Sunday, September 30, 2007

More like “High Coffee With Kings”

For a more in-depth analysis of “High Tea with Kings” please see below for KMS2's post. I won't bore you with repeating the same things unless I feel it is necessary. So my suggestion is to read hers first and then move onto mine. So I shall see you in a couple minutes.

I would like to take the time to write on my morning on Saturday the 29th at Ummba Grill for High Tea with Kings hosted by Keith Korneluk and Chris Kaliszewski of KingsCast podcast. What an awesome season opener to experience. Not only did my beloved Kings stomp on the Ducks 4-1, the game was witnessed by many within the cush setting of Ummba Grill. The ambiance was LA hip and the fans clad in Kings gear (not “crownshirts”) gave the restaurant a more intimate feel. And when I say “LA hip” I'm referring to my assumptions of it since I have been away from So Cal for seven years (blast!). The Silent Auction gave it an official feel as well with items from a Sean Avery-signed puck to a Robitaille jersey, with the proceeds going to Kings Care, and now that I think about it, the same person is now in possession of both items. The most comical item from the lot was a Cloutier-signed puck that went for an astounding $1.50 as the minimum. That made me happy because really, if the minimum had been the standard $25 who would have bid on it?? The dollar fifty price tag gave the whole Cloutier debacle a final slap on the ass. See ya later dude. But I became sad when I was outbid on a signed picture of Anze and Blake. I ended up bidding $40 because some guy named Keith Korneluk decided that it'd be fun to drive up the bidding on that particular item, which I had to beat because I needed the picture. That was, until some random-ass chick decided that her daughter needed the picture more than me!! APPALLING!!! And how much did she bid? A whopping $100 that I wasn't comfortable matching. FUCK. So that basically took me out of contention and also made me pissed as well. Oh well, what can you do other than be annoyed. Unfortunately, according to hottie-Keith there are dozens of kids crying because of me. And I now realize that I've mentioned Keith three, no four times in this post so far. But it's ok since he and Chris can't go through a podcast without mentioning Cloutier numerous times. So I say whatever to that. I will, from now on, refer to him as KK because his name is too long and awkward to type out.

So going back to the title of this post “More like 'High Coffee With Kings.'” I say this because I had been up since 4AM at practice and headed over to Ummba Grill after and decided that I needed a jolt of coffee. By 10AM I had consumed 2 big mugs of delicious coffee and 1/5 of a Bud Light. I was feeling quite buzzed in the lounge outside watching the plasma TV and having a blast. I should also mention that the guy bringing out drinks with the bright smile was super nice to our group. But I have to question out loud, was it because our whole group was probably around his age range or just that KMS2 and I were looking flashy in our Kings jerseys? I'm gonna have to go with the latter on this argument.

Now I will move on to comments on KMS2's thoughts and musings, which by now you should have already read.

1) The girl singing the national anthem. I don't think I've every actually talked during the singing of our nation's song, but dude...what the fuck... she couldn't carry a tune worth shit. It was so painful to my sensitive ears that I had to just start laughing at the ridiculousness of it. I thought it was just me, but after the first two lines of the song I hear KMS2 saying, “Could she sing ANY SLOWER????” But the funniest part about that whole thing was that when we heard that she was blind, one of guys in our group said, “Yeah, but is she deaf too???” Whereupon we all rolled on the ground in hysterics and that was the end of that conversation.

2) The lighting situation. I don't know if it had been elaborated on by the commentators, but really, didn't you guys have the whole freaking day to work on the lighting?? Why did you decide right before the start of the game to make this worthless decision? You made me wait a whole 15 minutes for the start of the season for something you could have done that morning? Bastards.

3) I totally agree that the Anaheim Fucks looked flat and unenthusiastic through the game. And why did they decide to pick it up in the last five minutes of the game? Did they think that they would be able to score 3 goals in five minutes? I don't care if you're the Stanley Cup Champions, you're still penises in my book. I have realized that my time spent up in northern Cali was focused entirely on hating the Sharks with every atom in my body and not really giving the Ducks any thought. I really didn't care when they won the Cup last year because that meant that the Sharks didn't. It was so bad that by the end of my stint up there (in a place that should be a different state), I was rooting with a fiery passion for any team playing against the Sharks. Fuck those guys. With Thornton, Marleau, and Cheechoo. Fucking annoying. And it really didn't help that Marleau and my old boss sort of resembled each other; I hated that guy. The only redeeming quality was that some of the younger guys were kind of cute and that Drew Remenda was good comic relief at times. But other than that, the Sharks can go suck it. I literally spent the last couple years of my life hearing people trash talk LA when they've probably never been and just go on stereotypes and follow the crowd. Let me say again, FUCKING ANNOYING.

4) I'm really glad that KMS2 got her signed picture of Anze. He's gonna be BIG and we're gonna watch his development through the next couple of years. I do hope he becomes a franchise player and helps take the Kings out of their proverbial rut... And Bernier!! I don't want to jinx I'm just gonna wait out the season and hope he becomes a goaltender that I can trust.

All-in-all, I had a fantastic time at the Ummba Grill eating, drinking, and being merry. The only downside to the experience: I didn't get Anze and Blake....

I'm Fucking Tired: Live Thoughts of the Second London Game

8:45 am: These 9 am start times are killing me.

8:47 am: Hunting? Fuck this shit, this is bullshit. Can't you just show pictures of London? How about Prince William and Prince Harry, they're related to London somehow, right?

8:50 am: Just read the back cover of "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" and decided that it will be the next book I read. Like I told the BF: "It'll probably make me appreciate you more."

8:57 am: I'm writing on my blog. What the hell is happening? Ahhhh, I want my Kings!!

9:04 am: Who is that talking? He is one unattractive man. Yikes!!

9:08 am: Drop the puck already! Sheesh!

9:09 am: Dude, blind girl, it's "RAMPARTS" NOT "RAMPAGE"! How did someone NOT tell her yesterday when she screwed it up??

10:21 am: About time the Kings scored! Good Lord, the Kings have looked atrocious. Maybe this goal will bring back their jump.

10:48 am: Drink everytime Cammalleri says "No doubt" in an interview.

11:16 am: I'm losing interest in this game. Is it naptime yet?

11:22 am: You know what I didn't miss in the off-season? The "Smiling Bob and His Male Enhancement" commercial. I hate that commercial.

11:36 am: well, that was a turd of a game. Time to sleep.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Kings 4, Quackers 1

Notes about the game:
  • So what was the deal with the lighting problem in the arena? The delay was kind of lame.
  • I was surprised by how many random European(?) jerseys were worn by people in the stands.
  • Thank God Bob Miller and Jim Fox were doing the play-by-play because I don't think I would have had a good of a time today if Bryan Hayward was talking throughout the game.
  • The girl singing the national anthems was terrible! She sang on about 3 different keys, said "rampage" instead of "rampart", and sang waaaaaay toooooooo sloooooooow.
  • And then we were the assholes for making fun of her when we found out she's blind. Hmmmmm....

I really wanted Bernier to get the shutout! Alas, he played a solid game and the goal he let in was neither a soft one nor to the short side, goals Cloutier had a habit of letting in last season. One player that I was pleasantly surprised to see play pretty well was Patrick O'Sullivan. He had an extra step and played with more intensity today than I remember during the time he spent with the Kings last season. He played on the PK a lot, almost had a SHG, and set up the empty-netter SHG scored by Handzus.

I was very surprised to see how flat the Ducks looked. They put on the pressure during the last 5 minutes of the game but didn't do a whole lot throughout most of the game. They also took a lot of penalites, which was fine with me. I expect tomorrow's game to be a lot closer and won't be too surprised if there's a fight or two.

Now the viewing party:
Big thanks to the guys at KingsCast for putting together the "High Tea with Kings" event. The BF and I left our place at 7:30 am (mind you, I catch up on sleep during the weekend and I rarely wake up before noon on Saturdays and Sundays so this was huge for me), got to the bro's place at about 8:15 am. I tried to play some Halo 3 but I suck big time at Halo so all I ended up doing was successfully walk into some lake and then get completely submerged in water, not knowing which way was up or down. Anyway, the bro's friends came by and we cabbed it to Ummba Grill where we met up with CKim and more of my bro's friends.

We got to Ummba Grill a bit before 9am and the waiter led us outside to a great open area with couches, low tables, and a TV. It was the perfect setting for our group and the only downside was that when the sun came out the glare kind of got in the way. While we got our buffet breakfast and the waiter was getting our drinks, a Kings fan and his 6 or 7 year old daughter came outside and sat in our area. I looked at CKim and we both said, "ooooh, I don't think they'll want to sit next to us."

There was a silent auction of Kings goodies including several autographed photos, signed pucks, and a signed Robitaille jersey. The minimum bid for all items was $25. Oh wait, except for the puck signed by Cloutier. That bid started at $1.50. I think the winning bid was $25, which the winner admitted was a pity bid. Even the puck signed by Avery started at $25!! (My brother won that one. It warms my heart that my brother likes him, too. We are related!)

CKim really wanted the photo of Kopitar and Blake, signed by both, but was outbid by some lady who apparently bought it for her daughter. Instead of bidding in increments of $5 (which was the min increment) this lady placed a bid that was $60 higher than what CKim had! WTF? Way to take the fun out of the silent auction! And I can't believe this lady bought it for her kid. My parents never did anything like that for me! That girl needs to earn her shit!

My max bid on the Robitaille jersey was $100 and, of course, my bro had to outbid me. He was eventually outbid by one of his friends, but after the auction was over and the guy paid for it, my bro handed him some cash in the amount of $10 above the winning amount to buy the jersey. I'm convinced that it's really a Christmas gift for me for the next 5 years so I'm not too upset that he "won" it.

I did, however, win an autographed photo of Anze Kopitar!! This is my first piece of sports memorobilia so I'm very excited. Here's a picture of me (holding the photo) and CKim. (This is the first photo of myself that I posted on this blog so this is a huge step for me. You can thank CKim who had the final say in whether or not I post this photo.)

NOVEMBER 2007 UPDATE: I've decided to remove the pics because I'm just too uncomfortable with posting pictures of myself. Sorry readers! You can try to find me on facebook or myspace but, of course, I may decide to reject you as a friend.

KingsCast was also handing out free KingsCast stickers and t-shirts. I didn't get one because they didn't have any sizes small enough for me. In addition to the $1 Bud Lights someone was handing out free Grolsch beer. At the time I wasn't sure if they were free so I was slightly concerned about what our tab was going to be at the end of the game. Luckily, the Grolsch was free so for 22 non-free beers plus tax, our tab was $23.82. Awesome.

All in all, a great day. I'm so tired and just need a nap. But, game on tomorrow! Instead of driving to a bar, I'm bringing the alcohol to my place. Drinking at 9am; it's like I'm still in college. (*tear* I miss college.) Go Kings!

Friday, September 28, 2007

An introduction?....

So I guess I’ll try and introduce myself now. KMS2 and I have known each other since…7th grade I guess? We grew up watching our brothers’ roller hockey team dominate every team they stepped out on the rink with. It became apparent just how good they were when the officials in Lakewood, CA started implementing the mercy rule. This rule basically stated that if a team was ahead by ten goals, the game was over. Once this took effect, I don’t remember any game lasting the whole standard 45 minutes. Sad, isn’t it? This was also the rink where I remember encountering stupid puck bunnies for the first time. I distinctly remember this one time where we heard a girl say, “DON’T LET HIM TOUCH THE PUCK!!” Whereupon KMS2 and I looked at each other both thinking, “Dude, that girl is dumb.” Don’t let him touch the puck?!?! Are you kidding me? Get the fuck outta here.

So wait, wasn’t I supposed to be introducing myself? Ok ok, so I’m 25 and I like long walks on the beach…what…still not right? Alright. Fo realz. I grew up in sunny, coastal So Cal being a kid and watching a lot of hockey. Here’s a funny memory of when I was younger just to illustrate how long I’ve been exposed to the sport. I must have been in elementary school… but I had taken an afternoon nap and woken up (it must have been after 7:30), and I was EXTREMELY disoriented. The sun hadn’t set yet and I didn’t know if it was 7:30 AM or PM. So I get dressed for school (again) in my half-asleep stupor and walk out of my room. My brother is in the living room eating and watching a hockey game. I was so confused when I saw the game that I pointed at the tv and said, “wait…is it morning or night right now??” At the same time thinking that the Kings had never played this early in the morning. My brother definitely just looked at me and started laughing. Thanks.

Moral of the story: Afternoon naps can mess with your head.

So I’ve concluded that I don’t know how to introduce myself on this. How about you just ask me something and I’ll try to find a good answer.

Favorite KingsCast Podcasts

Since I didn't discover KingsCast podcasts until after the season was over I've been catching up over the off season. Today I listened to "Enter the Scrubs", episode #13, which was posted right towards the end of the season. I was delighted to hear the guys make fun of John Zeiler, or rather as they put it, "John MY NAME IS ZEILER!!", especially when they describe his jersey number:

"John Zeiler, right wing, #73, the anti-hero, the number for offensive and defensive linemen. Oh, and some hockey players, too."

Whether Modry deserves it or not, I always get a laugh when they rip on him like he's Britney Spears. When discussing the Norstrom trade that brought Modry back to the Kings the guys described the trade as being understandable since Matty wasn't a good fit in the young rebuilding model and brought in good draft picks since his stock is still up. They defended DL's decision to acquire Modry in the deal by saying, " Modry is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and there's no way in fuck that we'll keep him." Well guys...ummm...hmmm. So yeah, I'll have to find a recently posted podcast to find out how they took the news.

I also listened to the episode, "Commitment to Excellence" and absolutely loved it when they called out Dainius Zubrus who said, after the Caps beat the Kings, "those are the teams we should beat for sure to make that push." KingsCast's response?

"Yo. You have, like, 5 more points than us, so stop talking like you're a fucking contender or something. You're really not that much better than us."

And as if any of you care, but: my Mini ipod is hurting. I charge it and charge it and it never seems to last more than a couple hours before the battery is too low to work. *sigh* I just might have to fork over for an upgrade.

Tomorrow: Season opener for the LA Kings!! After some deliberation with the hermano and his friends, it's decided that we'll be watching the game in Century City at Ummba Grill at the "High Tea with Kings". Check out KingsCast for additional details. For those who want to hang in Strong Beach, check out Life in Hockeywood and Let's Go Kings for details on a viewing party located in downtown.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Heart Margee and My Kings!

HUGE shout out to Margee who runs the clever and witty site, SportSquee. Lately she's been doing a series of Squee-Views for the upcoming season, highlighting the squee-worthy players on squee-worthy teams. I've been talking up Michael Cammalleri and JMFJ ever since she mentioned doing this series of posts and was worried that she wouldn't agree. Lucky for me, she agrees with me and finally posted her Squee-View of the LA Kings. I won't quote her entire post but my favorite description is that of JMFJ:

[JMFJ] definitely looks like the kind of guy you'd have to cover your drink around, but preppy-cute is a cute that never goes out of style. JMFJ will get you drunk, throw a striped tie on his doorknob, have his way with you, and send you off to do the Walk of Shame. And you probably wouldn't regret it too much.

Head on over to SportSquee to catch all the Squee-Views. Margee educated me on the hotness that is Jeff Halpern and I'm sure she'll brighten your day with cute, dashing photos and hilarious commentary on why we all love these guys (but just might not admit in public). Thanks Margee, my day is complete!

None of my boyfriends ever did that for me

Hello all! As this is my first entry on KMS2’s page, I should probably give a little intro of myself. But not just yet. I have a more pressing matter to discuss, that of ridiculousness.

Let me start off by saying this. I came of age watching Full House, Family Matters, and the MMC. I don’t really remember what high school was all about…just awkwardness and learning how to drive? But early college was mildly Britney Spears-influenced. All’s I gots ta say is “poor Britney.” But that’s a whole other entry not for today. I wanted to let you all know that I did not come from the generation growing up with Hilary Duff. So when I heard the name her a couple years ago my initial thoughts were:

  1. Who?

  2. Her last name is really Duff? Duff Beer? Like in the Simpsons?

  3. How is she famous and how have I not heard of her? I look at the covers of gossips rags like any red-blooded American. I thought I was up on my celebrity news. Apparently not.

So I’m on my way to work earlier this week and I turn the radio dial to 102.7 where I hear a headline to an upcoming story, “Hockey player bought his girlfriend a huge birthday gift. Stick around to see who it is and what it was.” I so wanted to hear which player made the news outside of the hockey world! It had to be something big. Alas, they didn’t run the story before I had to go into work. But I was updating myself on the general news a couple nights ago and I see that Mike Comrie was the subject of the news flash that I had previously missed. That dude bought his girlfriend, HILARY DUFF BEER, a flipping Mercedes. WTF. Isn’t she like 12 or something? Mike, do you think she doesn’t have enough money to buy her own car? I mean really, how much free stuff do you think she already gets by just being who she is. And what kills me is that they’ve only been dating a couple of months! Couldn’t you have bought something else on a slightly less of a grand scale? Like a box of chocolates? Half-eaten, Forrest Gump style. Or maybe, just maybe, she sang him a song and put him under a spell. You know, like Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus, “I Put a Spell on You.”

Now I’m curious to see what HE drives….

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Contributor!!!

After much arm twisting I finally convinced my friend, CKim, to help me write some posts. She's not hell bent on writing everyday, which I couldn't really understand given how much information we receive about the Kings from the local press. We've been friends for quite some time and instantly bonded over our deep set love for our LA Kings. She as big a fan of the LA Kings as I am and was brutally tortured during her stint up in San Jose country the past several years. Our older brothers played roller hockey together and we were their biggest fans, attending every game we could, and always criticizing the stupid puck bunnies who would just yell, "SHOOT IT!!! SHOOT THE PUCK!!!" every single time a player on their team touched the puck. So Annoying!

I'm not sure when CKim will write her first post but be on the lookout! And I'll make sure she gives a much better background of herself when she does put up that first post.

I'm Full of Rage!!

Shame on you Bucci and your editor for not correcting one of the cardinal sins in grammar: the difference between " you are = you're" and "your".

The second to last sentence in the third paragraph of the analysis of the Kings (whom he picks to finish 13th in the West, BEHIND Edmonton....WHAT?! that deserves a completely different rage post) he writes:

"But getting another high lottery pick when YOUR not ready to contend for a championship is never a bad thing."

Are you kidding me?!!? My opinion of him and ESPN just dropped another couple notches. Oh, wait, what was that? You don't think Bucci or ESPN should be perfect with their editing? Oh, I'm sorry for expecting them to be perfect since I would be very surprised if Bucci didn't get paid for writing these columns and ESPN wasn't raking in the dough for putting out sports information.

And I'm sorry, but the news of Cloutier being put on waivers occurred on Friday, Sept 21st. This article came out today, Wednesday Sept 26th. Can someone please tell me how long it takes an article to be "published" once it is written by the author? I realize that our goalie situation is still completely up in the air and it's entirely possible that Bernier will suck just as bad as Cloutier, but using the following reason for why the Kings' goaltending situation is piss poor is just irrelevant since Cloutier is now in Manchester:

"And maybe goalie Dan Cloutier , who had surgery on his hip in December and says he is ready, will be healthy and return to the form he had in Vancouver, where he had a strong defense in front of him and was a .900-save percentage, 30-win goalie"

Apparently I'm on a rant marathon so why stop??

I'm all for cute, quirky, unique nicknames but sometimes people can go a little too far. For instance, there was, or maybe still is, a young female news reporter who I think was Latina and was quite cute who spoke with an accent. I think she was referring to the Miami Dolphins but instead of saying "Dolphins" she said "swimming mammals". My dad thought it was hysterical, especially with her accent, but I thought it was stupid. In today's recap of the Kings' last exhibition game in Austria, the writer referenced the Kings as the "Crownshirts". I refused to finish reading the article but if you want to read about Kopi being the mastermind behind the Kings' offense, read about it here: The Rangers can be called the "blueshirts" (they have enough history to warrant that nickname) but the "crownshirts"?? That doesn't even sound good. It doesn't roll off the tongue very well because "crown" doesn't flow well into "shirts". The word just irks me, or in the words of the BF, "it offends me". And you know what else? I googled the term "crownshirts" and received 3 hits. 3!!! Just 3!!! And one of them was from the Let's Go Kings forum in which readers talk about it being ridiculous that the Kings PR is trying to coin this new phrase. EXACTLY!! I knew "crownshirts" was some BS term that (I hope) will have zero staying power. And can I just tell you how much it bothers me that Let's Go Kings doesn't have an apostrophe in "let's" (I added the apostrophe). C'mon people! "Let's = Let us", there's an apostrophe! Use it!

Oh, and it's official: kms2 will not be attending the home opener. (And now I'm officially a douche for referring to myself in the third person.) In fact, I'd say there's a 100% probability that I won't even be able to watch it. I'm actually not that upset about it because I realize that home openers come around every year and my friend's commitment ceremony will only happen once. But I am planning on seeing a Kings game in October with one of my few female hockey friends. She's been up in SJ country since we graduated high school and we've actually never been to a Kings game together so it'll be fun. When I told the BF that we're planning on doing it he sounded very disappointed that I hadn't included him to which I responded, "Sorry Sweetie, but it's 'Girls Night Out at the Hockey Game'!" Oh and apparently the Kings mini-game packs are almost sold out. Who knew that would happen! I personally wish the Kings would let the fans pick which games they want to attend. I'm very tempted to write the Kings organization a letter complaining that the Ducks allow their fans to choose their own games. It will probably end with the following sentence: "Sooooo there! What are you going to do to best the Ducks?? Hmmm????"

Ok, that's it. I'm done here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kings Projected Production Part 2: Defensemen

I'm going to write my projected production predictions for most of the Kings defensemen in one post. I think there is still uncertainty as to who will be with the team come this Saturday, but the ones that I think will definitely be on the roster are:
  • Rob Blake
  • Kevin Dallman
  • JMFJ
  • Jon Klemm
  • Jaroslav Modry
  • Tom Preissing
  • Brad Stuart
  • Lubomir Visnovsky

Kevin Dallman
Joe Piskula is the only other defenseman still with the team. One way the Kings could keep him on the roster is if Kevin Dallman is used as a forward, most likely RW considering how weak we are in that position (thanks to Silencer76 for pointing out that glaring hole in our lineup). I'm pretty sure it was Dallman who played forward and defense last season. (I usually get him and Willsie mixed up but I doubt it was Willsie that was playing defense.) Dallman's 2006-2007 season total was 1-9-10. Whether he's a forward or defenseman I foresee him playing on the last line and I don't expect him to produce many points over last season's total.

My prediction for Dallman's projected production: 1-10-11

Rob Blake
In Rob Blake's first season back as a King his numbers were 14-20-34. However, the dude was a whopping -26, only 2 shy of his personal worst of -28 that he posted as a King during the '96-'97 season. Considering Lubi was a +1 I don't think there's really much excuse for Blakie since both guys play a lot of time on the PP. Blake seemed to be much more offensive-minded than I remember him being in the past (although I didn't really follow him that much during his stint with the Avs). He wasn't just an offensive-defenseman like Lubi, he was really in the offense, skating in deep on the far side waiting for the pass or the bounce. Usually this play would happen when the Kings were on the PP but if I remember correctly it would also happen when the Kings were at even strength. Whenever I saw Blake go in deep I would start to feel uneasy and nervous but also anxious because I wanted him to score and have a great season, especially since he started out really slow. I'm not really sure what style Blake will play this season but I wouldn't mind seeing him stay home more often, or at least stay closer to the blueline than the trapezoid. Anyhow, I expect Blake to start off quicker, have about the same or fewer goals, and a lot more assists than he did last season. Here's hoping the fans stop booing him this season. Get over it LA Kings fans, he's ours now whether you like or not!

My prediction for Blake's projected production: 12-35-47

I'm basing JMFJ's projected season total based on other rookie defensemen and what I think his playing style will be this season. If Blake plays more defensive-minded hockey, then JMFJ will probably be an offensive-defenseman. Not really sure what I think about this forecast since his critics were quick to point out that he needs to be more disciplined as a defenseman. Dion Phaneuf was 20-29-49 in his rookie year and 17-33-50 in his second season. John-Michael Liles' past three season totals are 10-24-34, 14-35-49, and 14-30-44. I think JMFJ could put up 35-40 points this season, but of course I hope it will be more. Ok, here it goes:

My prediction for JMFJ's projected production: 12-25-37, five fights, and 95 PIM

Lubomir Visnovsky
I absolutely adore Lubomir. I'm not sure why but whenever I see him play I get a little smile on my face. He has boyish looks like Alexander Frolov and while he may not always smile like Fro, he still doesn't look like he's trying and thinking too hard. I think it's amazing how well he's progressed the past two seasons after hovering around the 25-30 points/season mark for the three years prior. Whether it's because there's less grabbing and holding for when he skates end to end, the team hasn't been that hot lately (but they weren't that great his first four years with the team), or he's finally found his groove, I can't explain why his season totals for the past two seasons exploded to 17-50-67 in 80 games and 18-40-58 in 69 games. I think he definitely deserved the pay raise he received in the off-season despite what some critics may think. Expect him to put up very similar numbers.

My prediction for Lubi's projected production: 16-52-68

Tom Preissing
I thought Tommy Boy had a lot more seasons to his name than just 3. Just shows how unfamiliar I am with most of the new guys, including Brad Stuart and Jon Klemm. Based on his stats, he's more of a playmaker, with about 30 assists in each of the last two seasons, but has a pretty poor shooting percentage with less than 0.10, almost half of Lubi's shooting percentage. I'm sure I've read articles about the style he normally plays but I can't remember them at all. If any Eastern Conference, Ottawa Senators, or San Jose Sharks fans have anything to add about TP, please let me know in the comments!

My guess for TP's projected production: 5-30-35, +17

I don't know much about Jaroslav Modry, Brad Stuart, or Jon Klemm and I don't feel like doing the research on them. Apparently there's a Battle of California reader who has a hard on for Brad Stuart. The affable guys at KingsCast can't stand Jaroslav Modry. And Jon Klemm doesn't seem to offend anyone. Take that as you may.

The start of the season is so close!! Why can't it be Saturday already!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kings Production Projection Part 1 of ?

For the past month or two I've been wanting to write a series of posts about the projected production of certain Kings. With a week before the season starts I figure now is the best time to get these posts up. RudyKelly over at Battle of California has done a series of posts with previews of certain players, including his personal favorite, Brian Willsie. So head on over there for a quick refresher of what the Kings have to offer this season. Read on further to find out what I think will happen.

This series will start with my current favorite Kings player, Alexander Frolov.

Quick side note: my friend was in Vegas for Frozen Fury and walked by Frolo while she was wearing her Kings jersey. She said he gave her a slight smile as he walked past but she was too flustered to say or do anything. The next time I see her I'll definitely give her a stern talking to because not getting an autograph or photo is just blasphemy!

In his preview of Frolov, RudyKelly noted that while many fans, myself included, are quick to yell at Fro for not shooting enough, RK appreciates that he doesn't shoot like Avery and takes his time and looks for the quality opportunities. I do agree with RK, but Frolov should be a 40-goal scorer and the only way for him to get there is to take more shots or have better accuracy. However Fro does it, he better get those 40 goals this season. The 2007-2008 season will be his fifth season in the NHL, all with the Kings, and every season there's been an improvement in his points production. With a better team, at least on paper, being on the ice this season there's no reason why he shouldn't have a career season.

Last season, Fro played in all 82 games (let's hope he can stay healthy again) and had 35 goals, 36 assists, 71 points, but was a -8. I'm not even going to guess which line he'll play on and with whom because last season Crow had the lines all switched around. With Handzus, Nagy, and Calder in the mix, I still think Fro will be on the first or second line maybe with Handzus or Kopitar at center.

While I was content with Frolov's production last season, I was shocked that Cammy surpassed him in points. DL and Co. seemed to be on his back last season about putting up better numbers and I'm sure that will be the case this season. With the added pressure of needing to be one of the best, if not the best, on the team and with younger guys coming up every season, Fro has a lot to prove this season. However, he never seems to look like he's under a lot of pressure because he always seems so relaxed. I love watching him play because he's always smiling whenever the team does well. He rarely has a big, ostentatious goal celebration, but he always has that boyish smile on his face. The improved Kings roster will only help Frolov become one of the leaders of this group.

My prediction for Frolov's Projected Production: 44-36-80

Friday, September 21, 2007

One Goalie Down!!


RudyKelly over at Battle of California has a good post on this matter so I'll let him explain why this probably happened while I go celebrate the news.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

2007-2008 NHL Predictions

Sept 27th Update: Quick Note to Readers
Recently this specific post has been seeing a lot of traffic from readers searching for NHL predictions for the '07-'08 season. I wrote this post mainly for myself because I wanted to take a shot at making predictions. I'm nothing more than an avid LA Kings fan but I did try to kick my emotions to the side in an effort to make objective predictions. If you're curious to know more about the person behind this post, feel free to read my "Hockey's Ladies of Greatness (HLOG) Q&A". Feel free to leave your predictions (or good or bad criticism) in the comments or send me an email at pc[dot]velvet[at]gmail[dot]com if you would like me to link to your blog or website. Happy Hockey Season!

Last year I wrote a post about my predictions for each conference. The only reason I wrote it was to prove to the BF that making predictions before the season starts it ludicrous. I doubt I proved anything but my lack of ability to correctly predict the outcome of the season. Before the '06-'07 season began I was filled with rage because every hockey analyst had his head stuck so far up Anaheim's ass and all they could talk about was the Ducks winning the Cup. I wanted the Ducks to prove everyone wrong and they even told Detroit they were giving them the series but Detroit kept insisting they have enough Cups and that they no longer wanted to play. Detroit even proved their point by sending Liljas out on the ice who coughed up the puck to Selanne. "Utter bullshit!!" I yelled at the TV. "Isn't it obvious that Detroit is throwing the game!!" I tried to argue with no one else in the room. And then along came Ottawa. I thought for sure they would want to win the Cup. But for some reason they threw that series, too! I'm convinced that the entire hockey community was in on the secret; everyone had set bets at the beginning of the season, betting that Anaheim would win the Cup. With Niedermayer and Pronger to provide great defense, and Selanne and Giguere at the top of their games, the Ducks seemed like an easy pick at the beginning of the season and everyone wanted to reap the benefits. "But not this year!!!" I proclaim. A conspiracy can't possibly be successfully executed two years in a row, right??

Despite the loss of Pennersquee, Pahlsson's hernia surgery, Giguere's surgery, and the possible retirement of Selanne and Niedermeyer, Anaheim still seems to be the frontrunner in the minds of hockey analysts. But I think things will be much different this season. I don't think that any team has garnered much attention in the off-season to already be declared the 2008 Cup Champions. So who do I think will win the Cup this season?

For no real reason other than a gut feeling, Calgary is at the top of my list. I also like Carolina. It's like these teams speak to me and I have to listen. (Did anyone watch the Property Ladder or Flip This House episode where the Jamaican lady was flipping a house for the first time so that she could quit her desk job and pursue her dream to become a healer? She kept saying the house was speaking to her so she made all these stupid, unnecessary, and outlandish changes to the house that did nothing but put her in debt. That episode was awesome!) Carolina may seem like crazy pick but I think the team will bounce back from their disappointing season as defending Cup champions.

I also think that Pittsburgh has a good young team but goaltending could be their weakest position. Vancouver seems fairly solid, especially with Luongo bringing up the D. San Jose also seems like a solid team but they'll have to fight the JR curse. Also, I would just die if another California team won the Cup before the Kings. I really wanted to give explanations for why I placed teams to finish in certain positions but I just haven't had the energy to do the research and coherently explain my reasons. Alas, you're stuck with just lists and a couple sentences. Call me a retard, an idiot, or a dreamer. Whatever. I figure I should actually do a good job at the job I get paid to do and, therefore, my blog doesn't get nearly enough attention that I should give it.

Here are my predictions for how each team will rank at the end of the regular season within their respective Divisions and which teams I think will qualify for the playoffs.

Western Conference Predictions
1. Calgary
2. Vancouver
3. Colorado
4. Minnesota
5. Edmonton

1. Detroit
2. St. Louis
3. Chicago
4. Nashville
5. Columbus

1. San Jose
2. Anaheim
3. Dallas
4. Los Angeles
5. Phoenix

Playoff Qualifiers (in no particular order):
St. Louis
San Jose

Eastern Conference Predictions
1.NY Rangers
2. Pittsburgh
3. New Jersey
4. Philadelphia
5. NY Islanders

1. Ottawa
2. Toronto
3. Buffalo
4. Boston
5. Montreal

1. Carolina
2. Tampa Bay
3. Atlanta
4. Washington
5. Florida

Playoff Qualifiers (in no particular order):
Tampa Bay
NY Rangers
New Jersey

Stanley Cup Finals:
Calgary Flames v. Carolina Hurricanes

2008 Cup Champions:
Calgary Flames

It pains me to leave the Kings off the playoff qualifying list but I just don't see Anaheim, San Jose, or Dallas sucking as bad as the Kings. I think it's fair to say that Edmonton will be the bottom feeders of the West. Like I said earlier, I like Calgary's team a lot. Once again, I apologize for my lack of explanations for why I picked these teams, but do your best to guess why I picked them.

What are your predictions?

Stupid Sports Writers

It really irks me when a sports writer doesn’t even has his facts straight. I read the following sentence once and knew right away that this writer made a mistake:

“But the two who may have the most to prove are forwards Ladislav Nagy and Michal Handzus, Slovakian national teammates who also played together at Dallas and Phoenix”.

“What?” I thought. “Nagy and Handzus played together in St. Louis and Phoenix and I don’t think Handzus ever played for Dallas.” A quick check on Handzie’s
profile correctly shows that he has played for St. Louis, Phoenix, Philly, and Chicago. Hey Lonnie White, was it really that difficult to get your facts straight? Hey, LA Times, who in the world is checking these facts? Does anyone even proofread these articles to make sure they’re correct?

It really pisses me off that guys like Lonnie White are getting paid to write these articles! “Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!” I want to scream like Charlie from Sunny. I guess I’ll just have to pull out the green suit and calm myself down.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kings v. Ducks

Since I just can’t seem to shake the tendency to talk smack about the Ducks I figure I should at least fully embrace it instead of trying to cover it up. I mean, you only live once, right? I realize that wishing ill upon someone or an organization is truly bad karma but as long as the injury isn’t life threatening it’s ok…or at least a little bit ok.

First, Scotty Niedermayer decided to take John Kerry’s class, Flip-Flopping 101, and has gone back and forth between wanting to retire and wanting to play. Even though I don’t claim to know much about S. Niedermayer, with the exception that I know he has the most beautiful eyes second to only Stevie Y, it still seems out of character for Niedermayer not to be thinking about his team first and his personal needs second. But as I write this, I wonder, “Should more players put their needs before the team?” Even though they’re getting paid millions to play hockey it is still a job. Imagine for a second that you’re actually working in a field that you love and getting greatly compensated for your job but the hours are brutal and you’re emotionally and physically exhausted everyday. You can only take vacations during a set period of time and holidays? Yeah, right, say good-bye to those. Pronger obviously chose personal needs over Edmonton’s needs when he demanded a trade. Lindros definitely didn’t give squat about Quebec’s needs when he refused to play for the team. But I also wonder, “What would happen if more players started demanding more? What if more players refused to play for certain teams? What if veterans started asking for more time off or refused to make certain road trips because it was too physically and mentally exhausting?” All I know right now is that Niedermayer won’t be around till at least mid- to late-October, which means that’s at least 2 fewer games the Kings will have to face him!

Second, Teemu Selanne is still undecided about his future. However, my boss has a friend who has a friend who fits Selanne’s equipment and apparently Selanne was recently fitted for a new pair of skates. Would Selanne need a new pair of skates if he was retiring? Probably not. Still, I think there’s good chance Selanne won’t be around in London and maybe even longer. Again, what’s with the indecision?

Third, newly acquired defenseman, Mathieu Schneider, is out for at least 4 weeks after breaking a bone in his ankle during a preseason game against the LA Kings. I hate to revel in someone else’s pain and suffering, but at least it’s not life-threatening or career-ending. If he’s out for 4 weeks, that puts him out of the London games. If it’s longer than 4 weeks, he could miss a game or two in November against the Kings. Ohhh, the possibilities!

I realize that teams just need to make the playoffs but I have a bet with my boss based on the season series between the Kings and Ducks. I already owe him lunch for a horrendously stupid bet I made at the end of last season so I’m determined not to lose the bet this year. We still haven’t figured out the details of what the winner gets but I’m sure it’ll either be lunch or several cases of beer.

12 more days till the season starts!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sudden Death

Yesterday Sudden Death came in the mail! The other day my brother and I were talking about it and he did confirm that we saw this movie years ago. Since I couldn't remember much about it other than it wasn't that good, he warned me about the end of the movie. I was already preparing myself for the worst but I didn't anticipate just how bad it would be.

This movie is unbelievably bad. So bad that it shouldn't be in the Action/Drama/Thriller category, but rather the comedy section because I laughed so damn hard during this movie. I'll get into more about why this movie is so funny later in the "Spoiler" section because I don't want to give away too much information to those who have not seen the movie. Although, everyone should just read the "Spoiler" section since I'm not sure why anyone would actually want to rent this movie without knowing what they're getting themselves into.

Sudden Death is about a group of "terrorists" that takes the Vice President hostage while he's at Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Jean-Claude Van Damme (JCVD) is, of course, the one who fights all of them in an attempt to save the Mellon Arena Vice President. The plot was confusing at first because it took awhile before you found out exactly why the VP was held hostage. Then once you do find out why he's held hostage you realize it's the lamest plot ever because who the hell ever cares about the Vice President? I'm sure if that ever happened the US President would just say, "Sure, kill him! As long as it's not me!" The movie has a lot of bad acting, several fight scenes, clips of the hockey game, and a lot of shooting.

First of all, no matter how much you like watching hockey clips in movies, if you don't like Jean-Claude Van Damme don't even bother renting this movie. Watch Youngblood because, despite the cheesy hockey shots, it's much better than Sudden Death. JCVD is the only famous actor in this movie and no one else in the movie stands out as a great memorable actor. As usual JCVD's acting was terrible and his fighting was pretty good. Although I did think it was funny that his character, a former fireman, was so good at martial arts fighting! There are many parts in the movie that are so unrealistic, which I think is a big contributor to why the movie sucks. The ending is so ridiculous and asinine that I just sat on the couch speechless because I didn't even know where to start my critique (even IMDB notes that what happens at the end of the movie isn't physically possible). The BF noted that this movie was made during a time (1995) when any movie could get made despite how bad it was. Save yourself the time and money and don't watch it.

The good part of the movie: Luc Robitaille makes an appearance and even has a couple lines. He speaks in French to JCVD and scores the game-tying goal to send the game to Sudden Death overtime...get it!?! Seeing Luc made my day and I was surprised that I didn't remember that he is in it. I heart Luc! ;)

The best comedic part: The first fight scene occurs in the kitchen of Mellon Arena and is between JCVD and a female member of the terrorist group. The female actually looks like a tranny so it's possible that she was really a he. Regardless, she was in the Penguins mascot costume so JCVD was essentially fighting a huge penguin. For most of the fight the Penguin was kicking his ass and since the fight was occurring in a kitchen both fighters were using all sorts of equipment to inflict the most damage. I'm not sure how the Penguin was able to put up such a good fight considering the costume looked like it significantly impaired her mobility. This fight scene was by the far the funniest part of the movie. I replayed several parts because I couldn't believe that JCVD was getting rocked by a Penguin.

The most annoying character: This award is split amongst three characters: the lead terrorist, JCVD's son, and JCVD's daughter. The lead terrorist was just an ass. He wasn't snarky or scary or mean, just annoying. He was such a bad "bad guy" and I kept hoping that the actor would miraculously change in the middle of the movie so I didn't have to listen to this jackass talk.

The "actors" that play the kids are just as annoying as the lead terrorist. I think the son may have been in Sleepless in Seattle because he looked familiar. The reason the kids were at the game is because JCVD is the fire Marshall at Mellon Arena and he had two tickets to the game. Since he was technically working during the game he told his kids to stay in their seats even in the arena came tumbling down. While the daughter was a stupid ugly brat and left her seat, the son stayed in his seat even though Mellon Arena was practically exploding and falling down. At the end of the movie JCVD runs to find his son and finds him still sitting in his seat and the kid says while crying, "I stayed in my seat. I stayed. I didn't move." Fuck you, kid! How stupid do you have to be to actually take your dad's word so literally! Stupid kids piss me off.

The daughter is probably the worst because she's so unlikeable. Call me pretentious and superficial but if kids are going to be in commercials, tv shows, or movies, they better be super cute and adorable. This girl was neither. She had coke bottle glasses, a Penguins hat that was too big and looked like had never been worn before (as in, the bill was flat and the hat still looked kind of boxy), her hair was out of control and her voice was annoying. Ugh, I couldn't stand her! And whenever one of the terrorists would grab her hand and run away from JCVD she would scream but also keep running with them. Please, bitches! If I was getting kidnapped I would go limp and make the person drag me or carry me, or at least try to bite the hell out of the guy or kick him in the crotch! Such bad writing!

Runner up for most ridiculous scene:
The Penguins' starting goaltender leaves the game in the third period because he was sick. While he was in the locker room sucking down oxygen and resting, JCVD ran in there in an attempt to hide from yet another terrorist that was chasing him. JCVD was running out of hiding options so he put on the goalie gear and went on the ice. Thinking that his starter returned to the ice, the coach put him in net. JCVD looks rusty but, of course, ends up making a HUGE save!! In order to get off the ice and continue saving the world, he starts a fight and is assessed a game misconduct. Was that scene necessary? Nope! Was it cool? Nope! Was it stupid and pointless? YES!

First place for most ridiculous scene:
Towards the end of the movie JCVD has to get on the Mellon Arena's roof where he fights another terrorist group. The roof is opened so that he can get into the arena from the top. Well, the roof remains partially open and at the end of the movie, the lead terrorist guy and JCVD are fighting on the top of the jumbotron when a helicopter flies overhead and releases a ladder on which the lead terrorist climbs up to escape. JCVD then jumps on the ladder as well and shoots into the helicopter successfully killing the pilot who in his last moment of life makes the helicopter go in reverse. In a completely impossible manner, the tail becomes perpendicular to the ground and the helicopter flies downward (tail first), through the open roof, and crashes on the ice. I don't claim to know much about the mechanics of a helicopter but the whole progression from when the pilot is killed to the helicopter crashing on the ice looked completely fake. I kept saying, "wait, is that even possible? It looks so ridiculous! What is going on! What?!!?" And the BF was shaking his head the entire time saying, "That's not possible!!!!" IMDB noted in the Goofs section that, "A helicopter's lift is always in a direction nearly parallel to the rotor axis, so it cannot come close to maintaining a position where its nose is straight up. In such a position it would move violently sideways (the rotor leading) and fall rapidly." And then the movie ended. Yep, that's the end. Super Awesome, right? I bet you're thinking, wow, "why doesn't my nearest Blockbuster carry this movie??"

Kings Win! No One Cares!

Last night the Kings won their first preseason game against their archenemy, the Anaheim Ducks. My boss came in this morning, stopped by my cube, and waited. But I didn't say one word because in all honesty, what is there to be parade about? It was one preseason game and after last year's fairly successful preseason and then much forgettable season, I promised myself not to care about the preseason. But let's just take a quick look at what progressed last night at a surprisingly large crowd at Honda Center.

Pronger was not quite his usual self. He received 4 minor penalties but failed to properly use his elbow. My guess is that he's saving his suspension worthy antics for the regular season.

Both teams had an almost unrecognizable roster. Here are the players that played last night, organized into several categories:

Veteran Kings:
  • Armstrong
  • Blake
  • Dallman
  • Frolov
  • Ivanans
  • Modry
  • Visnovsky
  • Willsie
  • Cloutier

Newly acquired Kings:

  • Calder
  • Klemm
  • Aubin

Youngsters I know who have played in some Kings games:

  • Gauthier
  • JMFJ
  • Zeiler

Youngsters I've heard of but who have never played in a Kings jersey:

  • Boyle
  • Lewis

I don't know who the hell these guys are:

  • Bagnall
  • Buckley
  • Moulson

Also, something quirky happened with the boxscore because somehow Brady Murray was credited for 3 assists (2 on one goal...what?), served every single penalty, yet was not listed on the Kings roster. maybe he played, maybe he didn't.

I'm not surprised that Crawford played several guys I've never heard of and guys who are fighting for a roster spot (in particular, Lewis, Boyle, and Aubin). The Kings do not have a long training camp and yet they have a lot of prospects who may be ready for the NHL but could probably use a(nother) year in the AHL. DL has always made a point about not wanting to rush the young players so I'm not expecting Lewis to be with the team in London. Boyle may actually make the roster if he plays well because he sure has had long enough to develop his play. I wasn't quite sure why the Kings signed Aubin and initially thought it was to fill LaBarbera's spot in Manchester, but I suppose if he plays well enough during the preseason the Kings could carry three goaltenders for a while till one establishes himself as deserving the job with the Monarchs.

I am surprised that Crawford started Cloutier. I expected him to start LaBarbera yesterday and Cloutier tomorrow. Perhaps LaBarbera will play tomorrow and maybe even Bernier will get a chance to play. I'm really interested in seeing this kid play, but of course the game won't be televised. I don't expect him to make the team just yet but I have high hopes for him in the future.

Last night, neither Cloutier nor Bryzgalov played very well from a save percentage standpoint. Whether the crappy stats were a result of the goalie or the rookie defense....I know what you're thinking...It might be another long season.

I still can't believe that the regular season starts in two weeks! Oh, and the Ducks have the worst opening schedule ever. Back-to-back games in London (Saturday and Sunday) and then play games on Wednesday at Detroit, Friday at Columbus, Saturday at Pittsburgh, and then finally will be at home the following Wednesday against Boston. In case you didn't notice, all three away games are the home openers for each of those teams! On the other hand, the Kings get back from London and don't play till that Saturday at home against the Blues. So yeah, suck it Ducks! Have fun fighting that jet lag while you get annihilated by Detroit, embarrassed by the BJs, and beat down by Sidbits and Co. Yeah, that's right, I'm already talking shit to the defending Cup champions. That's how I do.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Calling All Kings Fans!

Just found out today that Chris and Keith at KingsCast have teamed up with Budweiser and arranged, "High Tea with Kings" on Saturday, September 29th, where Kings fans all across Southern California can come together and watch the Kings take on the Anaheim Ducks in London. To view the official flyer, here. (The flyer looks pretty cool so it's worth a view.)

The event starts at the crack of dawn (9am) and will be held at Ummba Grill (1025 Santa Monica Blvd in Century City). There will be $1 Bud and Bud Lights, Happy Hour Drink Specials, and a $15 all-you-can-eat gourmet breakfast buffet. There will also be a silent auction which I envision could get competitive with everyone chugging $1 beers. And to prove that Kings fans aren't just a bunch of drunken fools who can't seem to get enough of being shat on by their beloved team, 10% of Ummba's sales for that day and 100% of the proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Kings Care Foundation.

Even though it's at an hour that's completely unacceptable for viewing an NHL game, there's a good chance I'll make this event especially since the BF was in as soon as I said $1 Bud and Bud Light and the hermano said he would go and already got a bunch of friends interested in going as well. I've never gone to a bar (or restaurant) to watch a Kings game with a bunch of strangers so I'm interested to see how this will turn out. My plan is to drive to my hermano's apartment, cab it to the restaurant, cab it back to his apartment after the game and pass out for the rest of the afternoon. Of course, he doesn't know this yet, but I'm sure he'll be fine with it.

And tonight is the Kings's first pre-season game! I think it started half an hour ago so let's check the score (even though it really doesn't matter): 2-0 Kings!! with a goal from, get this, Gabe Gauthier assisted by Dallman and Matt Moulson and the second goal from Matt Moulson assisted by Lubi and Brady Murray. Dan "I had hip surgery like your great grandmother" Cloutier is in net, facing off against Bryzie. Oh damn, some rando' Duck just scored. Oh well, it's preseason and all that matters is the regular season. Oh Kings, I heart you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Over the weekend I finally caved and signed up for Netflix. First movie on my list: Youngblood.

Youngblood arrived today and I watched it as soon as I got home. In case you've never heard of the movie or are unfamiliar with the plot, Youngblood is about a young man (Rob Lowe, squee!!!) who makes a junior hockey team in hopes of making the pros, but must compete alongside veterans (Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves) and face his nemesis, a goon (some random actor) whose roster spot he stole. Oh, almost forgot, and there's sex. Oh, wait, one more thing, and there's naked men (and one neh-ked lady).

Naturally, the movie is quite bad. It was made in 1986 and is such a horrible sports movie in terms of action shots. About 95% of the hockey sequences are in slow motion, have fog (or steam), and will either show the face and uppper torso or the skates, but rarely the entire body. So whether or not Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, and Keanu Reeves are actually capable of playing hockey is anybody's guess. The hockey sequences are accompanied by classic 80s "intense sports" instrumentals where you're half expecting to see G.O.B. slide out on the ice, do his light show, and perform an illusion.

If you don't want to know more details about the movie, stop reading!

The movie starts out with "home video" of little kids playing hockey which doesn't quite fit in with the movie. Rob Lowe's character sort of brings it up later in the movie but this footage could have been shown during the end credits of the movie. The real opening shot of the movie is way too long. Rob Lowe is wearing pants only they look like pants that male figure skaters should wear in place of tights. Basically, his hockey pants are a little queer. He skates for what seems like eternity, shoots a ton of pucks, and his hair and jersey flow in the wind like Modano's luscious, but slowly thinning, mane.

The best scene of the movie is right after Rob Lowe's tryout with the junior squad. Pre-plastic Patrick Swayze is topless and his guns and pecs are outstanding. Other nameless men are topless and Rob Squee Lowe is in nothing but a jock strap. At first you only see him topless and then he walks around with a tiny little towel wrapped around his hiney and then he takes the towel off. I kept saying, "turn around. c'mon, turn around. almost. turn around. you can do it....there you go....oh yeah, nice!" ;)

If I hadn't read The Code I would have thought that the fighting and goonery in the junior league game were absolutely ridiculous. I was always under the impression that junior hockey was quite tame but The Code really shocked me. The Code discussed how junior hockey has (or maybe, had) some of the worst bench clearing brawls and violence because players are trying their hardest to make it to the pros. In the book Ray Ferraro even discussed how being a small guy was horrible during those bench clearing brawls because he had to find an opponent as soon as possible otherwise he could get paired up with someone much bigger and stronger than him who would just pummel him.
Knowing about the fighting in junior leagues made the movie a bit more realistic. However, I loved how the Thunder Bay team and home arena were oozing with goonery. Rob Lowe's nemesis looked like he was 30 and that all he could do was hit the shit out of opponents and the arena had a chain link fence on top of the boards rather than the usual glass. Despite being able to believe the bench clearing brawl and nasty plays, some of the hits were just a bit too dirty to ignore and I still think that the stick work at the end of the movie was a bit far fetched, but then again, I've never witnessed any games or fights in the junior league.

Patrick Swayze was kind of weird and scary with his teeth chattering thing. Keanu Reeves had about 2 lines in the movie and I think he was trying to speak with a French-Canadian accent so his acting was just as bad in this movie as it is now. The coach's daughter had some serious bangs and tapered, high-waisted pants but she was actually really cute so I guess it was ok that she won Rob Lowe's heart. The scene with the landlady was just odd. I'm not really even sure it was that necessary but it did provide some humor.
As bad as the movie is, it's quite enjoyable as long as you go into it with a light heart, low expectations and the eagerness to see a young, hot, and unbelievably squee-worthy Rob Lowe.

Update: I completely forgot to mention that Rob Lowe looked like a hotter and fiercer Sidney Crosby. His lips were always a bright red, his cheeks were rather rosy, and his hair was very wavy. If Sid lost the baby fat in his face, squinted and had lighter colored eyes, he would look just like a hot, young Rob Lowe.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fantasy Hockey Team

Today was the Live Draft for the Ultimate HLOG Fantasy league. You can read about the draft at HLOG. Here's my team in the order that I picked it:

  1. Joe Thornton - C (SJ)
  2. J.S. Giguere - G (Ana)
  3. Jonathon Cheechoo - RW (SJ)
  4. Alexander Frolov - LW (LA)
  5. Lubomir Visnovsky - D (LA)
  6. Tomas Vokoun - G (FL)
  7. Eric Staal - C (Car)
  8. Sergei Zubov - D (Dal)
  9. Jason Blake - LW (Tor)
  10. Manny Legace - G (STL)
  11. Justin Williams - RW (Car)
  12. Sami Salo - D (Van)
  13. Patrik Elias - C (NJ)
  14. Tomas Holmstrom - LW (Det)
  15. Marek Svatos - RW (Col)
  16. Michal Rozsival - D (NYR)

The league is set up for Head-to-Head play and we're competing in the following categories: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, GWG, W, Sav %, GAA. Each team must have their goalies play a total of at least 3 games per week, which makes having a top goalie crucial. Over the past couple seasons of playing Fantasy Hockey I also noticed that teams were most successful when they had three goalies, something I never wanted to embrace till it was too late in the season. This year I was determined to start the season with three goalies. The lineup each day consists of 2 C's, 2 LW's, 2 RW's, 4 D's and 2 G's, which means, with a 16 man roster, that you'll have to bench 4 players. Since most D don't put up a lot of numbers, I've noticed that it's better to only carry 4 D throughout the whole season.

I had the 7th pick out of 12 teams so I was worried about my first pick. I would have liked Crosby or Ovechkin but, of course, they were taken when it was my turn. I knew that I would eventually want a top goalie but didn't really want to take one in the first round. Thankfully, Joe Thornton was still available so I snatched him up. The next 5 guys taken in the first round: Sakic, Iginla, Luongo, Miller, and Malkin.

I knew that I had to get a goalie in the second round before the top ones were all taken. Unfortunately the best one left was Giguere and despite my initial goal of not taking any Ducks, I just couldn't pass up Giguere. Other Number 1 netminders taken after Giguere: Turco, Backstrom, Hasek, Fleury, Nabokov, etc.

For the next three picks I wanted to fill out a starting roster with a LW, RW, and D pick. I figured Cheechoo would be my best bet at RW (and think about the combined points I will get with Thornton and Cheechoo!!) and couldn't pass up the opportunities to select Frolov and Visnovsky. Every season I hope Frolov will become a 40-goal scorer and not giving up hope this season! Lubi put up a lot of assists the past couple seasons and he's usually a sure bet on the power play.

I was excited to pick up Zubov in the 8th round because I thought he would have gone sooner. I was about to select Toskala as my third goalie but Kirsten snagged him just before it was my turn so I settled for Manny Legace.

I was surprised that I got Elias so late in the draft. I am worried about New Jersey's low offensive production but Elias is usually pretty consistent every season.

I think my team is pretty solid, but so is everyone else's team. The number of teams in this league was capped at 12 so all of use could have quality teams. It'll be interesting to see which players see their production drop from previous seasons and which players have breakout seasons. Preseason starts this week and the regular season is only several weeks away!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mystery, Alaska

Ever since Mystery, Alaska came out in theaters I’ve always had this preconceived notion that it was a piece of shit. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that a movie was made in which a local hockey team would play an NHL team. That concept is f’ing ludicrous. I know that it is just a movie and a lot of incredulous plotlines are in movies but still, I can only be asked to believe so much.

However, I decided last month to attempt to watch every hockey movie ever made (with the exception of that asinine primate movie). Mystery, Alaska is on the list and after reading plenty of comments that lauded the movie, I decided that watching it couldn’t be that bad.

I rarely ever rent movies so I don’t have a Netflix account. Since I couldn’t remember how much Blockbuster charges for rentals I actually considered getting a Netflix account for a month or two and then just canceling it. I also considered just buying the movie from However, I really couldn’t bring myself to buy a movie I’ve never seen, especially one that I always thought I would hate. I settled on going to Blockbuster and renting any hockey movies that were in stock. Mystery, Alaska was the only movie on my list that I don’t own that was actually in the Blockbuster store. I was actually shocked that my local Blockbuster didn’t carry Sudden Death and Youngblood. What Blockbuster doesn’t carry every Jean-Claude Van Damme movie ever made?

Renting Mystery, Alaska set me back $4.86. I thought it was going to cost me $2-3. $4.86?? What a rip-off!! (Can you tell I’m frugal?) Best Buy even sells some movies for $4! I was so disgusted by the rental cost yet so glad that Blockbuster didn’t have any other hockey movies on my “Watch” list.

I rented the DVD on Saturday and I still have it and I don’t plan on returning it till either Friday or Saturday. So far, I’ve watched it twice and might even watch it again on Thursday so that I get my full $4.86 worth. I watched it twice because after I watched it the first time I knew there were little things that I had missed or didn’t catch on till later in the movie. What can I say? Sometimes it’s difficult to tell white boys apart; some of them look alike. Call me racist, whatever.

I knew after the first five minutes that I was going to enjoy this movie (sorry,
Schnookie, I desperately wanted to join your fanclub). I thought the dialogue was funny (I guess I really am immature) and the actors were pretty good. The whole “local hockey team plays the NHL” plot still bugs me but thankfully the movie is, of course, much more than about how the team fares against the New York Rangers. It’s about hockey, a close-knit community, camaraderie, young love, and, of course, adultery. I wish I had purchased this movie on Amazon instead of paying to rent it, because it’s a movie that I would definitely watch again.

If you’ve never seen the movie and don’t want anything spoiled, stop reading.

I really liked a lot of the characters. The boys that played Russell Crowe’s sons were hysterical and absolutely adorable. Some of my favorite quotes from these boys:
“I have a toy pony and he takes big shits”.
“That’s a lung biscuit.”

I thought Russell Crowe was a convincing hockey player, although I thought his character was too soft-spoken. I didn’t really understand the “Dear Abby” scene because he did something really sweet and then disappeared. What? That was kind of lame.

I enjoyed seeing Hank Azaria play a jackass. I may be completely wrong but I thought he usually played charming, nice guy characters that are beloved by everybody so it was fun to see him play something completely different.

Skank Marden was probably my favorite character (can’t remember the actor’s name, although he did look very familiar). He acts just like a bunch of my guy friends except he’s nicer. He also had some memorable lines. And seriously, who wouldn’t shack up with him.

Kirsten and Tracy both told me to watch out for some speech by Tree, but I couldn’t figure out which one they were talking about seeing because I thought both speeches, the one at the beginning of the movie and the one at the court, weren't that notable . I wasn’t particularly fond of Tree. Towards the beginning of the movie he seems likeable enough but after that I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. Most of the time I kept thinking, “That guy is seriously retarded”. Also, as soon as I saw him I thought, “Look, an Eddie Belfour alike”. As for another look alike, Stevie reminded me of Sidney Crosby but with straighter hair and lips that weren’t as voluminous or pink.

I was happy to see Jim Fox as an announcer and I actually had no idea that he was in the movie. After hearing about the new Mike Myers hockey movie I was actually kind of annoyed to see him in the movie. IMDB notes that Myers’ character closely resembles Don Cherry.

There were some things that I didn’t really get in the movie, for example:
-How we were supposed to believe that they were all such great skaters;
-Why they cooked potatoes before games;
-Why the Saturday game was so special and its players so highly touted;

I knew that Mystery wouldn’t win the game but I was glad to see the guy hit the post. Brutal way to lose but I thought it was a good ending.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the movie:

“I'm telling you, she got her February fat now in the second week in December.”

“Well, actually, I heard he left 'cause he skated like a homosexual.”

“they're sending us a Zamboni.”
“Oh, a Zamboni. Gettin' wet just thinking about it.”

“You'd bite off your own jimmy if the price were right.”
“Really, Scott? My own jimmy?”

“dig splinters out of my ass that I get while sitting around pining for you?“

“I can’t feel my fingers”
“You need to rub 'em on a nice warm Yuletide log.”

“Don't you ever wish you lived…someplace where brothers and sisters were off-limits to each other sexually?”

To my surprise I enjoyed the movie. I wished I had watched Slap Shot 2 before Mystery, Alaska because I’m 99.99% sure that I will be disappointed with it. I’ll either buy The Rocket on Amazon or rent it on Netflix, if I sign up for an account, so that review won’t be coming soon. Look for my Slap Shot 2 review either this weekend or next week.