It's early in the season, but the NHL power rankings have already begun to appear. Let's see how Southern California's teams stack up against the field.
We're only in the fourth week of a long NHL season. Of course, that's never stopped fans or analysts from compiling power rankings right from the get-go. Let's take a look at a few notable lists and see where the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks stand overall at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season.
Our first power rankings come from ESPN, which updates its lists earlier in the week than some other sites, but this time it worked out quite well in favor of the Kings. They landed at number three on the overall list behind the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings. ESPN had this to say about the Kings:
The Kings are the stingiest team in the NHL. They're allowing just 1.29 goals per game thanks in large part to red-hot goalie Jonathan Quick, whose ridiculous .972 save percentage leads all NHL goalies.
The Ducks didn't fare quite as well in the rankings,placing smack dab in the middle of the field at number 15, behind the New Jersey Devils and above the Florida Panthers. ESPN commented on the Ducks' recent mini-skid:
Just when we do a video blog on the 4-1-0 Ducks last week, they drop two straight. Cam Fowler is minus-4 through seven games. That has to turn around.
Jonathan Quick’s shutout streak has reached more than 188 minutes, breaking a club record Rogie Vachon held for 36 years.
Finally, we check in with The Hockey News, who naturally selected the surging Capitals as their number one overall team. They echo ESPN's selection of the Red Wings at number two, place the Penguins in the number three slot, and -- thanks again to Jonathan Quick -- rank the Kings in the fourth slot overall:
The Hockey News ranks the Ducks the highest of the three lists, with Anaheim slotted in at number 12, and add a salient point about goalie Jonas Hiller
Jonas Hiller having Jekyll-and-Hyde start to season: in three games, he has a save percentage of .933 or higher; in other three, .842 or lower