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 30th, 2015!


1st PLACE, 32-11-6, 70 POINTS

The Ducks went 2-1 this week, just so long as you’re counting a Team Toews win since that’s the side Ryan Getzlaf was on. The All-Star Game was probably dumb, but I didn’t watch any of it. The draft was pretty great, though, and the skills competition had its moments

OK, fine, the Ducks just went 1-1. They murdered the Canucks 4-0 on Tuesday before getting murdered by the Sharks 6-3 yesterday, ending a six-game winning streak. A very aquatic week!

Shark Orca 2

It was a tale of two goaltenders, though: both Freddie Andersen and Ilya Bryzgalov faced 25 shots each this week – Freddie allowed zero goals while Breezy allowed six. Bryzgalov has only one win on the season, and with Gibson well again in the AHL, Bryz may have to pull it together or he’s going to quickly become assistant to the general manager, Marty Brodeur-style.

Speaking of the AHL, five teams are moving to California next season, since the logistics of cross-country affiliate transfers were kind of ridiculous. Sorry to those who’ve lost teams, but don’t blame me – I basically don’t care unless it’ll be on my TV, and even then I might have to join an AHL fantasy league to tune in. But hey – good for Mike Richards. :)

At any rate, the Pacific lead is still at 14 points, as the Ducks hustle back to Anaheim to play the Blackhawks tonight. Let’s hope Chicago’s players are still not backchecking from that All-Star Game.


2nd PLACE, 26-17-6, 58 POINTS
@stace_ofbase from Battle of California

The sun rose on Tuesday morning, and with that, the second half of the NHL season is to begin. I take a long exasperated sigh as I open the NHL GameCenter App on my iPhone 6 to check and see when the Sharks have a game again.

“Update NHL GameCenter App,” it says with a stern tone.

“I’m not connected to WiFi and I’m about to go over on my data, man,” I reply.


I swiftly close down the app, and as usual, I stubbornly refuse to update the app because it is really fucking annoying that the app updates every few weeks now and you can’t use it unless you update it. NO IFS, ANDS, or BUTS – Claude Giroux would be very disappointed. I eventually acquired the Sharks’ schedule for the week by using a sundial, like how Jagr used to when he was 30 years old.

Before I get to the hilarious game between the Sharks and the Ducks, I have to say one thing…


Hahahaha, fuck you, shitty miserable East Coast. We have five AHL teams now and we even put one in Stockton, which is a dump, to spite you. It’s beautiful. California is the best.


Anyway, back to the hilarious game against Anaheim. I don’t understand why everyone says that the Ducks are so good. I’ve watched them play against the Sharks five times this season and they’ve only managed to not shit their pants once in those five meetings. Did they play the Oilers in those other ~40 games this season? Is that why they have a good record? None of it makes sense. Their blue line is garbage, their goaltending is often horrific, I don’t know guys. I guess the rest of the league is just THAT bad. If you can’t beat the Ducks, you might as well fold.

It was absolutely no surprise that the Sharks destroyed the Ducks, but the biggest surprise of the evening was that Ryan Getzlaf managed to play a whole sixty minutes without throwing a temper tantrum.

And they tell two friends…


And they tell two friends…


And so on…


And so on…


And so on…

Another big surprise is that this game will not result in a John Scott suspension! Granted, he only does suspendable things in teal when I am in attendance, so maybe I’ll head up to Los Angeles before the season ends…

It was nice to see a lot of production from the secondary scoring, and also from those who don’t typically score at all, such as Matt Irwin and Brenden Dillon. The Sharks are still pretty bad, which makes the thrashing of the Ducks even better.

I’m sure that Bob Murray will put all his eggs in one basket at the deadline to get a player that the Ducks do not need at all, to help them be able to beat San Jose in the playoffs – actually, that’s not possible considering Anaheim will get eliminated by Winnipeg in the first round and then vacation at Disneyland Resort where they all contract the measles.

It was a good season series, Anaheim. Thanks for all the points, I’ll see you next October! xo.

Oh yeah, Sharks play the Blackhawks this weekend and they’ll probably lose but I’ll be out of town so I don’t care. UNTIL NEXT TIME!


3rd PLACE, 26-17-3, 55 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army

The Canucks bookended the Barely-Any-Stars-Game with a couple of losses against the top team from each conference. Luckily the NHL only has two conferences, so hopefully they can put these behind them and move on.

As for us, we have to relive them, so…

We’ve already acknowledged last week’s loss to the Lightning, so we’re left with talking about the Canucks’ woeful performance against the league-leading Ducks of Anaheim, the preventable disease capital of the world. Like seriously, people. Heck, it’s only a matter of time before Disneyland opens a new ride called It’s a Smallpox World After All.

Luckily for the Canucks, the game was in Vancouver and not in that disease-ridden hell hole that probably has a few cases of the plague too… Oh, for God’s sake!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. The Ducks were in Vancouver this week and handed your loveable, disease-free Canucks a 4-0 whupping. The Canucks have now not scored at home in over three weeks. Thankfully, that’s only two-and-a-half games in hockey time, but still it’s almost like Ryan Kesler was still around:


But he’s not around, and when asked if he had anything left in Vancouver now, he answered, “Yeah, it’s a road city now, I got nothing left here”.

Which I guess is safe for him to say now that he’s been gone for over nine months.

Anyway, Kesler did leave at least one thing behind on this trip to his old stomping grounds: An imprint of his elbow on Derek Dorsett’s head. Luckily for him, he doesn’t play for the Canucks any longer. In fact, he was playing against them, so the hit meets the main criteria for not being a suspendable offense:


Since this was the only Canucks game this week, I have a little room to talk about the other LA area team. The big news this week as that they finally took Brad Mike Richards out behind the woodshed. But don’t tell Jeff Carter:

But seriously, the Kings put Richards on waivers and in a surprise to nobody paying attention he cleared waivers and was re-assigned to the Manchester Monarchs in the AHL. As a public service to those of you that aren’t paying attention (yeah, that’s you Kings’ fans), here’s a handy chart of the reasons nobody claimed him:


Because as everybody knows, if Mike Richards is involved, there’s somebody getting screwed.


4th PLACE, 26-20-3, 55 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation

Well, Patrick Burke and a whole bunch of stodgy old soggy-bottomed lawyers wouldn’t let Johnny Gaudreau, intrepid youngster and stickhandling impresario, set his hockey stick ablaze for last weekend’s All-Star Skills Competition Breakaway shootout (because I guess ice is way more flammable than we thought or some shit, I don’t know). But Johnny, ever the trailblazing sprite that he is, got his wish after all. When the hilarious Buffalo Sabres rolled into town this week, playing against a team in the Western Conference, in Canada no less, he was well aware that anyone employed by the NHL head offices would not be watching.

And then he magic’d all over the place.

With the listless Sabres providing the Flames with mere sparring partners, it was wide open out there for Jonathan Hockey to practice plying his trade. And with a dash of skill and a few flicks of the wrist, not only did Gaudreau score two goals on a really-just-there-to-keep-up-appearances Jonas Enroth, but he finally accomplished his goal, which I personally believe is the reason why the magnificent little beast was able to light the lamp in the first place:

Kid’s a wizard. You send him to one All-Star Game and all of a sudden he’s hunting down Filip Forsberg for the rookie scoring lead, which he will eventually do. It’s a matter of time.

(Pro tip: If there’s any link to the namesake at all, just go for Forsberg’s feet. Could be a weakness there)

But it was a slow week, a post all-star doldrums kinda stretch, and as such the games played and Flames related news this week was coming at a premium, and I don’t have much because I can’t afford it. Outside of the fact that we’re changing Joe Colborne’s identity:

We are out of Colbort license plates.

…there really was not much to say about your Calgary Flames this week.

HOWEVER, this does not mean that we can’t talk about the Baby Flames. As you are all no doubt aware, basically the entire Pacific Division is relocating the collective of their AHL farm minions to, generally speaking, the cheapest and shittiest places in California, in an effort to get their prospects better tans and a higher proficiency in identifying wine. The Flames, for the record, are moving their not even a year into the works yet deal with the Adirondack Flames to the fine city of Stockton, which it turns out is not named after John Stockton, Utah Jazz legend.

It does bring the rich tradition of minor pro hockey to the California area, and if the press conference were any indication, the AHL is really prepared for anything that comes their way.

For example, if Flames General Manager Brad Treliving decided to josh the crowd by wearing a buffoon mask

not pictured: hands, as they are being weighed down by all the winning Kevin Lowe did in the 80’s.

Lowe, for his part, had planned a similar prank, and was embarrassed when Treliving beat him to the punch, but this does not mean it left Mr. Lowe dissuaded from doing it:

what a hilarious series of misunderstandings, right MARC Giordano?

Anyway, we’re not here to talk about the AHL, we’re not nerds, but what is still up in the air in reference to this whole Stockton Flames thing is, WHAT ARE THE CHANCES WE CAN GET SCORCH BACK? (Miss you everyday, Scorch. Pour one out)

The answer, of course, is no. Scorch committed a pretty grave time and paid the ultimate price.



And now I’m going to debut my new trademark sign-off, which is legendary Flames defenseman Dana Murzyn giving you advice. Arrivederci



5th PLACE, 21-15-12 54 POINTS
@PumperNicholl from The Royal Half


*pops champagne bottle while crying joyful tears*

*remembers that Mike Richards was waived earlier this week*

*chugs champagne straight from bottle while joyful tears turn into ugly sobbing*

It was a roller coaster week for the Kings. Their second third fourth line center was no longer on the roster, and there was no guarantee that he’ll ever return to the big club. Naturally, this left Jeff Carter very emotional.

#TeamTRH wants to give Jeff Carter the biggest hug.

It was only one game, but the team seemed to respond to Richards’ demotion as they rallied from three separate deficits to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3.

There’s still a lot of work left to do in terms of securing a playoff spot. But if the second incarnation of That 70s Line™ can add some secondary scoring, the Kings are setting themselves up for another second half push to make some noise in the postseason.


Help us, That 70s Line™ 2.0. You’re our only hope.


6th PLACE, 17-25-6, 40 POINTS
@BrendanPorter from Five For Howling

You know, I’ve kinda gotten used to this whole “tanking” idea. I can get on board with it. Especially since the reaction to this article from Josh Cooper of Puck Daddy arguing that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel should go to Arizona or Carolina spurred an angry reaction from our friends to the North. And if there’s nothing Arizona fans like more, it’s making Canada annoyed with our very existence.

So now that I’m OK with the idea of tanking the season, the Arizona Coyotes start to play much better hockey. First up this week was a 4-3 shootout loss to Philadelphia in which Mike Smith apparently remembered that he doesn’t play .885 SV% hockey anymore since the Coyotes threw all of their money at him.

That game, spirited as it was, wasn’t particularly funny. Thursday night’s game was though. A McDavid Derby Semifinal contest between the Coyotes and the Leafs is bound to produce laughs. It’s the yin and the yang. The epicenter of the hockey universe, and Arizona. Both teams were riding seven-game winless streaks. Something stupid was going to happen.

Pictured: Something Stupid

Yes, that is Leafs ex-Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier flat-out missing on a dump-in from center ice to tie the game. It was perhaps a perfect summation of who the Toronto Maple Leafs are, and a fitting play for a game featuring two lottery teams. Arizona won 3-1.

So now what do I do? The Coyotes won a game, their goaltending looks to finally have stabilized, and some of their best players are scoring. I was all ready to embrace the tank. And now it appears that we aren’t doing that. Don’t tease me or string me along Arizona, my heart can’t take it.


7th PLACE, 13-27-9, 35 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

After a nice week off due to the All-Star break, or as Oiler fans call it “OH GOD THERE’S ALMOST HALF A SEASON LEFT STILL???” the Oilers were up and at them against the Minnesota Wild *never stops yawning*. Coming into the game the Wild had only won two of their previous 10 and five of their last 20, and they were STILL 15 points ahead of the Oilers. *drinks all the whiskey*

If you put money down on “Both Wild Goals Will Come Off Terrible Oiler Turnovers” then you probably would have won very little money because Vegas would give you horrible odds on something that obvious.

I’ll give it up to Charlie Coyle though, that was a beautiful ass goal.

Then the *shudders* Buffalo Sabres *vomits* came to town, and the Oilers once again found another way to embarrass themselves by blowing a two-goal lead late in the third and losing in overtime.


And now, some dumb Photoshops we made cause believe it or not the Sabres/Oilers game was boring as all hell!!



Pacific War Room Standings 1.30.2015

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