Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We Like Our Goalies Young

We also like it when our goalies give us a shot at winning games, something LaBarbera only did less than a handful of times this season. Who would've thunk it that Ersberg's injury would essentially be the final straw for LaBarbera; instead of Barbs stepping up and solidifying his hold on the number one goaltending spot, he let it slip away and gave rookie Jonathan Quick a chance (actually multiple chances) to show off his skills and prove he's ready for the NHL.

(Photo by Bernstein Associates/Getty Images)

With several strong performances in net from Quick, a healthier Ersberg, one highly touted goalie (Bernier) in Manchester and two additional promising goalies (Taylor and Zatkoff) in the pipeline, it was obvious from the start of the season that if Barbs didn't drastically improve his play in net his chances of returning next season would soon decrease to zero. Seeing that Barbs was only signed through this season (and not for a hefty price tag at all) and that it was highly unlikely he would be re-signed, unloading him and getting anything for him at this point is a bargain and a very smart move. Lombardi is pretty good at drafting players so I wouldn't be surprised if he snags a gem in the 7th round.

Photo Courtesy of kms2

He's tall...and really, really nice

See ya, Barbs. Good Luck with the Canucks this year and in the AHL or KHL after that.

x-posted to HLOG

Monday, December 29, 2008

Jon Zeiler: The Great Divide Between Siblings

My brother and I usually have very similar tastes: huge crush on Dustin Brown, love of Japanese food, music, TV shows, movies, etc. The one thing we severely disagree on is Jon Zeiler. I've made it well known on this blog that I absolutely detest Zeiler and see him negatively contributing to the Kings. On the other hand, my hermano loves this guy because he goes out on the ice with the sole intention of hitting the opposition. Zeiler's role is the exact reason why I can't stand him since his only purpose is to take runs at people; with the hockey goon gradually being phased out of the league, what's the purpose of playing someone who has a lack of hockey skills and admits that his goal is to hit people when the end result most of the times is that he eats glass.

Regardless, my complaints about Zeiler in the presence of my hermano falls on deaf ears. When Zeiler finally returned to the lineup after a short stint on the sidelines, during which Peter Harrold, his replacement on the fourth line, proceeded to notch 2 goals in 2 games, he attempted to fight the crazy, lunatic, something wrong in the head, Avery-in-the-making Daniel Carcillo. My hermano loved the photo below that the AP snapped and he came up with the caption all on his own:


The funniest thing about this photo is it looks like Johnny Z had the upper hand in the fight when in reality, this move was a total fluke in the fight and occurred after Carcillo pounded Zeiler. I have no idea how Zeiler was able to flip Carcillo like this and I guess it's another anomaly I won't ever be able to understand in Zeiler's hockey career. The other shitty thing about Zeiler is that once Carcillo had his back on the ice, he still continued to throw punches, not exactly conforming to the gentleman's code. Alas, despite my attempt to clear my brother's head, I don't think he'll ever stop supporting Zeiler. And to irritate me even more, I don't think he'll ever be permanently placed on the sidelines. I guess we'll all have to suffer watching Zeiler attempt to become 'The NHL's Next Biggest Pest'. Actually, that should be a TV Show starring Zeiler, Carcillo, and Tootoo and Sean Avery as the judge.

Friday, December 26, 2008

LA Times: Drew Doughty

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!

In today's LA Times there's a great article about Drew Doughty. It's about his transition into the NHL and how the team made sure he had great people around him off the ice to take care of him. He rooms with Brownie on the road and lives with Matt Greene. I still don't know much about Greene but the article presents him in a good light as Greene talks about wanting to make sure Doughty is taken care of as he was by Jason Smith in Edmonton. It also seems like he's helping Doughty mature:
I have a five-second buffer that I employ with him. Just think before you talk.

Brown is also helping Doughty adjust to life:

There are just these random chirps that don't make any sense, Brown said, laughing. When you're joking around, his big comeback is, 'You're stupid.' It's like 10-year-old humor.

So he's still a little kid at heart. At least he's making a big difference on the ice and the team has his best interest in mind. It's always nice to hear about the young guys being taken care of.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mr. Quickie Gets the Shutout!

Terry Murray definitely listened to the most recent episode of Kings World Podcast and took advice from myself and Connie because we got our wishes: Barbs out, Quick in, Zeiler out, and Preissing in. The result was beautiful! What, you say? A win against the struggling Blue Jackets is nothing to write home about? I don't give a flying you know what about what anyone says about discounting tonight's win because the Kings needed this W and, let's be honest, so did I.

Because the Midwest can't do anything right, this game started at 4pm my time and silly me forgot to set the game to record. I only watched the third period, but it was enough to show me that the Kings were doing a lot of things right tonight. They limited Columbus' scoring opportunities, protected Quick and his crazy rebounds, and were able to easily move the puck around.

I'm very pleased with the firsts that occurred tonight: Bam Bam's first goal of the season, Harrold's first goal of the season, and Quick's first NHL shutout. I'm not a big fan of Peter Harrold and I was this close to writing a post about why he shouldn't play tonight even though a lot of friends and family would be in attendance. But I am all for him taking Zeiler's spot and he did fantastic job at it, notching his first of the season, a beautiful finish off a perfect pass from Kopitar, and finishing the game with a +2. Well done, Harrrold, way to play the puck and not ignore its presence on the ice. It's rather impressive when two guys both score goals while only registering less than 8 minutes of playing time; it's good to see the fourth line contribute.

Yeeeaaaah, Bam Bam!!!

Next up: Christmas!
After that: Home-and-home against the Phoenix Coyotes.
And then after that: Another faceoff against Columbus.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is It All Downhill From Here?

Friday's game against Buffalo was atrocious. I had to turn it off because it was so painful.

I missed the first two periods of today's game against Detroit but I was pleasantly surprised to see them tied 3-3 heading into the final period. I was even more surprised to find out that rookie netminder Jonathan Quick was in net and had been there the entire game. Was LaBarbera's outing the previous day terrible enough to warrant him a spot on the bench the following day? Earlier in the season, even with Ersberg backing him up, Murray played Barbs game after game despite being shaky in net. While I was pleased to see Murray not play favorites and insist that Barbs is definitely, without question the Number One goaltender, I was still questioning if it was the smart move to start a rookie against one of the top teams in the league.

I can't judge how the team played the entire game, but in the third, despite taking a one-goal lead from Brownie off of a sweet pass from Stoll, the Kings didn't deserve the win. After getting that fourth goal the Kings stopped trying to play offense and instead tried their hardest to clog up the neutral zone and stop the Red Wings from tying the game. Not only did the Kings fail to prevent the Wings from forcing extra time, they found themselves completely helpless against the Stanley Cup Champs, falling to them 4-6.

Quick had some bad rebounds and allowed a short side goal that he should have stopped. Quincey was cheating and found himself at the top of crease not doing much to prevent a pass through the crease or tie up Hudler and not allow him to score so easily. For the second half of the period the Kings were scrambling and always looked a step behind the quick, smart, fluid Red Wings.

The Kings are in the midst of a four game losing streak and now the goaltending position is in the hot seat again. I'm not convinced Quick can pick up the pieces and be the Kings' best defender when LaBarbera is struggling, which recently has been too often. I've been waiting for the Kings to get past the 0.500 mark and prove to everyone that they are a winning team, but lately they haven't shown it and their record continues to get worse. Will the Kings finish the season hovering around 0.500, figure out how to be more consistent and be a winning team, or continue this downward spiral and finish in the bottom quarter of the league?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kings World Podcast: Episode 21

I'm back this week on Episode 21 of Kings World Podcast. Since Connie and I missed a week we had tons of games to review and preview. Instead of reminiscing over the past 5 or 6 games, we only touch upon certain parts of those games as we discuss what the Kings are doing right and what they need to improve upon. We look forward to a busy week for the Kings (finally some road games and some are against the Eastern Conference!) and close out the episode with the usual shoutouts.

Comments can be emailed to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com. And join our Facebook group!

15-Dec-08: Kings v. Sharks

Los Angeles Kings: 13-12-4...not bad, I'll take it.
San Jose Sharks: 24-3-2....WHAT?! Are you kidding me!?

I've barely been paying attention to the standings. All I know is that the Kings are usually somewhere behind the 8th spot in the Western Conference but they're playing well enough to put them out of the cellar. But what in the world are the San Jose Sharks on this year?! When the Kings opened the season with a home-and-home against the Sharks and looked like absolute poo-poo in those games, I figured it was just because the Kings were terrible and I was going to have a horrible season and be done with my boys come the middle of December. But seeing how the Kings have held strong at 0.500 (although I would love to see them breakaway far past that marker), and it's the middle December and I definitely have not put them out of the playoff race, all is left to say is, "ok, I'll admit it. The Sharks are good this season." And it sucks that they're this good this season. Why? Because the Kings aren't that good and until the Kings are that good, no other California team should be that good. But whatever, I'll put my pity party on hold.

Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images

Stretch it Bam Bam. Stretch it good.

If the Kings can play on Monday like they did against Minnesota (minus the Harrold penalty with three minutes to play with the Kings holding onto only a 2-0 lead for dear life) and like they did against Columbus and St. Louis, then they should have a pretty good chance at winning the game. BUT, if the team comes out like they did against Colorado, stanking like pure ass, then it's all over for them. Bottom line, the Kings are inconsistent from period to period and game to game, and I never know which team will take the ice. I know they can play like an elite team, it just depends on whether or not that team shows up. The Sharks need to be put down and I hope my Kings are the team that starts their downfall.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Neck Beards = Grossness

Who knew that Kyle Orton's neckbeard, Kyle Orton's nasty, grimy, disgusting, severely unattractive neckbeard, would make its way to the NHL and to the LA Kings.

Patrick O'Sullivan has been sporting one and recently I noticed that Kyle Quincey started too. Do guys think this is an awesome look? They do know that it's disgusting and won't get them the ladies, right? I assume they're doing it to be funny. And tonight, in the game against Columbus, there are a lot more unshaven guys than usual. Most notably, Frolov has unfortunate stubble and Handzus let his beard grow past the stubble stage.

Is it possible that this year's playoff beard fad will be the neck beard? Ooohhh, that won't be pretty.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kings 2, Flames 6. Woof.

Wow...what happened?! Judging by the boxscore, since I don't have Center Ice and I don't have much luck listening to Kings games on the radio, here's what I can deduce:

  • Ersberg finally got lit up
  • Boyle and Army were each a -3 and Ivanans was a -2; well done 4th line
  • Former King Craig Conroy had 3 assists; he's really good at playing the Kings
  • Curtis Glencross (WHO?!) had 1 goal, 2 assists and was a +3
  • Dustin Brownie had 7 shots and 0 goals; and
  • Kopitar got another last minute goal

Yikes, that's gotta hurt! I don't know what else to say but that finally a team found a way to exploit the Kings' weakness. So, how much longer till the Kings recall Purcell, Lewis, and/or Moulson?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kings World Podcast - Episode 19

After a short hiatus, Connie and I are back with another Podcast Episode! It's a tad bit longer than usual since we review two weeks' worth of games and preview three games for the upcoming week. We gripe about a couple Kings players and give the appropriate "Atta Boy" to deserving players. Send any comments, feedback, or suggestions to the podcast email: kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

And don't forget to join the Kings World Podcast Facebook Group.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Zeiler? Are You Kidding Me?

Zeiler is such a dipshit*.

Why is he even in the lineup? He seriously has a negative contribution to this team**. Check this amazing stat:

In 3:25 of ice time, Zeiler caused the team to be shorthanded for 5 minutes, which would have been more if the Avs didn't get a 2 minute penalty on the same play. In fact, Zeiler accumulated 19 minutes in penalties and was only on the ice for 3:25. Even if you don't include the 10-minute game misconduct, Zeiler had almost 3 times as many minutes in penalties than he did playing on the ice. Derek Armstrong must feel like absolute crap knowing that Zeiler is in the lineup and he's sitting on the sidelines.

*I don't like Adam Foote, but I'm glad he's ok. Hopefully Zeiler's ridiculously unnecessary hit will convince Coach Murray that he doesn't deserve to be in the lineup.

**Actually, the only positive contribution he made to the game tonight was getting himself thrown out so he couldn't taint the team anymore with his awfulness. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the NHL suspends him because he blatantly gave Foote an extra shove into the boards head first. I hope the NHL suspends him for the rest of the season so Murray can't even think about putting him in the lineup.

***Woah, the Kings just scored two goals while I wrote this post. Maybe I should keep blogging....

(x-posted to HLOG)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kyle Calder, Get Off the Ice!

"Meh, I'm such a weenie.
I have lady parts.
Brown is such a badass that when I ran into him I hurt myself.
I'm a bigger whiner than Crosby.
I think I'm better than everyone else because I'm Russian.
Oh damn, that Slovenian kid is pretty good.
Why are the fans booing me?? I'm "injured" they should be applauding me since I got up.
Oh right, they're booing because I'm a girl and I have sand in my vagina."

Kings 5, Capitals 2. Here's what each player's goal said:

Doughty: "I'm still awesome."
O'Sullivan: "That's right bitches!"
Brown: "Suuuuuuuuuck it, Ovechkin!!!!"
Handzus: "Will Coach take Calder off my line?"
Kopitar: "Fuck y'all!"

My biggest gripe about the game was that Kyle Calder got 15:36 of playing time, which is 10 minutes more than he should have gotten. He played alongside Handzus and Simmonds on the third line, or as Murray calls it, the checking line, which apparently means that he has to be on the ice all the damn time regardless of how horrible he does. Seriously people, that was the absolute worst game I have ever seen Calder play. He continuously fumbled the puck failing on many occassion to cleanly collect the puck and make a decent pass or scoring attempt. And I lost count of all the scoring opportunities that never occurred because he turned it over despite his linemates doing everything they could to give him a prime scoring chance. There were several fans in my section that started shouting, "Get Calder off the ice!!!" because it seemed like he f'ed up something on every single shift and it killed me that he continued to receive so much playing time. At least the Kings won otherwise this post would have been a full blown "I hate Calder" rant.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

At Last: Kopi-Sully-Brownie

"Hi Sully! I missed you!" "Hey Guys, it's so good to see you!" =)

At last, my love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh, yeah, at last
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clovers
The night I looked at you
I found a dream that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to rest my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh, yeah when you smile, you smile
Oh, and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
For you are mine
At last
-Etta James

My only concern is how long Murray will allow these three lovebirds to play on the same line together. Last time the reunion only lasted one game. According to the LA Times article (what, hockey articles in the LA Times?! actually, it's been surprisingly better this season) Murray's move is intended to spark some scoring, particularly from the top line. Brown's response to the move is exactly what you would expect to hear from someone reuniting with his long lost lover:

"Obviously there is a little more speed," Brown said. "Sully brings more of a scoring presence. Calds was more of a playmaker. There are things Calds did that you'd come to expect, the way he gets in there and gets the puck. They just play different games."

I think what Brown means is you couldn't always rely on Calder since whenever he got the puck you never expected to see it again since he usually coughed it up pretty easily. Regardless, Thank God, these three will be playing together because forcing Sully to pick up the slack on the fourth line is an insult to the guy and doesn't really say, "you're a core player", when it's obvious that he is. Let's hope the trio can get the scoring started in Thursday's game against Ovechkin and Seamen Semen Semin.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kings v. Anaheim

Apparently Anaheim got jealous that LA was all over the news with constant updates of a wildfire so Anaheim had to go get their own wildfire. In the midst of inhaling worse than normal air, here are my keys to the game:

1. Specialty Teams - Last night the Kings had the chance to end it when they got a power play late in the game. When they couldn't capitalize on the man advantage and fumbled the puck allowing the Preds to break into the zone causing the Kings to take a penalty to thwart the scoring opportunity, they found themselves fighting to prevent a goal-ahead goal. The penalty kill unit couldn't stop the Preds and the Kings couldn't tie the game. The Ducks are notorious for taking tons of penalties so if the Kings can get the power play working, they'll be golden tonight.

2. Calder - Kopitar - Brown: One of those things is unlike the other. Maybe it's because I constantly have a magnifying glass over Calder, but I notice flaw after flaw after flaw. Get that guy off the first line and either on the fourth line where he belongs or on the bench.

3. Simmonds - Handzus - Ivanans: Once again, one of those things is unlike the other. Handzus and Simmonds are fine players and deserve to have a linemate who won't inhibit their play.

4. Physical Play - The Ducks will be physical and the Kings need to match their physical play to stay in the game.

5. Limit Gauthier's Ice Time - Looks can only take this guy so far.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Shootout Win!

4 starts, 3 wins, pretty damn solid goaltending.

Ersberg is definitely giving Barbs a run for the No. 1 spot.

Monday, November 10, 2008

FSN says, "F You" to Kings Fans

Earlier today Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings linked to an article in the OC Register about how Tom Feuer, executive producer for FSN, has decided to keep broadcasting Kings games using the Rinkside View. Please read the article. It's amazing how little FSN cares about the fans.

There are some pretty good comments on the article. The Best comment ever:

"Can’t believe I actually prefer KDOC to FSW"

So true. I caught the Ducks/Stars game on KDOC and despite the fuzziness, horrible quality, and Bryan Hayward, I sat there in complete happiness because KDOC was televising the game from the normal camera angle so I could actually see what was going on.

I'm seriously thinking of boycotting all Kings games televised using the Rinkside View. I'm so sick of this shit.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Kings v. Panthers...

I won't be able to watch tonight's game and since I missed Tuesday's game against the Ducks that means I'll both games Ersberg starts. I was actually really looking forward to seeing him start a game so I'm bummed that I'll have to wait at least two more days before I do and maybe even more if tonight doesn't go well.

I'm really frustrated with the Kings' losing streak. They started the season looking fine but then once things started looking suspect everything started falling apart. It's still early in the season to judge Terry Murray, but so far I am not a fan of his recent changes to the lineup. How can you constantly mix things up and expect there to be some consistency? How is the top line still not set? Why is Harrold playing up top? Is he really that much better than Moulson or Purcell? Is it better in long run to have a player who is less talented be in the lineup in order to allow more-skilled players develop their game in the AHL just a bit further? And why do I care this much? Every year when I get down about the Kings' play I question why I get so emotionally involved. I supposed it's because following the Kings is a hobby for me. And since following a sports team isn't something that I "practice" and "get better at" like sewing, knitting or scrapbooking, the satisfaction I get from my hobby is fully dependent upon the performance by the Kings. When I sense myself getting too frustrated (over something I can't control), I remind myself, it's just a game and they'll win eventually. Hobbies are supposed to be fun. Following the Kings is supposed to fun. So I just have to take it one game at a time.

Kings v. Panthers prediction
Kings 3, Panthers 1

Friday, October 31, 2008

Kings 0, Canucks 4: Not Good.

Tonight's game against the Vancouver Canucks on Devil's Night was so bad for the Kings on so many levels. Traffic getting to Staples Center was horrendous (it took me 3 times as long to get there), the crowd was practically nonexistent, and Brown was assessed a double minor before I even sat down after the anthems. I kept waiting for the Kings to turn things around but their best showing was during the 4-minute penalty kill when LaBarbera was downright awesome. He made save after save on shots that I thought were definitely going in. Then they took another penalty, killed the two-man advantage but eventually let in a power play goal. After the first goal the Kings never showed much brilliance. Sure, they hit the post at least 3 times and Fro was awarded a penalty shot, but there were way too many instances when it looked like either it just wasn't their night or they were missing just a bit of focus and drive, or probably a combination of the two.

The Kings play was so broken; a great pass but then the puck was mishandled. As the game lingered on it seemed like more passes were connecting to each other's skate than stick to the point where my two companions started making up drinking games, but realized they wouldn't be able to play the game because they would end up either too drunk or too broke. Drink when someone passes to his teammate's skate. Drink when they turn over the puck. Drink when they can't get it out of their zone. Drink when they can't score on the power play. Drink when they look like they've never skated before. Drink when they shoot like a girl.

(Photo by Noah Graham/Getty Images)
(The breakaway that led to a hook
that led to a penalty shot
that led to absolutely nothing.)

There were a couple non-game related highlights of the night.

  • I finally met Greener of He Score, He Shoot fame and was able to finally put a face to the voice. (Great meeting you, Greener!)
  • The group of Canucks fans in my section showed their Country's pride by singing along to their national anthem...incredibly loudly, severely out of tune, and a couple beats too early. I have never laughed so hard during a national anthem and while I wasn't laughing at the anthem I still felt like I was committing a sin. I really wish singing along to the anthem would catch on in LA because I think it's awesome to hear an arena full of fans singing the Star Spangled Banner
  • My fiance kept telling his friend that he never wins anything at hockey games and somehow tonight he "won" 2 shirts and one of them had a Team LA Store gift card in it. What are the freaking odds of getting one shirt, let alone two?? Of course, they're both XL and say "Pride=Passion=Power" which is totally gay but whatever, he finally won free stuff so he can never complain about it ever again.

So yeah, those were my highlights of the night. I'm terribly disappointed in the lackluster effort put forth by the Kings tonight and really hope they get it together by Saturday. My two cents on how to get a better result? Kick Calder down to the fourth line, remove Ivanans from the lineup, place Moulson on the second line with Stoll and Moller, put Boyle in on the fourth line with Calder and Armstrong, yank Harrold out of the lineup before I blow a gasket and place Preissing on the blueline. Moulson has no business being on the fourth line and Calder is not going to make Moller or Stoll better. Harrold looked like crap tonight and I think Tommy P deserves another chance. Kopitar, Brown, and Sully need to find their chemistry and make it work because I want results from those three. Oh, and a power play goal once every 50th chance would be nice too. I know, I'm demanding. And yes, of course, I know more than the coach that's why I'm blogging.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I F'ing HATE Fox Sports

I fucking HATE Fox Sports and their need to force the Rinkside View upon the unfortunate viewers of tonight's Kings/Wings game. I was really hoping that the last televised abomination was a once per season occurence but I was sorely mistaken. I do not enjoy watching extended periods of play from behind the net. I do not enjoy watching the game from the rinkside view and not being able to see the puck because the camera angle is piss poor. I feel like I'm going to hurl when the puck is stationery behind the net and the camera assumes the bird's eye view of the puck while some idiot fan bangs on the glass causing the camera to violently shake. I fucking HATE watching hockey games from the Rinkside View and it irritates me to no end hearing everyone on the damn broadcast talk about the Rinkside View as if it's this novelty attraction that's gaining so much traction among the NHL and aren't we fans so damn lucky to be able to experience a hockey game from home in this manner?

I found the Fox Sports feedback webpage and I did my American duty by leaving them the following feedback:

"I'm an avid Kings fan and thoroughly enjoy watching games from home. However, I have been incredibly disgusted with the recent broadcasts using the Rinkside View. The rinkside view is more limited since the cameras are much closer to the rink and because the cameras are mounted on the glass, whenever a fan pounds on the glass or someone gets checked, the cameras violently shake, which isn't pleasant to watch on TV. It's more difficult to make out each player's number and as soon as the puck is on the other side of the rink it's much more difficult to see the puck compared to the regular broadcast view. Since the rinkside view is more limited there is more need for the "behind the net" cameras which is ok for a short amount of time but is annoying to watch for an extending period of time. The Rinkside view is absolutely terrible and should never be used. Does Fox Sports think it's necessary to reinvent the wheel? Abandon this idea because it's an embarrassment to the sport of hockey."

Yes, all that with 4 words to spare! Please, please please, leave them feedback, especially, if you hate the rinkside view.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kings 0, Preds 3: middle of the first period

This game is (fortunately) not televised. After playing a fantastic game last night against the Blues, the Kings have come out in the first period looking sounding like sitting ducks. Last night the Kings continued their perfect penalty killing statistic, notched the first shutout of the season, and played an all-around solid game.

Today, the Kings found themselves in the box three times in the first half of the opening period and finally allowed a power play goal and then allowed another. 13 minutes into the first period the Kings are behind 0-3, were outshot at one point 2-14, and Ersberg came in for relief of LaBarbera.

I am turning off the radio.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kings 4, Blues 0

Bear hug from Oscie!

I may provide an actual review later...maybe.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No, No, No, It's All Wrong

I can't recall the last time I disliked a Kings player as much as I currently loathe Jon Zeiler. I cringe every single time I hear his name and I get pissier by the minute whenever I hear bad news that he might play.

Today Rich Hammond of 'Inside the Kings' reported that "Zeiler is skating hard in practice and is just about ready to go."

*Exasperated Sigh* REALLY?! Damnit! F*$#!! *Exaggerated Sigh and Several Foot Stompings*

No, No, No, No. (You're supposed to stop when I say no.) Yet the Kings still insist on keeping him on the sidelines just a moment away from playing in an actual game. Who would he replace? Hmmm, I kinda like the team how it is right now. As I see it putting him in the lineup will only make the team worse. I hate every single idea that has him playing alongside any of the other Kings. I'm going to go throw a temper tantrum.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Would Wear That

On Monday night, while roaming throughout Staples Center in an effort to kill time before warmups, I headed to the Team LA store with Connie and AJ so they could pick up their new Brownie jerseys. I made a pitiful attempt to look interested in the women's section because I knew that I would vomit if I ventured too far. We all remember The Horror of the $325 Kings purse and while I doubt that actually sell that it in the store I was fearful of running into something much cheaper that I know other teams have produced, such as the Red Wings, Penguins, or Senators.

Today I thought there has to be something I would wear from the women's section. After browsing the NHL.com store I have finally found something I would wear. I present to you, a not so hideous, but still feminine, grey Kings sweatshirt with pink accents sweatshirt with an appropriately-sized crown:

Not too shabby.

And the best part about this sweatshirt? It's currently on sale for $23! Would I be willing to pay the full $45 price tag? Ehhh, maybe not. (It's actually $62 on the Team LA Store...WTF?! Definitely not worth $62.) Now that is something I would wear, if only it was available in my size. Now, I realize it is not perfect but let me explain why it works. While a black sweatshirt would be ideal to reflect the prominent team color and provide a more masculine, strong appearance, I tend to avoid dark cotton fabrics because they have a tendency to easily fade. And nothing is worse than shelling out money for a brand new item of clothing that ends up looking like you stole it off the hobo down the street because the color is completely faded from just a couple washes. Grey, on the other hand, does not fade as easily and, therefore, will allow the wearer to enjoy many memorable, comfortable moments in the sweatshirt.

My biggest problem with the sweatshirt is the pink in the crown. On the jerseys those areas are in purple, my favorite color. However, I realize that purple isn't a color most people wear...but they should because it's a fantastic color (and the color of royalty). I happen to like the pink in the underside of the hood because it reminds me of jackets that have lining in a different color and fabric. The pink provides a little bit of pop to a hoodie that would otherwise risk looking drab from the grey. Overall this is a decent hoodie. I'm very glad the NHL merchandising group didn't break out the bedazzler* or shower it in glitter. Now, if only I can find it in my size.

*omg, click on that link. Remember Tana and her failed attempt to find a bedazzler in NYC when she was Project Manager on The Apprentice? Hahahha, she sucked. Go back to Mary Kay. Although Kendra really sucks on that show "My House is Worth What?" so I guess Donald Trump is the one that sucks the most for having those two broads compete to be his slave.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kings 3, Avs 4: Well, that kinda sucked...

Let's start with the negatives and end on the positives.

LaBarbera is back to playing like a backup rather than a No. 1 goaltender. 4 goals allowed on 14 shots!? Guhhhhhh... One was on a turnonver by Handzus and one was when Smyth schooled Doughty but Barbs should have had the other two. It's like there's a hole in his glove...

The Kings played like crap in the second period, the second time in as many games that this has happened. However, unlike the game on Friday night during which the Kings bounced back with enough goals to tie the game, tonight the Kings fell short. The Kings started the game strong and ended the game even stronger but what in the world happened in the middle of the game? Where did they go?

The top line of Brown-Kopitar-Moulson has been surprisingly quiet on the scoreboard. The three of them still play well, but they're getting shut down a lot. However, even though they're quiet, the second and third lines are putting the puck in the net.

Rookies Oscar Moller and Drew Doughty each scored their first NHL goals and O'Sullivan got his second of the season. I was especially excited to see Doughty score a goal because it sort of made up for the bad play he had in the second period and it showed how amazing he is not only on defense, but also on offense. (It's a good thing I'm no longer 19 because otherwise I would be swooning all over him.) Handzus and Stoll were spectacular on faceoffs, however Stoll did not win the most crucial one with only 5 seconds left in regulation. It's great to the see the Kings "scoring by committee" but I'm getting impatient waiting for Kopi to get his first of the season.

And can someone explain to me how the Kings are still perfect on the penalty kill? It's unreal. The last penalty kill in particular was stellar. One guy applied pressure up top and three guys held the blueline barely letting the Avs even step into the Kings zone.

It's unfortunate the Kings didn't win this game and it really puts a damper on the goaltending situation. The Kings don't play till Friday when they take on the St. Louis Blues so hopefully LaBarbera can shake off the bad juju, fix the hole in his glove, and get it together and his teammates can figure out how to not fall asleep in the second period.

It really bothers me when I hear fans boo the Kings when they don't get a power play going. Dude, chill people, it's one freaking power play. Give them support. Cheer them on. Get the rest of the arena into the game and hope it rubs off onto the players. Booing? Naw, not happening from me. My new motto this season is "stay positive and keep faith alive". I promise not to boo my team unless they really deserve it, like allow 7 goals in one game.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kings World Podcast - Episode 15

Connie and I review two games from this past week in our newest podcast episode. We discuss the improved play exhibited against Anaheim and Carolina, rant about the Fox Sports Network Rinkside View broadcast, and preview the upcoming games against Colorado, St. Louis, and Nashville. We also started a new feature called "Player of the Week" so listen to find out who we collectively picked.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kings 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT)

Seeing Michal Handzus score the first and last Kings goals tonight almost brought tears to my eyes. I was a huge fan of Handzus last season despite his endless struggles on the ice and I was convinced he would be better this season. Only 4 games in and he's already proving what a different and improved player he is.

The third line of Alexander Frolov, Michal Handzus, and Wayne Simmonds played very well and were predominantly the best line for the Kings tonight. Even though Handzus and Frolov rarely, if ever, played on the same line last year, they looked amazing together. I'm still in awe of how well that line looked tonight. Before the season began I was anxious to see Frolov and O'Sullivan or Frolov and Stoll, but Frolov and Handzus? How did I not see this earlier? I think I was too preoccupied with the fact that if Calder was in the lineup it just seemed like he would play with Handzus. But fortunately, Calder has only been given the privilege of suiting up for the season opener. After re-signing O'Sullivan and keeping Oscar Moller and Simmonds, the Kings now have three solid lines.

Tonight I was impressed by three players: Handzus, Doughty, and LaBarbera. I already spoke about my wonderful amazing Handzus. Drew Doughty is f'ing good. The past couple games there have been moments when he would carry the puck and make moves that look so easy. But you know that it isn't easy. And when you think that he's just a couple games into this NHL career and he's already making opponents look bad, you know this kid is good. Crazy good. I'm so torn right now. I stated last month that I really liked what I saw from Hickey in the preseason games and I wanted to get his jersey. But I didn't want to get his jersey before he played with the Kings. And I didn't really want a Doughty jersey because during preseason he was wearing 80 and frankly, that's a shitty number. It's a multiple of so many other numbers. 37? Awesome! 80? It's so round... But when Matt Ellis was claimed off waivers, Doughty switched to 8 and 8, I can live with. And, he's amazing. So, yeah, if he shaves that horrendous facial hair then I'll definitely get a Doughty jersey.

Now, LaBarbera. I was a pretty tough critic of him during preseason but I was being honest because he looked like crap. He played ok against San Jose and played well against Anaheim, although he was hardly tested, but tonight he was ON. He did allow three goals tonight but all of them came from shots that were deflected by at least two players before they made it past him. The only way he could have saved them was if he had stolen Hasek's lucky horseshoe that's been stuck up his ass the past 15 years. Otherwise, Barbs was very solid tonight. (In fact, he's been the best goalie on my fantasy team this week. So thank you Barbs for not screwing up like Turco and Biron.) He had the save of the game in overtime when it looked like Eric Staal had an easy goal, but somehow Barbs got a pad on it and kept the game alive for Handzus to win it. He's getting better every game and is now making the saves that he should and coming up with some huge ones too. He's giving the Kings the goaltending they need and hopefully the W's will instill more and more confidence in him.

Ahhh, 2 in a row. It feels good. I wonder what 3 in a row feels like.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Versus 1, Fox Sports (West) 0

I'm going to keep a running tally this season of things each network (Versus and Fox Sports) does so wrong that I can't help but be pissy. Each time one network ruins my night of hockey, the other network will record a tally in the win column. Basically, the more you suck the better the other network will look. Right now, Versus is on top because last night Fox Sports (West) tried once again to convince viewers that watching a hockey game on TV is SO MUCH BETTER with the rinkside view.

Re: Rinkside View

Dear Fox Sports,


Do you really think hockey has been incorrectly televised for decades?

Do you really think viewers at home only want to see a small portion of the play?

Do you realize how many times I missed a play because the rinkside view was incapable of capturing a larger portion of the ice?

Do you really think viewers want to suffer from nausea due to the rickety motion of the camera at rinkside?

I understand that you think viewers want to see the game from ice level since behind the glass tickets are so expensive. However, those tickets are severely overpriced because of the total in-house experience. The emotions that overcome you while sitting that close during a hockey game cannot be replicated at home with the rinkside view. I absolutely hate watching a hockey game on TV from the rinkside view. Fox Sports should be ashamed of themselves for even thinking that televising a game in this manner is a good idea. Rinkside View Sucks. Rinkside View is utter trash. Rinkside View should never ever be used to televise a hockey game ever again.

Also, Fox Sports, you still suck at correctly lighting the game. It's a good thing last night's game was also on HD because otherwise I would have given Versus 2 wins for the night.

Fox Sports, get your shit together and learn how to broadcast a game.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kings Manhandle Ducks

Now that was a great game. I thought the Kings were done when the Ducks took an early 2-0 lead, but the guys held strong and, despite a couple hiccups here and there, executed a very solid game that was completely different than the ones they played this past weekend.

Everything the Kings did wrong in the home opener on Sunday they fixed in tonight's game. Passes were crisp and made tape-to-tape, they skated through the neutral zone with ease, and faced little difficulty applying pressure in the offensive zone. The Kings matched the Ducks' physical game and on more than one occassion I was very glad we picked up some big defensemen during the off season.

Save for a few players, every one played exceptionally well. Rookie Wayne Simmonds got the Kings on the scoreboard with his first NHL goal. He really kept that play going so it was fitting to see him jump on the rebound and bury it. Moulson was kept on the top line and potted a beauty off a feed from Brownie. Stoll got his first of the season with a slap shot on the power play, which was aided by Handzus screening Giguere. Handzus may have only had one assist in the game but his play tonight was very deserving of the third star of the game. O'Sullivan had an incredible game and got some help from Pronger on his firt goal of the season. Tom Preissing knocked in a power play goal and hit the post on another shot and Frolov finished off the Ducks with an empty netter.

It felt so good seeing the Kings take it to the complacent Ducks and hand them their third consecutive loss. I couldn't help but laugh every time the Ducks took another power play. It took the Kings awhile to get the power play going but when you have 9 opportunities you're bound to capitalize. Tonight the Kings showed how well they can play together so hopefully they keep it up and string together some wins.

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Eat Shit, Getzlaf. That's what you get for running my goalie.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Starting the Season 0 for 2

I knew the Kings were screwed when the NHL schedule was released during the off season and it revealed that the Kings would open the season with a home-and-home series against the San Jose Sharks. It seemed very unlikely that the Kings would be able to handle the experienced and very skilled Sharks team. Even with backup Brian Boucher tending net in Game 2 the Kings couldn't even come close to taking the upper hand.

Kings fans were super excited to see Blake

Both games featured sub-sub-sub-par playing by the entire Kings lineup, which fully exposed the complete lack of chemistry. The season opener on Saturday had most of the lines rather unchanged throughout the game. However in the home opener on Sunday, the guys were mixed around forming various combinations among the forwards, and even on defense, reminiscent of those horrible Crawford days. Kopitar received a 10-minute misconduct which forced Murray to find players to rotate in his spot during that duration. But since no one line could consistently be counted on to execute any sustained pressure, I suppose it's no surprise that he mixed up the lines hoping to spark some kind of offense.

LaBarbera looked average in the first game and better in the second game less the moment he allowed the lone goal. There were several scary scrums in the second game but he and the guys in front of him always managed to keep the puck out of the net. He even looked solid on shots that went through traffic and rarely let up many rebounds. But, of course, the one shot that beat him looked so easy to stop, low to the near (glove) side, that it seemed inconceivable that the puck was able to sail by him, but yet it did.

The defense encountered so much trouble clearing the zone and, along with the forwards, was so miserable at connecting passes through the neutral zone to begin the attack. The Kings had so much difficulty getting shots on goal because they failed time and time again at crossing the opponents' blueline and gathering the puck on the dump and chase. The passing deteriorated as the game went on to the point where they couldn't even make one clean pass as the clock slowly ticked to zero among boos resonating through Staples Center. Seeing the Kings getting booed in the home opener was brutal. It was even more brutal knowing that the biggest cheer happened when the score of the Dodgers game (7-2 win over Philly) was revealed on the Jumbotron. It doesn't even matter that two goals were disallowed (man in the crease and kicking the puck in the net) in the second period, because the Kings didn't deserve to win. So many things went wrong in these two games and hopefully the Kings will find ways to quickly remediate the issues otherwise it'll be a very long, excruciating season.

x-posted to HLOG

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kings World Podcast - Episode 1.13

Connie and I are back with another King World Podcast Episode. We almost can't even believe the Kings season opener is this weekend!! We review the end of the preseason, discuss the roster, and look ahead to the season opener.

Visit us at Kings World Podcast, subscribe to our podcast in iTunes, and friend us on Facebook.


Sully In, Zeiler (Hopefully) Out

O'Sullivan's Back!!

So...can we send Zeiler back to Manchester now? Or, how about this Richardson guy? I'm still not convinced he's an actual hockey player...

I'm actually really surprised at the dollar amount of Sully's contract. It's front loaded so he'll make the most this season, but over three years his contract averages out to just under $3 million/season. I know he only has one solid season to his name but he definitely has great potential and Lombardi definitely pinpointed that last season during interviews. I expected him to sign for an average in the $3.25 range but I guess the difference is miniscule when you're making that much money. I was worried that Sully was going to sign for an average of $4 million but I guess Lombardi knows how to get his way. With Dustin Brown and Alexander Frolov and now Sully signed at what seem like cheap contracts in comparison to guys around the league, I wonder what the contracts for Kopitar and Johnson will look like. Will Lombardi be able to re-sign them to relatively inexpensive contracts or will he give them contracts inked in gold?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Twinsies! (Stoll + Hamm)

"Twinsies" might be misleading because I realize these two guys don't look exactly alike, especially not as similar as Hemsky and Moller. But whenever I watch 'Mad Men', as I longingly gaze at Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) I can't help but see a little bit of Jarrett Stoll in him. Don Draper is like the older, wiser, more hair-endowed, steamier version of Jarrett Stoll.

Hello there, Don Draper

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Frozen Fury XI Ridiculousness + KW Podcast Ep 1.12

Why have I never gone to Frozen Fury in the past? I'm so glad that I made a promise to myself to make it out there this year because I had an amazing time. The drive to Vegas was a surprisingly easy 4-hour drive that got me into town at 10 am. I immediately met up with Connie and soon after I finally met Cat. Two half-asians and one full asian = tons of pictures being taken and an immediate bond. We spent the rest of the day till game time eating at Mesa (Bobby Flay's restaurant...amazing), drinking, napping, eating, and more drinking. As much as I hate the dry heat in Vegas, the only good thing about it is that it always seems like I can drink more in the heat, but Cat was still the best drinker of the three of us.

It's a good thing that Connie went to FF last year because I would have had no clue where to go. I didn't even know MGM had a theater and I couldn't believe at how horribly wrong it seemed to corral thousands of drunk hockey fans through the casino floor into the corner of MGM, attempt to filter out outside drinks and poorly check everyone for illegal items (my purse was never checked). All I know is that if there had been a fire or any need to evacuate, I would have been trampled to death.

On our walk to MGM Connie pointed out that the chick in front of us had one of those hideous overpriced Kings purses!! I could not believe it! I tried my best to follow her and take pictures of her purse, which also meant I was taking pictures of her ass, and this was the best pic I could get:

I know. I have no shame.

The arena was much smaller than your normal hockey arena but the energy was just as lively. For all the slack that preseason games garner, Frozen Fury really is in a league of its own. Fans were going nuts over everything. There was minor bickering among Kings and Avalance fans but hardly a real spat. Everyone just seemed to be enjoying the moment. Enjoying the fact that hockey was finally here. That hockey was in Vegas! It didn't matter that it was a preseason game because we were all drunk hockey-starved fans there to enjoy subpar hockey in an incredible environment.

I was excited to watch my Kings and the new faces on the team. I'm growing fonder of Doughty and Hickey with each game I see. Wayne Simmonds doesn't even have to try to be a fan favorite, he just is. Denis Gauthier was being Denis Gauthier (*sigh*), LaBarbera was...underwhelming (blerg. yes. blerg.), and Kopi looked fantastic, especially when he rocketed the most perfectly placed wrist shot into the far upper corner of the goal. I barely paid any attention to any Avs players, except for Adam Foote who was trying so hard to be the biggest D-bag of the night. It felt so good to let out those 'Boooooooos'.

Connie, Cat, and I recorded a podcast during the first intermission and after the game. We decided to make it this week's podcast for both "I'm Not a Puck Bunny Podcast" and "Kings World Podcast". When I finally listened to it I was shocked at how fast we were talking. If you haven't listened to it yet, do so and you'll understand the Frozen Fury energy that I just can't describe in words. And if you like Vegas and hockey, it doesn't matter if you're not a Kings or Avs fan, because chances are you'll enjoy Frozen Fury. So mark your calendar for September 2009 for Frozen Fury XII.

x-posted to HLOG

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kings 1, Ducks 2 (SO)

Hockey game - pro
Kings game - pro
Fights - pro
Preseason game - con
Ducks game - triple con

The only thing worse than a preseason game is one against the Ducks. There's just so much about that squad that makes me boil with rage. Thankfully for my ulcer, SNiedermayer, Pronger, and T-Mu were not dressed for the game. However, the goonery void left by Pronger was dutifully filled by the remaining lineup.

(much more after the jump)

Up top the Kings had Moller and Moulson sharing time on the top line with Brown and Kopi. I think Moller spent more time with Brown and Kopi and looked pretty good. I can't get over how quick he is...and how small he is, which was very apparent when he had to go up against the Ducks. Once again Moulson looked really good and had the lone Kings goal. And once again, Boyle looked soft. I don't understand how someone that big can be so weak on his skates.

Simmonds got into two scraps tonight much to my satisfaction. He started strong in the first fight and probably took the edge. However, in the second fight he was pitted against Travis Moen. I'm not sure if Simmonds wanted to duke it out against a veteran to show that he play with the big dogs, but he got his ass handed to him. At first it seemed like Simmonds was going to hold his own and even take out Moen, but then it became apparent how big Moen is and Simmonds was never really able to break out of the hold Moen had on him. It was painful watching Simmonds take shot after shot to his head and it looked like he was a bit shaken up, but hopefully the kid will bounce back and tear it up next time.

The defense did not look good at all. Johnson, Preissing, and newly (re)acquired O'Donnell were in suits while prospects Voynov, Loktionov, and Drewiske and Doughty, Greene, and Gauthier held the back end. The prospects were fairly unimpressive and Greene was just there. Doughty looked the best but still made some shaky plays.

Between Overtime and the Shootout, Connie and I recorded a quick snippet of our feelings about the game. Enjoy my awesome camera skills:

Shootout came and quickly ended. The Kings put forward three young guys (Moulson, Purcell, and Meckler) while the Ducks went with veterans. Why is it that the Kings can't score a freakin' shootout goal anymore? Remember the days when the Kings rocked in shootouts? Yeah, I miss those days...I'm already envisioning all the points we're going to lose due to shootout losses. This is going to be a fun season.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Frozen Fury XI

Frozen Fury review will be posted tomorrow.
Till then enjoy Inflated Bailey.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kings World Podcast - Episode 1.11

Another week, another podcast.

Connie and I met in person to record this podcast so hopefully you should be able to hear me loud and clear. Hooray!

We spend most of the podcast reviewing the first Kings preseason game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Listen to the podcast to find out which players impressed us the most and which ones we think need to step it up.

Don't forget to visit our Kings World Podcast website and friend us on Facebook and MySpace.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Kings Are Back In Town

Kings 6, Coyotes 4.

So much for an improved defense and fewer goals against...

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Keefe received a fist full of Bam Bam

Connie's season ticket holder partner was unable to attend the Kings preseason game so I gladly filled her spot. With what seemed like about 1,000 fans in attendance the Kings and Coyotes provided the fans with more fights in the first period than we'll probably see in the first half of the season. Even though the Kings had some first line guys on the ice the play was still back and forth and neither team really had the advantage.

LaBarbera backstopped the Kings for the first two periods and did...ok. He was tested a couple times and made some decent saves but was beaten in the first period on a bad angle while the Kings were short-handed and let in a shot from just inside the blue line in the second period. He might as well not have even been there because the shot easily whizzed by him, much to the surprise of everyone. I think I shouted, "Are you kidding me!? WHAT?!" It was almost comical...actually, it was because it was a preseason game. Barbs, don't even think of pulling that shit in the regular season.

Danny Taylor received some playing time in the third period, although he didn't get much of a workout. There was a scary scramble on his left side but he and the Kings D managed to keep the puck out of the net. I have absolutely no idea where he'll end up this season.

I spent the better part of the first period trying to remember the new kids' numbers. Hickey - 37; Harrold - 49 (what happened to 5?); Moller - 51; Clune - 56; Meckler - 58; Lewis - 61; Parse - 63; Murray - 68; Voynov - 76...what is up with all these numbers in the 50s and 60s?

I expected more out of Boyle and Johnson. Despite his size Boyle didn't seem very strong on his skates. Jack seemed a wee bit off but was more offensively minded than last season.

At first I was impressed with Greene. I didn't have much interest in reading about him during the off season so I didn't know what to expect. I guess not having any expectations can lead to being easily impressed. Greene is a big guy...and is competing with Jack for the Best Surfer Look Alike Contest. Later in the game Greene looked out of position at key moments, but he looks promising. I was also surprised with Denis Gauthier's play. Since I'm an Avery fan, I was half expecting Gauthier to recklessly throw his body at every Coyotes player all the while sporting his French Canadiae visor. However, he did not play like an asshole. Like Greene, Gauthier is a big presence on the blueline and played smart tonight. I'm anxious to see more of him.

My favorite players of the night were Oscar Moller and Thomas Hickey. I'm not sure either will make the roster this year but they will definitely be on the roster in years to come. Both players could get on the Michael Phelps diet but they didn't let their small size prevent them from playing physical. Moller is a quick guy who sees the puck well. Hickey is like a younger, cheaper, lighter version of Visnovsky. He can move the puck from end to end and did a fine job of getting the puck out of the zone and not turning it over. I think I may need to make room in my closet for a Hickey jersey...

Despite the tiny crowd, 4 goals against, and not seeing Fro, Doughty, or Bernier, tonight was s great night because Kings hockey is finally back!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kings World Podcast - Episode 1.10

Connie and I celebrate our 10th episode by providing our listeners with an episode with exceptionally poor sound quality. Sorry everyone!! It's all my fault because my microphone is a piece of shit. For those of you who can hear me, we talk about recent updates with the team including signings, guys on The Price is Right, and the upcoming preseason games.

Can you believe it's almost hockey season!?

Kings World Podcast

Remainder of post

Kings Season Preview on MYFO

To my complete disbelief, the MYFO Gang asked me to write a season preview for the LA Kings. My preview is a bit short but was really all I could muster given the state of the Kings. Head on over to MYFO to read my Kings season preview:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kings World Podcast - Episode 1.9

Another Kings World Podcast! Yaaaaay! The world is finally complete.

I actually thought this was going to be a long podcast but somehow Connie and I zipped through the piles of Kings news in record time. Listen in on us discussing the recent 'Breakfast with the GM', Stoll's contract, and other hockey tidbits.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Heart Dean Lombardi

I tagged along with Connie to the Kings Breakfast with the GM and was surprised at the large turnout. Dean Lombardi answered the majority of the questions and it was reassuring to hear him speak about the Kings and the building process that is currently going on. He is incredibly passionate about the team and the steps that are necessary to build a winning, stable franchise.

Dean is such a hardass, which is exactly why I heart him.

On Tuesday Connie and I will be podcasting about the Breakfast with the GM so come back in a couple days to hear the details and our opinions.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Game Plan for Purchasing Tickets

All last season I bitched about how the Kings mini-game plans totally sucked because you couldn't choose which games you wanted to attend. The mini plans that were offered last season always included games on weekdays (resulting in an ultra long commute from work) and there were definitely games against opponents that I did not want to see (such as Anaheim and Detroit).

This season the Kings are offering three (3) new 10-game ticket plans: Big Game (against high marquee opponents), Weekend, and Flex. Last season I definitely could have use the Weekend plan. However, I will soon be working just blocks from Staples Center so now I can attend weekday games without wanting to stab myself in the eye with a pencil during my entire commute just to detract my pain away from sitting in ungodly ridiculous traffic, especially in the segment where the freeway drops down to 3 lanes in each direction. 3 LANES!! The INSANITY! But that is a thing of the past. Now, I have the need for the Flex Plan in which I can select any 10 games I want to attend. The only drawback of selecting the Flex Plan over the other two plans is that the Flex Plan offers fewer benefits. For the seats that I'll be buying, I'll be paying $80 more total than the Weekend Plan, I won't be guaranteed the same seat for every game, and I won't be able to take advantage of the Ticket Exchange program.

The reason why I don't want to purchase the Weekend Plan, despite better benefits, is because I don't care to see Calgary, St. Louis, Colorado, Columbus, Minnesota (twice! and without Pavol), New Jersey, or Phoenix. Basically, there are only 2 games in the Weekend Plan that I care about: home opener against San Jose (*vomit*) and a game against Edmonton Oilers (Lubo, I miss you!).

Upon first thought of purchasing the Flex Plan I figured I would have a terrible time trying to meticulously analyze which games I would attend because I assumed it would be difficult to pick only 10 games. However, upon further review of the Kings '08-'09 schedule I came to the surprising conclusion that I was encountering difficulty because there were less than 10 games I had a burning desire to attend. I was stunned. How could I not even find 10 games I would be willing to pay to see? In Episode 1.8 of Kings World Podcast, I confessed to Connie my somewhat embarrassing realization. I was prepared to hear her call me a pathetic useless common fan, not worth of blogging and podcasting about the Kings. On the contrary Connie talked me through my dilemma and pointed out some games that should be exciting to see. After more thought I decided I wouldn't mind seeing the following 10-games:

1. Sun Oct 12 v. SJ
2. Tues Nov 11 v. Dallas
3. Thu Nov 20 v. Wash
4. Sat Nov 29 v. Chi
5. Mon Dec 1 v. Tor
6. Fri Dec 5 v. Edm
7. Wed Dec 17 v. NYR
8. Sat Jan 3 v. Phi
9. Mon Jan 12 v. Tampa
10. Sat Apr 11 v. SJ

I'm slightly annoyed that the last game of the season is once again versus a Pacific Division rival, but I don't think I have ever attended the last home game of a season and I'm willing to put aside my hatred of watching games against the Ducks or Sharks in order to bid my Kings adieu.

But then, I thought about it more. I'm planning on purchasing tickets close to Connie and AJ, which would place me in the Upper Center section, therefore, only providing me a $10 discount compared to purchasing 10 tickets individually, or rather, a measly $1 per game discount. Do I really want to fork over $360/10 games or do I want to only select a few games that I'm dying to see in person and save money by not attending more games. It's not that I can't afford $360 worth of tickets, it's just that I have so many freakin' "necessary" expenses right now I'm not sure if overall it would be worth it to purchase the 10-game Flex Plan. Or rather, the big issue at stake is do I want to commit to 10 games right now only to find out that I can't attend one or more all for saving $1 per game? I don't know what my Thanksgiving plans are and it's very possible that I may go out of town. I will definitely be out of town to celebrate New Year's and I can see myself coming home on taking a couple extra days off and coming home on Sunday, ergo missing the Philly game. The more I think about the flex plan, the more I'm talking myself out of it. How ironic that after all my complaining about wanting a flexible ticket plan, when I'm finally given the option I still complain about it and refuse to purchase it because the benefits are not great enough to commit to 10 games.

x-posted to HLOG

The Russians are Signed...BFD

In a bit of old news, the Kings signed two Russian prospects, Viatcheslav Voynov and Andrei Loktionov, or as I like to call them, Voytionov, 'cause really, they're the same person. I don't care about these signings because their names aren't Jarret Stoll and Patrick O'Sullivan. I've kept relatively quiet on the unsignings of these two players but with less than a month till preseason starts and 44 days till the season opener, I'm getting a tad annoyed. I mean WTF guys? WTF Lombardi? Doughty is signed. Voytionov are signed. The younger comparable players around the league are signed. So why aren't Stoll and Sully signed too? How long do negotiations really take? Can you even imagine if you could take your sweet time to negotiate your salary at work? I realize professional sports is in a world of its own but I just find it so odd that these guys, especially O'Sullivan, are still unsigned. I keep telling myself not to worry and not to get riled up because the signings will eventually happen, but I just don't understand why it's taking so long. And this post will be the last time I discuss these players until something happens with their contracts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Last Installment of '100 Facts'

The last segment of "Get to know your blogger through useless facts that could apply to anyone". There's a good chance that I might repeat myself but I doubt anyone will notice.

76. I love deep fried food. Fried shrimp. Fried catfish. Fried crawfish. Fried chicken. Fried oysters. Mozzarella sticks. Fried zucchini. Toasted ravioli. I'm not a big fan of seafood, but fry it up and I will eat it.

77. I have natural highlights that I totally love. One time when I was about 11, my brother tried to get me in trouble and told my mom that I had used peroxide to highlight my hair but my mom didn't believe him for a second because she knew my highlights are natural. Haha, take that, hermano!

78. I have freckles that get more pronounced the more time I spend in the sun. When I was younger I hated my freckles because no models had freckles, they all had perfect porcelain skin. However, over the years I've grown to love and embrace my freckles.

79. I hate slow movies. I don't have ADD but I get so annoyed when movies are painfully slow. Examples: 'Unbreakable' (o.m.g. talk about s.l.o.w.) and '3:10 to Yuma' (unfortunate considering how good it was and it has Christian 'uber-hottie' Bale)

80. Shoe size: 5

81. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I just love the holiday spirit at that time of the year.

82. I've come to the conclusion that 98% of the American population is fucking retarded.

83. I hate homeless people. That sounds really shallow and selfish and you're probably thinking that if I hate the homeless situation then I should go out and make a difference. But no, I won't. I'll just sit here and complain about it.

84. I hate it when people say, "I hate drama!" People who say that are people who make drama out of the littlest things. Ever wonder why your life is filled with ridiculous unnecessary drama? Look in a mirror and that's your answer.

85. Sometimes I'll think about what it would be like to live in NYC and how exciting and fun living there would be...then I visit NYC for a weekend and remember why I live in LA and why I would never want to live there.

86. My favorite Starbucks drink is a Cinnamon Dolce Latte: it's like heaven in your mouth. My two favorite seasonal Starbucks drinks are the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Gingerbread Latte.

87. I'm still bitter that my college didn't get Presidents Day off especially considering the University was named after a President!

88. Even though I'm not Jewish I really, really like Matzo Ball soup.

89. I've never broken a bone.

90. When I say 'I don't care', I really mean it. Case in point: "Where do you want to eat?" "I don't care (and I really, really mean it)" Some people call me indecisive, I call myself apathetic.

91. I don't like public transportation, but probably because it is so much easier to drive in LA. However, one summer I had an internship in Hawaii and I took the bus to work everyday and on the weekends to get around the island. I didn't really mind taking the bus all summer long because Hawaii actually has a really good bus system, but it did get old having to deal with all the crazies.

92. I don't have any tattoos. I'm not against tattoos, it's just that I can't think of anything I would want permanently on my body.

93. The majority of hotels completely gross me out. There's an episode of 'Jon & Kate Plus 8' where the family stays in a hotel and Kate tells all the kids to wear shoes when they're walking around the hotel room because the carpet is infested with germs. I may not walk around hotel rooms in shoes, but I understand ya, Kate.

94. I love wearing flip flops, especially Reefs. I wish it was acceptable to wear flip flops to the office because I would wear them everyday.

95. I'm near-sighted but I try to avoid wearing glasses as much as possible. I really wish I could wear contacts on a daily basis but I avoid wearing them because they irritate my eyes since I have unusually dry eyes. I used to be able to drive without glasses but I'm reaching the point where I really should wear them while driving. I also wear them when watching TV, playing video games, and at events where I'll need to see things that are far away, such as at hockey games. Boo sauce for having to wear glasses.

96. I'm not a big fan of Chinese food. My family and friends like to go to Dim Sum and I always go with them just to be nice but I don't find the food very enticing.

97. I've never been camping and I have no desire to ever go camping. I hate bugs and camping, or even hiking in the wilderness, is not appealing to me at all.

98. When I was really young I wanted a dog/puppy so badly. But after my family adopted a stray cat when I was 9 years old and we had her for 16 years, now all I want is a little kitty cat. They require significantly less attention than dogs and they don't get that stinky wet dog stench.

99. I love the color purple but I hate almost all purple colored food items. I like grapes and plums, but I cannot stand grape jelly/jam and grape juice and grape flavored candy. I also never liked taking Dimetapp because it tastes like grape nastiness.

100. Earlier this year someone hit my car and didn't leave a note. Now I have this dent on the front of my car and I'm too cheap to pay for it to get fixed, especially since I plan on driving my car till it no longer works. The dent is not that big but it's big enough that you can definitely notice it. And, to make matters worse, I'm pretty sure my parents think I did something to cause it. I can just see it in their eyes....when I told them I didn't know how it happened and that I just noticed it one day, I could tell that they weren't buying it even though it was a completely true story. I'm really nervous about moving to LA and driving to Downtown. As my brother put it, I could live near the 10 and take the freeway into Downtown. Or, I could live in the Miracle Mile/Hancock Park area and drive the Gauntlet into Downtown....the Gauntlet of uninsured motorists.

So that's it! The only things you really need to know about me. I guess I should get back to writing about the Kings...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Part 3 of "Me, Me, Me!"

Part 3 of "100 Things about K.M.S." I spent way too much thinking of things to list; talking about myself really is difficult.

51. I enjoy bathroom humor. For instance, I bought my FI a birthday card that on the front had three guys in a pool that had a sign near it saying "No peeing in the pool" and there was a brown lump floating in the pool. And inside the card read "You're the shit. Happy Birthday." When I saw the card in the store I laughed so hard I almost cried. I knew the card wasn't romantic but we both enjoy bathroom humor so I knew he would like it.

52. I like a wide range of music. The only music I dislike is hardcore rap and rave/techno crap.

53. I don't like Star Wars.

54. I don't like science fiction movies, TV shows, and books.

55. I have plugs in my eye ducts to limit the amount of "moisture" drained from my eyes. And...my eyes are still severely dry.

56. I wear makeup almost every day. I think it's fun to play with makeup and I don't understand why some ladies are adamantly against wearing any.

57. If I don't bring my lunch to work, my go-to place to buy lunch is Taco Bell. It's cheap and fast and I don't have to get out of my car. 9.9 times out of 10 I'll get the 7-layer burrito.

58. I have 2 Nalgene bottles, one yellow and the other purple. My mom hates the yellow one because she thinks it looks like I'm drinking piss.

59. I played powder puff football in high school. Despite having to play with a bunch of self-obsessed cheerleaders, I had an amazing time.

60. I LOVE going to the eye doctor. I wish instead of having to visit the dentist twice a year I could go to my eye doctor twice a year.

61. I had a gum graft a couple years ago. Apparently that isn't really normal for someone my age but unfortunately I have thin gums.

62. I never had braces. Hahahahahha, to all of you who did have them!

63. I quietly talk to myself when I'm studying or writing reports. I didn't really notice I was doing it until I was studying for a big licensing exam and my FI said, "do they let you talk to yourself during the exam?" I snapped back, "YES!"

64. The longest I ever peed was about a minute and a half. I was at the Women's Soccer World Cup game and the 3rd place game was before the finals and it was so f'ing hot and I didn't want to get up and go to the nasty bathroom, so I sat through two games, drank tons of water and made it through the drive home. When we left I could barely walk because I had to pee so badly.

65. I'm a Republican.

66. I'm generally pretty good with directions. So if we're ever driving together and we get lost, no worries, I'll get us back to safety.

67. My dad grew up with Tim Gunn.

68. My mom wouldn't let me watch Beverly Hills 90210 when I was growing up. It had something to do with that show being a bad influence on a 10-year old....I don't know what she was talking about.

69. Considering how strict my mom was with almost every aspect of life, I find it surprising that she had no problem letting my brother and I watch R-rated movies well before we were 18. The first R-rated movie that I remember seeing was "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles", which I saw when I was 5.

70. My absolute favorite mug from my childhood had Cinderella on it. I think it had the stagecoach on one side and Cinderella in her ball gown on the other side. She looked so beautiful and the mug was perfect. When I came back from college and packed up stuff to bring with me to grad school I asked my mom where it was and she very nonchalantly informed me that she threw it out.

71. I don't forgive very easily. I'm much better at it than I used to be but if I say I forgive you, there's a 90% chance I'm lying. Chances are I'll probably forget about you before I ever forgive you.

72. I told my ex that I didn't want to be friends with him after he broke up with me because I already had enough guy friends.

73. I hate crying in front of people. Absolutely hate it.

74. In college I had a weird, slightly OCD habit of rewriting my class notes if I thought they were too messy. I spent a lot of time doing it but I think it also helped me remember what the professors talked about in each lecture.

75. I never went to my high school prom. I don't think it's that big of a deal but people are always shocked and horrified when I mention it.

Up next, the last 25 useless facts about me!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kings World Podcast - Episode 1.8

Connie and I are back with another podcast episode. Listen to us bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, moan about the Kings not getting enough national exposure. We also lighten things up as we discuss our favorite hockey movies. It turns out we have similar taste...what a shocker.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things about Me: Part 2

Still no exciting hockey stuff. However, here is the second part (#26-50) of the "Let's get to know more useless stuff about me".

26. I hated every single English class I took throughout my school years. The only writing class I enjoyed was "Technical Writing", which I took in college and totally aced.

27. I don't like driving on bridges.

28. I love sitting in an airport, waiting for a flight, and watching the most random looking people walk by.

29. I think (a lot) before I talk. Usually, stuff I want to say goes through several filters before I finally say it.

30. I like HP calculators better than TIs.

31. I love fruits, especially strawberries. I could eat a carton of strawberries every single day.

32. I watch a lot of TV and I hate missing my shows. I do not understand people who say (brag) that they don't even own a TV or rarely watch TV. Your life must be so boring. Sure, reading a book can be entertaining but watching TV provides more laughs and can be just as educational and inspiring as reading.

33. I enjoy watching the Weather Channel. I don't know why, but I could seriously watch it for hours. And if there's a hurricane? Forget it, I want that channel on every single second till the Hurricane passes.

34. I've never owned a laptop but both times I got a desktop I regretted not getting a laptop. The next computer I buy will most definitely be a laptop.

35. I did ballet when I was younger and absolutely hated it. But I also did tap and loved it!

36. At work I drink coffee and tea from the same mug everyday. I only rinse the mug before each use and then every now and then I'll bring it home and give it a good scrubbing. Considering how thoroughly I wash all of my dishes at home I find it odd that I have no problem reusing the same mug without properly cleaning it. I think it may be because I saw an episode of 'Deadliest Catch' in which one of the deckhands showed the cameraman the mug he uses and how he's never washed it despite all the fish and crab guts that are caked on there. I figured, if that guy is still alive, I can live without washing my mug everyday.

37. Penguins are probably my favorite animal. I think they're absolutely adorable. Pandas are a close second.

38. I hate having dry, chapped lips. I always have some sort of lip balm, chapstick, lipstick, or lipgloss with me at all times. Minor obsession. Minor.

39. I go through phases where I'll always wear a watch and then I never wear a watch and then I'll start wearing one again. I'm currently in the 'No Watch' phase.

40. Every single day I wear sunblock on my face: Neutrogena Face Moisturizer with SPF 15. I remember growing up and seeing older ladies on talk shows who barely had any wrinkles and their secret was wearing sunblock everyday. Whether or not this is true, I still wear moisturizer with SPF because I don't want wrinkles and it leaves my face hydrated and smooth.

41. I had really bad acne in high school. I finally took the highest allowed dosage of Acutane my senior year and haven't had a problem since. I always get annoyed at the negative reports about Acutane because that stuff gave me clear skin before I entered college and it probably saved my social life. I'm a big supporter and believer in Acutane...just don't get knocked up while on it.

42. I have a severe case of arachnophobia. The only spiders I can be around, and really I mean, the only spiders I'm capable of killing myself, are itty-bitty spiders or daddy long legs.

43. When I was a baby I had bacterial meningitis. I survived because I'm uber awesome.

44. I think black and blue pens are really boring which is why I like to use green, purple, or pink pens. I realize that using a purple pen at a meeting with clients doesn't look that professional and I try not to do it very often but sometimes I just can't resist the urge to be girly.

45. I don't have a dishwasher in my apartment and I cannot wait till I live in a place that has one.

46. Every now and then I go through phases where I stop drinking soda. As of today, I've gone 4.5 weeks without soda. I feel like I'm in AA.

47. I usually drive to work in flip flops because I hate driving in high heels.

48. I'm not that into cars. I drive a Civic and I love it because it's compact, reliable, and gets great gas mileage. But just wait, my car will probably break down tomorrow.

49. Even though I'm several years away from buying a house/condo, I'm still addicted to looking at real estate websites (Redfin, Trulia, Zillow, etc.)

50. I keep a little notepad in my car and every time I go to the gas station I note the date, mileage, dollars spent, and gallons of gas purchased. Also, whenever I take my car in for an oil change or routine maintenance check, I write down the date, mileage, and maintenance performed. My parents do this and it's something I picked up and I'm still not quite sure exactly why I do it.