PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 12.20.13

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 December 20th, 2013.

 

ANAHEIM DUCKS
1st PLACE, 24-7-5, 53 POINTS
@EarlSleek

 

In the spirit of Christmas (and also because the Ducks only played two games this week), today’s update is in carol form.  This first one is sung to the tune of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’:

Oh frozen town of Edmonton, how come you always lose?
Firsts overall, like Taylor Hall, but your defense is a ruse.
Yet to thy goalmouth cometh a Russian lunatic!
A former Duck to stop the puck,
Yes, that should do the trick.

How violently!  How violently!  The boards absorbed the hits,
Potter smacked Bonino’s back and now two games he sits.
Yet Anaheim would squander the major power play!
The game stayed taught and both sides thought
OT was on the way.

This song counts as PANCAKE WATCH!, just to clue you in,
There was still time for Anaheim to get a regulation win.
Though the third was ending, it wasn’t over yet!
Penner’s puck would find some luck
And deflect in the net!

Yes, Penner was an Oiler once, for those who don’t recall,
An offer sheet that made Burke beat his head upon the wall.
Yet now he has returneth at quite the bargain price!
He’s made mistakes (eating pancakes),
But he’s awesome on the ice.

This one is sung to ‘O Holy Night!’:

Oh holy hell!  The Red Wings are declining,
Lucky for them, they got moved to the East.
Long was the West in awe of Detroit’s power,
But at long last, their talent has decreased.
A thrill of hope!  A kid named Jurco scores!
But within the frame, the Ducks answer with four!
“Daaaaamn injuries!  We miiiiiiss the days of Lidstrom!”
A boooooarding penalty!
But don’t fret – Shanny won’t suspend you.
And H!  B!  O-o-o-o-o-o-o-h!
Can keep pretending that it’s covering the best outdoor game this season (nope!).

Okay, it fell apart at the end there, but I had a point to make. :)

I spent so long on these carols that I went extremely lazy on today’s cartoon, but in a pretty awesome way.  Merry Christmas (or whatever), everybody!

 

LOS ANGELES KINGS
2nd PLACE, 24-8-4, 52 POINTS
@TheRoyalHalf from The Royal Half

After completing their sweep of Eastern Canada, the Kings finally lost a game in Chicago but followed it up with dominant performances over Edmonton and San Jose by early Vezina and Calder front-runner, Martin Jones.

I wish there was some way to visually represent what LA Kings fans look like right now.

Close.

Really, really close.

Nailed it.

In fact, it would be hard to believe that there is any member of the LA Kings organization that isn’t smiling right now.

Oh… right. Awkward.

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS
3rd PLACE, 21-8-6, 48 POINTS
@FearTheFin from Fear the Fin

 

Whether or not Dustin Brown’s knee-on-knee hit was intentional (if it wasn’t, it’s ironic the one time Brown didn’t intend to destroy an opposing player’s ACL, he succeeded) is immaterial; the result is the same: the Sharks’ prized rookie and Calder Trophy favorite Tomas Hertl is out for a month or longer.

Sad Hertl.

That bit of news from last night’s loss to the Kings, the Sharks’ eighth straight defeat in Staples Center, overshadowed what was an uneven week for San Jose.

They notched a victory in St. Louis, taking advantage of a Blues team that had played in Ottawa the night before and were without captian David Backes, but dropped contests in Nashville and L.A. What was once a firm grasp on the Pacific Division lead has slipped through their fingers as the Sharks now sit in third place, four points back of Los Angeles. Thankfully for them, three of their next four games are at home, where they’ve been dominant this season. But without Hertl in his customary spot on the club’s top line, there could be issues.

 

 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
4th PLACE, 20-11-6, 46 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army

 

Well, as I sit here typing this, the Canucks and Stars are running out the clock on the third period on my PVR. Yeah, it was that exciting.

For the second game in a row, Vancouver came out flat and fell behind early in another sign of a post-Boston hangover. Hey, the Canucks sound a lot like Tyler Seguin! Actually, I guess that would be a good thing.

(I should note that despite the Pacific Division’s utter dominance over the rest of the league, the Stars are the one team that probably wishes they never left, putting as up a 7-2-1 record against their former division.)

Anyway, yeah, this week was definitely about Vancouver’s triumph in Game 9 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, which the Canucks won convincingly on Saturday night. So when do we get to hang the banner, and some nifty TRH photoshops with the Cup? #sigh

Other than the inevitable let down following the re-match with the Bruins, Vancouver also apparently let down it’s once favourite son, Milan Lucic. Lucic found himself in an altercation in the wee hours of Sunday morning while out getting hammered with some of his teammates in the downtown drunken fistfight entertainment district:

The first thing that came to mind when I saw that was that I guess they Bruins weren’t as tired and flu-ridden as some of the Boston media thought:

The next day, Lucic was telling one and all that he was done “trying to defend” his hometown and that nobody would “ever again see [him] in downtown Vancouver ever again.” To which the obvious retort is, judging by his performance in the 6-2 drubbing on Saturday night, how will we ever know the difference:

Anyway, rivalry week continues tonight (yeah, don’t get excited, Minnesota, I still didn’t mean you) as the Canucks roll into Chicago to take on the Hawks in what fans of lesser teams would call a “schedule loss“.

It remains to be seen whether this matchup with another hated foe wakes the Canucks out of their post-Bruins funk. The last thing anyone around here wants to see is a repeat of the second half and playoffs following the last win over the Bruins in 2012. Right? RIGHT???

 

PHOENIX COYOTES
5th PLACE, 18-10-6, 42 POINTS
@CarlPutnam from Five For Howling

 

The first two games this past week, at home against Carolina and on the road against Montreal, were almost carbon copies of one another. The Yotes scored first in both games. They then preceded to choke said leads, go down 2-1, and give up empty netters to make the final score 3-1 in both contests. You’ll notice I said the games were almost carbon copies. This is because in the game in Montreal, Bell Centre security apparently allowed a sniper into the building.

Last night the Desert Dogs were filmed by two broadcast crews and a crew from a small pay cable outlet. Luckily it wasn’t Saturday night, so no one in Canada was forced to watch two awful penalty kills and listen to Crazy Uncle Don at the same time. The Coyotes decided to flip the week’s script by allowing Toronto to score first and then chase from behind. Phoenix played fairly well for the last 2/3 of the contest, and Martin Hanzal tied the game up late in the 3rd. The game went to a shootout and confusion reigned.

The Coyotes ended the week looking okay at best, but they could really use their captain back. Doan has now missed 6 straight games due to a mysterious illness. Nothing this baffling has happened in the Valley since Tim Peel last refereed a game at Jobing.com Arena.

The team finishesup  their Atlantic Division road trip with their good friend Kyle Turris and his Sens on Saturday and the offensively inept Sabres on Monday. Then it’s back to Phoenix for caroling and presents.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 

CALGARY FLAMES
6th PLACE, 13-16-6, 32 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation

 

You know what, Jarome Iginla? It was cute last week, but this week, well goddamn it, if you can’t do anything nice for the Flames, can you at least

okay, maybe we’ll give you a free pass on this one.

That’s right, Jarome Iginla, perfect human, who evolved the way hands are going to be shaped forever by moulding it into the shape pictured above by repeatedly smashing it into Ryan Kesler’s cement and bolts dome, managed two put up two points ONE GAME LATER against the Flames, assisting on both of Zdeno Chara’s scores in a 2-0 win over the Flames. Also, Chara is obviously the Loch Ness Monster:


The Flames, who keep in mind do not play in Beantown ALL THAT OFTEN, have not potted a goal on the road against the Bruins since 2006 somehow. Which sounds awful, and it is, but it’s also only three games. Still, the boys in red have been shutout in Boston since Alex Tanguay converted a pass from CHUCK FUCKIN’ KOBASEW in 2003-04, a 5-0 Flames shutout of their own. Good work, Jamie McLennan.

Outside of that, it’s been a slow weak. Beat the Sabres. Everyone beats the Sabres. Beat the Rangers. Everyone beats the Rangers. The Flames are in the midst of an Eastern Bias road trip, and with all the games starting between 5 and 5:30, and the Flames being a team based in Alberta, a province in the Mountain time zone and being one of the “Have” communities in North America meaning we’re one of the few towns out there where we all have jobs, we haven’t been able to see our beloved Flames half ass their way through this rebuild season this week. Therefore, we look to the off ice developments surrounding the squad this week, and in this regard there were actually things!

THE FLAMES GOT A NEW GM! 

The Flames locked up a little bit of their future this week, signing young prospect Morgan Klimchuk to his Entry Level Contract this past week. The Regina Pats left winger was drafted this past offseason, 28th overall, the third of three first round picks the Flames had because LOL rebuild. Klimchuk is essentially what Jay Bouwmeester was traded before, because Reto Berra is a garbage fire with pads and Mark Cundari can’t play in the NHL without being lost to waivers when he gets sent back down to the AHL, which he most certainly would. Meanwhile, Bouwmeester is having himself a fine season on a great team in St. Louis and we just want to love Klimchuk because if not why the hell else did we agree to this shit in the first place?

Klimchuk’s offense is just a scoch down from last season, but still has 29 points in 26 games this year, and hey maybe that’s something.

Calgary also came to terms with 3rd round pick Keegan Kanzig on his own entry level contract. Kanzig, a product of the Victoria Royals of the WHL, is a 6 foot 6, 240 pound pylon. The most dynamic thing about his game is that his last name sounds very close to former Misfits lead singer Glenn Danzig.

And that’s really about it. In case you were wondering, he is not Glenn Danzig. He is Keegan Kanzig. And that’s really too bad. I know you won’t get this reference because this is LA, and none of you are hockey fans, and you’re all getting soy bean botox implants in your knees and eyebrows and feeding your purse dogs chai lattes, but Keegan Kanzig is essentially Chris Breen 2.0, and that’s just not good for the Flames, as Chris Breen is on the team because they feel inadequate being one of the only teams not having a statue outside the arena, thereby dressing Breen so they can erect one ON THE ICE.

Sometimes I think I’d hate this team if I didn’t love them so much.

 

EDMONTON OILERS
7th PLACE, 11-23-3, 25 POINTS
@JSBMrevolution

 

Attention. Please, everyone, may I have your attention. Petbugs please put down the crayons and stop doodling, I have a very serious announcement to make.

Thank you.

Now, it has come to our attention tha- ROYAL HALF WILL YOU PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN! THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF JEFF CARTER PICTURES FOR YOU TO OOGLE ONCE I AM DONE THIS VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT.

Ok, Half… I now see why it’s so difficult for you to put your phone down.

It has been brought to the attention of the current management regime that the Edmonton Oilers are a pretty terrible hockey club. What started out as a promising season has quickly collapsed and we are taking the necessary steps to try and rebuild this organization in a timely and efficient manner.  We do not, I repeat, DO NOT want to go through the rest of the season with a losing mentality. Daryl Katz did not send dump trucks full of money to the 900 former owners just to stand idly by and watch his team become the dirty gym sock under the bed of the rest of the league.

We have promoted people within the organization to bigger and better roles, we have the utmost faith in our new GM and we are very pleased with how our newly christened, veteran captain has been leading our cadre of up-and-coming young superstars.

Many of you are probably saying to yourselves “this team is on a 5 game losing streak and they’ve only won 3 games the entire month” and while that is a valid point and the opposite of how we wish things would have gone, we must continue to hold our heads high. Once again we are not here to foster a losing attitude, HOWEVER, the fact of the matter is that the more games the Oilers do lose, the better the chances are that we receive a top 5 draft pick that will undoubtedly help turn this team’s fortunes around as quickly as possible.

Even more of you (seriously would you guys just cool it? Can you wait until I leave the room before you start talking shit?) are probably thinking “this sounds AWFULLY familiar”, and while we have had similar discussions in the past I can assure you this is not a recording, and is taking place in the present day, December 20th 2008.

On behalf of management I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding. We only want the best for you, the fans, and will do everything in our power to make sure we put the best possible product we can on the ice every single night.

There may be some tough times ahead but I’m confident they won’t last long. I mean things clearly can’t continue to be this bad, like, 5 years from now, right? THAT WOULD BE INSANE YOU GUYS! CAN YOU IMAGINE?? That is a very unrealistic scenario.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go seek out a teenage boy named Martin Jones and render his legs obsolete for some reason. I don’t ask any questions, I just do what I’m told.

God speed and #GOilers.

 

 

TRH WILD CARD WATCH™

The only gap bigger than the one between Dallas and the Top 9 in the Pacific
is “David Clarkson goals vs Cap Hit.”

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.