PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 10.17.14

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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 alphabetical order of the teams in the Pacific Division… we present the Pacific War Room for the week of October 17th, 2014!

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS
1st PLACE, 3-0-1, 7 POINTS
@Stace_ofBase from Battle of California

 

It’s kind of surprising that the season is continuing after the Sharks won the Stanley Cup on opening night, but I guess it’s a formality or something. Anyway, lots of things happened since we last met, so let’s get right into it.

Sharks vs. Jets, 3-0

Ah yes, the home opener at the Tank. Looking at the score, you could assume that Winnipeg is just bad and San Jose is great but in hindsight, San Jose actually kind of played like garbage in this game. The Jets were extremely undisciplined, giving the Sharks eight powerplay opportunities, including a short 5-on-3, and the Sharks failed to capitalize on them. The Jets were dominated throughout the first and most of the second, but got it back in the third and ending up outshooting the Sharks. The main difference was the goaltending. Stalock played lights out, getting a 30-save shutout and Pavelec, well, he’s gonna Pavelec.

Sharks @ Capitals, 6-5 (SO)

This game was quite possibly the most anticipated game of the season for anyone who is not a Sharks fan. The debut of #CaptainJohnScott is an event that one shall never forget. The Sharks came out flying in the first period and Matt Irwin, who was a regular healthy scratch last season, for reasons unknown, scored two goals, 3 minutes and 13 seconds apart. Then, 9 minutes and 23 seconds into the game, San Jose Sharks history changed forever…

Obviously Holtby was chased from the net at this point, but I never thought that John Scott would chase a goaltender from the net without actually literally chasing him. Holtby should probably just retire. Anyway, the shutout streak for the Sharks ended at 122:51, and it kind of became a shitstorm after that.

lol, leaving Ovechkin alone in the slot was a brilliant move, San Jose, and also, I’m pretty sure that is Niemi’s signature goal against. A combination of being undisciplined, and poor defense allowed the Capitals to tie up the game by the end of the third period. The game went to a shootout and was won by Joe Pavelski. The Sharks didn’t go enough rounds to see John Scott give it a go, but one day..

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Sharks @ Isles, 3-4 (SO)

This should be a no brainer, the Isles are awf-WAIT WHAT? They’re undefeated? Good for them. Hopefully they do well throughout the season and generate good revenue so they can fix this bullshit:

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THE GOGGLES, THEY DO NOTHING!!

In a 0-0 game, at 13:22, John Scott absolutely destroys Mikhail Grabovski in the defensive zone, and although the play is legal (surprisingly), it still sucks so freaking hard to watch.

Unfortunately, John Scott is just huge and this is what happens when your team employs Lurch. Hopefully Grabovski is alright! Anywho, the Sharks were dominated in this game, outchanced, outshot and shit outta luck. Once again, the main reason why the Sharks stayed in this game was because Stalock played very well, making 43 saves. The game tying goal was pretty awesome:

That pass by Demers hahaha. Each goal that was scored in this game by both the Isles and the Sharks were VERY pretty. The Sharks lost in the shootout because they didn’t utilize John Scott, thus blowing the perfect season, but 81-0-1 ain’t bad either.

Upcoming:

This weekend the Sharks are playing a back-to-back against the Devils and the Rangers, which means that the games will probably either be sloppy as hell or boring as hell…most likely both. I’m excited to watch the Devils game because New Jersey is essentially the San Jose Sharks castoff retirement home. I wonder how Havlat is doing anyway

UGHHHHHHHHHH

 
 

LOS ANGELES KINGS
2nd PLACE, 3-1-1, 7 POINTS
@TheRoyalHalf from The Royal Half

 

This past Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Kings gave the Edmonton Oilers a little lesson in player development. As the Edmonton Oilers iced a team filled with young players and high draft picks from as far back as 2006…

… the LA Kings beat the Edmonton Oilers with 2 players that were drafted 47th overall in 2010 and 30th overall in 2012.

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“Man, Tanner… I’m so glad the Oilers drafted Martin Marincin at 46th overall instead of me.”

“I know, right. Can you believe they took Yakupov in the 1st Round instead of drafting me.”

“Our lives rule. High five, bro.”

Besides a 6-1 shellacking of the Edmonton Oilers, this past week the Kings went 1-1 against both incarnations of the Winnipeg NHL franchise and last night they did their best impression of a playoff game against the St. Louis Blues.

HOW DARE YOU CALL “THAT 70s LINE™” THE 3RD LINE, SIR!!!

Speaking of That 70s Line™… well, everyone is speaking about that 70’s Line actually.

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Tanner Pearson’s thoughts on “That 70s Line.” Video via Frozen Royalty.

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Shut up, Tanner.

Well, get ready for the latest Hockey Nickname Phenomenon to hit North America via The Royal Half… Jake Muzzin, God of CORSI!!!

And finally, it’s October… so that means the San Jose Sharks are in 1st Place! But Darryl Sutter has a quick reminder for their optimistic fans of how many Stanley Cups the LA Kings have won.

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ANAHEIM DUCKS
3rd PLACE, 3-1-0, 6 POINTS
@EarlSleek

 

After starting their season last week with a loss in Pittsburgh, the Ducks got back on track with three straight wins to finish their road trip through the eastern conference. As a bonus, two of their wins allow me to do what I do best – recycle old Sleektoons! :)

Ducks 3, Red Wings 2: The game was tied in the last minute when Ryan Getzlaf hooked down Nick Kronwall without being called; then he walked in on Howard and roofed it for the filthy regulation win.

Haha, Red Wings, you got robbed.

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Ducks 5, Sabres 1: Anaheim got a laugher of a game in this one, outshooting the Sabres 44-12, which should positively skew the Ducks’ possession numbers for a bit. Rookie William Karlsson, playing in his second ever game, scored his first two NHL goals.

Haha, Buffaslug, you got salted.

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Ducks 4, Flyers 3 (SO): On the second game of back-to-backs, the Ducks had to hang on against a much-better-than-the-Sabres opponent, before Karlsson won the game in the fourth round of the shootout. I’ve always had trouble coming up with a cartoon character for the Flyers, but I may have finally solved that!

Haha, Flyers, you got shredded.

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Even with all the Ducks’ winning, though, it turns out my most popular tweet this week was about another dominant California team. Nicely done, Kings. (Note: tweeted before the last 30 seconds of regulation.)


 
 

CALGARY FLAMES
4th PLACE, 3-2-0, 6 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation

 

Everything is right in Flames land.

Well..that’s…that’s really not true, so I guess we’ll get that out of the way right off the hop here. The Flames were thoroughly embarrassed on Saturday by the St. Louis Blues, who by the way are well known for preferring to eat burnt rubber for breakfast, but I don’t want to focus on that game, because I have a tenuous enough grasp on my own well being as it is.

The Flames then went back to back against Nashville and, gulp, Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday, and kinda crushed it. They roundly outplayed the Preds in a 3-2 victory, highlighted by some things that I’m going to go ahead and get used to.

Exhibit A:
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Exhibit B:

Early on into the season it seems like Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller are proving to be better than Reto Berra and Karri Ramo, which…duh. Meanwhile, Brodie and Giordano continue to be the most dynamic duo since Troy and Abed. They are unreal. They are all stars. They are probably very virile, but I digress, as I’m still waiting for lab results for my very unauthor

Anyway, that was fun, but it was a quick turnaround into Chicago the next night, and surely the Flames were in deep for this one, right? NOT SO, say the Flames. (though they really should have been, Holy shit)

The Hawks fired 49 shots at Hiller but could only muster two goals. Even noted Primate Vegetation specialist Dan Carcillo was visibly confused by the whole scenario:

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(and he usually has an answer for everything)

In the end, even with all the firepower Chicago has, and everything they threw at the Flames, one man stood alone.

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(gif via @myregularface)

Mikael Backlund, who of course is the greatest, ended it for the Flames, in overtime like a boss, and now the team is on a modest two game winning streak, but personally I’m a believer in the idea that this team will never lose again.

Or at least I will believe it when they don’t give up 50 shots a game and look like botched surgery whenever Gio, Brodie, or Backlund are off the ice. I know it’s early in the year, but this season’s Flames at this stage remind of last season’s Leafs, and let me tell you that I don’t compare anything I love to the Leafs without some pause (and vomit inducing nausea), but so far the comparison rings true. Hiller and Ramo have been great, but the team can only rely on them for so long before, like the oxen you used to ignore in the Oregon Trail, die from exhaustion and possibly dysentery.

But in the meantime, party on. Winning is fun, and this team has been so devoid of it so long, minor victories still feel pretty good. You bastards.

In closing, I’d like to have a moment of silence to memorialize our fallen brother, Adirondack Flames mascot and greatest thing to ever happen to the game of hockey, Scorch. He left us this week, but I feel like one day he will return to us, stronger and brighter than ever.

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VANCOUVER CANUCKS
5th PLACE, 2-0-0, 4 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army

 

Undefeated baby! Woooooooo.

This better be at the very top this week. Don’t give my any of that alphabetical crap, either.

But either way, it does seem kind of crowded way up here. In fact, it feels a little bit like…deja vu?

Er, what?

Did the new season actually start? It’s kind of hard to tell out here on the wet coast. Yes, the rains have come so that’s usually a good indication that hockey is back:

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I thought the Canucks started the season with a couple of games against Calgary and Edmonton, but then they had this big layoff and haven’t played again in almost a week. So maybe those were just too extra pre-season games. I mean, there were certainly alot of AHLers in those two lineups they were up against…

So maybe this was just the last big break before the season actually starts.

Oh, wait. Let me check my handy Graphic Comments 2014-15 Canucks calendar…hmm, no, it looks like the season has indeed started. And this is just a huge break in the schedule for the Canucks. I’m sure that won’t come back to bite them in the ass later on when they have to squeeze in 6 games in 5 nights or something like that. Thanks Obama!

Anyway, it looks like they finally play again tonight and thanks to that long layoff, we can probably chalk this one up as one of those “schedule losses” our friends in Alberta are always talking about:

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Hold on a sec. My handy dandy calendar tells me they’re playing the Oilers.

In that case, maybe we shouldn’t throw in the towel so quickly…

 
 

ARIZONA COYOTES
6th PLACE, 2-2-0, 4 POINTS
@CarlPutnam from Five For Howling

 

The guys from Arizona were expected to have as much offensive prowess as in the tank Buffalo Sabres this season. Someone apparently forgot to explain this to two of the Coyotes’ division rivals.

This past Saturday night the Desert Dogs and everyone’s favorite weather man punished the Kings just like he did to Jarret Stoll back in the day.

Boedker takes out Stoll

The Desert Dogs out possessed and outscored the Stanley Cup champs in a 3-2 overtime affair. Boedker went deuces wild scoring his second goal of the season in the second period.

Oliver Ekman-Awesome ended the game on a beautiful wrister.

Notice how after the goal aforementioned rag doll Jarred Stoll wants a piece of Captain Coyote. Some people never learn.

On Wednesday night Arizona welcomed Edmonton to Glendale. The guests must have felt like they were playing next door against the Cardinals, as the Dogs scored a touchdown and an extra point against Dallas Eakins’ Swiss cheese blueline. Included in the Coyotes 7 goal eruption was a hat trick by none of other then Jarred Stoll’s best friend, Boeds.

The Great Dane’s outburst even inspired the infamous Yotesgurl to drop her first outburst since the most recent lockout and for the Five for Howling crew to swoon.

The cherry on top for Coyotes fans was Martin Erat, who continues to be a possession monster, scored his first goal of the season. Since Adam Oates doesn’t coach in Arizona, expect more goals down the road.

Even The penalty box door couldn’t stop the Coyotes.

The Oilers fans in attendance seemed to be normal Canadian folks just taking everything in stride.

The Oil Spill’s back to back thrashings to division rivals inspired a Flames fan to be so kind as to send out this public service reminder.

Enough of doing Jeanshorts’ job for him. The coming days bring on Arizona’s Central Division Week with games against the Blues, Predators, and Wild. This stretch could be like walking down Elm Street, especially after giving up 6 goals to no Winnipeg players named Evander Kane and 4 goals to the Hyphen-less kiddos from Alberta.

 
 

EDMONTON OILERS
7th PLACE, 0-3-1, 1 POINT
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

I get deja vu quite often. It’s usually always something really dumb like “WHOA I’M PRETTY SURE I DREAMT ABOUT BRUSHING MY TEETH AT THIS EXACT MOMENT A COUPLE DAYS AGO” The deja vu I’ve been experiencing over the last 7 years has been more of the “OH GOD WHY ARE ALL THESE BEES STINGING MY FACE AND BUTTHOLE” variety.

#HereComeTheOilers

After a rocky start with a loss to Calgary in a game in which the Oilers actually looked pretty okay, the Oilers rolled into Vancouver and, you’ll never believe this, but they lost!! For the second game in a row they looked both good and terrible at the same time. At the end of the day it was a fun as hell, entertaining game, and they got a pity point out of it! WE EVEN GOT THE WITNESS THE MOMENT THE NUGE MADE THE TRANSITION FROM BOYHOOD TO MANHOOD!

It was a great day for us all, and October 11th has officially been named Ryan Nugent-Hopkins day in Edmonton. “Well at least they look like they’re going to be an entertaining team who tries hard and doesn’t back down this year finally!” we said to ourselves after 45 rum and cokes.

YEAH, about that….

I’m sure the Half or one of his cronies has spilled like 95000 words on this already, so I won’t get into it, but let’s just say things DID NOT go as planned in LA…

I mean, it didn’t help that one of the only viable NHL defenseman on the Oilers roster was a healthy scratch in favour of a guy who had a grand total of 5 entire NHL games under his belt, and can’t even seem to locate a full set of teeth.

On top of the fact that both Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were both out due to injury.

Viktor Fasth did the smart thing and detached his groin muscle from his body just so he could hit the showers early and be slightly less humiliated than the rest of the team.

ONE DAY LATER

It was off to the the place where Canadian grandparents go to die to play the Winnipeg Phoenix Arizona Coyotes and see an old friend.

Despite scoring 4 goals, and despite them being the god damn Arizona Coyotes the Oilers somehow looked even worse in this game than they did against LA. I mean, JUST LOOK AT THIS STERLING DEFENSIVE COVERAGE ON THE PENALTY KILL!

And it just gets worse from there as the Oilers gave up 7 (!!!) goals to a team that still employs Shane Doan for some reason.

There was a point in the third period that, if you went frame by frame you could see the exact moment that Dallas Eakins’ soul left his body!

But, on the positive side there’s only *looks at calendar* OH GOD 78 GAMES LEFT?? You guys my insides are going to melt due to alcohol overconsumption this winter. Please start collecting your tax deductible donations for my dialysis machine now. Holy fuck it’s going to be a long season…..

 
 

TRH WILD CARD WATCH™

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He means to play defense, right?

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!

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.