PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 3.7.16

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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 March 7th, 2016!!

 

ANAHEIM DUCKS
1st PLACE, 37-19-8, 82 POINTS
@EarlSleek

Hello, top of the page! For the first time all season, the Ducks woke up yesterday morning in sole possession of first place in the Pacific. What an insane turnaround on the Ducks’ season – perhaps I can quantify it this way:

Even if Anaheim were to lose ALL of its remaining 18 games and were to score ZERO goals for the rest of the season, they STILL would have more wins, goals, and power play goals in the second half of the season than they did in the first half. And in those categories, it’s not even that close:

Half Seasons Table

This week featured yet another three wins, which pushed Anaheim’s current winning streak to a franchise-best 11 games and helped propel Bruce Boudreau to his 400th career victory. On Wednesday, the Ducks edged the Montreal Canadiens, though not terribly impressively – after tying the game at 2 on a late power play, Anaheim was able to win with one goal in the shootout. Still, wins are wins, and in this hunt for the Pacific, every point counts.

On Thursday, the Ducks traveled to Arizona, and even though Ryan Getzlaf was a gametime injury scratch, the Coyotes managed to soften the blow by giving Niklas Treutle his first career start in net. It didn’t go well for him – two shots into the game his team was down 2-0, including a puck Treutle gave away behind his net to allow newcomer Jamie McGinn to score his second goal in his first two games as a Duck. The game ended 5-1 Anaheim, which hurt enough feelings that Max Domi channeled his inner father Tie, picking up an instigator penalty for losing his mind against Ryan Garbutt at the end of the game.

That win set up a huge game on Saturday at Staples Center, with the Ducks and Kings both atop the division at 80 standings points.

And yup, the Ducks won that one, too, 3-2 on the strength of a 2-for-2 power play performance, validating both me and Royal Half’s baby. With the win, the Ducks finally were able to pass the Kings in the standings, pretty impressive given the deficit they overcame:

Oh well, at least Kings fans can take solace that it’s still a 3-team race for the 3 Pacific Division spots. Thanks, non-California! :)


 

LOS ANGELES KINGS
2nd PLACE, 38-22-4, 80 POINTS
@TheRoyalHalf from The Royal Half

Ugh, 2nd place. And even worse than the LA Kings season-long grasp on 1st Place slipping away… is that the Anaheim Ducks Social Media Team™ is gloating about it. Or at least their unfunny version of gloating.

HA! I get it, just like the mirror on a car! Great #content, boys.

No, the Staples Center is double-booked because
professional sports teams ACTUALLY want to play in Los Angeles.

No matter what happens with the rest of the NHL Season… the Social Media Team in Anaheim is pumped!

Sounds like they are really pumped!

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS
3rd PLACE, 35-23-6, 76 POINTS
@sharkdressedmen

Hockey Round up:

The Sharks have continued doing what they’ve been doing this year: Winning on the road and losing at home. While they did blow up the Canadiens 6-2 on Monday and won the 2nd of 3 games against the Canucks this week 3-2 in Vancouver, the Sharks dropped the rematch Saturday in San Jose. Like I’ve said before, this team is fine when playing on the road. And their league-leading 23 wins in road games backs that up. Unfortunately, there are only 4 road
games left in the month of March.

But at least the front office is trying to find ways to create home ice advantage again:

In other totally expected news, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Brent Burns continue to tear up the stat sheets. The lower lines are doing their part, though not always at the same time or when it’s most critically needed. Consistency from all 4 lines and 3 D pairs is going to be absolutely critical in this final month. Coach Peter DeBoer continues to juggle the lines to find the optimum configuration for this team, but the reality is that those three main guys account for 180 of 508 individual points (35%) recorded by Sharks’ players. It’s great that Jumbo, Pavs, and Burnsie keep rolling but if the depth scoring only shows up when it wants to, this team will not get very far in a playoff environment.

Fashion Round Up:

Did you see the World Cup of Hockey jerseys? If not, here they are.

And now the Pacific War Room Fashion Blog Hottakes:

Winners: Canada, Sweden, Russia
Meh: Czech Republic
Losers: USA, Finland
Fucking Kill Yourself: North America, Europe

As always, Canada, Tre Kronor, and The Red Machine have sweet threads. The Czech is basic, but not horrible. The US whites are pretty ok, but the home jersey shield just plain sucks. In the Finnish jersey, nothing flows together at all and I don’t see the Nordic Cross represented in any sense.

The North American jersey logo looks like an anarchist group bent on cutting James Bond in half with a really slow moving laser and the color scheme reflects nothing about North America. The two-tone European jersey is another atrocity and forcing a hockey stick in the logo is “EA ‘My Custom Team’ generic logo” bad.

When will Adidas stop fucking things up?
 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
4th PLACE, 25-27-12, 62 POINTS
@JDylanBurke from Canucks Army

The Vancouver Canucks had an eventful week, insofar as they were roasted nationally for having so uneventful a week. The trade deadline came and passed without the Canucks so much as dipping their toes. Unless, of course, you count trading Hunter Shinkaruk for Markus Granlund and dealing a fourth-round pick for a defender not good enough to crack the Oilers. Those moves happened about a week before the deadline, though, so they don’t count.

Dan Hamhuis waived his no-trade. He did so a week in advance. Not good enough, clearly. The Stars wanted him. They met the Canucks demands for two prospects and third-round. The Canucks returned the call, upping the demands on both the propsects and picks.

I hate this team.

I think the Canucks played a couple hockey games this week, but really, who cares? They won some, they lost some… All of them involved Californian teams, save for one against the New York Islanders.

Looks like we’re bringing a big Russian defence prospect over from the KHL. That’s cool. Nikita Tryamkin, in fact. Yup. He’s large.

Can’t this season just euthanise itself?
 

ARIZONA COYOTES
5th PLACE, 28-31-6, 62 POINTS
@CataCarryOn

*this blurb has been brought to you by a member of Team #TankForMatthews. Thx.

#DomiWatch

So last week was mostly bad, kind of good, and we already talked about the trade deadline – but how about Max Domi, doe?

First, the newly-21-year-old forward was left off the North American U23 roster, which is wrong and bad and incorrect. He followed that up with a decent week, though, feeding an impressive pass to fellow rookie Anthony Duclair for the team’s only goal against the Anaheim Ducks, then had both his first career NHL fight and his first career NHL suspension – all in one game. That meant we didn’t see him against the Florida Panthers, but who cares? The fight was awesome.

SPEAKING OF THE PANTHERS, THOUGH.

Let’s have a moment of silence for Alex Tanguay and Shane Doan.

First, Shane Doan now has 24 goals in 56 games for the Coyotes this year. He’s 39.

As the man who once paid for all the unemployed team trainers to have health insurance during the league lockout – which is no cheap gesture – I have a growing soft spot for Shane Doan. He’s now less than 70 points from 1,000 in his career, too, which means that I want him around until he hits that mark. If he has to throw a few elbows to get there, so be it.

Then, of course, there’s Tanguay.

Despite his numbers taking a dip in the last two years, the aging veteran scored two goals and potted an assist against the Panthers, which was also his Coyotes debut. I’d like to think that was his prodigal middle finger to Patrick Roy, which is amazing.

Oh – and which also, btw, should make tonight’s game interesting:

For those who don’t know the backstory behind this, Louis Domingue pretty much hates Patrick Roy. He once went on a Twitter rant where he called Roy ‘the worst person he had ever met’. If you’re so inclined, those tweets still exist and you should look them up. They’re amazing.

Between that and Alex Tanguay’s comments about heading to ‘a team with a good coach’ at the trade deadline, I expect bloodshed tonight. I demand it. I NEED IT.
 

EDMONTON OILERS
6th PLACE, 26-35-7, 59 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but the Oilers have won four of their last five games. Auston Matthews is going to be SO disappointed when he doesn’t get to play for the Islanders next year via a trade from the Oilers for the services of Travis Hamonic!

On Tuesday the Oilers begrudgingly rolled into Buffalo, and Connor McDavid finally put the rest the McDavid/Eichel debate once and for all! (Spoilers: Eichel is just okay.)

Then if was off to Philly where newly acquired Rhodes Scholar Patrick Maroon endeared himself to Oiler fans almost immediately by A) being big

and B) scoring his first goal as an Oiler!

Welcome to the team Pat!! #BigRig

A video posted by OilersNation (@officialoilersnation) on

Cam Talbot continues to do Cam Talbot things, game in and game out.

We learned that Rick Jenerette is a fan of the North By Northgretz podcast.

And also THIS happened.

And finally, this wouldn’t be the Edmonton Oilers if we weren’t talking about yet ANOTHER dumb injury to one of the few Oilers who’s been consistently good all year.

Get well soon Davie. I miss you already :'(

Connor McDavid was named NHL Rookie Of The Month for the second time this year, after putting up more points than ANYONE ELSE IN THE LEAGUE since the All-Star break. Guys, I’m starting to think he’s going to be a pretty integral part of the Oilers climb out of the basement. Only time will tell though.

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McDavid now has 34 points in 31 games played, and sits 7th in rookie scoring. This has been your weekly Connor McDavid update.
 

CALGARY FLAMES
7th PLACE, 27-34-4, 58 POINTS
@MikeFAIL from Flames Nation

The Flames have given up and so has MikeFAIL. Well, at least just this week!
 

TRH WILD CARD WATCH™

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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.
  • Crofton

    @JD if you hate this team so much, please go away