PACIFIC WAR ROOM – 4.13.15

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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 final week of the 2014-15 season!

 

ANAHEIM DUCKS
1st PLACE, 51-24-7, 109 POINTS
@EarlSleek

In the final week leading up to the playoffs, the Ducks managed just one win, which was all they needed to hold the top spot in the West, and to set the NHL record for 33 one-goal wins in a season. And even though the losses weren’t pretty, at least the Ducks didn’t lock their coach out of the locker room after either loss.

So, like last year, the Ducks’ reward for winning the Pacific is to draw in a Wild Card opponent from the Central Division – this time the Winnipeg Jets. I don’t have very strong feelings for or against the Jets – they’ve always been great visitors on Teemu-themed nights, but by the time they moved to the Western Conference I was a retired blogger, so I don’t have a lot of cartoons to recycle. But good news! I found my drawing pen again, though it turns out Jets are kind of tricky to draw.

Maybe I just ought to stick to drawing what I know best. :)

Thanks for reading, everyone. Go Ducks.

 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
2nd PLACE, 48-29-5, 101 POINTS
@PetBugs13 from Canucks Army

And you thought Good Friday was last week…

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Wait, what? It’s not Friday? What the hell?

Well, screw it. I’m using it anyway.

Anyhow, it’s nice to see the Pacific War Room come crashing to it’s inevitable conclusion for another year, landing with a dull thud. Much like the Kings’ season.

Oh, yeah, I should explain to you Kings fans: The hockey season started back in October, guys.

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Yeah, I’m looking at you, Bill Simmons.

Maybe he’ll go back to being a Bruins fan now. Oh. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

But hey, I’m not one to rub it in … OK, maybe just a little:

But beyond that, just wanted to say thanks to all the great contributions from my esteemed colleagues here at the Pacific War Room. It’s been a blast. And I do have a special message for @bookofloob:

LET’S DO THIS, MUTHAFUCKAAAAAA

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CALGARY FLAMES
3rd PLACE, 45-30-7, 97 POINTS
@BookOfLoob from Flames Nation

CCM-KwuVEAAQQS3

This week in the Pacific War Room: I don’t know, the usual.

Six years. Six goddamn years. That’s how long your Calgary Flames, forever out in the wilderness, wandering around, looking for something, ANYTHING, spent outside the cozy confines of Playoffville. It was like playing Final Fantasy, wandering around, battling Orcs, and never being let into the Elves’ real PALATIAL lookin’ motherfucker of a town, the hearty suds at the local saloon never slaking their thirst.

Well level up, Flames fans, today is our day.

Yes, with last week’s win over, oh gee, who was it, some unnamed Pacific Division rival who is now on the outside looking in (like we were, for what seemed like eight eternities), Calgary has punched their ticket into hockey’s second season, earning a chance to play for, and likely ultimately fail in winning, that beautiful Lord Stanley’s Chalice.

It’s a pretty good day, even if we’re all confined to our stupid jobs and can’t spend all day in a joy coma and complementary booze hangover.

That game though, talk about nerve wracking, but I gotta say, Flames fans showed a composure and poise not unlike that exhibited by our heroes. We were all a bunch of Johnnies and Jonases out there, I’ll tell you that.

https://twitter.com/ruhee_/status/586362993962778624

https://twitter.com/ruhee_/status/586370297047158784

https://twitter.com/bookofloob/status/586369343623012353

We all exhaled a gigantic ass sigh of relief when the game ended that nine people died from too much exposure to carbon dioxide, which I did not know was a thing.

Their deaths will not be in vain, because we’re going to the playoffs baby.

I do have to say that you fine Kings fans have been super gracious throughout this whole thing, in fact all my #Flams friends and I have been getting tons of nice messages about our team, and they are very well appreciated. And yes, you can join the bandwagon. We’re used to that ;)

But yes, due to the outpouring of love from all of you in the City of Angels, I feel like it would be very inappropriate for me to make fun of your misfortune.

I’ll let everyone else do it instead.

https://twitter.com/stace_ofbase/status/586564724927528960

I’m laughing so hard but out of, you know, respect.

Anyway, Kings fans, if you’re looking for a way to stay engaged throughout the playoffs (I know you don’t care about the Ducks enough to give a shit what happens to them in the first round), might I suggest you join me in my secondary quest in the playoffs: Making the Winnipeg Jets know that all their playoff traditions moved to Phoenix with the team they once loved.

Thank you.

Anyway, it’s been a real slice participating in the War Room for the past two seasons. In that time, I’ve really grown to hate you all, and I look forward to hating you all more in the future. Remembering to scrawl something ineffectual and crude in the 11th hour every Friday morning has become a regular part of my weekly routine, and now that it’s done for another year, I have to fill that time by staring into the abyss.

I mean, I always enjoyed that too, don’t get me wrong, but your eyes start to get all funny the more you do it.

So thanks for another fun year. I said that already. We’ll see you (well, some of you), in the playoffs, and as always, a timely reminder:

 

LOS ANGELES KINGS
3rd PLACE, 40-27-15 95 POINTS
@PumperNicholl from The Royal Half

This is just depressing.
…maybe I can find a way to cheer myself up…

*cracks a slight smile*

See you all next year!

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS
5th PLACE, 41-33-9, 89 POINTS
@stace_ofbase from Battle of California

I would like to extend share with you my gratitude to the Los Angeles Kings.

The joy that your faithful team has brought my heart in the past week is nothing short of something that you would see in a fairy tale. I feel as if my voice has been in perfect harmony and all the cartoon birds of the world have come to my aid whenever I utter a note, to help sweep my apartment, cook wonderfully delicious cartoon desserts and brush my princess length hair.

Every week this season I have discussed the San Jose Sharks and their minor Toronto Maple Leafs-esque meltdowns on and off the ice. I’ve become rather dead inside when it comes to my favorite hockey team and reaching the acceptance stage of the five stages of grieving has been a relief to my shriveled up, pruned heart.

I never thought that I would ever really feel anything, ever again, until you, Los Angeles.

You have perhaps the deepest team in the salary cap era. Your coach is amazing (I should know, he was once ours, long ago). Your general manager is a wizard (he must have stopped huffing glue, but occasionally relapses when he hands out contracts). You were on the verge of becoming the first dynasty that hockey has seen since the Edmonton Oilers. Now, the Kings are on the verge of becoming the Edmonton Oilers of present time.

You know the Oilers, right? A lovable (even though Floob would disagree) bunch of young bucks who are on one of the most poorly managed teams in recent history. Nine years ago, they were on top of the world as well. They stormed through the playoffs, beating of course, the San Jose Sharks, en route to what would have been their 6th Stanley Cup. Although they did not win, things looked promising for this team and then they never made the playoffs again. *closes book*

Let’s examine their opponent, the Carolina Hurricanes. A Cinderella story, prehaps, the Hartford Whalers 2.0 would surprise everyone to beat the Edmonton Oilers and capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. An all around feel good story for all to get warm and fuzzy while reminiscing about it. What have they been up to? Nothing. They haven’t made the playoffs since. *closes book*

Never could I have dreamt that the Kings would go down this path, sure, maybe next year when they have to deal with all of the awful contracts that Dean Lombardi has handed out, while attempting to keep their players of the utmost value with the cap staying the same. If there was ever a time for a team to go all the way, this was the year to do it.

But no, you lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the 80th game of the season. A season that you have struggled with injuries, bad bounces, and *sunglasses* quick goals. Is it because the team is tired from winning so much? Sure, if you want to forget that there was a half season lockout. Is it because Darryl Sutter was too hard on the team? Sure, if you want to forget that Sutter is merely a giant teddy bear constantly on the verge of having a stroke. Is it because Robyn Regehr is bad? Sure, if you want to forget that he was out a good chunk of the season.

No, it’s really just that… you’re the worst. Your cheap shot, cry baby, dog shit organization finally got what has been coming to them. The universe finally decided, “fuck this, why do we keep letting evil prevail?” and let nice teams, like Calgary, make the playoffs instead. Sure, nothing might come out of their chance to win the Cup, but it’s a feel good story. People aren’t rejoicing because they are afraid of Los Angeles being in the playoffs. They’re rejoicing because your team and organization is based on a culture of garbage consumption.

Even in two day offseason, it has come to surface that your team, surrounded themselves with garbage so that their stuffed animal of a coach couldn’t be mean to them after losing a game. If surrounding yourself with a bunch of trash cans isn’t a perfect picture of the Los Angeles Kings, I don’t know what is. Also, thank you for alienating the best coach you’ve ever had. You’ve done more good work in this two day offseason than the Sharks did in their first couple of days when #ItWasThreeZero.

Thank you for taking the heat off of San Jose. Thank you for becoming the next Edmonton Oilers. Thank you Royal Half, for allowing me to discuss my hockey feelings every week with some of my favorite writers, and also thank you for letting me make fun of your team just now. It felt real good. I’ll catch you losers on the flip side, now to focus all my efforts on the Anaheim Ducks.

 

EDMONTON OILERS
6th PLACE, 24-44-14, 62 POINTS
@JSBMjeanshorts from Oilers Nation

Well folks, here we are.

Another NHL season has come and gone. And for the Edmonton Oilers it was a very eventful year!

There were highlights:

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And there were lowlights:

Ben Scrivens had an … interesting year.

Justin Schultz made, umm … strides?

And good times were had by all!

Oh yeah. Give them hell, Viktor.

A video posted by The TowelBoy (@thetowelboy) on

Oh, wait, no, my bad, everyone had a TERRIBLE time!

The Oilers went through two head coaches, two goalie coaches, by the second half of the year the roster was comprised mostly of minor league players making their NHL debut, the goalies couldn’t stop a beach ball from going in a mini-stick net, the Oilers set a franchise record for least number of wins in an 82-game season, AND to top it all off they finished THIRD LAST, not even able to guarantee themselves a shot at one of TWO generational talents in this summers draft. GOOD JOB, GOOD EFFORT MACT!

I’m going to let Nick Kypreos sum up how the majority of Oiler fans felt about this season:

12 more years. #Sportsnet

A video posted by The TowelBoy (@thetowelboy) on

SEE YOU AT THE DRAFT*!

*The Oilers version of the playoffs

 

ARIZONA COYOTES
7th PLACE, 24-50-8, 55 POINTS
@CarlPutnam from Five For Howling

The Coyotes finished the last two weeks of the season going one for seven which still wasn’t dreadful enough to win their tank battle against the Sabres. Arizona had to settle for finishing with the second worst record in the NHL.

The Yotes lone win in the final stretch came against San Jose. As the game against the Sharks proved, even in a wretched season for the franchise, Mike Smith could still beat the Bay Area’s Men of Teal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson could still make watching the Desert Dogs be a pleasurable experience.

https://twitter.com/davest4yotes/status/587051858725769217

Smith continued his resurrection tour posting a .922 save percentage in his final six starts.

Since the Kings were eliminated from the playoffs, The Royal Half made the quick hop from SoCal to the Valley to officiate Saturday’s denouement against the Ducks.

The Desert Dogs final shot at a win this season comes on Saturday night. They’ve got an NHL lottery ticket and a 13.5% chance of landing Canadian Hockey Jesus 3.0.

https://youtu.be/udePFMc-aBc

If Buffalo wins the lottery, Arizona gets this American. Not a bad consolation prize.

If a franchise besides the Coyotes or Sabres wins the ping pong ball extravaganza then things get more than a bit interesting for Coyotes GM Don Maloney.

 

TRH WILD CARD WATCH™

Pacific War Room Standings 4.13.205

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

PumperNicholl is a lifelong LA Kings fan and actually learned how to speak English from Bob Miller by watching LA Kings games… and the Police Academy movies. You should probably follow PumperNicholl on Twitter @pumpernicholl