PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 4.2.14
In an effort to keep Los Angeles Kings fans aware of the comings and goings of the other teams in the
Smythe Pacific Division… we here at The Royal Half have created the Pacific War Room… a wrap-up of the past week in the Pacific from some of the best and brightest bloggers who cover Pacific Division teams. In order of current Pacific Division standings… we present Pacific War Room for the week of April 2nd, 2014.
1st PLACE, 50-18-8, 108 POINTS
PLAYOFF SPOT CLINCHED
Hooray! The Ducks are back on top of the Pacific after a crazy week of only Canadian opponents – a seven standings-points and an eight national-anthems week.
Anaheim started its week by losing to the Oilers (!!!), but at least after Mathieu Perreault had scored late to force overtime. It was a solid night for a former King named Professor Scrivens – the Ducks took 51 shots but only scored 3 times. Despite the loss, the standings point brought Anaheim within one of San Jose, who had just dropped a home game to the Winnipeg Jets.
The next night, the Ducks walloped the Canucks 5-1, which really is only keeping pace for the state of California. In 12 games thus far, the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks have a combined 11-1-0 record against Vancouver this season, outscoring them 45-17. Twelve games, outscored by TWENTY EIGHT goals! Which means I’m quite obligated to recycle this beauty:
That Anaheim win in Vancouver, coupled with another Sharks loss, gave the Ducks top spot in the division and full control of the Pacific title. But that’s where things got interesting.
On Monday, the Ducks hosted the Winnipeg Jets, and for most of the night, it was a complete disaster. By 10:54 of the second period, the Jets were ahead 4-0 and were outshooting the Ducks 25-6. The Pacific Division lead looked to be back in San Jose’s grasp for sure, except the Ducks didn’t lose. Over the remainder of regulation, the Ducks outshot the Jets 29-12, and scored four goals of their own to force overtime, including Corey Perry’s tying goal with 23 seconds to play. Then Stephan Robidas won the game on overtime’s first and only shot – thanks, Pavelec!
On Wednesday, the Ducks hosted the Edmonton Oilers, and for most of the night, it was a complete disaster. By 2:51 of the third period, the Oilers were ahead 2-0 and were outshooting the Ducks 27-16. The Pacific Division lead looked to be back in San Jose’s grasp for sure, except once again the Ducks didn’t lose. Corey Perry would score twice to tie the game, and before it could even get to overtime, Francois Beauchemin won the game on the final shot of the game – thanks, Fasth!
The division isn’t a total lock, though the Ducks do have the lead, the games-in-hand, the tiebreaker, and the magical ability to win games they have no business winning. Anaheim will certainly need to improve their play two weeks from now, but for now I just have to laugh and enjoy it – the Ducks keep tantalizing the Sharks with glimpses of the Pacific title and a first-round matchup with somebody-who-isn’t-the-Kings, only to pull it away at the last second.
C’mon, you know you want it – just take it. I won’t yank it away this time, I promise. :)
SAN JOSE SHARKS
2nd PLACE, 49-20-9, 107 POINTS
PLAYOFF SPOT CLINCHED
@FearTheFin from Fear the Fin
Nothing like a relatively meaningless win over a Kings team playing the second half of a back-to-back without their top defenseman for the vast majority of the night to get those playoff juices flowing.
That's terrible about Drew Doughty. Hope he's okay. I know the Kings would never injure a key player on the Sharks.
— Fear The Fin (@fearthefin) April 4, 2014
If last night’s 2-1 Sharks win over Los Angeles is a preview of what’s to come when the Stanley Cup Playoffs open in less than two weeks, we’re in for a nasty, physical, vengeful series that should all but guarantee whoever makes it out alive promptly blows it in the next round. It shouldn’t have come to this. There’s an argument to be made that the Kings and Sharks are two of the top-three teams in the NHL; they shouldn’t have to face each other in the first round.
But the Sharks’ inexplicable inability to put away Eastern Conference bottom-feeders all season long (hello, Buffalo [twice!], Carolina [also twice!], Florida, Washington and former-Eastern-Conference-team-but-we’ll-throw-them-in-here-anyway Winnipeg) essentially killed their chances of overtaking Anaheim for the top spot in the Pacific Division. Oh well. Bring on seven games of e̶n̶d̶l̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶v̶o̶m̶i̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ excitement.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
3rd PLACE, 45-27-6, 96 POINTS
PLAYOFF SPOT CLINCHED
@TheRoyalHalf from The Royal Half
What a great week for the Los Angeles Kings! They clinched 3rd Place in the Pacific Division, securing their 5th consecutive playoff berth in a row. With dominant victories over the Winnipeg Jets and Phoenix Coyotes, the Kings only need 2 wins in their last 4 games to set a franchise record for wins in a season with 47 which would be another great accomplishOH WHO CARES DREW DOUGHTY IS INJURED AND LIFE IS NOT WORTH LIVING ANYMORE!!!!!
I wish there was some way to visually represent how LA Kings fans feel right now…
Good lord man, not even close.
Well, even if Drew Doughty is out for a few games… at least LA Kings fans remain dedicated and passionate fans of their team. UNLIKE SOME CERTAIN SAN JOSE SHARKS FANS I KNOW!
San Jose Sharks fans, everyone! pic.twitter.com/C5W04jrQ6e
— The Royal Half (@theroyalhalf) April 4, 2014
4th PLACE, 36-28-13, 85 POINTS
@CarlPutnam from Five For Howling
One week ago today Phoenix was solidly in eighth place in the West, only one point out of seventh place, and they were set to entertain the club directly above them in the standings. Seven days later the Desert Dogs only have one more point than they did last Friday after losing all three games this past week. They are tied points wise with Dallas, but the boys from Texas own the tiebreaker, so they, not the Coyotes sit in eighth place. Oh, and the Stars still have a game in hand.
About the only player who can truly hold his head high at the moment in the Desert Dogs’ dressing room is the guy who has been filling in between the pipes.
Greiss has filled in well & is a quality NHL backup. Smith wouldn't have won any of the games #Coyotes lost. Losses are on players out front
— Bill Eikost (@BillEikost) April 3, 2014
Another early lead evaporated, another loss to the middling Zombie Thrashers, and a flat out embarrassing shutout loss in a must win game against a division rival.
5th PLACE, 34-32-11, 79 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army
Well, on the second to last week of the season I think I finally figured out the Canucks’ problem this season, they brought a tank to a battle in the Pacific:
image via @CrownRoyal22
blub blub blub blub…
But now that the playoffs are all but a mathematical impossibility* the tank will come in handy, hopefully sinking the Canucks further into the depths of the Pacific.
What the hell guys? Oil is supposed to float and flames get extinguished in water. Crap. The Canucks even suck at sucking.
Anyway, yes, the Canucks have now passed that inflection point and entered the topsy-turvy world that I like to think of as a lose-win situation:
In fact, if they do it well enough, er poorly enough, no…I’m so confused…look, if they Cox the rest of the season they might even turn this into a lose-win-lose situation: lose games, win higher draft pick, lose the coach!
We can dream, can’t we?
As for the actual games this week, I’m sure Earl had another drawing of a duck beating on a killer whale up at the top, so you’re up to date on that. The only other game this week featured the return of Alain Vigneault to square off against Torts in Vancouver. Canucks lost that one too, but it turned out to be a game that keeps on giving as a result of an Alex Burrows hit on Ryan McDonagh late in the 3rd period, when the game was out of reach;
You can be the judge, but looked like somebody finishing a check that caused McDonagh to hit the boards shoulder first and get injured. The players on the ice pretty much realized it was just a freak accident. Even after the game, there wasn’t much of a furor other than concern over the extent of the injury. There was also no involvement from the Department of Player Safety, although that doesn’t necessarily mean much.
Unfortunately, that “somebody” was Alex Burrows, so you know the Level 5 referees have to come out of the woodwork to throw a late hit in a season where he’s suffered enough already.
This, of course, spilled over onto twitter where we learned that the Burrows hit “checked all the boxes” for a dirty hit:
@SportsnetSpec it checks every box; it's such a tough game played clean the wicked ones make me nuts.
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) April 3, 2014
I got myself a copy of the checklist they use, and it turns out that Michael Grange is totally right:
Some boxes are more equal than others.
6th PLACE, 32-38-7, 71 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation
I watched David Clarkson score a goal on the Flames this week.
Ever since then I’ve been bedridden, as I see no point in getting up and living out my life. What’s the point, man? I live in a world cruel enough that my team is the butt of some cosmic joke wherein the most deservedly crucified player in the league takes a night off from being horseshit just long enough to sink the Flames. There’s no cruel irony, no sardonic comeuppance, just one sick joke, and it’s sent me off the rails.
None of it makes sense. I’ve stopped trying. TJ Brodie, the one guy you expect to retain the puck, coughing it up at the blueline, Clarkson, above all odds, turning on the jets no one remembered he had, gliding in alone on Karri Ramo, playing some of the best hockey of his career. Surely Clarkson won’t score here. He’s David Clarkson. That’s Karri Ramo.
But what if he scores?
He’s not going to score.
But what if he does?
He’s not goi
What is the fucking point man?
So I’ve packed it in. I no longer seek a deeper purpose in my life, the will to forge my legacy fully depleted. The world this week was not left in better shape it was the week before and it is forever tainted, so I’m packing it in early and spending the rest of my days staring into space, ambling down the road in no specific direction, absent of any kind of purpose, stopping just to eat or use the facilities or drink heavily while pondering the futility of human existence.
I could handle the losing. Missing out on the playoffs, that was expected. I had come to terms with it. It’s been 4 seasons since the Flames had tasted postseason glory. I had forgotten what that joy feels like, but there was a certain charm in the misery that followed, as we knew that there was a flipside. Everything that goes down has a direct path back up. There was direction. There was hope.
But not this. This is different. This is the unspeakable, and it spoke. It happened to us.
As always, Sentient Flames Nation Twitter Bot said it best:
life is drab; grey. nothing left but to go limp and wait for the cold clammy hand of death to tap our shoulders
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) April 2, 2014
there is only nothingness where there was once hope. Where there was once nothingness, despair
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) April 2, 2014
I couldn’t agree with that sentiment more if I were the one who wrote it…
Also Bryce Van Brabant sucks. I just wanted to throw that out there, but I couldn’t find an organic spot to put it in the conversation.
7th PLACE, 25-39-9, 59 POINTS
“Insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein
Related Topics: Oilers, Edmonton”
The Oilers beat the Ducks in OT, despite being outshot by more than double #WeAreAllScrivens.
The Oilers shit the bed against the Rangers.
The Oilers played surprisingly well against the Sharks and Ducks and still managed to come away with 0 points.
The season has been over since December.
*apathetic robot noises*
85 days until the draft.
TRH WILD CARD WATCH™
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) April 1, 2014
This is literally the only reason the Minnesota Wild are in the playoffs right now.
Thanks to all the
amazing Pacific Division Bloggers. Check back next Friday for another edition of Pacific War Room! Also, be sure to check out the DemocraThree, the Central Division’s answer to the Pacific War Room.
You can check out past editions of Pacific War Room here!