PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 3.27.15

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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 March 27th, 2015!

 

ANAHEIM DUCKS
1st PLACE, 47-22-7, 101 POINTS
@EarlSleek

The Ducks won some games (by one goal) and lost some games (by many goals) this week, but who’s really paying that much attention anymore? None of them were against Pacific Division opponents, so whatever.

Instead, there’s another trend I thought I’d take a look at today – Anaheim vs. the other conference. Check out this split, especially the last stat.

Anaheim vs. the West: 46 gp, 32-9-5, .750 win pct, 2.83 GF/gm, 2.35 GA/gm

Anaheim vs. the East: 30 gp, 15-13-2, .533 win pct, 2.80 GF/gm, 3.33 GA/gm

When playing against Eastern Conference opponents this season, the Ducks have surrendered basically an extra goal per game! Anaheim has surrendered 108 goals this season to Western Conference opponents and 100 goals to Eastern Conference opponents. Just going to guess that’s probably the most balanced set of by-conference goals-against totals in the league. And while the Ducks’ overall goal differential has never been impressive this season, I guess it’s worth noting that they are +22 against the West and -16 against the East.

And even that Eastern record is pretty split, too. If you look at the Ducks vs. Eastern teams not in contention (Buffalo, Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Toronto) and compare it against the rest of the East, it gets even worse.

ANA vs. bottom 6 Eastern teams: 11 gp, 9-2-0, .818 win pct, 3.73 GF/gm, 2.45 GA/gm

ANA vs. top 10 Eastern teams: 19 gp, 6-11-2, .368 win pct, 2.26 GF/gm, 3.84 GA/gm

So basically, Ducks fans, brace yourselves. We’re pretty fucked once we get to the Stanley Cup Finals. :)

 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
2nd PLACE, 43-27-4, 90 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army

Well, you would think this was a good week for your loveable Canuckleheads, but I’m here to tell you different.

Sure, you they looked impressive on the scoreboard, but that’s not where games are played, dummy!

The Canucks scored 13 goals over the four games they played this week, but five of them were into an empty net. Let’s recap the week:

  • First, they eked out an immoral victory against the Kings.
  • Then they did just barely enough to beat the Coyotes.
  • Did hardly anything against the Jets, but somehow walked away with a win after being down 2-0.
  • Finally, they took it down another notch and did even less against Colorado, handing them a 3-0 lead going into the third period.

You are not the Calgary Flames, people!

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The Worst Lead In Hockey

Speaking of the Flames, I’m officially in on the bandwagon.

I know this is anathema to Canucks’ fans, but look at it this way. A first round matchup against the Kings is a waste of everyone’s time. The only real hope of advancing is if they wind up playing Calgary. Yes, this means that by hoping that Calgary gets in, it’s one less playoff spot for the Canucks, but so be it. If they’re going to get swept out of the first round by the Kings, might was well take that 1 percent shot at McDavid instead.

The intent of the playoffs is not just to make it in, but to advance a round and hopefully get on a roll. So yeah, bring on the Flames. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

 

LOS ANGELES KINGS
3rd PLACE, 37-23-14 88 POINTS
@PumperNicholl from The Royal Half

The sitcom-drama that is the LA Kings season continues to march forward and it’s getting more and more ridiculous.

The Kings could have made a huge jump in the standings last weekend against the Canucks. Hell, they even led 1-0. Then Tyler Toffoli did something really dumb and the Kings ended up losing to a team just ahead of them in the playoff race. Good job. Good effort.

With only a few games left in their season, Dean Lombardi felt the team needed something a bit drastic to get back on the right track.


Christmas came early for Kings fans.

This was a very desperate team that was about to embark on a five-game road trip, where their record was an unimpressive 12-14-7.

So, of course, that meant that the Kings would find a way to win their first three games and leapfrog the Flames into third place in the Pacific Division.



Wins over the Devils, Rangers and Islanders have the team looking like a contender again — And I don’t just mean a contender for the playoffs.

OH GOD THEY’RE GOING TO LOSE THE REST OF THEIR GAMES, AREN’T THEY?!

 

CALGARY FLAMES
4th PLACE, 40-27-7, 87 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation

/rips up original post
/again

So instead of trying to figure out if the Flames are going to make the playoffs based on how this last home stretch of the season is going (spoiler alert: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯), I thought I’d delve into something just unimaginable this week, because I still can’t really believe it happened.

Holy shit, you mean Deryk Engelland scored? THE Deryk Engelland? That can’t be.

My God, I never thought I’d see the day.

I mean except for that day, I guess.

Yes, Engelland finally scored, becoming the last regularly dressed member of your Calgary Flames (note: ugh) to score a goal, and I mean, I just don’t know where you go fro

I’m sorry what?

Are you guys fucking with me, are you trying to tell me ol DERK scored two?

/dies

So if you want to know, and I know you do, Engelland’s two goals cost the Flames 1.5 million per, which is, I don’t need to tell you, totally worth it. Giordano, please move along, there is a new sheriff in town.

So if you want a list of notable NHLers Engelland is now outscoring,well, there’s not really any of them, because the season is almost over and that’s ridiculous. I mean, I can throw out a few names if you’d like, guys like Manny Malhotra, the incomparable Shawn Thornton, the veritable BRANDON BOLLIG, Travis Moen, Tanner Glass, a veritable who’s that of scoring.

But what does it all mean?

Well, if you believe in omens, nothing, seeing as the Flames lost that game to a conference rival that is still very much in the race (though the Flames did earn the loser point on Engelland’s effort, which is, I think, very fitting), and all the teams that Calgary needs to lose somehow keep winning. Looking at you Kings, you selfish bastards.

Seriously, why can’t anyone beat THE JETS? You know they’re from Winnipeg right, a city known for murders and Slurpees and oh my god did the Guess Who ever suck. This should be automatic. Like the weapons ‘Peggers use to off each other with, or the tone in Burton Cumming’s voice.

Anyway, what does the coming week of Calgary Flames hockey hold in store? Panic, despair, shortness of breath, the eating of feelings, and an underlying sense of dread I, I mean the team, cannot seem to escape.

Playing games this late in the season that actually has something on the line beyond pride sure is something, isn’t it?

Please kill me now. Winnipeg me.

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS
5th PLACE, 36-30-8, 80 POINTS
@stace_ofbase from Battle of California

The Sharks now have 74 games in the books for the season and goddammit, why are there still eight games left?

Cameron Frye is the greatest character of all time. We’re all in agreement? Good.

Now I know how Jeanshorts feels having to write about the Oilers week in and week out… (Not really, I’ll never know *that*)

The Sharks lost an embarrassing game against the Senators on Monday, because of that new hot goaltender Darrell Hammond, who apparently took a new career path after he stuck with Saturday Night Live for way too long. Anyway, San Jose lost 5-2, and the last minute tank seems to be going just swimmingly /misses symbol. This is a team that at one point was in second place in the division.

The Red Wings lost an embarrassing game against the Sharks on Thursday, because of that terrible old goaltender Ron Howard, who apparently took a new career path after he attempted to tarnish Arrested Development with a so-so fourth season. Anyway, San Jose won 6-4, and the last minute playoff push seems to be making a splash /flushes toilet. A team that at one point was in sixth place in the division (the Pacific Division has been terrible since after the Olympic Break last season, by the by) is now in fifth in the Pacific, but don’t have the talent to climb any higher than that. They can’t do anything right.

Shorks play Flyera and Penguins this weekend. May the band-aid ripping of a season continue to be long and painful.

 

EDMONTON OILERS
6th PLACE, 21-40-13, 55 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

The Oilers are winning games or picking up pity points on a regular basis now and are currently playing their way out of a top three draft pick. No one talk to me, I’m sulking!

pouting

 

ARIZONA COYOTES
7th PLACE, 23-44-8, 54 POINTS
@CarlPutnam from Five For Howling

Arizona started the week with a plausible chance of finishing in last place in the league. They proceeded to keep their chances alive, by losing on back-to-back nights by the score of 3-1 to the Pens and Canucks and did so in spectacular fashion.

Mike Smith is the maestro of the Butt Goal!

The last third of Smith’s campaign has been quite good bad, but continued goofs like this one aren’t going to help improve his tender rep.

Speaking of guys whose rep have taken a hit in recent years…

Waiting for the defense to show up is a surefire way to decrease your team’s chances of scoring. Martin Erat wasn’t the only guy with issues during the game.

The squad from the desert rolled their McEichel tank into the Joe on Tuesday night. The franchise which has ruined Coyotes fan’s playoff dreams more than any other preceded to add another log on the bonfire of misery. The Wings gave up five goals, including two to Dave Moss who had one goal for the entire season coming into the contest, to the second worst scoring club in the entire league. The other tread came off in a more likely spot, First Niagra Center.

It was the 29th and 30th worst teams in the league playing one another, so you really don’t need to know anything more than the final score do you? 4-3 Yotes won in OT.

Smith’s personal winning streak wasn’t the big story coming out of the win. The large swath of Sabres fans pulling for the Coyotes to win apparently was.

Sabres (and Coyotes) fans would prefer Connor McDavid to a meaningless win in the midst of an awful season. The nerve of them!!!

While the Coyotes’ draft tank may be smoldering in a ditch somewhere in Western New York, there were a bunch of positive takeways for the future this week.

Even with Buffalo seemingly winning the tank battle, let’s not forget it’s still a lottery.

The guys on the bench have never given up.

The only truly elite player currently on Arizona’s roster is making sure the rest of the league doesn’t forget about him.

Ekman-Awesome also now leads the club in goals and points. He’s got 420 minutes (assuming no OT) left to tie or break Housley’s franchise record. This means Desert Dog devotees have something to cheer about for the next two weeks other than all the Arizona prospects playing in the CHL playoffs and the Oilers.

 

TRH WILD CARD WATCH™

Pacific War Room Standings 3.27.2015

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