PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 12.19.14
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 December 19th, 2014!
1st PLACE, 22-7-5, 49 POINTS
It’s Christmas time, and you know what that means? Miracles can happen! For instance, the Anaheim Ducks won TWO games this week by more than one goal! Which, if you recall, hadn’t happened in about seven weeks – maybe it had something to do with this?
The Ducks' last win by more than one goal came on October 24, which was also Ben Lovejoy's last complete game.
— Earl Sleek (@earlsleek) December 13, 2014
It’s nice to be getting bodies back into the lineup rather than watching them get hurt (oh yeah, Kyle Palmieri got hurt, dammit), and though the team is still missing Corey Perry, Dany Heatley, Francois Beauchemin, and Eric Brewer, most of those guys aren’t too far away – Heatley and Beauchemin might even play later today. Ilya Bryzgalov got himself into an NHL game, Ben Lovejoy played well, and even though the Ducks dropped a game embarrassingly in Toronto 6-2, they won the other three games this week!
The Ducks have only one more game on this 7-game Anaheim-versus-Canada stretch, today in Ottawa, and they’re 5-1-0 so far. Of course the Senators, back in 2007, allowed this to happen:
Hahaha, thanks again, Canada! Merry Christmas, everybody!
Instead of doing East vs. West in this year's NHL All Star Game, they should split players based on if they got the mumps this year or not.
— Earl Sleek (@earlsleek) December 14, 2014
SAN JOSE SHARKS
2nd PLACE, 18-11-4, 40 POINTS
@stace_ofbase from Battle of California
The Sharks’ Stadium Series jerseys are bad. So bad that pissbaby, Logan Couture, has been crying about them on Twitter the past week. The one thing I’m thankful for about the Sharks’ getup is that they don’t have to wear white pants. Get it together, Los Angeles. White pants are reserved for the summer months – and that’s still a stretch – because I think white pants are terrible 365 days a year. White pants are for snobs who “summer” in the Hamptons and other fake summer places on the east coast.
Anyway, undefeated for the week, bitches. There were only two games, but still! We climbing those standings and stepping on every little insignificant playoff bubble team along the way (sorry, Calgary). We’re going to keep this short and sweet, y’all, because news is slow in San Jose.
San Jose Sharks vs. Nashville Predators, 2-0
Hey WAIT, I was promised a better Nashville team, not the exact same team except with more jerks on it. I’m not going to complain, it was nice seeing a solid win from these teal misfits. It was especially great to see Niemi get the shutout, considering his play has been rather poor as of late. And when I say late, I mean this season. It’s nice to see Hertl get one back. It’s nice to see Thornton get yet another empty net goal. Yeah, there’s not much to say about this one, moving on.
San Jose Sharks vs. Edmonton, 4-3
This was the third time the Edmonton Oilers played the Sharks in 11 days. Do you know how painful that is for both parties, NHL? My anxiety goes through the roof when the Sharks play a team like the Oilers because you know they’re aching, no, DYING, to throw away easy points. The fact that the Sharks managed to win the game was surprising, especially because every goal they gave up was atrocious. Not surprisingly, Edmonton managed to give up more terrible goals.
It’s amazing how many arenas play Sabotage by the Beastie Boys and don’t edit out the f-bomb in the first verse. Like here, tonight
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) December 19, 2014
It’s amazing how many beat writers quote players and manage to edit the quote to change the context. Like Kevin, all the time.
Barclay Goodrow has been amazing as of late, which has caused many amazing tweets.
I knew this guy who cracked a joke about Barclay Goodrow once. Got audited by the IRS a week later.
— Jen LC (@RegressedPDO) December 14, 2014
Barclay Goodrow was disappointed that the Stadium Series uniforms weren't tweed.
— Name cannot be blank (@bezzerkker) December 19, 2014
"and his opponent, from Windsor, Lord Barclay Goodrow!" (fans boo Barclay as he formally bows) "he thinks he's better than us" one mutters
— John Carroll (@toshanshuinLA) December 19, 2014
Barclay Goodrow rowed crew with the Winklevoss twins
— Jeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) December 19, 2014
Barclay Goodrow is the name Benedict Cumberbatch uses at hotels
— J.R. Lind (@jrlind) December 14, 2014
Barclay Goodrow drowned on the Titanic.
— Jiggy Pudding (@bookofloob) December 19, 2014
Barclay Goodrow is my favorite store brand whiskey
— SJ (@stace_ofbase) December 19, 2014
Sharks play St. Louis for the first time this season. The Blues are completely and utterly worthless. Happy Holidays! Here’s hoping Santa brings me that banner he forgot to give me the past 3 years!
3rd PLACE, 18-11-2, 38 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army
Well, there’s really not avoiding it now. The Canucks are well and mired in a slump now, having lost five games in a row, including two more this past week.
Interesting thing about the word “slump” though. It has a temporary connotation to it. Like a temporary dip in performance and if we just wait long enough, things will right themselves and the Canucks, or whatever sucky team YOU follow, get back to playing “the right way.” Funny thing is, nobody ever seems to think that playing the right way is temporary:
But as we see over and over and over again, it most definitely is.
So yeah, if you thought the Canucks were really as good as their early season record, the last couple of weeks must have come as a rude awakening. But worry not, they’re probably not as bad as the last two weeks either.
Either way, as Canuck fans, we persevere knowing that we’ll have to suffer through painful flare-ups occasionally but that we’re stuck with being fans for life…
Is there a cream for that?
No? Well, I’ll take another game against the Oilers then.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
3rd PLACE, 16-11-6, 38 POINTS
@PumperNicholl from The Royal Half
While it ended on a high note, the LA Kings did not have a week worth writing about…
So allow me to write about it!
The Kings faced-off against the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and ended their week with a home-and-home matchup against the St Louis Blues. Ahead of time, these looked like they would be hard fought, low-scoring games that were right in the Kings wheelhouse. Yeah, that didn’t happen.
Heading into these past four games, the team had only given up 2.17 goals per game during the 2014-15 season. So, naturally, they proceeded to poop themselves (thankfully not in their Stadium Series jerseys) and gave up 19 goals during the four game span. Yes, yes, sample sizes and whatnot. Look, it’s a long season and we have to point things out when they happen or otherwise you’ll just complain that we’re not writing about a rough stretch. Just deal with the facts, and if they bother you just simply ignore them instead of yelling at us. Deal?
But if you want some positives out of that small sample size, the Kings do appear to be trending back to their possession dominating ways!
The Kings haven’t been outshot in any of their nine games in December. In total, the Kings hold a 328-226 advantage (36.4-25.1 per game).
So despite the less-than-sterling 4-4-1 record, the Kings do appear on track for returning to the team that fans have come to know and love!*
*offer does not apply in Anaheim, San Jose or St Louis
But there was one thing this week that is worth revisiting: Martin Brodeur Highlights!!
The Blues are premiering a mid-season replacement show at Staples tonight, and I don't think it's gonna last long: pic.twitter.com/4S8AsPiEGk
— Brian McCarthy (@brianmccarthy1) December 19, 2014
UPDATE: Martin Brodeur has now given up 12 goals in his last two games at Staples Center.
— The Royal Half (@theroyalhalf) December 19, 2014
Martin Brodeur save percentage watch: .879.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) December 19, 2014
Just saw tonight's Kings-Blues highlights… I heard Martin Brodeur was out of shape, but this is getting sad. pic.twitter.com/cLleyZ39MY
— PumperNicholl (@PumperNicholl) December 19, 2014
5th PLACE, 17-14-2, 36 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation
Considering the Flames are going to win the Stanley Cup this year, it’s very odd to be writing to you this week in a position that is very unfamiliar this season (albeit ALL TOO FAMILIAR OVERALL). That is, of course, out of the warmth and safety of a Western Conference playoff spot.
While some may have seen this coming (as in, anyone with the mental capacity beyond that of an average garden slug), the simple truth is that your Calgary Flames are the best team in the league, and if they’re on the outside looking in right now, behind such noted powerhouses like the Winnipeg Jets, it’s because they’re doing it on purpose. I don’t know what their end game here is, but this is the only obvious answer.
If you had watched the games since the last War Room (And I know you did, Kings fans, I know you did, there’s nothing else for you to do in your tiny suburb of Los Angeles, or whatever other barren hellscape you find yourself stuck in), you’d see what I mean. The Flames took on some of the class of the league, Pittsburgh and Chicago, and went punch-for-punch with both teams, but ultimately lost, before dropping a stinkbomb against the only mediocre Rangers, a truly PumperNichollian college try (EDITOR’S NOTE: *ahem*). It could not be explained.
But there’s more at play here. I can see it, I just can’t grasp what it is. Recon? Covert ops? It’s hard to tell. Consider that the Flames played both the Penguins and the Rangers this week, and then both those teams contracted Crosby face fattening mumps, while the Flames, with their striking good looks and free Canadian healthcare, remain undeterred by the testicle-wrecking ailment. I’m not saying they did anything devious, but I’m not saying a lot of things.
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) December 15, 2014
(pictured: Tanner Glass)
(my guess is the reason the Hawks never came down with mumps is because Daniel Carcillo is probably patient zero, and it’s one of those “kill the first vampire to kill the rest” scenarios. So we should probably go ahead and have Daniel Carcillo put down)
Anyway, this is all correlated somehow. The Flames are hunters. Cold-blooded killers. They stalk their prey and learn their tendencies before they pounce. And what they’ve found is that other teams weaknesses include mumps. What better way to infect the league than to give the competition a false sense of security and confidence by letting them pass the Flames in the standings, thereby letting their guard down for mass infection? It’s brilliant.
Keep your heads up, Pacific Division, you’re next (yes, even you Anaheim).
6th PLACE, 11-16-4, 26 POINTS
@CarlPutnam from Five For Howling
The Coyotes Actually Won a Home Game This Week. Who They Beat Will Stun You!
Ok, not really. On Saturday night, they faced a Mumps and injury depleted Minnesota club.
Very cocky of the Wild to say, “we can beat the Coyotes with only 19 players” before the game tonight.
— Five For Howling (@Five4Howling) December 14, 2014
Then again, maybe this week was all about the power of the Chipacabra.
Kyle Chipchura, who was waived 10 days ago, is now up to the third line with Korpikoski and David Moss. Things happen fast around here
— Jerry Brown (@FrozenRubber) December 14, 2014
The Wild took the early lead in the game, but the Yotes quickly responded and the game had a see saw feel throughout. Unfortunately, the Yotes gave up a late goal on the PK. The teams went to OT tied 3-3 and it stayed that way. The Wild won the shootout on fancy goals by Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.
On Tuesday night Arizona met up with their (and everyone else’s in the Western Conference) favorite NHL club, the Edmonton Oilers.
Coyotes have 11 wins this season and 4 are against the Oilers.
— Dan the Man (@danschyk) December 17, 2014
Best description of the Oilers in action.
Pinozotto has a clear lane, dumps the puck in, Coyotes go the other way. This is just idiot hockey.
— Derek Blasutti (@dawgbone98) December 17, 2014
The game included a franchise-record 27 shots in the second period. This for a team that gets outshot almost every game. Alas, it was still the pea-shooting Desert Dogs as the only scored a lone goal during the shooting parade. The Yotes went back to being themselves in the third period. Regulation ended with the teams tied at one goal a piece.
It looked like the teams would be heading to a shootout to determine which team would get a better chance of drafting Connor McDavid when this happened:
The only thing worse than the Hall for Eberle change which helped lead to OEL being wide open on the game-winning goal was the Stadium Series uniforms unveiled this week.
NHL Stadium Series Jerseys or Star Trek uniforms? pic.twitter.com/TaJgYxX9yC
— All The Kings Men (@KingsMenPodcast) December 6, 2014
Was the subject line of the NHL's email awarding San Jose the outdoor game titled "Ugly Sweater Party?"
— Carl Putnam (@CarlPutnam) December 17, 2014
If there is one thing Coyotes’ fans know about it is ugly sweaters.
All ready for an ugly sweater party. pic.twitter.com/HPAvI2Pb26
— SJ (@stace_ofbase) December 14, 2014
Were you were expecting the Oilers next coach to be wearing Coyotes’ gear? Yeah, me neither.
Frankly, even paper bags are a better fashion choice.
OEL’s league-leading third overtime goal of the season was also his second goal of the week. It’s a fun diversion to imagine what would happen if Zbynek Michalek and he actually had a true top six to play with.
The Dogs three contests prior to the NHL’s holiday break are all against Pacific Division teams. A matinee against the Kings on Saturday, a Monday night affair against the Canucks, and finally, the league’s holiday gift to Arizona, a Festivus date with the Oilers with a chance for 10 wins in-a-row and an 18-game point streak against Alberta’s lesser team on the line.
7th PLACE, 7-20-6, 20 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation
Well it was another uneventful week in Edmonton.
The Ducks came to town and more or less sleepwalked (sleptwalked?) their way to a 4-2 victory despite only putting 20(!!) shots on net. Viktor Fasth let in two goals on two shots in less than a minute to start the second period, and just like his bosses he decided to place the blame on everyone else.
The next game saw the Rangers come to town for two easy points in what was one of the worst efforts the Oilers have come up with so far. And in a season that has been nothing but one, long horrible effort that’s saying A LOT. They were held to single digit shots in each period, and thankfully that left Henrik Lundqvist with enough energy to handsomely laugh in the Oilers’ faces.
Following that was the 900th matchup this season against the Arizona
Diamondbacks Cardinals Coyotes and it went JUST as well as the other ones! Believe it or not the Oilers managed to set another club record for futility when they decided to give up 27 shots in the second period.
Yes, you DID read that correctly. They gave up TWENTY-SEVEN SHOTS IN ONE PERIOD!
I’m not even mad! That’s impressive! That’s almost as many shots as they had in the previous two games combined! #PrayForScrivens
The sterling defensive coverage didn’t help…
— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) December 17, 2014
And, you’ll never guess, but the Oilers also ended up losing this game. But, I mean, you can’t win em all. Or if you’re the Oilers you can only win one out of every 16 games.
Finally it was off to face the San Jose Sharks, who, against all logic and reason, are the last team the Oilers have beaten! The Oilers actually played very well, and I’d go out on a limb and say it was one of the better full game efforts they’ve had all year. But they stuck to the prime directive and played crappy enough not to do something stupid like get any points.
You hear those footsteps? WE’RE COMING FOR YOU CONNOR!
And I think that about wraps it up. Although I’m getting a real strong gut feeling that I’m forgetting something. Something pretty major. Some kind of announcement?
OH YES OF COURSE! HOW COULD I FORGET! The Oilers are reportedly going to end their time with the Oklahoma City Barons as their AHL affiliate! It’s believed that there will be a Miss Teen Pacific Division next year, with the Barons moving to Bakersfield, because like I’ve always said the one place that needs more professional hockey is California!
Other than that it was basically business as usual in Edmonton.
Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!
TRH WILD CARD WATCH™
Some vintage Oilers defending here pic.twitter.com/KoV7bk10UU
— Fear The Fin (@fearthefin) December 19, 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!