PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 11.14.14
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 the Pacific Division standings… we present the Pacific War Room for the week of November 14th, 2014!
1st PLACE, 11-3-3, 25 POINTS
I’ll just open with the news that will make Kings fans readers the happiest. Corey Perry has the mumps. Francois Beauchemin, too. The mumps!
While there’s no official word on how they got it or when they’ll return to the lineup, you can read one author’s spooky speculation in this newly-published spin-off from the Goosebumps series:
Oh yeah, plus there were hockey games this week. The Ducks, also without Ben Lovejoy, Kyle Palmieri, Mark Fistric, John Gibson, and Cam Fowler for a game, had a week of nothing but Pacific Division opponents, and despite being shorthanded all week they managed nothing but shootout endings.
Fowler DTD. Go depth! pic.twitter.com/6GMTCUnMmp
— Earl Sleek (@earlsleek) November 8, 2014
First the Coyotes and Canucks both won shootouts in Honda Center (Nick Bonino scored yet another game-winner at Honda Center, which was bittersweet), then the Kings came in for what would eventually be known as “the game that saved Rivalry Night”.
It was a wacky one for sure, with Freddie Andersen playing like Jason LaBarbera, along with the actual Jason LaBarbera playing like himself, so the Kings scored many goals on not-many shots. The Ducks battled back, however, led primarily by the guy brought in to change the balance in this particular SoCal matchup, Ryan Kesler. A different Ryan completed the comeback, though.
Getzlaf be like… pic.twitter.com/QjsSOqkDJS
— Earl Sleek (@earlsleek) November 13, 2014
It was such a dramatic hockey game that I’m told many east coast hockey fans had bizarre dreams while they were sleeping through it. But in all honesty, the best part of that night was not listening to Brian Hayward for a game. Hooray!
2nd PLACE, 12-5-0, 24 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army
Things must be going well in Canucksville when the biggest controversy fans can muster is whether Jannik Hansen should be playing on the top line with the Sedins.
Happy days are here again.
I mean, sure that’s not exactly an ideal situation, but if that’s the only thing people have to complain about after the last couple of years around here, I’ll take it. Your loveable Canucks continue to play well and trail only the disease-ridden Ducks in the Pacific Division.
No, it’s not the bird flu, it’s the mumps. And I’d say it’s a rather fitting disease for Corey Perry to contract. He’s been a pain in the neck for years:
In addition, he now probably has the swollen testicles to go along with being such a big dick.
But hey, at least he’s not autistic, right Jenny McCarthy?
Anyway, back to the Canucks. When last we left the ragtag gang you love to hate, they had just set out on their first big test of the year: a road trip through the land of pointless moral victories. After a, er, promising start in San Jose where they snatched victory from Jaws, the Canucks headed down the coast to LA where they managed to live up to expectations by getting run out of the Staples Center faster than those Kim Kardashian pics spread around the internet. And just as pathetic.
With the 5-1 loss to Kings under their belt, the Canucks headed across town to face the aformentioned, disease-ridden Ducks the next day. They took the 110 south to the 105, then hopped on the 605 until hitting the 405 east onto the Garden Grove Freeway, then north on the Orange Freeway to the Honda Center.
After a slow start, the upstart Canucks not only kept pace with the Ducks but started to take over the game and it took a great performance from Frederik Andersen to send this one to a shootout. And let’s just say we’re now calling it the Bonino trade.
So yes, believe it or not, the Canucks managed to take two out of three on a California road trip, and event rarer than a passing comet. Speaking of which, and you may have already heard about this, but humanity reached another milestone in amazing accomplishments this week:
Now if only we could come up with a vaccine to rid the world of Corey Perry.
3rd PLACE, 10-6-2, 22 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation
Well another week goes by, and the Flames won more than they lost. If that doesn’t catch your attention, we’re going to have to check your vital signs to see if you’re still alive. Dennis Wideman, can you give us a hand?
(gif via Steph, as always)
(Dennis Wideman stole the last of the smelling salts. What an asshole)
Yes, the NHL season is still in it’s adolescence, but your Calgary Flames, unburdened, apparently, bu expectations and failure, roll on, making it harder to talk about how at some point the Flames have to hit a wall and be as inept as we expected them to be. I still suspect some version of that to happen, and it will, but it’s way more fun enjoying the ride while it lasts than it’s going to be saying I told you so to everyone.
This week in Flames highlighted the ups and downs of exactly everything we’re talking about. It’s probably easy to beat the Panthers and the Phoenix Coyotes of Glendale (it sure looks that way), but Calgary still managed to overcome, I guess, adversity in those wins, and continue to prove they’re in the game at all times.
Except against Carolina, in which they looked flat and uninspired and, for lack of a better term, bad at hockey, but considering how easily they handled the ‘Canes last time the two teams met, perhaps the loss to them this week is the outlier. So let’s not concern ourselves with that, okay? God, let it go, mostly Kings fan(s). reading this.
So when you find a bit of success, what happens? Well, according to strangers who don’t follow the Flames, big things:
For more on this story, let's throw to a panel of people who spend zero time paying attention to the Calgary Flames pic.twitter.com/SpTEyVMM9M
— Ol' Flooby (@bookofloob) November 13, 2014
Full disclosure, I didn’t watch the video, so I have no idea what anyone said, but the discussion is being had, and you know what, maybe it’s warranted. The Flames are overperforming so far, and Hartley, perhaps rightfully so, deserves a lot of credit for the uptick in results. I mean sure, you’d have to ignore the desire to keep at least one of Deryk Engelland, Brandon Bollig, or Brian McGrattan in the lineup at all times, or the 0% faith in Sven Baertschi, or the just gaudy numbers being put up by goaltender Jonas Hiller relative to his career averages, or the 1025 PDO or…
(he has been pretty good though. For what was not a popular hire at the time, Hartley’s system has won praise, often by voices mimicking Hartley’s, let’s call it French Valley accent.
It’s like, hyou know, pretty good to be winning dees games, you know, but like, yeah you know we got lots more games to go, and like we need to keep our focus and like work ‘ard, you know?
(it’s as fun as Boring Monahan)
The real credit goes to, and if you read this feature regularly or watch hockey or have eyes you already know this,
David Jones the play of TJ Brodie and Mark Giordano. Duh.
Giordano is on an 8 game point streak, was named the first star of the week, and has no shady sexual history, so in almost every way he’s better than Drew Doughty. He’s on pace for a 91 point season, which he won’t get, but if he and Brodie keep going the way they have been all season, we’re on the verge of some downright video game level production.
The key to their success? Maybe this:
Brodie to Giordano for the one-timer, just like they practice in the basement at sleep-overs.
— Darren Haynes (@DarrenWHaynes) November 14, 2014
And people say chemistry doesn’t matter.
In closing, I just want to focus on something I saw on the Phoenix Coyotes local FOX broadcast during their game against Calgary last night. If you regularly read the War Room and wonder why Brendan or Carl are the way they are (I know I have), this commercial may serve to show what life in Arizona might be like.
Things become REAL clear, don’t they?
LOS ANGELES KINGS
4th PLACE, 8-5-4, 20 POINTS
@TheRoyalHalf from The Royal Half
I know Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year in the States… but this past week the Pacific Division gave LA Kings fans two gifts that keeps on giving…
…a reminder to the Vancouver Canucks that they aren’t quite back yet. AND…
I got some good news and bad news, Ducks. The good news is you won a game. The bad news is the mumps virus may already be living inside you
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) November 13, 2014
COREY PERRY HAS MUMPS!
MUMP SAT ALONE IN A BOGGY MARSH, TOTALLY EMOTIONLESS EXCEPT FOR HER HEART!
— The Royal Half (@theroyalhalf) November 13, 2014
TURN DOWN FOR MUMPS
— The Royal Half (@theroyalhalf) November 13, 2014
The swelling is actually an improvement.
I’m sure glad that we have Corey Perry’s mumps so that no one is talking about how awful the LA Kings have looked their past 2 games and that Alec Martinez is now injured leaving the Kings with literally Drew Doughty and the McBrothers on defense.
Looks like Alec Martinez, who had been skipped over in several shifts but remained on the bench, is no longer in the bench and in the room.
— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) November 14, 2014
@lakingsinsider what defensemen with “Mc” in their name are available from Manchester?
— The Royal Half (@theroyalhalf) November 14, 2014
— TennisOnTennis – Zee (@TennisOnTennis) November 14, 2014
I wish there was some way to visually represent what LA Kings fans look like right now.
A little late for Halloween there, Drew.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
5th PLACE, 9-7-2, 20 POINTS
@Stace_ofBase from Battle of California
The point of a bell curve is to show the most common type of distribution for a variable. The highest point of a bell curve represents the most probable event. I know that PB is usually king of the graphs, but I’m going to style bite for a minute here.
San Jose Sharks @ Dallas Stars, 5-3
This game was highly antipicated because it was the first time that the San Jose Sharks have met the 2014-2015 Stanley Cup champions this year. The game itself ended up being polar opposite of most Sharks games this season. Tyler Seguin scored two goals within 3 minutes of each other to take a two-goal lead, but Shep got one back at the end of the first. Tyler Seguin ended up netting a hat trick towards the end of the second period and the Sharks were officially down 3-1. In the third period, something amazing happened, the Sharks actually resembled a good team (in actuality it was probably just because Dallas is bad, but let me have this) and ended up scoring FOUR goals in the final twenty. Known Terrorist, Roussell, punched pretty boy Justin Braun in the face and murdered pretty boy Alex Stalock, who is now on the Injured Reserve.
San Jose Sharks @ Chicago Blackhawks, 2-5
The Blackhawks were riding a losing streak at home, while also having a goal scoring drought, which made perfect sense that the Sharks would lose ever so badly to them. The Hawks managed to go up 3-0 in the middle of the first, all goals scored in the span of 2 minutes and 34 seconds. Joe Pavelski scored one at the end of the first and beginning of the second to give us fans some hope, but the Hawks ended up scoring two more in the third and it was the sharkiest shark to ever shark.
San Jose Sharks @ Florida Panthers, 1-4
This team is fucking dumb
San Jose Sharks @ Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1
Some may be surprised by the fact that the Sharks, who are struggling, beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are one of the dominant teams in the Eastern Conference. Being dominant in the Eastern Conference means that in actuality, the Lightning are about as good as the Phoenix Coyotes. The Sharks played a complete 60 minutes, Niemi actually looked good for the first time in weeks, and Tyler Kennedy got the game winner. Yep, it all checks out–the Eastern Conference is Bad.
The Sharks continue their roadtrip over the weekend, playing another back-to-back, this time against Columbus and Carolina. As you may recall, the Sharks played a rather dramatic game against the Blue Jackets last month, and in Sharks’ fashion, sharked away the game winning goal with 20 seconds left. Should be a fun game. The Sharks play Carolina for the first time this year, and it should be a pretty easy win–I mean, what kind of assholes lose to Carolina?
6th PLACE, 6-9-2, 14 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation
Okay, so even the most crustiest of the crusty Oiler fans figured we’d at least get a point out of Buffalo. And barring that we were all just going to finally get it over with and commit mass suicide. THE RANGERS THOUGH? The Rangers are supposed to be a solid team, with amazing goaltending, who was getting offense from all their top guys; and the Oilers came in and decided to play the best game they’ve played all year, and arguably one of the best they’ve played over the last few seasons.
THE NUGE IS FUCKING HUGE YOU GUYS! He’s fully stepped up in the absence of Taylor Hall and has put this entire team on his newly sculpted, muscly back!
Iiro Pakarinen AKA Lil Butt Cheeks AKA Iiro The Hero scored his first NHL goal!
And everything was fucking awesome!
Until we had to play the stupid, god damn Predators, in stupid, god damn “Smashville” *eyes roll out of head*! If the Oilers played in the Eastern Conference they would have already locked up first in the East and we’d be well on our way to an absolute trouncing at the hands of whoever makes it through the gauntlet of the Western Conference playoffs. BUT NOOOO! We have to be situated in the stupid, beautiful western hemisphere!
AND THEN the Oilers dropped a huge turd in their first home game back and we all lived drunkenly ever after.
7th PLACE, 6-9-1, 13 POINTS
@CarlPutnam from Five For Howling
The Desert Dogs started the week with a win against the Pacific leading Ducks in a shootout.
The squad’s success was short lived. The Yotes spent the next night chasing the puck and the Islanders in a 1-0 loss at home which could have been much worse had Mike Smith not been on his game. The guys in Sedona Red appeared to be trying to get a 0-0 draw into OT from the drop of the puck minus the Yotes’ power play which produced 19 shots, but zero goals. With only 2:31 left in the contest, Frans Nielsen scored for the Nassau Fishsticks.
On Tuesday night, Arizona decided to take a different tact. They broke out to a 2-0 lead against the struggling Stars, only to let Dallas back into the contest. Eventually, the Coyotes lost the game on a shorthanded goal by Ryan Garbutt.
Mike Smith is now officially the Kim Kardashian of ‘butt’ goals.
Yeah, I wouldn’t let my kids watch the Coyotes either.
To finish the week out, the fellas from the Sonoran Desert traveled north to take on Brian Burke’s surprising gang of truculent terrors. Things did not start (or end) well. The Coyotes came back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the contest before giving up two more goals on plays which could kindly be called mistakes. The first one came on a 4-4 situation when all for Yotes players followed the puck and two Flames players to the right side of the ice leaving Mark Giordano (and a teammate) wide open on the left side of the ice. Giordano scored on a bad angle one timer. The final nail in the coffin came courtesy of a classic Mike Smith walkabout.
To summarize, Arizona lost their final three games of the week on late goals which no one could claim were the result of bad luck.
What's the difference between the Coyotes and a dumpster fire? No, seriously, I want to know.
— Andy W. (@ajslideways) November 14, 2014
Luckily the Coyotes will finally see their best scorer in recent memory hit the ice tonight in Vancouver. Unfortunately, Radim Vrbata will be playing for the opposition. In case you were wondering, the former Desert Dog already has accumulated six goals and seven assists for the Canucks. On a related note…
You can't make a cake unless you have the ingredients. #Coyotes
— George Fallar (@gfallar) November 14, 2014
66 more games left on the schedule.
This Coyotes season is getting really long…
— Luke E. Affolter (@affolter56) November 14, 2014
It already feels like it should be mid April. Is there any silver lining at this point for The Grand Canyon State’s NHL team? Absolutely! There is still plenty of time to catch the Blue Jackets and Sabres!
TRH WILD CARD WATCH™
Jon Quick with a bold strategy in net. pic.twitter.com/FvqZ4gWnzJ
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) November 13, 2014
Thanks to all the
amazing Pacific Division Bloggers. Check back next Friday for another edition of Pacific War Room!
You can check out past editions of Pacific War Room here!