PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 1.23.15

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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 January 23rd, 2015!

 

ANAHEIM DUCKS
1st PLACE, 31-10-6, 68 POINTS
@EarlSleek

Happy All Star Weekend, everybody!

Anyways, the Ducks enter the weekend the winners of five straight games, and shockingly only two of those were one-goal games. Goal differential is starting to make some headway, which is comforting, as finally the Ducks have a full roster to work with – even Eric Brewer might be near a return!

This past week, the Ducks pasted the Devils 5-1 for Ilya Bryzgalov’s first Anaheim win since 2007, then immediately headed out to Staples Center, winning 3-2 in a shootout on Rob Blake Night.

In that shootout, Jakob Silfverberg scored his league-leading seventh shootout goal, also surpassing his six non-shootout goals this season. In a goal-total sense, it has been a disappointing season for Silfverberg, but I’m actually a little thrilled about that. You see, it’s a contract year for Silfverberg, and even though he’s contributing tons on the ice even without many regulation goals, I think his next contract could stay fairly affordable, at least something to offset what the Ducks will pay in Matt Beleskey’s next contract for filling the net with regularity.

Then the Ducks beat the Flames for the twentieth (!) straight time in Anaheim, 6-3. Even Joni Ortio can’t end that curse.

Entering the break, the Ducks hold a twelve point Pacific Division lead and a three point Presidents Trophy lead. Looking forward to the point when the rest of the Ducks schedule becomes as meaningless as the All Star Game! :)

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS
2nd PLACE, 25-17-6, 56 POINTS
@stace_ofbase from Battle of California

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! All Star break is upon us and for those of us who do not care (especially because half of the all star roster is injured or dying), this means a much needed break from hockey! Aside from the Anaheim Ducks, who just won’t die (unless it’s against San Jose), the Pacific Division is the weakest division in the league and their players and faithful bloggers could use a few days off. Now let’s get this over with so I can get back to watching Friends (22 days since it hit Netflix and I’m on season 7, episode 6…I have a problem).

San Jose Sharks vs. Calgary Flames, 3-4 (OT)

lol, a Joe Colborne shorthanded goal. Need I say more? Not really, but I guess I’ll talk about this a bit. The Sharks fell behind rather early and things seemed to look grim.

When your mom writes ‘I love you’ on your lunch bag.

The Sharks are known for never quitting, so after Logan broke his chompers, he managed to score and then former captain Joe Thornton tied the game up two minutes later. The Sharks managed to gain the lead, but since the Flames are known for never quitting, they quickly tied it up. Sean Monahan won the game with a hilarious goal in overtime and the Flames continue to dominate the really awful Pacific Division with mostly luck and Leafs fans cry themselves to sleep, which is redundant.

San Jose Sharks vs. New Jersey Devils, 2-5

You know, I had no idea that Jordin Tootoo was on the New Jersey Devils. Wasn’t he on the Preds or Wings or some other dumb team no better cares about? The worst way to find out that Jordin Tootoo is on the New Jersey Devils was the Sharks letting him score and having to find out that way. Apparently, former Shark alum Steve Bernier is still a thing as well because he scored as well….

Have any of you been to Stein Mart? No? Bueller? Okay, hang tight one second. Stein Mart is a department store and it is a dark horse for the most depressing department store in the world. It’s where all ugly clothes go to die. All the fashion mistakes from other clothing stores, that designers probably got fired for, live its last breaths at Stein Mart. The New Jersey Devils are Stein Mart. All the discarded garbage from the 29 other teams end up playing for the Devils, including specifically several former Sharks.

Anyway, the Sharks lost to Stein Mart, and lost pretty badly. Fans are becoming increasingly more annoying about which goaltender is less mediocre. Tommy Wingels injured his hand during the game and is now on the IR. This game sucked, but it’s the Devils, so no one will remember this happened in 2 days.

San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings, 4-2

Okay so I love this rivalry. Mostly because I’m numb and it can’t possibly hurt me anymore than it already has, so there’s nothing I can do but love it. YOU HEAR ME, PUMPER AND TRH? YOU CAN’T HURT ME ANYMORE! With that being said, the following clip perfectly describes Kings fans and Sharks fans. The Kings are the awful little girl and the Sharks are Junior Healy, the awful little boy.

Kings fans threw a temper tantrum about losing this game, even though Regular Season Doesn’t Matter and they are guaranteed a playoff spot.

HEY WAIT! I know it’s only one point, but whatever, love you Calgary, and what the fuck, Winnipeg?

Upcoming:

Nothing! Absolutely nothing and it’s the most amazing thing ever! I’m going to spend the all star break swimming and barbequing and sunbathing and essentially anything that people outside of California cannot do in January. Happy trails!

 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
3rd PLACE, 26-16-3, 55 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army

The Canucks’ rollercoaster ride through the 2014-15 NHL season continued apace this week. The three-game losing streak turned into a three-game winning streak, which promptly came to a crashing halt in Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Not sure if it was just the end of a long road trip, playing the second night of a back-to-back, or thinking ahead to the impending All-Star break, but the Canucks put in a bare minimum of effort against the Eastern Conference leading Lightning. But despite the lacklustre effort, Vancouver held the Bolts off the scoresheet through the first half of the game before competely falling apart in the latter half of the game and going down 4-1.

But that’s probably what you would expect given the situation.

It’s also what you should expect if you’ve paying any attention at all to the Canucks this season.

Adding injury to insult, Kevin Bieksa left the game after blocking a shot and is now expected to miss six weeks with a fractured hand. Some guys will do anything to not have to play with Luca Sbisa for six weeks, I guess:

Either that or Bieksa was just pre-empting any chance of being named as a replacement for all the players dropping out of the All-Star Game this year.

Man, nobody really wants to go to Columbus, do they? It’s only for the weekend guys! Sheesh.

Sidney Crosby is the latest to drop out of the weekend’s festivities due to a mysterious injury. Knowing the Pens medical staff, it’s probably rubella. Anyway, the shocking part is that Crosby, nominally the NHL’s best player, has only been to ONE All-Star Game in his NHL career. One.

That’s amazing.

But choosing his replacement should be a no-brainer:

 

CALGARY FLAMES
4th PLACE, 25-19-3, 53 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation


I know he says “you just lost a game, but pretend he said you just lost again. Because it’s like how the Kings just lost to the Flames. Again

wildcard

Anyway, Hi. So the Flames this week wen-

/runs out of time

 

LOS ANGELES KINGS
5th PLACE, 20-15-12 52 POINTS
@PumperNicholl from The Royal Half

The LA Kings are 1-3-4 in their last eight games.

Drew Doughty Says No More

Even Drew Doughty knows that’s bad.

So the Kings head into the All-Star break outside of a playoff spot. Classic Kings, amirite?!

All we can do is pray that Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty don’t get hurt during the All-Star game, Tyler Toffoli stops contracting high school diseases, Tanner Pearson heals quicker than Wolverine, Martin Jones’ back doesn’t go out on him, Marian Gaborik doesn’t get hurt the rest of the year, Jeff Carter finds linemates that can actually score, Robyn Regehr goes all #Lumbus on us again, Justin Williams’ pending free agency doesn’t become an uncomfortable situation, Jake Muzzin finds his game again, Alec Martinez remembers how to play defense, Brayden McNabb quickly progresses into a No. 3 defenseman, Dustin Brown goes on another torrid scoring streak like in 2012, Jarret Stoll stops taking offensive zone penalties, Dwight King remembers he’s allowed to shoot the puck, Jonathan Quick puts the team on his back, Mike Richards either turns into vintage Mike Richards or evolves into something better than his current self, Nick Shore provides the patented Kings late-season rookie spark, and the rest of the team chips in when they can.

If all that happens, I’m sure the Kings will be just fine when the playoffs start.

No, but really, the Kings will be fine.

 

ARIZONA COYOTES
6th PLACE, 16-25-5, 37 POINTS
@CarlPutnam from Five For Howling

With the NFL setting up in their neighborhood for the next two weeks, the Coyotes headed out on an eight game road trip, their longest of the campaign.


Their three stops this week were in Central Division cities. Minneapolis/St. Paul was the initial stop. The Yotes’ former backup goalie, Devan Dubnyk who was days before set free into the Wild faced his former club with predictable results. Dubs not only wound up with the win, he wound up with as many assists as the Coyotes had goals one the night (one).

Next up on the calender? The franchise who stole their name from Arizona because they didn’t want to be associated with anything park related.

Even with Gorilla Salad’s latest victim unable to play due to injury, the Jets didn’t have a huge problem carving up the Coyotes defense either. With the game tied 1-1, Mike Smith decided to play the puck to young d-man Connor Murphy. Ugliness ensued.

This was Smitty’s lone quasi faux paus of the night (and week), Most of the time he looked more like the Mike Smith who could carry a team.

However, Smith could only play one position, so the Jets took a 3-1 and then took a nap, but they woke up in time to take part in one of Gary Bettman’s skills competitions. Hey, it’s Arizona. You can take the occasional nap and still get two points.

In a season where the Coyotes are scoring about as their TV/radio color guys did back in the day, one of the few bright lights has been the Baby Dane.

Can we please just end the season now. If not someone please lock Oliver Ekman-Awesome up in a closet full of bubble wrap.

The Yotes left Manitoba with a point and headed to a city with parks and where men don’t combine Eddie Vedder and Joan Rivers (RIP) wardrobes.

What NHL city wouldn’t welcome Arizona? I said NHL, not AHL, Edmonton.

The game against the Hawks went about as well as expected.

One point total for the week and a mere seven or eight more losses in a row and the Desert Dogs might be in a dogfight with the Oilers and Sabres for the best chance to put the weight of a franchise on Connor McDavid’s shoulders. Though whether such a tank would be worth having to listen to people from Buffalo whine for decades is probably a suitable question.

Who am I kidding? It would be so worth it for the opportunity to troll Western New York. Just ask Brett Hull.

 

EDMONTON OILERS
7th PLACE, 12-26-9, 33 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

You guys, I had the WILDEST dream! It was a pretty long dream so bear with me here.

First off, I dreamt that that the Oilers actually won a game! They were even down at one point, until Matt “Most Valuable Player” Hendricks scored a shorthanded goal in the third period to send the game to overtime. And then I dreamt that Nail Yakupov actually got a chance to try his hand at the shootout, and it only took 157 games! Needless to say he buried the chance and everyone in the dream was all “Wow, he CAN put the puck in the net? Who knew!”

Then the dream took a really weird turn when, for some reason, an Oilers beat writer failed hilariously to discredit a guy who was rude to him on Twitter like four years ago. It made me very uncomfortable and the entire thing was really sad and embarrassing.

Then I wound up in Washington, where for the second game in a row the Oilers managed a third period comeback and a shootout win!

I mean, some things about the dream were very much grounded in reality. For example, the Oilers defense was still horrendous.

This was arguably the most unbelievable dream I’ve had since I was a kid, but despite the fact that nothing about it made sense I still had a great time. I mean, the Oilers winning two games in a row against a bubble team and a team bound for the playoffs? YEAH RIGHT THAT WILL BE THE DAY LOLOL! Next thing you’re going to tell me is they’re on the verge of potentially winning themselves out of the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. HA! WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY EVER DO THAT? LIKE SERIOUSLY FINISHING 26TH AND MISSING OUT ON A CHANCE TO FINALLY DRAFT A FRANCHISE TALENT** WOULD BE SUCH AN OILERS THING TO DO OH GOD BUFFALO YOU CAN’T EVEN WIN ONE GAME ANYMORE YOU GUYS WENT ON A HOT RUN IN DECEMBER BUT NOW YOU’RE EVEN WORSE THAN THE OILERS AGAIN? DO YOU KNOW HOW BAD THAT IS?? AND ALL THESE PEOPLE HAVE TALKED ABOUT HOW DALLAS EAKINS IS NEVER GONNA GET ANOTHER NHL COACHING GIG, BUT WHAT ABOUT TED NOLAN? THE GUY ONLY MADE THE PLAYOFFS ONCE ON A TEAM WITH DOMINIK HASEK IN HIS PRIME BUT YET HE ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE IN EVERY CONVERSATION WHENEVER A TEAM NEEDS A NEW COACH AND HE’S OFF IN DENMARK SOMEWHERE COACHING A TIER 3 PRO TEAM. IT’S BEEN ALMOST 20 YEARS SINCE HE WON THE JACK ADAMS TROPHY, HOW DOES IT STILL CARRY THAT MUCH WEIGHT? PEOPLE IN THE NHL ARE SO OBSESSED WITH SHINY THINGS AND THE IDEA OF “KNOWING HOW TO WIN” IT’S UNBELIEVABLE.

Anyway, back to more important things, let me have 10 minutes of your time to tell you why the NHL All-Star game is actually and important tradition. First, we need to go back to the origins of hockey itself, wher- *clubbed to death by the other bloggers*

**please disregard Oilers other first overall draft picks since 2010

 

TRH WILD CARD WATCH™

Pacific War Room Standings 1.23.2015

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!

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