Buried in the NHL's basement two months ago, the Anaheim Ducks have risen dramatically to No. 1 in SI.com's latest Power Rankings.
On Dec. 18, the Anaheim Ducks were dead in the water. Their 11-14-5 record had them tied for last place in the entire NHL. Captain Ryan Getzlaf had lit the lamp once, a mid-November empty netter, reflecting an offense so inept that goaltender John Gibson couldn’t win a game in which he allowed more than a single goal. Bruce Boudreau was the clear favorite to become the NHL’s next ex-coach.
Fast forward to this week. Getzlaf has three goals in his past five games and lurks just outside the league’ top 20 scorers. Gibson is an All-Star and ranks second in goals-against at 2.10 per game. Boudreau is in the mix to win the Jack Adams Award. And those same Ducks are primed to take over the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Anaheim was never as bad as it looked early on. And maybe these Ducks aren't quite as good as they’ve played of late. But it’s clear this is an excellent team, and one that’s capable of establishing itself as the best of the West.
Biggest jump: Minnesota Wild (30 to 19)
Biggest drop: New Jersey Devils (16 to 21)