallied his second, while Loui Eriksson and Elias Pettersson had a goal each. Again in the third, it was a back-to-back scoring rampage. Markus Granlund got on the board, while Elias Pettersson added a second. Nakita Zadorov tied it up for Colorado with a minute and a half left in the game and they went to overtime. Derrick Pouliot scored on the powerplay to give the Canucks another win.
The Canucks face the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday at 4:30 PT.
Vegas Golden Knights (6-7-1)
The Vegas Golden Knights played three games this week and only won one of them, so that’s cool. The first was a 4-1 loss to the dominate Nashville Predators. Reilly Smith had the only Vegas goal. Malcolm Subban was between the pipes against his brother and had a .893 save percentage. The Golden Knights lost again to the St. Louis Blues, 3-5. Alex Tuch, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Erik Haula had the Vegas goals. Marc-Andre Fleury was back in goal for Vegas and had a worse save percentage than Subban, which is fun.
They shut out the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. William Carrier, Brad Hunt and Ryan Reaves had the three Vegas goals. Fleury was back in form, making 34 saves on 34 shots. It’s been nice not hearing from Golden Knights fans on Twitter, hasn’t it?
The Golden Knights play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday at 4 PT.