PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 10.24.14

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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 order of the Pacific Division standings… we present the Pacific War Room for the week of October 24th, 2014!

ANAHEIM DUCKS
1st PLACE, 6-1-0, 12 POINTS
@EarlSleek

Just like last week, the Ducks played three games this week and Freddie Andersen won them all. To be fair, each week involved a game against the Buffalo Sabres, a matchup which won’t be occurring again on Anaheim’s schedule, but the Ducks did beat some good teams as well.

Ducks 2, Wild 1: Minnesota was rested and coming off two dominating performances against the Colorado Avalanche, having yet to surrender a goal-against in their young season. For two periods, the Wild continued that dominance, keeping Anaheim off the scoreboard while creating numerous scoring chances, one of which went in. But in the third period while down a man, Andrew Cogliano finally scored on a breakaway and a few minutes later Corey Perry scored a goal that would hold up as the winner.

Ducks 3, Blues 0: Unlike the Wild, St. Louis was not a rested opponent, having scored six goals in Phoenix the night before. This time the Ducks controlled the first two periods, and Andersen held on in the third for his first ever NHL shutout. I wrote last year about the Blues and their problems with California teams – seems that trend is continuing, at least in this early part of the season.

Ducks 4, Sabres 1: Though the scoreboard looks similar to the one last week, the Sabres were a more formidable opponent this time. Freddie Andersen was tested throughout the game, and the Ducks only had a one-goal lead with three minutes left in regulation. But then Corey Perry completed his second hat trick of the season and the week ended spectacularly.

Freddie Andersen has won all six games he’s started this season (1.32 GAA, .951 sv%), and apparently now is the first ever goalie to record 26 wins over his first 31 decisions. Haha, sucker goalies who started their careers before the adoption of the shootout.

TGI Freddie

The schedule does get tougher from here for the Ducks, though. They host the Jackets and Sharks then embark on a Blackhawks-Blues-Stars-Avalanche road trip. Yikes.

LOS ANGELES KINGS
2nd PLACE, 5-1-1, 11 POINTS
@PumperNicholl from The Royal Half

Apparently the LA Kings decided after their second game of the season that they wouldn’t allow any more goals to be scored on them. While that’s essentially impossible, they have limited opponents to just three goals in their last five games.

Oh, I’m not allowed to go back further than one week? Alrighty then.

On the ice, it was a slow week for the Kings as they only played two games. The seemingly impossible happened last Sunday as the Kings won an afternoon game! …but they blew their chance at a shutout late in the game to Matt Cooke of all people.

“I guess we should celebrate since he’s on our team and all.”
– every other member of the Minnesota Wild

The defending Stanley Cup Champs (oh that always feels so good to type) wrapped up their week by shutting out the Buffalo Sabres in a game where The Royal Half just about lost his mind because of the suddenly amazing competent powerplay lineup.

Ugh this is going to be a LONG season.

And Jonathan Quick now hold the Kings franchise record for most shutouts. Ho-hum.

CALGARY FLAMES
3rd PLACE, 5-3-1, 11 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation

All you need to know is that TJ Brodie is the best. The Flames pivot, and the eggs to Mark Giordano’s bacon signed on for an extra 5 years past this freebie season, and looks to factor in heavily to the team that’s going to challenge for a Cup in but a few seasons (yes, I mean Calgary. you heard it here first for the thirtieth time). Brodie, of course, figures to be the defensive stud for the core group of this young team going forward, which is good, because they have fucking no one else to play the position in the future after Giordano propels himself into the sun doing everything he can to keep this team solvent.

We can talk about all the mistakes he’s made this year (there have been none), the defensemen in the league who are currently better than he is (also none), or the amount of puppies he’s saved from certain death and oncoming semi trucks left unawares (9 and counting). Or we can talk about how one of the league’s prominent young defenseman is a Calgary Flame into the extended future, and no, no one has any damn good idea how it happened, we’re just happy it is. Though getting Mikael Backlund under ink would also be a very good thing.

That’s really all I care about this week. Sure the Flames went 2-1-0-1 to start the post-Scorch era, including a hilarious victory over the Jets (isn’t any victory over the Jets usually pretty funny?) and a heartbreaking OT loss to the Lightning, but this week, it’s all Brodie.

I mean I don’t even know what else to say. I guess we can talk about Johnny Gaudreau’s first goal of the season:

johnnygoalChrist that was sick.

Although to be fair, this was pretty good too:

johnnyassistIf you need me I’ll be busy not standing up for two days

“It was a really good thing they sat that guy in favour of Brian McGrattan” – no one ever

(As an aside, actually a lot of people said that, because some people drink paint thinner when you’re not there to watch out for their own well being. You should have seen the twitter exchange between super cool dude and Calgary radio personality Ryan Pinder and local newspaper buffoons…it was a good one. I won’t try and post all the tweets because there were a lot of them, but the gist was Pinder saying it’s lunacy to sit Gaudreau (which the Flames did against the Blue Jackets…a loss, for the record) in favour of McGrattan. In all fairness, that’s not truly what was happening, but the optics are what they are, and regardless, it led a man that is paid to write about hockey professionally, somehow, to reply that out of the two of them, only one is NHL ready. And guess which one he meant)

In reply to such egregious accusations, I’d like to reply by directing you to the gifs above.

Yeah.

Anyway, what more do you want? The team is fun to watch and probably ends up getting a Top 10 draft pick one Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller stop playing out o their minds, or, if as an example, the Flames never play the Hurricanes again. The team seems to be aging like a fine wine, and the fans, like the connoisseurs they are, are pretending like they have any damn clue what’s going on:

In closing, how nice is it to cheer for a team that doesn’t get caught doing things like this?

kingschange“it was hilarious”

monny

SAN JOSE SHARKS
4th PLACE, 4-3-1, 9 POINTS
@Stace_ofBase from Battle of California

This week has been rather grim and I’m not talking about the Sharks’ losses, we’ll get to that in a bit, I’m talking about the arrest of Slava Voynov. You might be thinking that this is not a topic for me to touch upon, but it is, because it doesn’t matter what team I’m a fan of, or hell, what sport I’m a fan of, I’m an advocate for the well-being of others first and foremost.

I wrote a piece earlier this week offering general information, research, resources and a few of my opinions on the situation. Most of the responses were extremely positive, but the ones that were negative.. it was quite the gut punch. It was disappointing to learn how there are people out there who put hockey in front of the safety of others. People who are so quick to believe that a woman would make false accusations for financial gain, etc. As a society, we shouldn’t think this way; having this mindset is one of the reasons why those who are abused remain silent. The backlash a victim receives when a domestic violence story surfaces is appalling, and someone who is already abused is already put through hell, they don’t need the wrath of society to rear its ugly head as well.

We don’t know what happened and who knows, it will probably stay that way. The fact is that no matter the outcome, no one ‘wins’ this case. Take a step back from hockey and think about all those who suffer, the fear that they live with, the blame that they put on themselves. Be caring and open your heart. Show others compassion and maybe you can help someone who is suffering find the courage to leave.

Anyway, the Sharks are dumb and went 1-3-0 since the last time we met, which is odd because I could swear this is October and not April.

Sharks @ Devils, 4-2

Ah yes, the last time the Sharks won a game. It feels so long ago–so long ago in fact that I need to watch highlights to see what actually happened. The consistently inconsistent powerplay was clicking and managed to score two goals with the man advantage. My Little Pony got his first goal of the season and devoured a box of sugar cubes after the game. Joe Thornton got his 1,200th point *swoon* in his 1,212th game in the NHL. He’s pretty damn good at hockey for not having a heart and all.

Sharks @ Rangers, 0-4

lol this game was a fucking tire fire, so let’s make fun of the local media instead! As you are all loyal halfers, I assume that you know that Kurz is a dummy. He does this live interactive hockey chat once a week so we tend to sit around and send him fake questions while also making fun of the dumb things he says.

Good gravy, this is just about the dumbest logic that I have ever heard in my whole entire life! Also, Alex Stalock started, because literally everyone in the known universe knows that you don’t base starts off of having one good game last season. I’m sure it was Dustin Brown who gave him the information.

Sharks @ Bruins, 3-5

#StopPlayingEasternConferenceTeams2014 #IDoNotCare

Yeah, they lost this one too, had a lead and everything, They even had a decent second period which is something that they have definitely been struggling with, but not as badly as they’ve been struggling in the third period, which is when they blew it. Look at how bad this tying goal is:

lmao, get the fuck out of my life, Scott Hannan.

Sharks vs. Blue Jackets, 4-5

hahaha, you know, I am in a fantasy league with the dorks over at Fear The Fin, and I missed most of the draft because I forgot about it. All of the good players were gone so I decided to get creative with my team.

Who knew that getting Burish would pay off? Also, I’m winning this week 7-1 with the worst lineup imaginable so at least something is going my way!

Oh yeah, Columbus scored the game winning goal with 20 seconds left. Fucking San Jose.

Upcoming:

This weekend the Sharks are playing another back-to-back because it went so well the first time! They have a game against the Sabres and *fingers crossed* the Sharks will get a win because the Sabres really, really want McDavid. Then on Sunday, the Sharks play the Ducks and since the game is in Southern California it has already been announced that Niemi got pulled and they lost 6-1.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
5th PLACE, 4-2-0, 8 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army

Well, we’re not in Kansas any more.

After an extended pre-season to start the year, the Canucks started living up to expectations as they dropped consecutive games to two of the NHL’s up and coming teams.

Luckily for any Canucks’ fan worth her or his salt, this turn of events shouldn’t have come as a surprise:

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First up was Tampa Bay, aka where Canucks’ defenseman go to retire. Stephen Stamkos and the Lightning absolutely had their way with your loveable Canucks.

Now, you’d think that with the Lightning and arguably the league’s best goal scorer in town for his one visit of the year on a Saturday night, the Canucks would manage to extend the wink wink nudge nudge longest active sellout streak in the NHL. But alas, that was not to be as they team announced on the Friday before that the streak would wink wink nudge nudge end with that very game.

But then, I suppose they don’t call these things “streaks” for nothing:

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The loss to the Lightning was followed up with a steamrolling by the Stars, as the Canucks were easily chewed up by the Seguin-Benn buzzsaw. Sure, there were some bad bounces that wound up in their own net, but sometimes you make your own luck and this was one of those nights. In a scene reminiscent of too many games last year, the Canucks gave up 4 goals in a three and a half minute span at the end of the first/start of the second and it was all over but the score effects.

If you thought I was going to say ‘crying’ there, you should go up and look at that first graph again.

The Canucks then moved on to St. Louis where they continued to play much like they did last year. Only this time, I mean they actually came out on top over the Stanley-Cup-champion-in-everything-but-actually-winning-it-only Blues, just like they did last year when they beat the Stanley-Cup-champions-in-waiting-and-waiting-and-still-waiting all three times they faced them and are now 7-0-2 in their last nine against the Stanley-Cup-champions-in-the-darkest-timeline-probably.

So yeah, we’re not in Kansas any more. But then, neither is Kansas City.

Luckily, Missouri is just next door.

ARIZONA COYOTES
6th PLACE, 2-3-1, 5 POINTS
@BrendanPorter from Five For Howling

Remember the Arizona Coyotes team that dominated the LA Kings? Anybody? Just me?

Well, if you find that team, could you please return them to Glendale? It’s getting dark outside and I’m worried.

After doing what seemingly everyone does to Edmonton these days (unless you’re Tampa Bay or Washington, in which case I pity you), the Coyotes took on the St. Louis Blues. How did that game go, you ask?

(Still would have a higher save percentage than Mike Smith)

The Coyotes lost that game 6-1, in a contest that was not nearly as close as the score indicates. Yes, that was a serious sentence I just typed.

After that thrashing, Arizona went on the road to play the current holders of the San Jose Sharks Memorial Achievement in Regular Season Success(TM), the Nashville Predators. As if the hockey gods weren’t already making it clear that Coyotes fans had displeased them, Mike Ribeiro tallied the first goal of the game. Former Predator Martin Erat also scored in this game, which Preds fans took well:

(Um, is there anything you need to talk about, buddy?)

Arizona would lose 4-3 in a shootout thanks to goals by Derek Roy (yes, that Derek Roy) and Ryan Ellis (no, not that Ellis). Last night the pain train continued on to Minnesota, where the Coyotes were blanked 2-0 by current Vezina Trophy frontrunner and future backstopper of a second round exit Darcy Kuemper.

(Yes, this is what it has come to)

So after a 0-2-1 stretch this past week, the Coyotes will get to play the Florida Panthers at home Saturday evening, with a free concert by Valley 90’s band the Gin Blossoms to follow. Incidentally, a Gin Blossom sounds like a wonderful cocktail to drown the sorrow of getting blanked by Roberto Luongo in.

EDMONTON OILERS
7th PLACE, 2-4-1, 5 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

OH GOD IS IT FRIDAY ALREADY? I LOST TRACK OF TIME BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN SO BUSY CELEBRATING AND PLANNING PARADE ROUTES!!! THE EDMONTON OILERS JUST REFUSE TO STOP WINNING!!!

STREAK STREAK STREAK STREAK STREAK!!

Did the Oilers shut down Steve Stamkos on Monday? YOU BET YOUR BOOTS THEY DID!

Did the Oilers shut down Alex Ovechkin two days later? OH HELL FUCKIN YEAH!!

Scrivens is back to his god-like form. The Nuge apparently came back with Rookie Of The Year style strength after his fight with Hamhuis and CAN NOT STOP FIRING LASER BEAMS!!
The Oilers have a competent fourth line who can actually play at both ends of the rink!!!!!! I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON THIS IS AMAZING AND TERRIFYING!!

I’d be surprised if the Oilers even lost a game for the rest of the year. They should just basically give us the cup now and get it over with.

At least Oiler fans have been humble about it and we’re certainly not overreacting at all.


*starts chilling champagne*

TRH WILD CARD WATCH™

War Room Standings 10.24.2014

#HereComeTheSharks

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!

PumperNicholl is a lifelong LA Kings fan and actually learned how to speak English from Bob Miller by watching LA Kings games… and the Police Academy movies.You should probably follow PumperNicholl on Twitter @pumpernicholl
  • Mike Edwards

    Is there any article that involves Az that doesn’t mention Doan? That dude is a tool. I live in Az and he is the ONLY thing the locals know about hockey.