PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 2.15.16

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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 February 8th, 2016!!

 

LOS ANGELES KINGS
1st PLACE, 33-19-3, 69 POINTS (NICE)
@TheRoyalHalf from The Royal Half

Ahh, the LA Kings annual “Grammy Trip”, where the team is forced to spend 10 days on the road because for some reason unknown to most people, the Grammy’s are still a thing. Well, what’s the worst that could happOH GOD NOOOOOOOO

Well, at least it can’t get worse than Jon Quick getting injurOH GOD NOOOOO WHY NOOOO WHYYYYYY

Well, at least the anticipated release of a hot new album caught all of the Pacific Division’s attention this week…

And also this happened:

KurzBrazil

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Tweet out your best!

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS
2nd PLACE, 29-20-5, 63 POINTS
@sharkdressedmen

So the Sharks had a hell of a week. Blanking the Blackhawks, failing and then nearly outlasting the Flames in a shootout, and absolute domination of the Desert Dogs, who only managed 1 shot in the 3rd period of their game Saturday.

But I’ve come to the realization that I’m selfish, so this week’s write up will be all about me and the cool times I’ve had. I expect the past few days to be made into a movie that’ll be bundled as a double feature with “The Untitled John Scott Movie” and blow the doors off the domestic box office record (Suck my dick, Disney).

TITLE CARD:

What you are about to watch is an accurate depiction of real events. Out of respect for those who survived the ordeal, the names and locations have not been altered.

Viewer’s discretion is advised.

FADE IN:

EXT: SAP Center-Night

CUT TO:

INT: SAP Center

A hockey game is being played between the Sharks and Calgary Flames. It’s a Thursday night. We cut to the broadcast feed of the home team and find two men in suits casually watching the game; what they are discussion is unknown:

Their presence, now known to only a handful of people who watch the broadcast feed, yields a top secret mission. A mission which could decide the fate of a transmission of yet unknown importance:

Brodie ScreenShot

The meeting place had been determined. What would happen now? Unsure of the nature of their mission, the suited men issued a warning:

What awaited them at the rendezvous? Only God knew.

CROSS DISSOLVE TO:
INT: SAP Center-A few days later

Our suited heroes now number 4. Hoping to move through the building undetected, they warn their enemies of what will come:

After grabbing several rounds of liquid courage, our heroes ventured deep undercover, only to be stopped by uncountable numbers of random strangers asking for pictures. [Like, seriously, I think we took a good dozen or so before the game even started.] Their cover now blown, they could only hope that they could make it to the meeting place in time.

But lo! There are two entrances to section 110. And only 1 minute until 1900 Hours. How could they possibly make it in time? A bright light flashes, illuminating a previously hidden location. They spot their target with mere seconds prior to transmission. Locking eyes, the contact gives them signals to indicate when to initiate the strike plan they had crafted only minutes before. And strike they did. [The government is still tracking down footage of this event. We can re-shoot this once the funding comes through]:

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DOC EMRICK [Off Screen]:
“What Chaos!”

And indeed, it was chaos the likes of which we may never see again.

FADE TO BLACK

END
 

ANAHEIM DUCKS
3rd PLACE, 27-19-8, 62 POINTS
@EarlSleek

Sorry, gang, I’m going to need a moment to cope. For the first time since this War Room rebooted, the Ducks didn’t win all their games this week. In fact, the week started with a good old-fashioned drubbing by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who Crosbied the Ducks 6-2. It sadly ended both Anaheim’s 6-game winning streak and Ryan Garbutt’s personal 17-game winning streak. :(

Then the Ducks traveled to Philadelphia, where they resumed their winning ways. Rickard Rakell, a minus-four the night before in Pittsburgh, scored two first-period goals, and Chris Stewart added a penalty-shot goal as Anaheim once again shredded the Flyers 4-1.

The next game in Columbus wasn’t very good, but the Ducks did still manage to build a 3-1 lead in the third period, only to blow it in a shootout. Anaheim not only lost a standings point in that game, but Chris Stewart also got his jaw broken in a second-period fight – ouch!

The Ducks ended their week in Chicago, and even though it took more than two periods to get a puck past Corey Crawford, Anaheim won in overtime (!) on a power play goal (!) scored by Ryan Getzlaf (!). It’s shocking because the Ducks still have yet to score a 3-on-3 goal that wasn’t in an All Star game – this 4-on-3 winner gave Anaheim its first OT win of the season.

Even with the losses (which are a tad expected on this crazy 7-game trip), the Ducks continue to pull away from the non-California portion of the Pacific Division. They can’t seem to quite catch the Sharks, but their run of 15-4-2 since Christmas, with four of those losses coming against eastern conference teams, has certainly put them decently in the Pacific’s top three. Who knows? We may even get a decent divisional race down the stretch – wait up, Kings! :)

Pacific Pursuit

On the bright side, at least nobody in the Pacific lost their head coaching job this week.

 

ARIZONA COYOTES
4th PLACE, 25-24-6, 56 POINTS
@CataCarryOn

The Arizona Coyotes have been slowly slipping down the standings over the second half of the season, regressing back to where we *kind of* expected them to be at the start of the year – out of the playoffs.

There’s a lot to love about this season, but we didn’t see much of that last week. Let’s break it down:

Coyotes vs. Canucks: 2-1 Loss

Ryan Miller has been consistently hovering just below average for the last season or so, which means that he played lights-out against the Coyotes when the Canucks came to town for the team’s first game of the week on Wednesday.

I want to say that I hated this, but I really didn’t. It was a game that the Coyotes looked good in, but fell due to strong goaltending on the other side of the ice – it was a solid game for rookie Louis Domingue, it was a solid possession game for everyone, and it was just a bad break.

Would two points – or even one point – have been nice? Sure. But with prizes like Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, and Jacob Chychrun on the table over the summer, it’s hard to get too upset about a well-played losing game.

Coyotes vs. Flames: 4-1 Win

Get ready for the salt, Calgary.

A Flames fan I know informed me that this was a losing game for Calgary from the start, because they came off a back-to-back where they had to stay in San Jose overnight or something. I don’t know. I don’t really care.

The bottom line is that this would have been a 5-1 game if the situation room hadn’t called down and complained that the Coyotes didn’t actually score short-handed, and that’s a bad loss. Read it and weep, Calgary, this is not a playoff year for either of us.

Calgary vs. San Jose: 4-1 Loss

Joe Pavelski kills Coyotes. The Sharks are pretty good.

That’s about all I can say.

Fun Extras:

This also happened:

Finally, fun but irrelevant:


 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
5th PLACE, 22-21-12, 56 POINTS
@JDylanBurke from Canucks Army

Only the Vancouver Canucks can win two of three games in the span of a week and make it look like an unmitigated disaster. The crown jewel of this turd being Saturday’s performance against the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate, wherein they managed to look terrible in what is regarded by many as their best threads in franchise history. You do you, Canucks.

Who cares about the wins and losses at this point though. There are so many bigger fish to fry. Alex Burrows is apparently willing to waive his NTC if he’s approached by the Canucks, which makes sense because he might be the least valuable of the Canucks veterans at this stage. At least the ones they haven’t sent to the AHL anyways.

Then there’s the matter of meddling ownership, which is apparently a thing. Elliotte Friedman dropped the bombshell that there might be a disconnect between management and the owners. This is terrible news. The Canucks need a rebuild in the worst way and it appears as though the only thing standing in the way is Francesco Acquilini.

I feel like the Canucks are in a tailspin not so dissimilar to the Maple Leafs in the Dave Nonis, Randy Carlyle era. Like, holy hell this is getting bad.

Speaking of the Maple Leafs, the Canucks are apparently going to be right in the thick of the Steven Stamkos sweepstakes which is cool because that would upset the hell out of Maple Leafs fans.

Also, Sven Baertschi is a beautiful and amazing man and good at the hockey.
 

CALGARY FLAMES
6th PLACE, 25-26-3, 53 POINTS
@MikeFAIL from Flames Nation

Last week capped off with two of Calgary’s large adult children and one of Calgary’s small adult children being healthy scratched for disciplinary reasons. Oh god, the sky is falling, young adults making mistakes how will we ever live? A lot of speculation and junk about why and how this could happen as these three men are professional athletes occurred. There was lots of chatter about what triggered it and no one really knows the truth yet. Initially people (myself included) blamed consummate pillar of coaching ineptitude Bob Hartley for this. When you take the fervent desire to see him turfed out of the equation it pans out like this: good on Bob for doing it. This is the only moment I praise him for anything.

And in turn, they barely beat a team engineered to fail. Yes, a team whose top-two centers for the game were Peter Holland and AHL legend/Mike Sillinger impersonator Mark Arcobello. Words literally escape me. Of course the media was certain to aptly praise for Hartley for having the cojones for coming to such an obvious ends to the means of the situation. Regardless, the Flames took their fathers on a road trip as they ventured out to California in search of gold. For that, they were treated to an 11 goal effort between two of the Trashcific’s finest. Karri Ramo died at the end of the game and Jonas Hiller saved the day. Only briefly I might add.

Things dramatically took a turn for the blurst when the Coyotes led by Shane Doan, a man who has gotten away with hurting more players than scoring goals finally became the leading scorer in franchise history. It must be hard sleeping at night knowing how many late hits, how many elbows, and how many headshots you’ve been responsible for. Good for you for this moment; we all collectively forgot about how much malice you play with. Thanks to great commentator Corey Hirsch for waxing every poetic ever written about you too. I’m sure viewers were really receptive to this.

When are the Flames getting Auston Matthews again?
 

EDMONTON OILERS
7th PLACE, 22-29-6, 50 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

It took Connor McDavid 19 games into his NHL career to score 5 points in one game.

Connor McDavid is SO GOOD that it took Jordan Eberle six games of playing with McDavid to score a hat trick, something he had yet to accomplish in SIX FULL SEASONS prior!

With 12 points in the 7 games back since breaking his collarbone Connor McDavid is now two points away from once again being in the top 10 of rookie scoring.

This has been your weekly Connor McDavid Update.

 

TRH WILD CARD WATCH™

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Suck it, Atlantic.

Thanks to all the amazing Pacific Division Bloggers. Check back next week for another edition of Pacific War Room! You can check out past editions of Pacific War Room here!

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.