Analysis

NHL Power Rankings: Eastern Conference Taking Control

By Colin Likas
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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November 19, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Tanner Pearson (70) celebrates with center Jeff Carter (77) his goal scored against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
November 19, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Tanner Pearson (70) celebrates with center Jeff Carter (77) his goal scored against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 11: Los Angeles Kings

Previous: 24th

Season record: 10-9-1

Might seem a little high for the Kings, but they’re on a three-game win streak and proving they can succeed with a new captain and minus Jonathan Quick.

Peter Budaj is a journeyman goaltender, but he’s looking right at home in Los Angeles. His .915/2.11 slashline is pretty good, all things considered. And especially since the Kings looked pretty without an identity early in the Anze Kopitar as captain era.

Kopitar has been out due to injury and is among the Kings underproducing (paging Drew Doughty). When Nic Dowd is your fifth leading point earner, something has gone horribly wrong.

And yet, the team is still succeeding. Look out, when things do start to click (and when Quick gets healthy).

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