PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 3.6.15
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 March 6th, 2015!
1st PLACE, 42-17-7, 91 POINTS
I guess I should start talking about the trades, because Bob Murray had himself a whale of a deadline. Last week, he traded for some skilled forwards in Jiri Sekac and Tomas Fleischmann. On deadline day, he bolstered the blueline – James Wisniewski, Simon Despres and Korbinian Holzer were all brought in. There was some real cost in there – Devante Smith-Pelly and William Karlsson were good prospects, and in Ben Lovejoy I’ve lost my favorite Ducks interview. But, the Ducks kept their first round pick, held onto their coveted prospects, brought in some useful players, and were able to shed a lot of dead weight, too. Dany Heatley? Traded. Eric Brewer? Traded. Rene Bourque? Traded. Ilya Bryzgalov? Retired.
Sekac, Fleischmann and Despres have already played some games for the Ducks, and all have looked pretty great. Fleischmann has been playing with Kesler and Silfverberg, while Sekac has been dangerous on a kid line with Rakell and Etem. Despres has paired up with Fowler, and they already seem to have figured each other out. Boudreau has lots of options to work with in the coming weeks, especially as Wisniewski, Beleskey and Vatanen work their way back into the lineup.
In the meantime, the Ducks won all four games this week, too, which isn’t that crazy, but all of them were multiple-goal wins, which is crazy! Suddenly Anaheim has learned to hit empty nets from all over the place. Last week, Hampus Lindholm banked one off the glass from his own end into an empty net against the Flames. This week, Corey Perry did a trick lob shot into an empty net against the Kings, then Cam Fowler scored a full-length one-hopper against the Canadiens.
And for a second straight week, after having quiet starts to games, the Ducks scored like crazy in the 3rd period. Shooting percentage by period, last 8 games:
First period: 4 goals on 82 shots, 5%
Second period: 3 goals on 74 shots, 4%
Third period: 18 goals on 74 shots, 24% (!)
Even if you pull out the four empty net goals, that’s still 20% shooting in third periods. Hahaha, whatever, yay! Back to the top of the league!
I guess I didn’t need to include the coyote or the oil can in this toon, but when you’re this far ahead, it’s tough to gauge distances. :)
2nd PLACE, 36-24-4, 76 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army
Not sure what kind of deal the Canucks has made with the Oilers, but they have now lost to both the Sabres and the Coyotes in the same week.
Looks like Canucks are playing the role of Poland in this one:
A summary of the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline. pic.twitter.com/Z8jybtQaWz
— petbugs (@petbugs13) March 2, 2015
But speaking of the trade deadline, it was pretty quiet on the Western front. Although that shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone that hear Canucks’ GM in the week leading up to the deadline. Jim Benning was looking to improve the current team without undermining the future.
Uh, yeah, hope you had a nice day off, then, Jim:
Benning did make a couple of trades, solidifying the Canucks’ organization chances at a Cup. The Calder Cup, that is.
The Utica Coments added Cory Conacher and Sven Baertschi to their line-ups thanks to Benning’s deadline deals.
That scream you just heard belongs to @bookofloob…
First game: Sven scores 3 goals, blocks 2 shots, delivers a baby, cures cancer, leaves in the 2nd with a high ankle sprain
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) March 7, 2012
Goddamn Baertschi is fun to watch. He's so fluid, and everything looks effortless. Hard not to get excited about the kid
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) November 2, 2012
I think someday Baertschi and Monahan will share a brain like they're Sedins or something. We'll call them Svean Baertcshahan
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) October 10, 2013
Or maybe share a brain WITH the Sedins?
I want Sven to make it with the Flames, just so I don't look like an idiot for getting his number on the back of my jersey
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) April 10, 2014
Don’t worry, nobody thinks you’re an idiot because you have Sven’s number on your jersey…
One day we're going to live in a world where Gaudreau, Bennett, Monahan, Brodie, Sven, and probably Eichel all play for the Calgary Flames
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) October 1, 2014
Well, there’s still hope for Eichel, I guess.
Baertschi's playing with the focus of a man who realizes he's probably about to get traded
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) November 14, 2014
Sven Baertschi hat trick is my spirit animal
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) February 11, 2015
Hope to see your spirit animal make lots of appearances!
Anyone want to buy and destroy a Baertschi 47 Flames jersey? This is the worst day ever
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) March 2, 2015
3rd PLACE, 35-25-4, 74 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation
/rips up original post
That shootout winner happened earlier Thursday night and it was so pretty I want to talk about literally nothing else.
So we can talk about how David Schlemko scored the game-winning shootout goal in his Flames debut after being claimed on waivers earlier in the week.
We can talk about how his debut was necessitated by the season ending injury to Flames captain Mark Giordano, which basically spells the end of the season. (OR DOES IT??!?!!?!!)
We can talk about how the injury to Gio showcases the overall ineptitude of the rest of the defense outside of T.J. Brodie, who is the greatest (and, funnily enough, David Schlemko). Or how Gio being gone anchors Brodie with Deryk Engelland, who has immediately dragged Brodie down in ways that Schlemko never would, and this is all stupid and how the hell is this team ever going to survive without it’s best player when it’s grip on it’s own destiny was already so goddamn tenuous to begin with.
Sorry, let’s get back on track.
We can talk about how his name is DAVID. SCHLEMKO.
We can talk about his of course obvious and immediate new nickname that probably isn’t the least bit new:
— 'C' of Stats (@cofstats) March 6, 2015
(That’s going to stick)
If you want, we can go into detail about how the goal wrapped up another win for this surprising and fun team and makes it that much harder for your unnamed Southern California hockey team named after some sort of monarchy to qualify for the postseason. (Seriously Kings, can you not? You’ve had your fun.)
Anyway, people are really excited about the Schlemko era:
I'm still laughing. Let's all go order Schlemko jerseys
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) March 6, 2015
New Arena for Calgary #Flames. proposed name Schlemko dome
— Sam (@sam_corea) March 6, 2015
David Schlemko has now officially passed Brennan Evans on the list of most popular Flames
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) March 6, 2015
The boys will be getting a little Schlemko’d after that winner tonight
— Dave Hutchinson (@davehutch51) March 6, 2015
Surely, this is going to be sustainable, and David Schlemko is going to surpass, let’s say Brett Carson as the best defenseman to wear No. 3 in Flames history. Hope you guys are enjoying Robyn Regehr. Also he’s going to score 50 goals down the stretch. And fix the power play in ways that Giordano never could. And I don’t know, let’s say he figures out cancer and gets us all calling them the Phoenix Coyotes again.
It’s going to not suck.
Anyway, if you want to read my thoughts on everything else that happened, I got nothing for you. I was in California watching my pal Stace get married and it was awesome and I didn’t see the Flames do anything, which, you know, was probably OK. Anyway, I was in your state, now I’m gone. Maybe you’ll want to disinfect it. It did snow after I left, so who knows what else I’m capable of?
A lot, but not as much as David Schlemko.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
4th PLACE, 31-21-12 74 POINTS
@PumperNicholl from The Royal Half
The LA Kings finished off their eight-game win streak by immediately losing three in a row because they like torturing their fans and teasing the rest of the teams in the NHL that are hoping they miss the playoffs.
Naturally, the Kings responded by winning back-to-back games over the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens.
I love and hate this team so much.
Still, the Kings find themselves outside of the playoff picture.
They no longer have games in hand on the Calgary Flames or Vancouver Canucks, and are now only two points up on the San Jose Sharks.
This is how it will be til the end of the season.
The Kings will tempt fate by blowing winnable games…
…and eking out the close ones.
We’ll all pull our hair out and then the playoffs will start.
…I just hope the Kings make it.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
5th PLACE, 32-25-8, 72 POINTS
@stace_ofbase from Battle of California
What a roller coaster it has been the past week for your friends, the San Jose Sharks. We saw the departures of Andrew Desjardins, Tyler Kennedy, James Sheppard, Tye McGinn and Freddie Hamilton, via the trade deadline. The Sharks seemed to be surprise sellers, rather than attempting to gather the missing pieces to help them attempt to maybe make the playoffs.
The Sharks managed to nab Ben Smith from the Blackhawks but failed to fix any defensive or goaltender woes because #shorks. Rinse, wash, repeat! The season might as well just end for the Sharks, as they continued to suc-HEY wait, they played Canadian teams this week!
San Jose Sharks vs. Montreal Canadiens, 4-0
This game had it all: A shut out, a Patrick Marleau goal (looks like our little sugar plum has finally broken his slump) and a John Scott misconduct! Not to mention Smith, who was a Blackhawk earlier that morning, made his debut in teal and scored the first goal of the game. This game also fueled the Sharks’ fans who like to choose sides when it comes to our mediocre goaltending and that feud is as fiery as ever!
/starts making rough sketch of parade route
San Jose Sharks @ Vancouver Canucks, 6-2
The very next night, San Jose provided Vancouver with a mild-to-moderate spanking and 11 different Sharks had points on the scoresheet. I would be excited about this, but it’s Vancouver — it’s not like they have any capability to not completely embarrass themselves at the hands of a California team.
I am thankful for Vancouver though, because without them, San Jose would be the most shell shocked team in the Pacific Division! Bless yer hearts, you lil car flippin’ Vancouverites.
/dips quill in blood, traces parade route
The Sharks are working hard to close the gap between them and the other playoff bubble teams, only to be eliminated on the last day of the season due to a bullshit tiebreaker. Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, San Jose and the Sharks, San Jose and the Sharks.
This weekend the Sharks complete the second half of a home-and-home against the Vancouver Canucks, which will be moderately successful, as they continue to set up their fans for excitement and knock them all down like the brainless dominoes that we are. To quote the late, great Kurt Vonnegut, “so it goes.”
I leave you with this, the only thing that matters in hockey and in life:
— Alleged Dickhead (@MegalodonBOC) March 3, 2015
6th PLACE, 21-37-7, 49 POINTS
@BrendanPorter from Five For Howling
There’s so many people on this Coyotes team that I don’t know.
After the trade deadline where General Manager Don Maloney shipped off everything and everyone that wasn’t bolted down, Arizona welcomed newcomers Klas Dahlbeck, John Moore, Craig Cunningham and Tye McGinn to the fold, and promptly acquainted them with Arizona traditions by losing 4-1 to the Anaheim Ducks.
The losing is wearing on everyone, including forever Coyote Shane Doan. When Doan sounds like he’s getting ready to jump ship, that’s not exactly a sign of good times ahead.
At least Doan is still a team player in the Pacific Division by demonstrating his willingness to beat the crap out of Ryan Getzlaf
Maybe everyone just needs a break from the losing. Something fresh and new. And what says “fresh and new” quite like hearkening back to 1996?
Let’s be real, deep down you wanted this.
The Coyotes won 3-2 in the shootout versus Vancouver, in a game that they led 2-0 going into the third. Vintage!
Of course, leave it to our exalted overlords TRH to remind us that sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
— The Royal Half (@theroyalhalf) March 6, 2015
Coyotes get LA’s sloppy (emphasis on sloppy) seconds in the form of the Montreal Canadiens this Saturday, before playing the Predators, Blackhawks and Devils all in a row. Can April hurry up and get here?
7th PLACE, 18-36-10, 46 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation
This week started with a visit from the St. Louis Blues, and with those guys in town you know the Oilers were just JASKIN for trouble!! *stoned to death in a public square*
I didn’t get a chance to do this during the game on Twitter, but it’s time for every Oiler fan’s favorite game:
THIS GUY SCORED!
In terms of a game against the Blues the Oilers did pretty OK! In the sense that they didn’t give up the game-winning goal on a soft play until the last five minutes! Great job everyone!
Trade Deadline Monday saw us say goodbye to a good friend who I will miss dearly.
That day also saw Oiler fans fall in love with Craig MacTavish all over again!
Finally the LA Kings stopped by for a visit, and I was actually at this game. The following is a recap of my night:
Great fun was had by all and everyone went home happy! I mean, except for the Oilers and their fans, who all went home thoroughly embarrassed. I MEAN GOD DAMMIT LOOK AT THIS JEFF CARTER GOAL! HE GAVE ALMOST ZERO EFFORT! AND THEY WERE SHORTHANDED!!!!!!
Thankfully traffic after the game was NOT an issue!
— Jeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) March 4, 2015
Chicago tonight, which should DEFINITELY help the Oilers stay in the race for McEichel. DON’T EVEN START TO THINK YOU ARE GETTING ONE OF THEM ARIZONA! BACK OFF! You too, Leaf fans! Although your delusions are hilarious as always.
TRH WILD CARD WATCH™
— Alice Cooper (@RealAliceCooper) March 6, 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!