Sometimes someone else says it better than you ever could. Take it away, whoever wrote this on our Twitter account!
EPIX Road to the Stadium Series turning out to be the story of how the Kings caught the Sharks in the standings is so, so great.— Jewels frm the Crown (@JFTC_Kings) February 22, 2015
Yup. Let's take a look back now at just how they pulled it off.
This Week in Games
(here's all the games involving the Pacific Division from this past week. we'll talk about the LA Kings' games in great detail, while the rest will mostly just be scores, unless there's something that really stood out about them. you'll also get links to Eric's awesome recaps which will expand on everything I'm saying in much greater detail if you missed any of them.)
Monday, February 16th
-Winnipeg Jets 5, Edmonton Oilers 4 (SO)
-Colorado Avalanche 5, Arizona Coyotes 2: I just want you to stare at the shots-on-goal box here for a second. That's right., somehow the Coyotes got held to exactly zero shots on goal in the 2nd period. By the Avalanche. Who are awful. That's, uh, something else. Through two periods they were somehow outshot 27 to 5. Jesus christ Yotes.
-Calgary Flames 4, Boston Bruins 3 (OT)
-Vancouver Canucks 3, Minnesota Wild 2
-Los Angeles Kings 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2: If you'll recall, this little win streak the Kings are on actually began in Tampa, when the Kings basically beat the crap out of the Lightning back on February 7th (all the more impressive when you consider that Tampa has lost all of seven games at home this season- including losses in OT/SO). Naturally Tampa was going to come into LA looking for revenge, and this game was obviously a lot closer than the first one, but in the end the Kings were able to squeak out the victory. It didn't look like it was going to be very tough, when goals from Jordan Nolan (his fourth of the season, which is probably four more than anyone expected him to have) and Jeff Carter gave the Kings a 2-goal lead in the 3rd period. But with 37 seconds left the Lightning were able to cut the lead to 1, giving us the patented Kings Final Minute Scramble™ that we all know and love. Because god forbid this team ever scores an empty net goal, right? Amazingly though Quick was able to stop Steven Stamkos on a one-timer (yes, let him get open with three seconds left, good plan Kings!) to seal the deal, and the win streak marched on. (recap) (gamethread)
Tuesday, February 17th
-Nashville Predators 5, San Jose Sharks 1: Sometimes someone else says it better, Part 2:
Playoff-like atmosphere tonight. In that the Sharks are significantly outplaying a team but losing by three goals.— Fear The Fin (@fearthefin) February 18, 2015
God bless these poor bastards stuck cheering for that awful, awful hockey team.
Wednesday, February 18th
-Minnesota Wild 3, Calgary Flames 2 (OT): Basically all the Kings should have wanted here was "not a 3-point game", so it goes to overtime because of course it does. Then again I guess none of this matters if the Kings are not going to lose another game for the rest of the season, and clearly they are not.
-Los Angeles Kings 4, Colorado Avalanche 1: It seems like at least once a season the Kings decide to skate into the home rink of a team that's well-known for PDO'ing the crap out of everyone else and do the same to them. They did this to the Toronto Maple Leafs last year and now apparently it was Colorado's turn. To be clear, the Kings were pretty bad in this game. They were outshot, out-possessed, and generally outplayed. By the Colorado Avalanche. Who are garbage. And the Kings won anyway. That, my friends, is hilarious. (recap) (gamethread)
-Edmonton Oilers 4, Boston Bruins 3 (SO): Yes, losing to the Oilers is basically the absolute lowest point of the season, we can sympathize with you there Bruins. Unless you're the San Jose Sharks and you lost both your only meetings with the Buffalo Sabres (in regulation!!!), that is. Then I guess your two losses to the Oilers don't look so bad by comparison.
-Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Anaheim Ducks 1
Thursday, February 19th
-Vancouver Canucks 5, New York Rangers 4 (SO): In a True Fact, I actually kinda wanted to go to this game, but for some reason ticket prices never dropped on the secondary market, even on the day of the game (when they often do). My only explanation for this is that Ranger fans were apparently unaware that John Tortorella had been fired by the Canucks after only one season. Oh well.
-San Jose Sharks 5, Dallas Stars 2
Friday, February 20th
-New Jersey Devils 4, Vancouver Canucks 2
-Anaheim Ducks 6, Calgary Flames 3
-Minnesota Wild 4, Edmonton Oilers 0
Saturday, February 21st
-Anaheim Ducks 2, Edmonton Oilers 1
-Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Arizona Coyotes 2
-Los Angeles Kings 2, San Jose Sharks 1: Let's get this out of the way first- while I'm sure this game was really fun and An Experience if you were the live and all that, on television this game pretty much sucked. Which is not exactly unexpected- there have been like maybe two or three of these outdoor games out of the ten thousand or so they've done that haven't been awful- but still needs to be said. Other than that, this was glorious. The Kings rolled up into San Jose and thoroughly outplayed them in the 1st period, with an overall shot attempts edge of 27-16 (admittedly it was a little closer at evens, 21-16, but that was only because the Sharks came on late; early on the game barely ever left San Jose's zone). Of course, they still ended that period tied 1-1 because this is the Kings and Jonathan Quick absolutely had to get in his bad-angle-goal-allowed and all. After that, the Sharks played much better, with a slight 18-15 shot attempts edge in the 2nd, but then the Kings took back over again in the 3rd (19-11). Yes, the Kings finished strong against the Sharks, I'm as shocked as you are. It all built up to Marian Gaborik, Savior of the Universe, blowing a hilarious slap shot past Antti Niemi (who by the way has the exact same .913 sv% as Quick this season, which is presumably why Sharks fans never stop making fun of him: to distract themselves from how bad their own goalie is too) 4:04 into the final frame, and ultimately that was all the Kings needed to hold on for the victory. Yes, the Kings beat the Sharks in a big game. In other news, water is wet. (recap) (gamethread)
Sunday, February 22nd
-Vancouver Canucks 4, New York Islanders 0
This Week in Standings
(5v5 SAC% = score-adjusted Corsi percentage at even strength)
|Team||GP||W||L||OTL||Points||ROW||GF||GA||Diff||Home||Away||Last Week||5v5 SAC%|
|3. Los Angeles||58||28||18||12||68||27||161||152||+9||19-6-6||9-12-6||3-0-0||55.4%|
|5. San Jose||61||30||23||8||68||28||171||174||-3||14-12-5||16-11-3||1-2-0||51.5%|
After starting out every week by saying "no movement in the Pacific Division standings" for approximately the last fifteen hundred weeks, oh boy was there some movement this week. Specifically that would be the San Jose Sharks dropping all the way from 2nd to 5th, the Canucks rising up from 3rd to 2nd, and the Kings going from 5th place (and not even a Wild Card spot) to 3rd, and of course the last divisional playoff spot. Yep, so that's pretty cool. The oddity here was Calgary, who somehow remained exactly in 4th place as all this chaos unfolded around them. Anyway, obviously the Kings' grasp on 3rd isn't yet secure by any stretch (yes, even after a 7-game win streak, lol) as they're tied in points with both Calgary & San Jose. However, they've got a game-in-hand on Calgary and an amazing three games-in-hand on the Sharks, so that's pretty cool. Meanwhile, the Sharks have.....a negative goal differential. Sometimes I really love hockey.
So let's take a look at the Wild Card standings now, which for the first time in basically forever does not feature the Kings!
|Team||GP||W||L||OTL||Points||ROW||GF||GA||Diff||Home||Away||Last Week||5v5 SAC%|
|1. Winnipeg (C)||61||30||20||11||71||24||169||166||+3||15-10-4||15-10-7||1-1-1||54.0%|
|2. Minnesota (C)||59||31||21||7||69||29||168||156||+12||17-7-5||14-14-2||3-1-0||52.7%|
|3. Calgary (P)||59||32||23||4||68||29||171||156||+15||17-12-3||15-11-1||1-1-1||44.5%|
|4. San Jose (P)||61||30||23||8||68||28||171||174||-3||14-12-5||16-11-3||1-2-0||51.5%|
|5. Dallas (C)||60||27||24||9||63||25||189||198||-9||12-12-7||15-12-2||1-2-1||51.1%|
|6. Colorado (C)||60||26||23||11||63||19||159||170||-11||16-12-3||10-11-8||3-1-0||43.9%|
|7. Arizona (P)||59||20||32||7||47||16||133||198||-65||9-16-4||11-16-3||0-2-0||48.9%|
|8. Edmonton (P)||61||17||34||10||44||12||140||205||-65||10-18-2||7-16-8||1-2-1||48.3%|
Even though the Flames did hold onto 4th in the Pacific, they were unable to hold onto their Wild Card playoff spot, as the suddenly surging Wild passed them. The Pacific is now threatening to send just three teams into the Western Conference playoffs for the second straight season. Meanwhile, welcome to the party San Jose! The Sharks' big debut in the Wild Card standings has them fourth, though only 1 point out of the final playoff spot. However, the Wild do have two games-in-hand on them. Yes folks, we are living in a world where the San Jose Sharks might finally miss the playoffs. Take a deep breath, take it all in. Below them, the Stars and Avalanche both had an opportunity to make up some ground, as each played four games this past week. The Avalanche took advantage, going 3-1-0 to at least remain semi-relevant in the Wild Card race (though honestly with no real shot of getting in), while the Stars blew it, going 1-2-1 as they continue to remain a massive disappointment.
This Week in #fancystats
(all stats are total attempts, not percentages. thanks to
extra skater war-on-ice.)
Kings 3, Lightning 2
Corsi: Kings 52-Lightning 45 (overall), Kings 43-Lightning 35 (5v5), Kings 25-Lightning 13 (5v5 tied)
Fenwick: Kings 39-Lightning 34 (overall), Kings 34-Lightning 27 (5v5), Kings 21-Lightning 11 (5v5 tied)
LA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Doughty (+11), Regehr/Kopitar/King/Carter (tied, +6). Worst: McBain (-6), Stoll (-4), Nolan/Brown (tied, -1)
TB Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Filppula (+10), Paquette (+6), Connolly (+5). Worst: Johnson (-8), Kucherov/Hedman (tied, -7)
Kings 4, Avalanche 1
Corsi: Avalanche 71-Kings 52 (overall), Avalanche 48-Kings 43 (5v5), Avalanche 11-Kings 9 (5v5 tied)
Fenwick: Avalanche 54-Kings 36 (overall), Avalanche 39-Kings 30 (5v5), Avalanche 9-Kings 7 (5v5 tied)
LA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: McBain/Brown (tied, +9), McNabb (+7). Worst: Doughty (-10), Regehr/Nolan (tied, -8)
COL Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Stuart/Guenin (tied, +9), MacKinnon (+7). Worst: Hejda (-11), Redmond (-8), Tanguay (-5)
Kings 2, Sharks 1
Corsi: Kings 62-Sharks 62 (overall), Kings 55-Sharks 45 (5v5), Kings 27-Sharks 22 (5v5 tied)
Fenwick: Kings 48-Sharks 44 (overall), Kings 44-Sharks 33 (5v5), Kings 20-Sharks 18 (5v5 tied)
LA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Greene (+11), Williams (+9), Muzzin/Lewis (tied, +7). Worst: Brown (-5), Regehr (-3), Kopitar (-2)
SJ Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Vlasic (+10), Wingels (+9), Burns (+8). Worst: Irwin (-13), Hannan (-12), Dillon (-8)
Next Week in the Pacific
(this is exactly what it sounds like: the next week's schedule for all 7 Pacific Division teams. all times are pacific because, um, duh.)
|LA||-||vs.DET (7:30)||-||vs.OTT (7:30)||@ANA (7:00)||-||@WPG (1:00)|
|ANA||vs.DET (7:00)||-||vs.OTT (7:00)||-||vs.LA (7:00)||-||@DAL (5:00)|
|VAN||-||@BOS (4:00)||-||@BUF (4:00)||-||-||vs.STL (6:30)|
|CGY||-||@NYR (4:00)||@NJ (4:30)||-||@NYI (4:00)||-||-|
|SJ||-||-||-||vs.DET (7:30)||-||vs.OTT (7:00)||-|
|ARI||@NJ (4:00)||@NYI (4:00)||-||@NYR (4:00)||-||@BOS (2:30)||-|
|EDM||-||@MIN (5:00)||-||-||-||vs.STL (7:00)||-|
It's a pretty sweet deal for the Kings this coming week, as they play the Red Wings and the Senators with both teams on road back-to-backs (both play Anaheim the night before). That gets balanced out a little bit when they play the Ducks in their own back-to-back on Friday in Anaheim. On a selfish note, yours truly will be in attendance for that game, and I'm really looking forward to my first Kings home game!!! The week then wraps up on Sunday in Winnipeg.
As mentioned, the Ducks also play the Red Wings & Senators at home then have the big meeting with the Kings on Friday, before their week wraps up in Dallas on Sunday. The Canucks finish off their Eastern Conference road trip in Boston & Buffalo before coming home to face the Blues. Calgary & Arizona both make the New York metro swing, playing all three of the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils, and the Coyotes also have an early game in Boston. Finally, it's a light week for two bad hockey teams, as the Sharks & Oilers both play just two games.
That's all I've got for you this week. No Jewelcast tonight, but look for something next week when I'll be in Los Angeles and we'll all be in the same room for once, perhaps? I know, it won't really be a Jewelcast without all the random technical difficulties and people talking over each other, but we'll try to make the best of it anyway!