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 February 20th, 2015!


1st PLACE, 35-16-7, 77 POINTS

Well, the Ducks certainly aren’t peaking at the wrong time of the season. In fact, these days Anaheim is pretty darn awful. In their last 10 games, Anaheim is 3-6-1, getting outscored by 12 goals, but I guess that’s what happens when you refuse to lose regulation games by one goal.

This week, the Capitals and the Lightning both beat the Ducks for the second time this month. This season, the Ducks are 23-7-5 (.729) against the Western Conference this season and 12-9-2 (.565) against the Eastern Conference. That’s right – Anaheim has more regulation losses in 23 games against the east than it does in 35 games against the West. Of the 24 games left on Anaheim’s schedule, nine of them will be against Eastern Conference opponents.

It’s not all bad news, though – at least Alex Ovechkin was able to remind us all that Ryan Getzlaf has no hair. :)

I guess the main question is: will this duck wake up from his February nap before his cushion fully runs out of air? Tune in next week to find out!

Deflating Pacific Cushion

Not my best toon, but I hear that it’s a good year for deflate jokes.


2nd PLACE, 33-21-3, 69 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army

What a week it was in Canuckistan!

Your loveable Canucks started it off by finally winning the 2011 Stanley Cup last Friday night with a convincing win over the Boston Bruins. Also of note, is that Milan Lucic made good on his promise to never again be seen in downtown Vancouver:


Yes, Luca Sbisa was also invisible during this game, which if you’ve been paying any kind of attention, you know is a really good thing. Let’s hope he keeps this up, because we were running out of pucks:

So yes, the Canucks won the 2011 Stanley Cup last Friday yada yada yada to winning the 1994 Stanley Cup last night in a thrilling shootout victory over the New York Rangers.

WOOOHOOOO! Two cups in one week! Top that, suckers.

Oh, and yes, @bookofloob, I did just yada yada the Canucks/Flames game. Sue me.

But the Canuckleheads aren’t done yet. On Sunday, they head to Long Island for the final time and try for an unprecedented three-peat, as the 1982 Stanley Cup will finally be awarded. What a ride they’re on!

Lost in all this hoopla is the fact that poor Zack Kassian was once again a healthy scratch last night. Which I suppose is better an unhealthy scratch:


Either way, the head is their only weak spot. MOAR BRAINZZZZZZ!

Now, look. I’m not saying Zack Kassian is dumb, but … well, let me tell you a story.

It’s a story you loyal LA Kings fans will appreciate. Because it stars your very own bag of hammered hammers:

I know one of the off-ice officials here in Vancouver, and a last season he was working at the score-keepers table between the penalty boxes when the Kings were in town. It was a spirited affair and about 3/4 of the way through the second period, there was a meeting of the minds out on the ice that resulted in noted luminairies Kassian, Sestito and Carcillo all get 10 minute misconducts in the melee surrounding a Jordan Nolan/Mike Stanton fight.

The misconducts carried over into the third period and Drew Doughty picked up a penalty in the first minute, sending him to the box as well. For whatever reason, Doughty and Kassian start yapping at each other over the score-keeper’s table, and at one point, Doughty is heard to yell over: “I’m getting dumber in here just talking to you.”

And that, my friends, is saying something.


3rd PLACE, 32-22-4, 68 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation

Hey guys. Hey. Just here to recap the week it was for … uh … oh man, I’m totally blanking here, oh man. I want to say the Hartford Whalers?

No … give me a minute here.

Oh right, it’s the Calgary Flames. Right that makes sense, because I blog about the Calgary Flames.

Alright, let’s get back on track here. The Flames took on the Vancouver Canucks this past Saturday and lost the game in a heartbreaking 3-2 shootout loss.

No, hold on, that doesn’t sound right at all.

Okay, it says here they won 3-2 on the strength of a Lance Bouma third period snipe.

Man, I am off to an inauspicious start here. Like this has gone really poorly, I have bungled this whole piece.

I wonder if I can … comeback.

Yes, after falling behind early in his Pacific War Room recap, ol’ Flooby on the strength of some last minute heroics, turned in an award-winning War Room piece, much like the Flames did against the Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins and virtually every other team in the league this season.

Congratulations to you, Floob.

Yes, the gutsy effort provided by me to make this the best part of your Royal Half experience week in and week out is much like the Herculean coup by young phenom Thomas James Brodie in overtime with two seconds left on the clock after being down 3-0 earlier in the game.

In fact, the effort I put in was downright prophetic:

In reality, these things are becoming pretty easy to see coming. When the Flames fall behind, which is often, there does seem to be a guiding light that takes over, and you tend to see the Flames dominate from that time on. It’s a terrible way to look for success, but so far, you can’t argue with the results.

And patterns start to emerge. There will be surprise goal scorers. Your Calgary Flames have nine players with 10 or more goals on the team, with three more realistically to get it done (unless you don’t count Curtis Glencross, who recently asked for a trade and just generally doesn’t count). From there, you see players scoring who in the past have not been scoring, and that confidence allows them to try to add some creative elements on the ice. Like say, Lance Bouma dangles that don’t actually work in the end but you’re proud of him for trying.

(just a quick aside, the Flames won every game they have played this season without Brandon Bollig in the lineup, and lost every game they’ve played for the past six years when he has been in)

So all this success leaves the Flames well in the thick of the playoff race, which makes me remember what it’s like to feel again, and let me tell you, it’s awful. To watch your beloved team battle in meaningful contests at this stage of the season is agonizing, and I don’t wish it upon anyone (don’t worry about it, Knicks’ fans)

And of course, it changes your perspective on the most over-hyped and underwhelming time of the year: Trade Deadline Day. It’s coming soon, and it’s typically when the Flames get to trade Reto Berra for a second round pick. But with the Flames still in this thing, maybe there’s a shift in thinking and the Flames identify who is out there that can help the team win now.

It helps to take stock of what your assets are, or, more specifically, what they aren’t.

When even fuckin’ TAFT knows that Engelland is impossible to trade, you know you’ve got an anchor. And Taft still believes that grit wins championships!

I don’t know what to expect in the coming weeks, but I do know that it’s going to give me a heart attack, and the longer the Flames stay in the thick of things, the worse this is going to get. This is generally the time of year when I start to consider who to cheer for in the playoffs now that the Flames are out of it.

I’m beginning to wonder if the Flames are the team I should pick.

Or at least I’ll go with whoever ended up knocking the Kings out of the race.


4th PLACE, 30-22-8, 68 POINTS
@stace_ofbase from Battle of California

Hello, my Pacific Division friends and foes!

I’m pretty bummed out because this week, the San Jose Sharks were eliminated by their fans from playoff contention when the Los Angeles Kings tied them in points but have a couple of games in hand. It’s absolutely devastating to be eliminated from the playoffs with so many games left in the season, not really sure what i’m suppos-

OH GOD THIS IS AWKWARD. But hey, congrats Los Angeles for managing to be in a playoff spot for a whole 22 hours. I’m super proud of you!

Well, this week started out horribly and ended up getting better, which I realize now is a recurring theme for the 2014-15 San Jose Sharks. They lose a bunch of games in a row and then they get one satisfying win against a team that I loathe, and I feel better. What a team!

I’m not going to go into super great detail about the losses that occurred for San Jose, because you know, we have better things to do, right? So I’m going to describe each blowout loss with a single sentence.

Tampa Bay is a better hockey team than San Jose.

Nashville is a better hockey team than San Jose.

I don’t know, maybe you have seen those teams play this season, maybe you haven’t, but the fact is that they are vastly superior than the Sharks and the rest of the Pacific Division. I cannot wait to get eliminated by the Predators in five games in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

The Sharks announced this week that Antti Niemi is “on the table” for trade discussions, but it’s funny, I could have sworn that it was February and not July, when the goaltender market was boomin’. Those goofball Sharks, never doing anything at the correct time, utilizing their large cap space, acquiring the right pieces, you know, that old cliche – it’s a tale as old as time. /laugh track

Oh yes, the one win that saved the Sharks’ season this week. You know, thank goodness for Dallas. They toutured the Sharks for so many years and now, by being crappy, they are Giving Back To The Community so to speak.

Brent Burns dropped the gloves for the second time as a San Jose Shark with Antoine Roussel, which is weird that he caught him on a day that he isn’t suspended.

He’s the greatest, that Burnzie. If only there was a position in hockey that could make him even better…

Another reason why I love playing Dallas is the off-chance that I get to use my favorite pun ever. I love Andrew Desjardins a lot for a player that is, well, you know, not that great, but relying on him to be a huge contributing factor in a game is kind of unrealistic. UNTIL LAST NIGHT WHEN HE SCORED TWO GOALS AGAINST DALLAS, INCLUDING THE GAME WINNER.

That’s right. Desi Did Dallas, and put his back into it.

This weekend we have the second annual California Classic Outdoor Game in Santa Clara, and sadly, I will not be in attendance. I hope that all of you making the trip from Southern California remember to pack a light cardigan, you know, in case there’s a breeze. If it dips below 60, I’ll be praying for you.


5th PLACE, 27-18-12 66 POINTS
@PumperNicholl from The Royal Half

It’s now been over two weeks since the last time the LA Kings lost a game.

This EPIX six-game win streak has catapulted them all the way up to *checks standings* ninth in the Western Conference!

Man, how poorly was this team playing that they’re still out of the playoff picture after that two-week run?

But let’s not focus on the negative. We do that enough on a daily basis. Instead, let’s highlight some of the positives.

Thanks to’s fancy new stats page, we can see how players are trending, which is another way of saying how their stats look in the past 10 days.

Jonathan Quick War Room 2.21.2015


LA Kings Stats War Room 2.21.2015

Anze Kopitar is below Dwight King AND Trevor Lewis? Trade that bum.

Lastly, Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli have meshed so wonderfully this season. Sure, Tanner Pearson and Dwight King have filled in perfectly to create a strong line, but the Carter-Toffoli duo have given the Kings a secondary (or possibly primary) threat that makes the entire Kings’ offense more potent.

Via’s stats, here are the Kings leaders in team goals where both players record a point. AKA when a pair of teammates each contributed a point to goal that was scored:

Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter – 19
Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik – 19
Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter – 13
Anze Kopitar and Jake Muzzin – 11
Dustin Brown and Justin Williams – 9
Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter – 9
Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin – 9
Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar – 9

The Kopitar-Gaborik and Carter-Toffoli duos are miles ahead of everyone else.

And, for seemingly the first time this season, the Kings have two lines that are scoring threats.


6th PLACE, 20-31-7, 47 POINTS
@BrendanPorter from Five For Howling

Hello, San Jose. I am about to partake in your fine city.

Well, Santa Clara, more specifically. I’d rather not be in your city anyway.

You see, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m already in a love-hate relationship with the Arizona Coyotes, but at least there we’ve achieved some stability. We’re the team that somehow managed to go 24:03 without a single shot on net. Against the Colorado Avalanche. How impressive is that?

This impressive.

The highlighted numbers are shots allowed per game, by the way. Though I imagine that clarification isn’t that necessary considering the presence of Buffalo in that graphic.

But here’s what makes our relationship work. The Coyotes have had their downs; their marquee summer acquisition is producing at the rate of a third liner, our shutdown center is done for the year, and our best forward is on the verge of being dealt somewhere else.

Yet, through all of that, I know exactly where the Coyotes stand. The only thing that keeps me up at night is wondering whether or not Connor McDavid will choose to live in Scottsdale or Paradise Valley after Gary Bettman rigs the Draft Lottery for us.

That is the smile of a man planning to crush Canada’s hopes and dreams.

By contrast, you San Joseans will enter your extravaganza outdoors just barely on the inside of a playoff spot, just ahead of the Kings. You have gone 3-5-2 in your past 10 games. Somehow, you are on the verge of finding a way to fail more spectacularly than last season’s first round playoff series. There’s no doubt about Arizona’s spot on the totem pole; San Jose is mired in mediocrity and battling the rising tide of irrelevance.

But I digress. Enjoy the Stadium Series game, Stace!


7th PLACE, 17-32-10, 44 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

Valentine’s Day for the Oilers was a direct parallel to my own Valentine’s Day history: Disappointing, embarrassing and everyone went home unsatisfied.

It was Hockey Day In Canada, and needless to say everyone was super excited!

Bobby Ryan tried his hand at new style of defending

And the Oilers, who are “playing so much better under Todd Nelson” lost 7-2, ending the 2015 Tour Of Ontario being outscored 12-3.

Next, it was off to the worst city in Canada, Winnipeg, where Nail Yakupov made sure to say hi to everyone.

This was one of the most entertaining games of the year, by far. It so physical that even Jeff “Doesn’t Hit So Soft Trade Him” Petry checked Mathieu Perrault so hard he’s probably going to miss the rest of the season.

On a more serious note I’d like to send condolences to Luke Gazdic’s family for their loss.

You will be missed forever Luke, but hopefully they’ll be able to get your soul out of the MTS Centre rafters here very soon.

#ELPH continued to roll on with a full head of steam.

Viktor Fasth ended up twisting himself into a pretzel during the shootout, potentially ending his season early (congrats on getting out while you still could Viktor!), and even though the Oilers lost, everyone had a ton of fun.


Leon Draisaitl continues to feel the effects of having his entire career completely derailed by spending half a season in the NHL.

And finally, it was back home to Edmonton for the first game at Rexall Place in almost two weeks. This ended up being another fairly entertaining game, albeit at the expense of the spiralling Boston Bruins.

Ben Scrivens put on a great performance in his first game back after a stint on the IR. He played so well he even decided to chip in on the defense a little.

Milan Lucic on the other hand? Well, his game left a little to be desired…

The Oilers, as they’re prone to do, coughed up a 3-1 lead, and this game needed to be decided in a shootout. And boy, was it ever a shootout….

After the 10th shooter I started to get REALLY into it!

But thankfully after what seemed like a straight hour of guys shooting it into Rask and Scriven’s pads, an unlikely hero emerged to save us all, with a move that I’m sure every player in the NHL will be trying next season.


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