PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 1.2.15
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 January 2nd, 2015!
1st PLACE, 24-9-6, 54 POINTS
Anaheim had a so-so record the last two weeks, going 2-2-1, mostly against Pacific opponents. It was enough to keep them atop the league in points, while players like Francois Beauchemin and Corey Perry were getting back in the lineup, but did continue a weird trend: the Ducks went 2-0-1 in their one goal games and got blown out in their losses. Here’s how their season has gone, graph-wise:
Ten regulation losses by a single goal; zero regulation losses by a single goal. That’s winning a lot of coin flips (and missing a lot of empty nets). And of the 6 OT/SO losses, 5 of them came during a two-week stretch in November when Perry and Beauchemin first came down with the mumps, then both goalies Andersen and Gibson got injured as well. For whatever reason, even with pretty depleted lineups, the Ducks have had a strong run in making games close, then frequently taking the W.
That sort of success isn’t really sustainable, but it’s nice to be sitting atop the league considering all the injuries and illnesses. Going into the new year, Anaheim’s lineup is starting to look more and more complete, many of its young prospects have gotten a taste of NHL experience, and at least one experiment appears to be over – Dany Heatley was waived then sent down to AHL Norfolk.
Can't spell "HEATLEY" without using an "A", an "H", and an "L".
— Earl Sleek (@earlsleek) December 30, 2014
Happy New Year, everybody!
LOS ANGELES KINGS 2nd PLACE, 19-12-8, 46 POINTS @PumperNicholl from The Royal Half
Wait, wait, wait… you’re telling me the LA Kings LOST to the Edmonton Oilers and somehow also propelled themselves into 2nd place in the Pacific Division?!
Suddenly, 2015 doesn’t feel scary at all. Especially since Kings fans have their fearless captain leading them into the new year!
Our Captain, surveying his handy work: pic.twitter.com/xizs4xhC1O
— abby g (@abby_g_normal) January 2, 2015
Why are people impressed by Dustin Brown creating 'LA' out of pucks? Did he do it this time without looking at the logo on his shirt?
— The 6th Sens (@6thSens) January 2, 2015
Well, um, there has to be something that we can all find comfort in…
With that game, the Kings have jumped back to 2nd in the Pacific and the 2nd best Corsi team in the league. pic.twitter.com/fvo9wk3Sj6
— thx bae (@thxbud) January 2, 2015
That’ll do nicely.
— Hrudey Can't Fail (@HrudeyCantFail) December 31, 2014
3rd PLACE, 21-12-3, 45 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army
It was an ominous end to 2014 in Canuckland
After 35 games, the Canucks have 45 points. Last year after 35 games? They also had 45 points.
— Rob The Hockey Guy (@RobTheHockeyGuy) December 31, 2014
Despite seemingly coming out of the early December slide with three wins and a shootout loss over the Christmas period, there is definitely a sense of foreboding among the faithful.
And the New Year’s Day outing against the Kings did nothing to dispel it, as the Canucks turtled their way through another game with an early lead only to blow it late.
Except this time, they didn’t even manage to pick up a loser point like they had in Anaheim earlier in the week. The last minute collapse brings back memories of a similar late collapse and subsequent overtime loss to Pittsburgh early in 2014, which is seen be some as the beginning of the end for Tortorella and the Canucks last season:
Ring in the New Year indeed. I’m starting to feel a little like a Leafs fan:
But despair not, Canucks fans. There is hope on the horizon. Dan Hamhuis is skating again and is expected back in mid to late January. Of course, by then the Canucks could be completely out of it because as Hamhuis goes, so does the blue line:
Kevin Bieksa especially is a complete tire fire when paired with anyone but Hamhuis. Well, maybe Chris Tanev, but he’s busy making Alex Edler into an NHL defenseman again. So Hamhuis’ return can’t come soon enough for the beleaguered defense corps.
As for those comparisons to January 2014, I remain skeptical. I mean, it’s a week that starts with a one goal loss to the Kings and ends with a Saturday night game against the Flames. What can possibly go wrong?
SAN JOSE SHARKS
4th PLACE, 20-13-5, 45 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Battle of California
Hey guys, Stace is busy this week, so I’m covering the Sharks for her.
I will be writing about how the Flames beat the Kings and the Oilers and the Kings and the Oilers, and how they don’t really seem to lose so much anymore, but at some point, when you keep beating the Kings and the Oilers, you start saying the same things over and over, so taking on both Flames and Sharks duties this week was really not much of a challenge. Especially when I only saw one of the Sharks games this week, meaning I can really phone this in.
Get ready for Barcaly Goodrow puns and Ryan Getzlaf bald jokes! Since we last checked in, the Sharks have gone 2-2-1, with all the games against other Pacific foes, except for the Blues, who kinda had their own thing going on this week:
When I first met my wife, I took her to a Blues game at the Arena. We sat on the glass and players punched each other as they skate. #TOUGH
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) December 30, 2014
How these guys last a whole season is unbelievable. The hits are so hard. It hurts to watch and I love it. #stlblues
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) December 30, 2014
The Blues twitter account gaining sentience is the most St. Louis thing since Steve Ott ate David Backes eating a dog (the St. Louis turducken, as it were) But back to the Sharks.
My favourite thing about the Sharks week was them beating the Ducks on New Years eve on 80’s night. You may recall, if you’re old enough or have stopped drinking for just enough time for a long term memory to kick in, that neither the Sharks or Ducks existed in the 80’s. I can’t find any photographic evidence to back it up, but to put it in perspective, back in the 80’s, Ryan Getzlaf had hair.
Anyway, clearly nobody who works for the Ducks has ever seen Back to the Future, because if they had, they’d know that returning to the past and altering the course of history (i.e. playing a hockey game between two teams yet to exist) is just timeline chaos waiting to happen. The Sharks won that game 3-0, so good work Anaheim. You’ve ruined the future, and this was the year we were supposed to get hoverboards, assholes.
The other best part of the week was Stace’s implementation of her patented #fancyshats methodology, which she unveiled in the Sharks’ loss to the Canucks. Never before have we ever had such scientific means to properly identify and quantify the Vancouver Canucks’ level of shitheadery. Now we do:
I’ll let the creator give a brief synopsis of how it works:
The main way to display FancyShats is by using a Hot Poop Map (HPM). The heads that are closest to the center and the biggest in size represent the biggest shitheads. As the heads get smaller and closer to the sides of the coil means that the players are kind of-to-not really shitheads. A majority of the players on the Canucks are in the RBS (Real Big Shithead) category, so many overlap in the center of the coil.
This is groundbreaking stuff, and it will translate nicely to other teams, but outside of the Canucks and probably the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins, and I guess the Ducks, and the Penguins, and the Coyotes, and the Kings and the…uh, most teams won’t be able to give you such a concentrated HPM reading.
Anyway, I know Stace and Tomas Hertl wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year
Happy New Year!:-) pic.twitter.com/AdvmJvuCe3
— Tomáš Hertl (@TomasHertl48) January 1, 2015
…and she also wanted to remind you that every Minnesota Wild game from here until eternity will be played indoors, the way God intended (for Minnesota).
Also Friends is on Netflix now, so there’s a good chance we (as well as her family and assorted loved ones) may never see her again. So thanks for that, Netflix.
…oh right, I forgot, Barcaly Goodrow puns. Well here you go:
Barclay Goodrow made his first million during the California gold rush in 1848
— SJ (@stace_ofbase) December 28, 2014
Barclay Goodrow once challenged George Canning to a duel in 1809
— SJ (@stace_ofbase) December 31, 2014
GEORGE CANNING REFERENCE IN PACIFIC WAR ROOM
@stace_ofbase Barclay Goodrow had the first telegraph installed in a private residence in 1856.
— Pablo Kickasso (@PabloKickasso) December 31, 2014
. @stace_ofbase Barclay Goodrow was known as "The Tesla of the Cotton Gin." Unfortunately that blasted Eli Whitney was the Edison of it.
— Horseshit Wife (@MegalodonBOC) December 31, 2014
Barclay Goodrow's Travelling Circus lost all it's cache once it was deemed uncouth to employ a human zoo
— $CAD Floob (@bookofloob) December 31, 2014
and just for good measure
I bought a Rourke Chartier pocket watch at an antique mall
— SJ (@stace_ofbase) December 31, 2014
The Sharks are great for educational history facts
5th PLACE, 21-15-3, 45 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation
A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, or whatever other truly inspiring upper class elite alternative holiday you invented in California to you, from me.
It’s been a couple of weeks and there’s a lot to go over.
We can talk about how the Flames keep beating the Kings, or we could talk about how they’ve won 4 in a row and collected points in their last 5, or about how the keep beating those Los Angeles Kings, or about how Johnny Gaudreau has been named the player of the week and the rookie of the month in consecutive weeks, or we could talk about how the Flames in two straight games, scored more goals and allowed less against the Los Angeles Kings of Los Angeles.
I don’t know, what do you want to talk about Flames wise, because there’s a lot.
We could talk about how Mark Giordano is a runaway favourite for the Norris Trophy, or about how Calgary handed the Kings two straight defeats in 3 games, or how TJ Brodie is probably a solid third place for the Norris as well and will probably win a few in his day before it’s all said and done, or maybe how The Kings have yet to solve Jonas Hiller this season (which I hear is kind of a recurring theme), or that She Weber is probably going to win the Norris and that’s cool because he’s good, but let’s face it, Gio should be the guy, or how Las Llamas derrotaron a los Reyes, or how Drew Doughty is good and all, but I see you down there in 4th place.
The Flames did beat the Oilers twice as well, and that’s always fun, but you can only kick a dead horse so many times before you start getting parts of that horse on your shoe.
So it might be a more fun idea to talk about how the Kings can’t beat those plucky young Calgary Flames. Maybe we can talk about this:
Jonathan Quick was the kid in school that tried to hit other kids with his backpack
— $CAD Floob (@bookofloob) December 23, 2014
(I wanted to talk about Quick breaking his stick on the post, but he does it so many times it’s really hard to find the right gif, so we get this instead)
Anyway, remember when the Kings were up 3-0 on the Flames and then Johnny Gaudreau scored his first career hat trick in the third period to tie it?
On the replay you can see Darryl Sutter saying " Someone ******* stop that guy. "
— Randy Foster (@randy_foster) December 23, 2014
you might remember it. If you don’t, ask Drew Doughty.
Johnny Gaudreau is screening The Interview
— Tom (@atominable) December 23, 2014
this joke is irrelevant now, but it was good at the time
"Gio Gio Gio, can't you see, sometimes your moves just hypnotize me" -an original jam by MC Jonathan Quick
— $CAD Floob (@bookofloob) December 23, 2014
blatant copyright infringement by Jonny Quick
Hahaha what kind of garbage team blows a 3-0 lead
— Fear The Fin (@fearthefin) December 23, 2014
Anyway, there was a whole other game to play and you’d assume the Kings would have learned a lesson, right.
Well, maybe not the right lesson, but like, maybe they did a better job brushing their teeth or something, I don’t know. Anyway, the Kings went into Edmonton the next night, so I’m sure they really turned things around after that game.
6th PLACE, 14-19-4, 32 POINTS
@BrendanPorter from Five For Howling
We’ve come a long way since the 2012 Western Conference Finals. So far, in fact, that the landmarks and stars that used to guide us are now completely unrecognizable.
I’m never gonna let you go, I wanna hold you in my arms forever…
As the calendar changes from 2014 to 2015, we experienced an incredible week of hockey from the Coyotes. Any by incredible, I mean utterly confounding.
Let’s begin after beating the Edmonton Oilers, because beating Edmonton is nothing remarkable or unexpected. Right, San Jose?
Anyways, the Coyotes took on the Anaheim Ducks last Saturday, a game that featured a goaltending showcase between Devan Dubnyk and Frederik Andersen. Both played some of their best hockey of the year, so it’s only fitting that this is how the game ended.
There’s an allegory for the Coyotes’ season in there somewhere
Yes, Shane Doan, champion of the 2009 NHL All-Star Shootout Competition (a fact he would like you to know), won the game by using the most under-handed of tactics: make the goalie stop two objects at the same time. Andersen picked the wrong small black object and the Coyotes won the game.
Arizona then welcomed the Philadelphia Flyers to Glendale. Somehow, they managed to overcome two R.J. Umberger goals by realizing that they were playing the Flyers’ defense, and won that game 4-2.
Okay, it looks like we’re finally turning a corner here Arizona. The team is on a three game win streak and appears to finally be playing the style of hockey that made it so successful. We may not be Connor McDavid bad anymore, but at least we’ll get to watch some wins this year.
So let’s close out 2014 with a quick jaunt to Dallas, and welcome in 2015 full of optimism for the future!
7th PLACE, 8-22-8, 24 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation
The Edmonton Oilers ended 2014 much in the same way they started it; with a string of humiliating losses broken up by an odd win against a California based team just to really confuse the whole issue. Since we last saw our hilariously incompetent heroes they: -Took a 5-2 lead over the Stars into the third period, and promptly ended up losing 6-5 in the most Oilers way possible.
Horcoff is gonna win this whole thing isn't he?
— Jeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) December 22, 2014
— CBC Sports (@cbcsports) December 22, 2014
-Got absolutely rolled by the Coyotes on the strength of a Sam Gagner 4 point night, and a Devan Dubnyk 27 save performance. The silver-lining is the Oilers don’t have to automatically forfeit 2 points to Arizona again until next season!
Coyotes are in a 3-8-2 skid. Wins have all come against Oilers, whom they took all five from.
— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) December 27, 2014
-Gave up 3 goals to Calgary in 90 seconds, including two to Johnny “Insert Sport” Gaudreau in less time than it takes for NHL Gamecenter to load and then not work on my Playstation.
Thankfully Viktor Fasth continues to pull his weight in the Season’s A Gonner For Connor campaign.
— Left Wing Lock (@Left_Wing_Lock) December 28, 2014
-After a game like that in Calgary the only logical thing to happen now was for the Oilers to beat LA despite giving up almost 40 shots on net, and Daryl Sutter breaking out some old-school coaching mind games.
— Scouting The Refs (@ScoutingTheRefs) December 31, 2014
Congrats to Todd Nelson on his first and, if the season continues to go the way it has so far, last win as an NHL head coach!
-And finally it was off to Calgary for another New Years Eve Battle Of Alberta Classic which saw Edmonton blow 3 separate leads on route to their 12th loss in December. 4 wins in their last 25 games and 8 wins total to ring in 2015. Everything is going according to plan, if that plan is to be terrible for another 3 to 5 years, buttfumble the development of yet another top draft pick
BREAKING NEWS: Oilers expected to send Leon Draisaitl back to WHL by Saturday. Story up on Sportsnet.ca soon
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) December 31, 2014
and ruin the careers of two goalies, rather than just their usual one. All in all it was a GREAT 2014, and I can’t wait to see what the Oilers have in store for us in 2015! The horror. The horror…
TRH WILD CARD WATCH™
Sometimes, I wonder if the Oilers aren't just acting out for attention.
— Nothing But Socks (@SuicidePass) January 2, 2015
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!