PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 11.22.13

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 current Pacific Division standings… we present Pacific War Room for the week of November 22nd, 2013.

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS
1st PLACE, 14-3-5, 33 POINTS
@FearTheFin from Fear the Fin

 

For a week that featured a four-day break between games, a lot went on in Sharks Territory. Patrick Marleau was involved in a serious car accident in downtown San Jose, crashing into a car driven by a man described as “in his 40′s” presumably after thinking the driver was Jeremy Roenick.

Rumors surfaced regarding the Sharks’ apparent Marty Havlat trade discussions with Ottawa and New York a few days after the Czech winger was made a healthy scratch for a game in Edmonton. Brent Burns made his triumphant return to the lineup after a thirteen-game absence caused by a mysterious upper-body injury we still don’t know the full extent of (I believe the official word is still that he had “sore gums”). But the week concluded in familiar enough fashion: with another blowout win over an Eastern Conference hockey club. Just relegate the East to the AHL already.

 

ANAHEIM DUCKS
2nd PLACE, 15-6-3, 33 POINTS
@EarlSleek

 

The Ducks lost all three games this week, making that five losses in a row – so I’m a little depressed.  Still, Anaheim somehow did end their last game with more standings points than anybody else in the league, so thank goodness for cushions, loser points, and games-played.  Ducks still have a spot in the Western Conference Bounce House!

While it’s true that the Western Conference has been torching the Eastern Conference so far this season, Ducks lately have been reversing that trend.  All five opponents on this losing streak were Eastern teams, and now Anaheim is 8-5-3 vs. the East (.594 win pct) and  7-1-0 vs. the West (.875 win pct).

What’s been particularly frustrating is that the Ducks are losing games which they start really well.  In Toronto, they held the Leafs to 2 first period shots and lost.  In Boston, the Ducks held the Bruins to 1 first period shot and lost.  In Carolina, Anaheim held the Canes to 4 first period shots and lost.  In Pittsburgh, the Ducks held the Penguins to 3 first period shots and lost.  Sigh.

But it’s an 82-game season this time around – go patience.

PANCAKE WATCH!  Dustin Penner already has 15 points this season, which it’s my duty to point out is 1 more than he had all last season with the Kings in nearly twice the games-played.  He picked up 3 power play points this week – very impressive if you’re familiar with Anaheim’s power play – and scored this stick-shattering goal before throwing shrapnel in the air to celebrate.

 

PHOENIX COYOTES
3rd PLACE, 14-4-4, 32 POINTS
@CarlPutnam from Five For Howling

 

SHOTS!!! The Coyotes outshot not one, but both their opponents this past week. Also, a Coyote is tied with Erik Karlsson for the most goals scored by an NHL defensemen. Not Keith Yandle or Oliver Ekman-Awesome either. Michael Stone is the blueliner bombing away at opposition nets this campaign.

The Desert Dogs started their week this past Saturday by chasing everyone’s new favorite USA dark horse for Sochi, Ben Bishop, from the ice. They piled on the offense for a 6-3 win over the East’s best squad which I believe is equivalent to beating the Flames out West. The Yotes then had a mini-vacation courtesy of the NHL schedule. Apparently over the break, the team’s T.V. color analyst decided to spend his time getting the Purple Cobras back together.  He was probably just jealous of all the media attention his T.V. partner was getting.

On Thursday night Patty Roy’s boys rolled into town. The Coyotes outplayed the Avs for much of the game but had two goals disallowed, and their two alternate captains took dumb penalties late which eventually allowed Colorado to eek out a 4-3 OT win. Phoenix still has gained a point in every home game this season, and we all still have our memories of Roy melting down in Phoenix as a player to keep us happy.

There will be no four-day breaks like this past week until the Olympic break in February. This coming Saturday the Ducks come to town. The Yotes then hit the road for games on Monday and Wednesday against Central Division opponents, Nashville and Minnesota, before the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

LOS ANGELES KINGS
4th PLACE, 15-6-2, 32 POINTS
@TheRoyalHalf from The Royal Half

 

I just wish there was a simple, clean and easy way to describe the past week for the Los Angeles Kings.

I mean… seriously… just when you thought that the LA Kings 2013-14 season was over… a mild-mannered, former Ivy League goaltender becomes the talk of the hockey world… simply because as opposed to most professional hockey players… Ben Scrivens uses words with 3 syllables!

 

Ben Scrivens isn’t just a fan favorite because he drops SAT words left and right during a media scrum… no he’s become a fan favorite because he’s leading the NHL in GAA and Shutouts, bitches!

Goalie Leaders 11-22And he’s easy the best-looking guy on this page above.

3409493611_0868f809bf_b

So what did the Kings do this past week? Well… they shut out the NJ Devils, shut out the NY Rangers, destroyed the Eastern Conference leading Tampa Bay Lightning and allowed Jaromir Jagr to achieve a little bit of NHL history (while still gaining a point!).

I wish there was some way to visually represent the LA Kings dominance over the Eastern Conference this past week.

#ContractTheEast

 

 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
5th PLACE, 11-8-4, 26 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army

 

Oh God, just how close to a “Fuck this team.” post am I?

Ok, turns out I’m nowhere near close enough yet.

That being said, fuck this division and fuck this conference. Eight of the top 10 teams in the league are in the West, four from each division. What the fuck?

Anyway, the good news is the Canucks get to head back east next week. The bad news is they have to play the top two possession teams in the league, LA and Chicago, first. Good times.

This past week, the Canucks only played twice and managed to lose them both. The first one they should have won, easily outplaying Dallas but coming up short with yet another one goal outing.

As we saw last week, you can’t stop Tyler Seguin, you can only hope to contain him. The Canucks did just that, holding him to a single assist, but it still wasn’t enough as they just couldn’t solve Lehtonen, despite peppering him with 43 shots.

So yeah, Seguin sure did some stupid things off the ice in Boston, but the Bruins did something even dumber:

While the Canucks came away from that game without a point, they surely deserved at least one. And they got it Tuesday, picking up a loser point in a lacklustre effort against their farm team, the Florida Panthers.

Although given how Keith Ballard and David Booth have worked out in Vancouver, maybe we should stop making that joke…

Speaking of David Booth, it looks like he’s being singled out as the scape goat for the Canucks’ scoring woes. Ironic, really:

Turns out that while Booth may be good at hunting game, he sure is having trouble finding it:

 

 

 

CALGARY FLAMES
6th PLACE, 7-11-4, 18 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation

 

The Flames lost to the Oilers even WITH Calgary Flames legend Ladislav Smid in the lineup. This happened because the team pays Reto Berra to pretend he’s a goalie, when really he’s, and he’s from the town of Bulach so I can say this, Swiss Cheese. Berra let in the go ahead goal on a nifty play from Oilers forward David Perron, who identified Reto’s weakness as “shots from behind the net” to secure the win for the Oilers.

Even after all that, the Flames remained ahead of the Oilers in the race for 12th, and if we’re all going to be proud of that, we’re no better than any resident of Saskatchewan is whenever they’re able to conquer a slight incline.

Just a little Saskatchewan humour for you there, Los Angeles based hockey blog.

Most of the drama from the week came once again from resident dunce and alleged hockey coach Bob “Bob” Hartley, who trolled us on a couple of occasions this week by supposedly benching Sven Baertschi and using words like “frustration peak” and “excuse me I just wet myself” along the way, before admitting all along that he has no idea how to submit a roster and playing the Swiss youngster against the Jets. Where he was good. Like he was before. Because he’s good. You guys all cheer for teams who bench the good players and let the guys in slumps ride it out for incredibly long stretches, yes?

NO?

Hartley has some explaining to do.

And yeah, the Flames beat the Jets. Remember when that was just a thing you did? It was a bit more common back when they were still known as the Atlanta Thrashers, and they were being coached by Bob “Bob” Hartley.

Washington Capitals v Atlanta Thrashers#NeverForget

These days though, the Jets are pretty good good don’t suck. So even when the team blew a lead with 5 seconds left (terrific), the fact that the team was able to win on the strength of an 8th round shootout winner by Sean “Bob” Monahan was kind of a pretty big deal. It also ended a 90 game losing streak, so the start of good things right?

Well they lost to Columbus after that, so I don’t know what the hell is going on here anymore. Let’s go get drunk.

 

EDMONTON OILERS
7th PLACE, 7-15-2, 16 POINTS
@JSBMrevolution

 

Isn’t hockey great? Isn’t LIFE great? What a time to be alive you guys! Edmonton is in the process of being completely engulfed in snow (why such a late start this year?) the sun sets by 2:30 in the afternoon AND MOST IMPORTANTLY OF ALL THE EDMONTON OILERS ARE ACTUALLY WINNING HOCKEY GAMES AND PLAYING LIKE AN HONEST TO GOODNESS NHL TEAM!!

*Hyperventilates into a paper bag*

Even though they lost to the free-falling Sharks last Friday, they managed to put a stop to their home goalless streak at a completely reasonable 214:52, after a much maligned enigmatic Russian cry-baby coach killer decided he wanted to single handily reignite the Russian space program.


(THE JOKE HERE IS THAT IT WAS A ROCKET OF A SHOT YOU SEE)

This was obviously the spark they’ve been missing all season. The very next night they trudged through the snow to the Lost City Of Atlantis, let the Flames get out to a 2 goal lead through 40 minutes, then figured “hey, what the hell, maybe we should start trying and playing hard? What do we have to lose?” before throwing 4 unanswered goals behind a guy who is the physical embodiment of his country’s most well known export. (THE JOKE HERE IS THAT HE IS SWISS AND IS FULL OF HOLES DUE TO THE AMOUNT OF GOALS HE LETS IN YOU SEE)

History will look back on this game as “That time when the Oilers started scoring and never, ever, ever stopped”.

I know it’s just the forever mediocre Columbus Blue Jackets, but SEVEN GOALS? Who do these clowns think they are, the Chicago Blackhawks? I’m legally unable to do even the most basic math but those 7 goals in one game more or less doubled the amount of goals they had scored the entire month of November!

Do you guys hear that? If I’m not mistaken those sound like the footsteps of a (season high) TWO GAME WIN STREAK!!!

But, as the old saying goes all good things must come to an end…

JUST KIDDING THE OILERS HUNG 4 ON THE PANTHERS AND WE HAVE OUR FIRST THREE GAME WIN STREAK OF THE SEASON!!!!!!! NEW SEASON HIGH EVERYBODY!!!!

*Pukes all over parade route map due to overexcitement*

What did we learn through all of this? If you’re one of the bottom 5 teams in the league LOOK OUT because the Oilers are going to run roughshod all over you!

Thankfully next game they play the… *looks at schedule* BLACKHAWKS? *Starts writing obituary for 3 game win streak*

 

 

TRH WILD CARD WATCH™

Wild Card 11-22

Catch The Fever!!!

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!

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.