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NHL Power Rankings, Week 9: Happy Birthday Edition!

Think about your life, then think about the lives these two young defensemen are living. Then kill yourself.

First Place!

 

Los Angeles Kings

Last week: 2-0

 

The Kings had been struggling, mired in a four-game losing streak and victims of seven losses in their last eight games. They were guilty of poor defensive zone coverage and had been outscored 8-1 at even-strength in their last four games. How could they possibly get out of this slump?  Well...

Drew Doughty's ice time against Florida: 27:27

Drew Doughty's ice time against Detroit: 30:41

 

Head coach Terry Murray responded to his team's inability to keep the puck out of the net at even-strength by playing his best defenseman a lot. Doughty pretty much took every other shift at even-strength for both games and he played well, not allowing a single goal while he was on the ice. This is probably not sustainable over a full season, but if it's enough to turn the Kings' season around then it's worth it.

And if you're keeping track, last Thursday and Saturday Drew Doughty played heavy minutes and led his NHL team to victory.

Today he turned 21.

 

Last Place!

Anaheim Ducks

Last week: 2-2

Meanwhile, Cam Fowler turned 19 on Sunday and then did this last night (Fowler's shot about 14 minutes in):


Fowler ended Anaheim's marathon shootout against the Edmonton Oilers by skating down the ice, shooting and scoring. (Why didn't anyone else think of that?) Fowler helped his team get out of a mini-slump of their own, a slide that saw the Ducks go scoreless in two straight games. He played 25 minutes, had an assist, and was a +1 on the night.

Two defensemen, two birthdays, two guys who make me feel really, really old. Seriously, both kids can go to hell.

This week:

Tonight: Anaheim Ducks @ Vancouver Canucks, 7 PM

Thursday: Los Angeles Kings vs. Calgary Flames, 7:30 PM

Friday: Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames, 7 PM

Saturday: Los Angeles Kings vs. Minnesota Wild, 7:30 PM

Sunday: Anaheim Ducks vs. Minnesota Wild, 5 PM

Monday: Los Angeles Kings @ Detroit Red Wings, 4:30 PM