The Pacific Division is being viewed as one of the weakest in the NHL right now, which in large part is due to the sorry play exhibited by the two teams that make their residence in Southern California.
The Los Angeles Kings had been playing slightly better as of late, taking back-to-back shootout wins before a shootout loss against the San Jose Sharks on Friday night. The team holds a 16-14-5 record and are a disappointing 3-6-1 over their last 10 games, despite the shootout wins. They can at least say that they're playing miles better than the Ducks, including defeating their Anaheim counterparts on Thursday.
The Ducks, meanwhile, have been in a war with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Carolina Hurricanes for bragging rights as to which team is the worst in the NHL. The Ducks are 9-19-6 and 2-6-2 over their last 10.
The NHL power rankings from various outlets have reflected the struggling nature of both teams rather well. The aggregate of the top six power rankings at Real Clear Sports places the Kings at No. 23 overall, and has the Ducks tied with the Canes at dead last.
FOX Sports places the Kings at No. 22, noting that the Kings have not scored more than two goals in a game for 11 straight. That number is slightly out of date now; the streak is up to 14 straight games and counting. The Ducks place all the way up at lofty No. 28 on that poll, although again, the rankings were posted on December 19.
ESPN also slots the Ducks in at No. 28, noting that the shift to Bruce Boudreau has not exactly turned things around for the team. The Kings are at No. 22 at ESPN as well.
Finally, The Hockey News places the Kings all the way up at No. 19, wondering whether Darryl Sutter can breathe new life into the team. They place the Ducks just ahead of the Canes at No. 29, citing the dismal Anaheim road record (which now stands at 2-10-5).