PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 4.4.16

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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 28th, 2016!!

 

ANAHEIM DUCKS
1st PLACE, 44-24-10, 98 POINTS
@EarlSleek

Despite a ton of injuries, Ducks won 3 of 4 this week to climb once again to the top of the Pacific, with one week left to play. Freddie Andersen got a concussion, Brandon Pirri suffered an upper body injury, and Rickard Rakell got an appendectomy, all while David Perron, Simon Despres, and Kevin Bieksa remain out.

On Monday, the Ducks beat the Oilers 2-1, to finish off their 5-game Canadian road trip. Perry and Pirri scored goals, prompting the tweet below, and “Crabby” Patty Maroon got a few laughs when he threw the game puck in the trash before the Ducks players could collect it for their wall tradition.

On Wednesday, the Ducks returned home to play the Flames, and that was fairly laughable. Calgary started former Duck Jonas Hiller, who never has had much success against Anaheim since leaving, and that trend continued rather quickly. Hiller allowed 3 goals on the game’s first 5 shots.

Anaheim would win 8-3, setting a season-high in goals, including a 4-point night from Kesler.

On Friday, the Ducks lost their 13-game Pacific Division winning streak to the Canucks, with former Duck Emerson Etem potting the third period winner in a 3-2 game. It did keep the Ducks momentarily behind the Kings until on Sunday, when Anaheim beat the Dallas Stars 3-1 on the strength of two shorthanded goals. Nate Thompson scored in his third consecutive game, bringing his season total to 3. :)

This coming week, the Ducks visit the Kings in the battle to not play the Sharks, though how much a reward that is really isn’t very clear. One week until things really matter, though!

 

LOS ANGELES KINGS
2nd PLACE, 46-27-5, 97 POINTS
@TheRoyalHalf from The Royal Half

Man, the race for 1st in the Pacific has been such a wild ride, fans are literally holding on to themselves.

The Kings lose to San Jose but then win their next game against the worst province in the NHL.

And then the Kings lost a tight one against the Dallas StaNHL REFS!!!

And finally, it was the best April Fools ever!

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS
3rd PLACE, 44-29-6, 94 POINTS
@sharkdressedmen

WAITING TO BE SWEPT IN THE FIRST ROUND

ARIZONA COYOTES
4th PLACE, 35-36-7, 77 POINTS
@CataCarryOn

I’m back! Thanks for all the great War Room readers who called me out for missing last week. You’re the worst.

Anyways, let’s talk about the Coyotes.

So in the last week, the desert dogs managed to get themselves officially eliminated from the playoffs, although they also managed to pretty much cement themselves as the team that will finish fourth in the Pacific Division for the 2015-16 season. Considering how many fans and analytics guys (hashtag Corsi!) predicted the Yotes to finish dead last, I’ll take it.

The week started out with a pair of piss-poor efforts from the Coyotes after a streak of winning, which was less than ideal – although, I guess, not in the race to #TankForMatthews.

It was hardly a shock to see the team lose against the Stars, since they were playing without both Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Michael Stone on the blue line – and that left the defensive corps being led by Connor Murphy, which, you know. Lol.

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Anyways. The team didn’t have Shane Doan or Stone on Monday, either, although that didn’t excuse some of the poor possession they put up against the Flames – and it certainly didn’t excuse some of the sloppy goaltending seen in both of their losses.

Let’s forget about that, though. Let’s talk about winning!

First, the Coyotes managed to take home a 3-0 win against the Washington Capitals, which remains one of the more baffling things I’ve seen all season long. I will literally never understand what goes through Mike Smith’s head sometimes that enables him to record shutouts against guys like Alex Ovechkin when we’ve seen him get scored on by guys like Michal Roszival and Rob Scuderi in the past, but I’ll take it.

It was nice to see the team take home a great win for their final home game of the 2015-16 season, which sold out and remained packed – and deafening – for all sixty minutes. God knows this fanbase needed that.

It was also nice to see both Max Domi and OEL hit the 50-point mark for the season, I guess. It would be nicer if Oilers fans stopped @ing me on Twitter to tell me that the Coyotes will give them OEL, Strome, Domi, two first, and a new Corvette for Auston Matthews.

CALGARY FLAMES
5th PLACE, 33-36-6, 72 POINTS
@MikeFAIL from Flames Nation

Nothing else mattered last week other than dismantling the Oilers, in Rexall, one last time in front of thousands of what are surely nihilistic Oilers fans.

Here are several important things worth highlighting:

As much as the Flames have been awful for extended periods this season I can’t help but walk away salivating from the performance on Saturday night. Bring on the draft and watching Edmonton meltdown in the off-season.

 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
6th PLACE, 29-36-13, 71 POINTS
@JDylanBurke from Canucks Army

Hey, so how’s life? It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Fret not, though. The Canucks are still a tire fire. They’re 27th in the league, which means the absolute lowest they can pick in this draft is like seventh overall. That’s neat. Last time they had a pick in that range they selected Jake Virtanen. Totally made the right pick. Not like they could’ve landed Nikolaj Ehlers or William Nylander. Nope.

Anyways, we’ve got this super tall Russian guy now. Nikita Tryamkin is his name and he’s like 6’8 or something. He’s a Russian yeti on stilts. It’s awesome. He’s not that great, but the hype machine sure is. Can’t wait for him to score his first goal. That’ll be something.

Seriously though, this season can’t end soon enough. The next most important day for Canucks fans is the draft lottery on April 30th. Who knows, maybe we’ll find a first line forward. That’d be nice. I guess.

Oh, yeah… Pretty cool to see the rest of the league take notice of what a cheap shot artist Duncan Keith is. That’s cool. He’s not. I remember when he put an elbow through Daniel Sedin’s head. That was awful/

EDMONTON OILERS
7th PLACE, 30-43-7, 67 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

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Only two games left. Only two games left. Only two games left….

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.