This Week in Kings (11/10/14)

Much better.

As you may or may not recall (hopefully not), the previous edition of TWIK was not a fun one, thanks to the Road Trip From Hell. Luckily for Kings weekly recappers everywhere, the team had a much better week this time around, with one unfortunate asterisk.

Though not involving anyone on the Kings' current NHL roster, another unfortunate incident happened around the team, this time involving prospect Jake Marchment and his misogynistic Tinder rants coming to public attention. This isn't even the first incident involving the team and mistreatment of women this season, to say nothing of happenings in the further past. The only silver lining here (if you can even call it that) is Langluy once again providing important insight and education on these issues, and she's also very involved in the #hockeyfightsdv campaign on Twitter that you should definitely check out and donate to should you have the means. We're all very proud of her work and want to stand behind her as a progressive voice; a Kings blog that stands up for equality, feminism, protecting victims and calling out perpetrators. We appreciate your support and we hope you'll continue to think about these issues even once (with any luck) such stories start to fade from the Kings-centric headlines.

Anyway, let's make a thoroughly awkward transition into talking about some shooty puck, shall we?

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, November 3rd

There was only one NHL game on this evening and it did not involve any Pacific Division teams. Boo, hiss, etc.

Tuesday, November 4th

-Philadelphia Flyers 4, Edmonton Oilers 1

-Calgary Flames 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)

-Los Angeles Kings 3, Dallas Stars 1: Unfortunately I did not see this game, as I was busy taking in a fake metal J-pop band's first-ever concert in New York City (you should know by now I'm not kidding). While I was out doing that, the Kings were thankfully salvaging a win at the back end of a disastrous road trip. The Stars have been a disaster in their own right so far this season, currently sitting last in the Central (and indeed the entire Western Conference) with a 4-6-4 record. Given all the offseason hype following their acquisitions of Jason Spezza (who hasn't been bad or anything, as he has 13 points in 14 games) and Ales Hemsky (uh, just 1 assist and no goals in 14 games, so yeah he's sucked), this is quite stunning. But there always seems to be one team who gets hyped up like crazy during the offseason and then crashes and burns starting out, and this year it's Dallas (last year it was arguably Ottawa; not sure what these two teams have in common I'll get back to you). Anyway, the Kings won! I didn't see the game! I said that already! Go read Eric's recap if you want more I got nothing. (recap) (gamethread)

-Vancouver Canucks 5, Colorado Avalanche 2

-Arizona Coyotes 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2: "We just barely held on to beat the Maple Leafs at home!" is probably not something you'll be shouting out from the rooftops anytime soon. The Yotes got out to an early 3-0 lead and then gave up 2 goals, to Dion Phaneuf in the 2nd and Cody Franson in the 3rd, but managed to squeak out the victory. Way to go guys.

Wednesday, November 5th

-New York Islanders 3, Anaheim Ducks 2 (OT): Because the Islanders are dicks (part 1), they somehow were unable to beat the Ducks in regulation despite the fact that Anaheim had: A) no Ryan Getzlaf, B) no Corey Perry, and C) our old pal Jason Labarbera in goal for them. Yep, thanks a ton, very helpful.

Thursday, November 6th

-Boston Bruins 5, Edmonton Oilers 2

-Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Calgary Flames 2

-New York Islanders 2, Los Angeles Kings 1 (SO): Because the Islanders are dicks (part 2), they came into Staples Center on night 2 of a back-to-back and somehow skated away with a victory anyway. I think this is really the game where a lot of people started to go "uh-oh" for the Kings: again, opponent on a road back-to-back, opponent hasn't been great lately regardless, and the Kings barely finish above break-even in the #fancystats and lose in a shootout? Not good, not good at all. The only thing I think many of us were forgetting at the time is that the first game back home after a long road trip is often a tough one, and this game was coming after just one night off following the win in Dallas. The Kings schedule has been pretty damn tough of late, which continued into Saturday, but things finally open up a little for them as they'll have three days off between Saturday's Vancouver game and this coming Wednesday's date with the Ducks. You hope the extra rest will allow them to have more games like Vancouver and less like this one. Not that the Kings were exactly bad, per say, but they definitely seemed more than a bit sluggish throughout the game and ultimately gave away a point they probably should have had. (recap) (gamethread)

-Vancouver Canucks 3, San Jose Sharks 2: So here is my thesis: the San Jose Sharks are not a hockey team but rather a torture experiment on the sports fans of the greater Bay Area. This game would be yet another piece of supporting evidence, as the Sharks appeared to tie the game right at the end.....only for it to be revealed that the puck had crossed the goal line after time had expired (and to be honest, on video review it wasn't even that close, as Joe Thornton's shot clearly didn't get past Ryan Miller and into the goal until well after the timer showedC 0.0). That sounds like the most San Jose Sharks thing ever, right? Exactly.

Friday, November 7th

-Edmonton Oilers 3, Buffalo Sabres 2: It's the Toilet Bowl! The Competition of Crap! The Showdown of Shit! The Fight for the Right to Draft High Yet Again! Okay that last one sucked. Anyway, the Oilers managed to just barely beat the Sabres. I'm sure they went straight to Disneyland after that one. Or whatever the Buffalo equivalent of Disneyland is (a parking lot with a car on fire? probably).

-Arizona Coyotes 3, Anaheim Ducks 2 (SO): Jesus christ can we just STOP GIVING THE DUCKS POINTS???

Saturday, November 8th

-Calgary Flames 6, Florida Panthers 4: Uh. They scored ten goals combined? The Flames and the Panthers did that? Sure, whatever.

-San Jose Sharks 5, Dallas Stars 3

-New York Islanders 1, Arizona Coyotes 0: Somehow the Coyotes only managed seven shots-on-goal at even strength in this game. Seven. That's, uh, something else. They did get twelve more shots on the power play though, so yay for them I guess.

-Los Angeles Kings 5, Vancouver Canucks 1: Oh god did I ever need this. Not only was this the first time I've seen the Kings just straight-out stomp an opponent into mush in a while, this was the first victory I saw of any kind in weeks (since again, I missed Tuesday's game against Dallas). Good to know we can always count on our old pals from Vancouver to provide a pick-me-up when we need it! There's really not that much that needs to be said about this game: the Kings scored goals in bunches and somehow came out way, way ahead in shot attempts (they were about a 61% Corsi overall and a crazy 67% Corsi at 5v5 for the game) despite leading by multiple goals for virtually all of it. It won't help improve our score close stats much, but it was a great, dominating performance against a Vancouver team that seemed to have almost no interest in playing this game. (recap) (gamethread)

Sunday, November 9th

-Edmonton Oilers 3, New York Rangers 1: Against a Rangers team that had played the previous night in Toronto and was missing literally half their blueline (McDonagh & Boyle both out with injuries and John Moore serving the fifth and final game of his suspension for an illegal check to the head back in a crazy Rangers-Wild game from a few weeks ago), the Oilers took advantage and skated away with their second win in a row. Ex-Ranger Benoit Pouliot really stuck it to his old team, scoring a goal and an assist and even more amazingly not taking a single offensive-zone penalty

-Chicago Blackhawks 5, San Jose Sharks 2

-Vancouver Canucks 2, Anaheim Ducks 1 (SO): You know, I can forgive the Ducks getting YET ANOTHER LOSER POINT here, since I figured Vancouver was getting stomped here on night 2 of a back-to-back and they pulled out the win. Guess they saved some energy by not showing up for most of the game at Staples. This makes that loss even more hilarious, because Vancouver somehow beat both of the other two California teams on their three-game swing (remember that their hilariously bad record against California was a huge factor behind them missing the playoffs last year), yet still looked completely outmatched and outclassed against the Kings in their loss against them.

This Week in Standings

Team GP W L OTL Points ROW GF GA Diff Home Away Last Week
1. Anaheim 16 10 3 3 23 9 41 32 +9 4-1-3 6-2-0 0-0-3
2. Vancouver 16 11 5 0 22 9 49 44 +5 4-2-0 7-3-0 3-1-0
3. Calgary 16 9 5 2 20 8 49 41 +8 2-2-2 7-3-0 2-1-0
4. Los Angeles 15 8 4 3 19 7 37 30 +7 7-1-1 1-3-2 2-0-1
5. San Jose 16 8 6 2 18 6 50 46 +4 2-3-0 6-3-2 1-2-0
6. Arizona 14 6 7 1 13 5 34 47 -13 4-3-0 2-4-1 2-1-0
7. Edmonton 15 6 8 1 13 6 38 51 -13 4-4-0 2-4-1 2-2-0

The Ducks remain at the top despite going winless, as they managed to pick up the loser point in all three of their defeats this past week. The Canucks had their second straight 3-1-0 week to pull within one point of the Ducks for the division lead, however. And just behind them is the Calgary Flames, who somehow starved off regression for at least one more week, going 2-1-0 to remain in 3rd.

The Kings' strong 2-0-1 week was enough for them to pass the Sharks, getting back up to 4th. They're now 1 point behind the Flames, 3 behind Vancouver, and 4 behind the Ducks, still holding onto a game-in-hand on all three teams. Meanwhile, the Sharks went 1-2-0 to fall backwards into 5th, though still just a point behind the Kings. And then comes the gulf that's already developed, as the Coyotes are 5 points back in 6th (albeit with 2 games-in-hand on San Jose). They did have a good 2-1-0 week to at least leapfrog back over the Oilers based entirely on playing the fewest games in the division. The Oilers had a decent for anyone else but fantastic for them 2-2-0 week to remain tied in points with the Coyotes, so let's give 'em a gold star because they earned it!

This Week in #fancystats

(all stats are total attempts, not percentages. thanks to extra skater war-on-ice.)

Kings 3, Stars 1
Corsi: Stars 64-Kings 50 (overall), Stars 45-Kings 41 (5v5), Stars 33-Kings 31 (5v5 close), Stars 17-Kings 16 (5v5 tied)
Fenwick: Stars 46-Kings 38 (overall), Stars 34-Kings 31 (5v5), Kings 23-Stars 23 (5v5 close), Kings 13-Stars 12 (5v5 tied)
LA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Doughty (+8), Muzzin (+7), Toffoli/Carter (tied, +3). Worst: Greene/Regehr (tied, -8), Brown/Stoll (tied, -7)
DAL Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Roussel (+14), Eakin (+12), Garbutt (+11). Worst: Jamie Benn/Daley (tied, -8), Nichuskin/Goligoski (tied, -7)

Islanders 2, Kings 1 (SO)
Corsi: Kings 62-Islanders 57 (overall), Kings 40-Islanders 38 (5v5/5v5 close), Kings 31-Islanders 29 (5v5 tied)
Fenwick: Islanders 46-Kings 44 (overall), Kings 30-Islanders 30 (5v5/5v5 close), Islanders 25-Kings 22 (5v5 tied)
LA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Muzzin/Brown (tied, +7), Doughty (+6). Worst: Toffoli (-6), Martinez (-5), Regehr (-4)
NYI Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Visnovsky (+8), Hickey (+5), Nelson/Lee (tied, +4). Worst: De Haan (-6), Leddy/Tavares/Okposo (tied, -5)

Kings 5, Canucks 1
: Kings 60-Canucks 37 (overall), Kings 53-Canucks 26 (5v5), Kings 11-Canucks 6 (5v5 close), Kings 6-Canucks 4 (5v5 tied)
Fenwick: Kings 53-Canucks 28 (overall), Kings 47-Canucks 20 (5v5), Kings 10-Canucks 4 (5v5 close), Kings 5-Canucks 2 (5v5 tied)
LA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Carter (+19), Pearson (+18), Toffoli (+16). Worst: Nolan (-1), Clifford (even), Stoll (+1)
VAN Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: H. Sedin (-1), Tanev (-3), Bonino/Vrbata/D. Sedin (tied, -5). Worst: Stanton (-14), Bieksa (-13), Hansen (-10)

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.)

Team 11/10 11/11 11/12 11/13 11/14 11/15 11/16
LA - - @ANA (7:30) vs.DAL (7:30) - vs.ANA (1:00) -
ANA - - vs.LA (7:30) - - @LA (1:00) vs.FLA (5:00)
VAN - vs.OTT (7:00) - - vs.ARI (7:00) - -
CGY @CAR (4:00) - - vs.ARI (6:00) - vs.OTT (7:00) -
SJ - @FLA (4:30) - @TB (4:30) - @CBJ (4:00) @CAR (2:00)
ARI - vs.DAL (6:00) - @CGY (6:00) @VAN (7:00) - @EDM (6:00)
EDM - @NSH (5:00) - vs.OTT (6:30) - - vs.ARI (6:00)

The Kings will play a home-and-home with the Ducks, although they'll also have to welcome in Dallas between those two contests on Thursday (the Ducks have no such opponent in between, providing us further proof of the league's notoriosu Pro-Fowl Agenda). Other than those two games with the Kings, the Ducks will also welcome in the Florida Panthers. Yeah, okay.

Just two games for the Canucks, both at home, as the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes come in to say hello. The Flames wrap up their eastern road trip tonight in Carolina before coming home to face those same Coyotes & Senators. The Sharks meanwhile are just about to start their own Eastern trip, as they'll play both Florida teams, the injury-ravaged Blue Jackets, and the Hurricanes. On paper that's a pretty damn easy road trip for them, league-leading Lightning aside. Meanwhile, the Coyotes have a home date with Dallas tomorrow before they take off to play all three Canadian Pacific clubs, all on the road. Finally, the Oilers finish their own long road trip in Nashville tomorrow before wrapping up their week at home against the Senators and Coyotes.

And that's all for another week. Be sure to tune into tonight's Jewelcast, when we'll have Kid Ish from Anaheim Calling for his second appearance, as we'll tee up that aforementioned home-and-home between the Kings and the Ducks! Should be a fun-filled broadcast so check back on the Jewels front page or on my Twitter for the stream.