Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All-Star Game Recap Part II

So I'm a couple days late....lay off me, (I'm starving!!) I don't have the brain power to write a neat, concise thought-provoking recap so I'm reverting back to my lists (in no particular order):

Top 5 Highlights of the SuperSkills Competition
  1. Kaberle going 4 for 4 in the first round of the accuracy shot and the entire arena rooting for him in the second round

  2. Ovechkin trying his damnedest to flip the puck into the air and shoot it out of midair. I wonder what was going through Osgood's head. I imagine it was something like, "fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck."

  3. See Pretty Ricky make a goal from behind the line and then admitting that he had no idea why he moved back

  4. Phaneuf recording a 94.6 mph shot on his first try. C'mon that was really funny, especially since I was expecting him to register a shot near 100 mph.

  5. Pretty Ricky and Manny Legace mic'd up. I had no idea those two were so talkative. Why aren't goalies mic'd up more often for the "Sounds of the Game"? Forget mic'ing up players during games, I'm sick of hearing "Atta Boy!" "C'mon boys!"

The Lowest 5 Points of the SuperSkills Competition
  1. The players and announcers looking confused about the fastest skater. Was it just me or did the majority of them not know that it was the stick that had to cross the line first?

  2. Wanting to see other players participate in certain skills. I know it would take way too long to have everyone participate in every skill competition but how do the players decide who will do what? How did Phaneuf be one of the shooters for the shootout when he's 0 for 5? I know I'm being greedy and favoring my Kings player but Anze would have tore it up in the shootout.

  3. Getzlaf not doing anything fancy in his second attempt in the "be fancy and showy shootout" Breakaway Challenge.

  4. The Breakaway Challenge and using "Celebrity" judges. I'm all for having Tim Riggins on TV but it's completely unnecessary for him to be a guest judge. And don't even get me started on that basketball player. One shootout challenge is enough, do we really need two?

  5. The obstacle relay course. When the instructions were announced I had no idea what the hell the players were supposed to do. I couldn't watch the skills competition last year so I wasn't sure if this was a new event but I think it's a variation of an existing event. Regardless...I thought it was pretty ridiculous, especially the goalie part of it.

Overall Feeling
I expected more from the SuperSkills Competition. Maybe it's because I haven't watched one in years and when I was younger I always thought the SuperSkills Competition was so much fun to watch. I had a lot of expectations for this night and it was just ok. Maybe I'm on crack and everything seemed bigger when I was younger but I thought more players participated in each event rather than, for example, only 3 players from each team competing for Most Accurate Shot. I didn't watch the YoungStars game last year and was looking forward to seeing the game this year. It turned into a fast-paced flurry of odd man rushes in which the winning team had the goalie that could make the most saves. I know that's a lot of generalizations but that's how I felt while watching it. And is it worth it having all those young'ns fly out to Atlanta, participate in the press, and play for ten minutes when they could be with their respective teams, resting, practicing, and bonding? I guess I'm turning into a cranky old fart who wants her Skills Competition to be how it used to be in the good ol' days.

Top 5 Highlights of the All-Star Game
  1. Doc and Eddie talking to DiPietro right as the game started and Rick Nash scoring on him 12 seconds into the game and then Doc and Eddie apologizing to DiPietro for distracting him. I bet Doc and Eddie thought, "Let's talk to Rick, the game's just starting so there's no way he'll see action right away." I couldn't stop laughing because the sequence of events was just too funny.

  2. I know I mentioned this in my first recap, but it warmed my heart to see Kopitar interviewed. Youngest player on the 2008 All-Star Team and the first Slovenian in an All-Star game.

  3. I hate Chris Pronger but I thought it was funny when he called out Getzlaf and Perry during the second intermission for not getting on the scoreboard

  4. Nabokov. He only faced 8 shots but he had some unbelievable saves. If the East had more shots and Nabby saved those, maybe he would have been the MVP.

  5. The tiebreaker scored with seconds left in the game. I do enjoy watching shootouts but I also hate it when they determine a game so I was relieved when the 15th goal of the night went in before the end of regulation.

The Lowest 5 Points of the All-Star Game
  1. The West's performance in the first period. (see No. 2 for explanation)

  2. Chris Osgood. Holy hell did Osgood look bad...made me wonder how he would look if he didn't have Detroit's lineup in front of him. But then again, those 5 goals weren't entirely his fault. The West did not play very well in the first period and it was borderline embarrassing. I knew in my heart that the game wouldn't be a blowout, but I was worried at times during the first period.

  3. When Doc and Eddie read the e-mail (letter?) from Sidney Crosby, telling people not to feel sorry for him for missing the All-Star game. Honestly, I like Crosby. I really do. I think he's an unbelievable hockey player and advertisement for the game, but will these guys stop acting like the hockey world will end without him?? Can they go one broadcast without mentioning his name or talking about what Crosby would have done? I feel this way and I actually like the kid. I can't imagine how people who hate the kid feel.

  4. Having Bettman on the broadcast. Enough said.

  5. Seeing Sniedermayer in the All-Star lineup. Really?? 19 games qualifies you to be an All-Star?? Really?? Her? Bland?

Overall Feeling
To my surprise I enjoyed the game more than the skills competition but maybe that was because the game played out how I expected it to. I was slightly disappointed to see some players on the roster instead of others but I realize that injuries (and other excuses) happen. I can't remember who was on the original roster and which players were replacements and I suppose I should look that up before I make these next statements but I'm too lazy. So feel free to call out my incorrect assumptions. I was surprised that Osgood and Thomas were on the roster. I think Osgood is a decent goalie on an unbelievable team and I don't think of Thomas as being an All-Star. Osgood didn't impress me in the game but Thomas did. I thought he played well and helped his team to a victory. Of course, like I said earlier, I think someone other than Sniedermayer should have been on the roster. I'm fairly certain he was a late addition and I can't believe he was appointed to the roster after having only played 19 games. I realize the Ducks have been on a hot streak since his return but I think it would have been fairly easy to find a better All-Star replacement, someone who has put in hard work in the first half of the season and has not only played well but shown a lot of heart and exemplifies what an All-Star means to his team. Of course, my favorite part of the game was listening to the goalies mic'd up. I thought it was cute when Doc let each goalie have a run at calling the game. I definitely hope this feature continues in future All-Star games.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

All-Star Game Recap Part I

I had an intense Katamari weekend so I won't be able to post my real All-Star Weekend Recap until tomorrow.

However, I would like to point out how amused I am that I've received a lot of hits from hockey fans searching about Ryan Getzlaf's bald spot. In case you missed my post about his ever expanding bald spot, which I noticed during the 2007 Playoffs, you can read the post here. Apparently his lack of helmet during the SuperSkills contest surprised the female gender. Ohhh, did that flaw remove him from your Squee List?

One of my favorite parts of the All-Star game was seeing Anze Kopitar interviewed for being the first Slovenian player in an All-Star game. His English is quite good, isn't it? And he looked genuinely happy to be there. Although I was ticked off that VS mistakenly showed Sneidermayer's picture. Anyway...I wasn't sure how Kopi was going to play with Ribeiro and Horcoff, but I thought the three of them played well together. No points for Kopi this year but I'm sure he'll back in the future.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Five Focus

I almost forgot about my FFF:
  1. The trade rumors are driving me nuts. Why do players tell the media that they'll waive a no-trade clause? Do they want their current teammates and fans to hate them?

  2. How many goals will Kopitar have in the All-Star game? I don't expect him to net a hat-trick but I am looking forward to watching him play with an All-Star cast. Not that his Kings teammates suck, but I'm sure he'll look amazing playing alongside the best of the league.

  3. How many more games will Cammalleri miss? I can't believe he's been out this long. And I bet when he returns it'll take him at least a couple weeks to get back in his groove.

  4. My brother is too much of a snob to purchase season tickets in the 300 level. He's really my only hope of getting season tickets for next season. I guess I could get them in a lower level, but then I would eat ramen every night...and not the good ramen, but Top Ramen. Or, I suppose I could split season tix with a friend of a friend but I think it would be easier if the sharing was kept in the family. If only the Kings let fans customize their smaller packages...

  5. I cannot wait till Thursday, January 31st!! And if you don't know what I'm talking about then we can't be friends. Who are the people coming to the island? If they're not there to save the Losties then what are they doing there and how did they find the island? How does Locke know they shouldn't leave the island? When will Michael and Walt come back? How many main characters will die this season and who will die?? Who in the world is Jacob?? So many questions!!!!

Tommy Lasorda Wins Kings Game

Tommy Lasorda dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff. During the second period he was a guest on the color commentary and every time he rambled on about 19-dickety-2 and about fuck knows what, the Kings applied pressure and scored! At first it was slightly annoying having to listen to his mumble-jumble but after we realized he was good luck we didn't want him to stop talking!

From a Kings fan standpoint, this game was awesome! The intensity was there from the second the puck dropped and never ended till the game was done. Instead of a long ass paragraph I'm going to list the highlights of the game in my signature bullet format:

  • The fight between Ivanans and Parros was much better than I had initially anticipated. I kept thinking, "Stay on your goddamn feet, Parros! This fight needs to last for more than 2 seconds!"

  • The best use of Fox Slo-Mo occurred when Jimmy and Bob broke down the best hit of the fight; Ivanans landing a beaut right on Parros' left cheekbone.

  • HD does not do Getzlaf any favors....yikes!

  • Making my night even sweeter was seeing my Kings end Getzlaf's 15-game point streak, which I confidently predicted would happen earlier in the day to my boss. (He was so proud of Getzlaf for keeping the streak alive despite a Ducks loss to the Red Wings a day earlier. I smirked and as he walked away I proclaimed, "Well that's going to end tonight!" So glad I was right because I hate being wrong.)

  • LaBarbera shouldn't have let in the lone Ducks goal, but I'll let it slide since he played a hell of a game.

  • When Handzus prevented a Ducks goal I shouted, "That's why I like the guy!" I also like him because he won some key face-offs and is becoming quite the penalty killer

  • The Manchester kids all played remarkably well. Giuliano, stellar work on the PK, especially blocking two consecutive slap shots. Congrats to Teddy Purcell on his first NHL point. I think Nagy just lost his job to Moulson.

And finally, my player of the game is:
Brad Stuart

Yep, you read that correctly. I am actually giving high praise to BS. I know I've hated on him pretty good lately but he was awesome last night. He played the puck smartly, didn't cause any turnovers, and hit the living crap out of every Ducks player that came near him. Now that's the BS I've been waiting to see. Please continue to play like that for the remainder of the season!

This win was especially sweet since it came against the Ducks. It's rare when almost every Kings player plays well but it's so refreshing to watch games when they do. We probably wouldn't be last in the league if the Kings showed up to play every game like they did last night.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Don't Care Anymore

The Kings haven't played Anaheim since November but I'm still sick of the Ducks. I'm tired of hearing about them. I'm annoyed with Sniedermayer for being a weeny and attracting so much attention making everyone in the whole hockey universe guess as to whether or not he would return this season...and for then coming back and helping the Ducks in their recent surge. Oh, so I guess you are that special. I hate you. I'm even more annoyed with Teemu for being even a bigger weeny than Sniedermayer. It's past the midpoint of the season. The Ducks will play the majority of their remaining games at home so how convenient for Selanne if he comes back now when he won't have to spend as much time on the road. How many other players in this league would be allowed such freedom? It's like they're on this glorious high chair looking down below at all the sad little people in Ducks jerseys who have to go through the rigorous training, the losing, the travel. I hate them because they make me feel bad for the rest of the Ducks squad and I should never feel this way towards the Ducks. I hope I never have to feign support for a Kings player who wants everyone to wait around on his terms. Sure the team may say they've moved on but how could you not expect them to think about what it would be like if their star players rejoined the roster.

I hate the Ducks because I work in Orange County and while my coworkers rarely say a word or even raise an eyebrow after another devastating Kings loss, I don't doubt that once the playoffs roll around and my team is gone and "their" team is back in it again I won't hear the end of it till they're ceremoniously booted out of the playoffs. I REALLY hate Bryan Hayward. Maybe I will burn his hockey card in a bonfire ritual to cleanse my apartment of all things wrong with the world.

I hate Marc Crawford because he has an unnaturally high-pitched voice and he sucks at coaching the Kings. I hate that my team has not gelled very well this season. I hate that FSN won't show all 6 parts of the Royal Race at one time and instead teases us with one clip at a time. I hate that almost every single Kings player has a minus rating. I hate playing the Detroit Red Wings.

and most of all....I HATE driving in the rain! When I was in St. Louis for college every student from the northeast would complain about St. Louis not knowing how to handle a light snow flurry. Well, Southern Californians can't deal with rain and I am no exception. You should have heard us at work today. "Is it going to rain today? It is? How long? Through the weekend?!!?" It was as if the world was ending. To make matters worse, as I made my way up the 405 going a steady 20mph I heard on the radio that there was a tornado warning for the city I live in...WTF?! I don't think one happened, but still...we don't do tornadoes...we don't even have a real storm drain system.

Tonight I'm annoyed with everything in the world, I'm a hater of all things related to the Ducks, and all I want is for my team to beat the Ducks. Is that really too much to ask?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kings v. Red Wings Post Game Report

The highlight of the game was finding out it would be broadcast in HD.

The low point of the game was finding out that Dan Marouelli was one of the refs. This post by Five for Smiting sums up exactly why my dad and I have hated Marouelli since the late'80s.

This game was over before the puck dropped.

Place Your Bets!

Who thinks there are any truths to these rumors?

According to ESPN's Rumor Central:

Red Wings D Chris Chelios told a Detroit radio station last week that a conversation with Kings D Rob Blake last month led him to believe Blake had lost his drive with the Kings and would love to join the Red Wings.

"I don't know if that's exactly what was said [between he and Chelios], so I'll leave it at that," Blake told the Los Angeles Daily News.

The paper said when Blake was asked if he had lost his drive, he gave a long "Well ...," then said he was still trying and didn't know any more he could say.

Blake has a no-trade clause and previously told the Denver Post he would consider waiving it to go to the right team.

"[The Kings] would have to come to me first, but, yeah, it's a possibility," Blake, who will make $6M this season, told the Post.

"Hopefully, we can turn things around here first, before any [trade] talk happens," Blake told the Post.

Yahoo! Sports had two additional rumors:

1. Devils interested in Blake or Stuart

2. Kings shopping Nagy, Modry, and Blake

Here's what I think about all this talk:
Quite honestly I don't care if any or all of those guys are traded. However, what I really don't want to see happen is a trade go down so we acquire Ray Emery, because he is not the solution to our goaltending woes. If Cammalleri was healthy I wouldn't be surprised if he was gone before the trade deadline. Since he hasn't seen a game since December 22nd I don't see how any team would bank on him being a major contribution unless he gets healthy stat and makes an immediate impact with the Kings once he returns. Of course, I realize the Kings will be sellers during the trading period but I hope we can acquire some decent talent that will help us next season as opposed to 3 seasons from now.

It seems like Blake wants to go based on the quotes in the papers and websites but I'm curious to see what team wants to foot his salary, although his contract is up at the end of the season. I don't know how anyone would want Modry...maybe a team in need of a veteran stay-at-home defenseman? Maybe a team could teach Stuart how not to turnover the puck 5,356,247 times during a game. And maybe, just maybe, Nagy will be a consistent player on a different team. I still think he could do decently with the Kings but not at his salary...and for that matter, what other team would pay him that?!

Oh right, there's a game on tonight! And it'll be televised! Tonight is going to be a disaster. I foresee an arena filled with red sweaters and a plethora of talent on display from guys named Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Lidstrom, and...oh who am I kidding, from the entire Detroit squad.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Quick Story

I normally don't like telling ultra personal stories but I really have to share this one that I think most female hockey fans will enjoy:

Tonight my fiance (P) and I were driving in the car and a 'Real Men of Genius' ad came on the radio, the "Mr. Scoreboard Marriage Proposal Guy". After it was over P said, "You know...instead of paying for a wedding we could go to a Justice of the Peace and use the money to buy Kings season tickets for the next 5 years." There was complete silence for about 5 seconds as I sat there comprehending the most amazing idea that has ever come out of his mouth. I finally sputtered out, "Well, um, yeah!!!" Of course, he said, "Sweetie, I was just kidding!" But then I reminded him, "Um, no you're not. That's a brilliant idea!" And then we dreamed for the next ten minutes trying to figure out where we would get season tickets and for how many seasons instead of paying for a decent-sized, fairly nice wedding.

Then he came up with the second most brilliant idea which was, "How about instead of a formal gift registry we tell a bunch of people that they can chip in and buy us season tickets for our wedding gift." OMG! I almost drove off the bridge we were on because I seriously didn't think life would ever be able to get any better than it had in the past 15 minutes. Considering he had only been to one hockey game before we started dating, he has come a loooooooong way. I'm so proud...and thankful that he encourages my (sometimes unhealthy) obsession with the LA Kings.

(x-posted to HLOG)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Friday Five Focus

I've wanted to do a weekly feature for some time so we'll see if this 'Friday Five Focus' lasts more than one week. If so, then every Friday I'll post five things I've focused on for the past several days.

  1. I find great pleasure in other peoples' anguish. Does it make me a bad person for laughing on the inside knowing that the Buffalo Sabres have a longer losing streak this season than the Kings? I don't dislike the Sabres it's just that I can't believe the Sabres have lost 10 in a row while the Kings' longest losing streak this season is only 8 games. I bet my Kings will lose tonight because of bad karma...I knew I shouldn't have discussed this...

  2. Is Peter Forsberg hot? Would you hit that? I've always said "No" but this pic has me questioning my answer. Take a look (courtesy of Getty Images), what do you say?

  3. "Look at how clean I am!!"

  4. I don't know a lick about Spector's Hockey, but the person who wrote the rumor about the Sens needing a defenseman suggested that Rob Blake could fill the void. So the question is: how much does this rumor starter know?? is there any truth to this rumor?? if it's just one guy/gal spitting out opinions, is this really how rumors get started? If any of you are familiar with Spector's Hockey, leave me a note explaining the truthiness behind their rumors. RudyKelly made a plea to the Red Wings and Senators to make a trade for Rob Blake because they're the only teams that have a chance at knocking out the Ducks in the post-season. I'm willing to get behind the Wings and Sens during the playoffs because I would poop my pants if the Ducks won the Cup again this year.

  5. When will Dean Lombardi re-sign O'Sullivan? He's an RFA at the end of the season, is currently raking in $850,800, and has a career best 12-14-26 in 47 games of his sophomore season (but first full season). Deano won't trade him, right?

  6. Why the hell can't I get my Katamari big enough to plug the Black Hole? Every time I fail I have to redo the level which takes a minimum of 18 minutes to finish. I bought Katamari last Sunday and have played it every night before I hit the sack, meaning I've averaged approximately 4-5 hours of sleep each night this week. If I can't beat this damn level pretty soon I'm going to end up with circles as dark as Anze's and the next week at the office will be absolutely brutal.

    Check out those dark circles!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jan 15th: Kings 3, Edmonton 1

One radio game down, two remaining. (Eat shit, FSN)

I hate listening to games on the radio because I can't anticipate the play. I'm in a constant state of fear that the other team will score and I have to repeatedly remind myself to breathe because after several frenzies I'll notice that I haven't taken a breath in some time. The experience is even worse when I'm driving home because I have also have to concentrate on not rear-ending anyone and avoiding the crazies who are determined to drive 90 mph. I'm also not that great of a driver but I don't think that's the problem... Big shout out to the owner of the license plate "XKINGZX" with the matching "Kings Rule" license plate frame. On Monday evening I drove behind you for the majority of my commute home and I couldn't help but smile every time I got close enough to read your license plate. ;)

Anyhoo, Kings beat the Oilers with a score of 3-1. From what I gathered from the radio broadcast, it seemed like we really took it to the Oil in the first period. Even though we didn't score on the power play and Edmonton was very aggressive on the PK, we managed to keep it in the offensive zone for almost the entire PP. The Kings somehow limited the Oil to a mere 3 shots in the first period. Despite Pennersquee scoring a goal in the third period, the Kings held on to win the game and it appears that Barbs had another solid game. See, the Kings just need to play with some passion, be smart defensively and Barbs will take care of the rest.

Here's an adorable pic from the night (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jimmy Jeong)

He's still adorable even without his front teeth!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Performance Reviews

The idea for this post came during the 0-7 loss to the Leafs. Ckim and I were astounded at how loud the boos resonated through Staples Center. She noted that this game must have been extra hard on the players because the boos were so noticeable. I mentioned that it must be tough as a sports player to get reviewed after every game. Can you even imagine getting reviewed by your boss after every work day? I would die. But then again, I guess that's why these guys are paid the big bucks. I get reviewed twice a year at work and I think the norm is to have a review once a year, sometime during the middle of the year. The Kings are a few games past the midpoint of the season which means it's the perfect time for Performance Reviews! (Throughout this post I use "I" and "we" interchangeably...don't hate, I've never been good at grammar.)

Derek Armstrong
So far this season, you've been OK. Maybe you should keep the DJ job at the Toyota Center public skate.

JS Aubin
You fought for a spot on the roster and even though you're up in the big leagues, I'm not convinced you actually belong here. You're lucky that the Kings are drowning in goaltender woes otherwise you'd be shacking up with Cloutier out in Manchester. Your long rebounds continue to scare the crap out of me and while I realize that's your style of play, you need may want to rethink your game plan since the defense is inept at clearing your doormat.

It's no secret that the Kings have pretty much burned both goalies at the stake by leaving them for dead in games. While the goalies aren't anywhere close to being free of blame, as both have showed severe mental breakdowns during games, they can't expect to clean up the shit when the offense and defense crap the beds every night. Aubin hasn't been quoted in the media too much, and no his 'Yo Momma' commercial doesn't count, but LaBarbera has voiced his disgust with the team's play. He hasn't downright criticized his teammates and, in fact, no one has, probably because there isn't one player on the team who consistently shows up to play a full 60 minutes. However, the only person I feel who can rip his teammates a new one is LaBarbera because he's the goaltender and more often than not, he looks bad because his teammates make him look bad. In ESPN's rumor central, Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers recently ripped his teammates by stating:

"If we want to go anywhere, we have to change this. It's not one thing; it's a whole lot of things. We have to change how we approach [games].

The time is slowly going by. You don't want to be in a position where it's too late. This is a professional business. You have to be accountable for yourself. It's really hard to get somebody up and tell him to be ready to play. It's your job. The team is capable of being a lot higher than we are. You kind of slowly run out of excuses."

The exact same statement could have, and probably should, come out of LaBarbera's mouth. It's time for the Kings to get angry. It's time for them to show some passion. It's time for them to play like they're getting paid somewhere in the range of hundreds of thousands to several million dollars. With that said:

Jason LaBarbera
I want so badly for you to have a stellar season and maybe it'll happen next year. I go apeshit every time the defense leaves an opposing player unmanned next to you or allows the opposition to have several whacks at the puck. You don't deserve to be treated poorly by your teammates and it's about time you show them who's boss. When you're healthy and the team plays decently in front of you, you're f'ing on and have showed the ability to win games for this team. Keep it up, don't get down if a couple quick goals get by you in the first period because you're capable of carrying this team and until Baby Bernier is ready to come up there's a high probability that you'll be here next year holding down the number one spot.

Rob Blake
How does it feel to be leading the Kings in PIM with 72? Tee hee hee....you've developed quite a temper in your old age. Even though my mom is absolutely shocked you're still playing, you actually haven't been that bad. But what is going on with these rumors that you're willing to forgo the "no-trade clause" in your contract? If you want out, then you can have out. Why did you even bother returning to LA? Did you really think we were going to be Cup contenders during your two-year contract? (ok, yeah, I did, too)

Dustin Brown
What a season you've been having. Who would have thought that you would be leading the Kings in goals 46 games into the season? You're a season or two late with your production but it's good to see you finally developing into the first line player we knew you could be when you were selected in the first round of the 2003 NHL Draft. We commend your acceptance of your contract extension because we realize you could have held out till later in the season and used your breakthrough season as proof that you deserve a salary somewhere in the $5-6 million/season range. Thank you for not doing that. Seriously. Thank you. Maybe it's because you're married and are expecting your firstborn soon (an early congrats) and want to make sure that your family can stay put in one place for an extended period of time. However, we like to think that you just love it here in Sunny SoCal and foresee your play developing further under Lombardi's regime. Keep up the good work; we want to see you reach those 40 goals that you're on par to score.

Kyle Calder
We had high hopes for you in LA. You've been OK, slightly better than Army, but that's about it. You have a lot to work on, namely scoring goals.

Michael Cammalleri
Oh, Cammy. My Kings calendar brings me much joy this month but that's all you can provide us since you're still sidelined. Note to Cammy: Don't attempt to fight again. We know you were just trying to stick up for your boy, Anze, but seriously, you're bite size! You did start the season with quite a roar, but you've been fairly inconsistent with your scoring since mid-October. Now do you know why Dean took you to arbitration? Don't be alarmed if you get traded (although being on the injured bench doesn't quite help our story) because while you are a good player, we need better from you and quite frankly, maybe you could be better elsewhere and it's possible a team would give up a good amount to add you to their lineup.

Kevin Dallman

Alexander Frolov
Ignore Helene Elliot, because you've been playing well. Even though you've been challenged to become a bonafide goal scorer, you proved this season to be a fantastic playmaker. While you've sat out 11 games with injuries you've made the most of your playing time in games you have played notching 34 points (9G, 25A) in 35 games, making you the best points per game Kings player. You continue to be strong on the puck, have great hands, and read the game well. Keep it up Fro!

Jeff Guiliano
Keep up the hard work and it's possible you won't be sent back down to Manchester before the season ends.

Michal Handzus
Grow your hair, then we'll talk.

Raitis Ivanans
Stop taking dumb penalties and get into more fights. What do we pay you for, goals?

Jack Johnson
You've played a much more defensive style than most critics anticipated. You're cautious about joining the attack; it's good that you're thinking defense first, but don't be too shy on offense. Even though you've had multiple scoring opportunities throughout the first half of the season, you only have 7 points. Don't be discouraged by your low points total, continue making smart plays (you have one of the first best passes out of the zone) and the scoring will eventually come. Oh, and don't be afraid to rough it up every now and then.

Anze Kopitar
Congrats on your first All-Star team nod. You're still scoring despite the increased coverage this season. You use your linemates well, but sometimes you need to use them more. At times it appears that you're trying to do everything by yourself, maybe because half the time no one else is really playing. But with other teams fully aware of your capabilities, you need to play with your linemates. But don't worry, you're still a stud.

Jaroslav Modry
You've done better than expected but you're still that defenseman who's just there. I don't know really know how you can improve your play.

Ladislav Nagy
Whenever you're on the verge of blowing up into a great scoring threat, you retreat back to "Invisible Nagy". You're so close to becoming a top goal scorer for this team and, quite frankly, we need you to step it up. Nagy, you're such a tease.

Patrick O'Sullivan
My heart flutters whenever you touch the puck...is that wrong? You're such a stud. I vote you "Most Improved" because I don't think any fans expected you to do this well. Brownie was expected to be this good a couple seasons ago so "Bravo" to you for playing like a champ. I'm not going to say anything else for fear that I may embarrass myself.

Tom Preissing
No words can describe how disappointed I am in your play this season.

Brad Stuart
BS. Enough said.

Scott Thornton
I'm still trying to figure out why you were named an Alternate Captain since you've only played 28 games (out of 46). You're actually tied with Nagy for the best +/- with a "+1" rating. Congrats!! Keep your head up, Thornton.

Lubomir Visnovsky
Oh, Lubo! You're still playing well, just not scoring goals like you did the past two seasons. Maybe next year when the team is much better you'll find your scoring touch again.

Brian Willsie
Wait, isn't your name Kevin Dallman? No? Wait, who are you?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Kings Win in Shootout

The home team has won every game in this series. After the Kings scored their second goal, Jim Fox said something along the lines of "of the last 17 shots Turco has faced at Staples Center, he's allowed 8 goals."
Here's the save of the afternoon (courtesy of YouTube):

Except for the second goal, LaBarbera looked really good in this game. He saw the puck well, didn't allow too many crazy rebounds like Turco, was square to the shooter, and was solid in the shootout. And, of course, my boy Patty O'Sullivan netted the winning shootout goal. Well done, boys.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Respectfully Disagree

I applaud Helene Elliot's most recent article in the LA Times because it was refreshing to finally see a hockey columnist rightfully rip the LA Kings. I've waited weeks to read a similar column from a professional sports journalist but, excluding game recaps by the AP and other Times writers, I have hardly heard a peep. Maybe it's because the Kings weren't picked to do well this season or maybe it's because we're in the Western Conference and don't get much press. However, I do not agree with most of what Elliot says in her article.

She practically demands Dean Lombardi to bring up the highly touted prospects that are doing well in Manchester. I agree that it would be nice to see them in action in the NHL and if they underperformed, well, so what, there's practically zero chance we'll clinch the 8th spot. BUT, I agree with Lombardi that you don't want to rush prospects. Case in point: Bernier. He appeared ready for the job but couldn't be our saving grace when the team tanked in front of him. When he went back to Juniors, he was, as Lombardi bluntly put it, "God awful" and had to rebuild his confidence to return to norm and continue to improve. Her argument is:

"If [the fine prospects] don't pan out Lombardi would still have time to
retrench through trades and good selections in the June entry draft."

Why, so we can repeat the process next season?? Do we really want to bring up these youngsters this deep into the season and feed them to the wolves? I'm sure they would jump at the opportunity to come up and prove themselves but what if the team continues to lose game after game...where do you think their confidence level will be after another 5-game, or God forbid, another 8-game losing streak? Additionally, how well would you be able to separate the NHL-ready players from the AHL-career guys if the entire team sucks and make each other look horrendous?

Then she strikes my Lubo by saying:

"And why not bring up 24-year-old defenseman Peter Harrold? He can't be worse than puck-shy Lubomir Visnovsky, caring but hardly mobile Rob Blake, so-so Tom Preissing and contact-shunning Jaroslav Modry."

I remember Peter Harrold very well from last season and he wasn't very good. His AHL stats from this season cause one to believe that he's greatly improved, but should we take the chance? And did she just describe my dear Lubo as "puck shy"? WHAT?? Maybe she meant, "trigger shy". He hasn't put up a high number of goals this season but his 21 assists are third on the Kings behind Fro and Kopi who have 24 and 23 assists, respectively and is tied for 11th in assists among all defensemen in the NHL. He continues to be one of the few Kings defensemen who can bring the puck from behind his own goal cleanly into the offensive zone so I don't understand where she gets "puck shy". I have no comment on her description of Blake, Preissing, and Modry...but I'm searching high and low for her criticism of Stuart? What, no harsh words for Stuart? Has she turned a blind eye on all of his turnovers and sloppy play?

The organization of the second half of the article is all over the place. Case in point:

"If Marc Crawford can't advance the kids' development, a coaching change might be in order. There's nothing to gain by firing him now and Lombardi isn't inclined to do it.

'I don't see that. I think we have to continue to fight through things,' Lombardi said. 'Look at some of the things he has confronted this season. I have not gone there at all in my mind.'

But in assessing the progress of the core youngsters Lombardi said Kopitar 'hasn't gone backward' and spoke of an 'over-reliance' on the 20-year-old Slovenian, who is in his second NHL season. Those aren't ringing endorsements of Crawford.

Nor was Lombardi's assessment that 'we haven't been able to manage' Blake's minutes and have relied too heavily on the 38-year-old as he recovers from hip surgery. The stalled progress of Alexander Frolov and Michael Cammalleri also go in the minus column.

If Crawford can't bend, he must be replaced next season"

First of all, I am not even going to comment on Lombardi's quote...he's such a liar. (Never thought about it?? right...)
Ok, so first she states a coaching needs to happen, but then doesn't really clarify whether she also thinks he should stay for the remainder of the season or if that was solely Lombardi's sentiment. And I'm a bit confused as how we got from Crow to Kopi then back to Crow...I sort of understand what she means, but it's just so jumpy and requires a lot of assumptions of what she's thinking.

I don't think Fro's progress has stalled...the guy's been injured! He started the season slow because he was recovering from an injury and just as he was getting his stride he got injured again. If you look at his stats he's not that far off from last season. When he's healthy he's been on and I think he'll continue to play well and improve his stats from last season.

I wouldn't necessarily say that Cammalleri's progress has stalled but rather it's at a more expected level. He did very well last season and I was definitely surprised that he ended the season with 80 points. Dean must have thought Cammy wouldn't be able to reproduce those efforts this season since he only offered him slightly more than $2 million during the off season. He blew out of the gates at the beginning of the season which caught everyone off guard. His scoring has slowed as of late but I think it might be because Cammy just isn't an 80 point/season player.

Oh...so finally she says Crow might be deserving of a pink slip at the end of the season...could she not have included that statement earlier??

QUICK NOTE: it's fucking 4-0 Kings in the first period. WHAT. THE. FUCK....they couldn't have done that on Tuesday? ckim and I are crapping our pants right now because we're both listening to the game and chatting through Google. Every fifth word in our chat is either "OMG!!" or "WTF??" This is unbelievable. However, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed because we have been known to collapse in the third period...

44 Games into the Season

The Red Wings and the Kings have both played 44 games.

Red Wings have 69 points.

Kings have 32 points.

Wednesday's LA Times article about the Kings/Nashville game had an eye-popping quote by Marc Crawford:

"This is the first game in months where we played poorly."

Coffee almost flew out of my nose when I read that quote. He must be taking Britney's crazy pills. Rudy Kelly has a great response to Crow's asinine comment as well as three solid reasons for why Crow needs to be fired.

The Schmucks shut out Toronto on Wednesday so that means we'll lose tonight since this season I don't think we've beaten a team that lost the previous night to the Ducks.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What Just Happened?!?

KingsCast couldn't make Tuesday night's game so they were nice enough to give ckim their tickets. Ckim's brother was nice enough to get sick and not be able to go with her. Ckim was nice enough to ask me if I wanted to go to a game knowing full well about my New Year's Resolution. She apparently knows me well because how could I pass up a free ticket even if it meant I would break my Resolution (8 days into the New Year!) and my "No Mon-Thurs Games" standard. So what if I had to drive 45 miles during rush hour praying that an accident didn't occur on any nearby facilities that would cause my route to get jammed. Free ticket? I'm there! (Actually, I almost didn't go because I'm trying to kick a cold I've had for the past week but decided that being completely congested did not qualify as a valid excuse for missing a Kings game. I warned ckim that I would be super snotty and she didn't seemed too put off by my grossness....awww, she is my friend!)

I made it to Staples Center on-time and we got to watch the teams warm-up. I made one too many dirty comments about Zanon stretching on the ice in front of us. I determined that Radulov is just as scary looking as Ivanans. I frantically looked for Tootoo so I could shout obscenities at him and was slightly disappointed when he was nowhere to be found (he was a scratch).

KingsCast have great seats (upper level, dead center, second row up from the protective glass) and the usher knows them. When we asked him the best way to get to our seats he said, "You'll be sitting near Keith and Chris." "Oh, actually, we have their tickets tonight!" The only huge negative about their seats was that we were sitting in a fucking elementary school playground. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting kids into hockey, especially since I started liking hockey when I was just a wee little girl. However, I don't like other people's kids...just keep them away from me. Our section was FILLED with kids...I'm guessing, 8-10 year olds and all night long they kept shouting crap like "Do something!!" (dude, they're just trying to clear the zone) "Fire Crawford!!" (that's what a blog is for...gosh!) "Bring back Bernier!!!" (no, asshat, we can't this season.) "Go Nashville" (What? Now you're rooting for the other team?? Go the fuck home!) Uggghhhh...it was really annoying.

The game was absolutely atrocious. Crow definitely should have called a timeout or pulled Barbs after Nashville's second quick goal. It was kind of surreal watching the Kings play so horribly. I kept looking at ckim and saying, "Is this really happening? What is going on?"

All life was sucked out of every single Kings player by the time the score was 0-3, 6:40 into the game. I tried not to get too upset about it because I figured it wasn't worth raising my blood pressure. I tried to laugh it off. I tried to make jokes. I tried convincing myself that it was just an "off" night. 0-7 games don't happen all the time and every team is a victim of them at some point in their franchise history, right? But this loss was even harder to take in and try to put behind me because of the number of losing streaks we have thus far and the season is only halfway done. It can't get any worse than this, right? I'm 50/50 on that statement. Something has to be done. How many more losses are the Kings going to endure before a major change occurs?

During the second intermission, ckim and I had some fun with the dire evening. We did a quick commentary on the game so head over to her Kings blog to listen to us (it might take a couple seconds for it to load). And remember, I was very congested and I don't normally sound like that.

Also, we started discussing how horrible and embarrassed the Kings must have felt, especially since all 14,700 fans were booing them for most of the game. This is their job! They're getting booed at their job!! Can you imagine if clients came into your office and booed you!! Oh man...that would be horrible...how would you be able to continue working? It got me thinking...I get reviewed at work twice a year. Normally employees get reviewed annually and I think the halfway point of an NHL season is the perfect time to hand out performance reviews. It's getting late on the West Coast so I won't get to it now, but come back tomorrow afternoon/evening to read my performance review for the Kings.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Jan 8th: Kings v. Preds

I'm glad Tuesday night's game isn't played in Nashville because it means I won't have to hear those damn whistles "too-too-ing" every single time my favorite jackass touches the puck.

TV Schedule Rant

Dear Person in Charge of the TV Schedule,

The Kings finally battle the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. However, if Kings fan want to watch their team play an Eastern Conference team then we actually have to go to Staples Center since the game will not be televised. Of all the games to not televise why does it have to be against a team that fans in SoCal rarely have the opportunity to see (unless they have Center Ice)? How about not televising a game against Phoenix? Or Edmonton because who gives a crap about them? I realize not being able to watch the Kings play Toronto isn't nearly as bad as the possibility of not seeing Pittsburgh or Washington (I'm a sucker for watching Ovie), but it's still bad that a game against an Eastern Conference team is not televised. Thursday's game will be just the third game played this season against a non-Western Conference team and I would have really liked to have been able to see it. And no, my "New Year's Resolution" is not preventing me from attending this game, my "No Mon-Thurs Games" stance is preventing me from attending this game. Thankfully the 6 remaining games against EC foes will be televised (including the Pittsburgh game).

Some people may argue that the Kings are trying to blackout games to sell tickets and I highly doubt that is the case with this game. In fact, I bet it's because UCLA and USC men's basketball are being televised on FSNPT and FSNW, respectively. However, the following week I won't be able to watch any of the three Kings games through Western Canada. It seems ridiculous that three consecutive away games will not be televised (not quite sure what the reason is since FSN doesn't have their schedule up that far in advance). These four games seem like opportune moments for Versus to broadcast but of course, that won't happen because Why would Versus show a Kings game? If it weren't for that London game the Kings would never have been televised on VS. I realize not every game can be televised but c'mon, against an EC team? Three away games in a row?? Sometimes I just love being a Kings fan.

Pissed Off,

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Comeback Falls Short

This game was tough to watch and I almost turned it off but I'm glad I didn't even though the Kings lost. The Kings started the game on their heels and it looked like it was going to be a long night. Calgary immediately got on the board and quickly followed with a second goal. I couldn't believe how good Calgary looked in the first half of the first period and well, for most of the game. They were skating circles all around my team exposing every single passing lane. Now I know why the media is all up in Iginla's business because that guy is goooooooood. I was so jealous of how well Calgary played and immediately thought that we didn't even have the tiniest chance of making this a close game.

Crow smartly called a timeout after Calgary went up by two less than 4 minutes into the game. In the past Crow would have let the guys play or maybe even pulled Barbs like he did a couple weeks ago, but I was glad to see him use the TO. The Kings definitely picked it up after taking a breather and settling down but while Bob and Jim thought the guys were playing much better I still didn't see them clicking like they needed to in order to win the game. Willsie had multiple scoring chances but just couldn't put the puck in the net. On one play that Willsie flubbed P said, "C'mon Willsie, you're better than that!" and I said, "No, he's really not." If only any other line had been out there and had the chances he had...The only good thing that I noticed the Kings do in the first period was not take many penalties (only one was called against them) but P quickly squashed my attempt at looking on the bright side by noting "a lack of a negative does not make a positive." Whatev, dude, let me have my moments...

Frolov eventually got the Kings on the scoreboard by exploiting Kipper's mistake of attempting to play the puck behind the net. As Kipper anxiously waited for the puck to enter the trapezoid, Frolov skated in on Kipper, stripped him of the puck and wrapped it in for the goal. Besides Calgary regaining their two goal lead not much else happened in the second; the Kings played at Calgary's tempo and both teams had adequate chances and numerous hits.

The Kings opened the third period looking like they owned the Flames. Stuart pulled the Kings to within one and Nagy tied it moments later. Lubo was the key player in Nagy's goal. Lubo fired a slap shot from the slot that missed the net but was so strong that it came flying back into play to the right of Kipper. Fro got a stick on it and it eventually came out to Nagy who was to the left of Kipper and he patiently collected the puck, waited for Kipper to make the move, and netted the Kings' third goal. Kopitar was perfectly positioned to score the Kings' fourth goal and thankfully the ref was also in the perfect spot to clearly see that Kipper never had control of the puck. Kopitar's goal was his first since the Dec 29th game against Colorado and only his second since the game against Chicago on Dec 12th...Where has he been lately??

Anyway, after the Kings got ahead they had the momentum, the fans were into the game and it looked as if the Kings were actually going to win this game. However, the Kings just couldn't hold onto the lead and the comeback wasn't meant to be. Calgary tied it on a PPG, went ahead on a PPG, and secured the lead on an empty-netter in under 7 minutes.

At the beginning of the game I knew the Kings would be in trouble if they took too many penalties, which is why I was glad to see them only take one in the first period. Eventually the physicality of the game, the speed of the Flames, and their undisciplined play got the best of the Kings as they ended the game with 6 penalties and allowed 3 PPGs. While the Kings have the PP working (currently ranked 4th in the league) their PK is atrocious (28th) and is usually a major factor in their losses. I want to list all the areas the Kings need to improve but it would take me too long. Instead, here's a brief pep-talk for future games: Start the game ready to play, try playing a full 60-minutes, quit leaving your goalies for dead and stop taking too many penalties or get your PK in order. Oh right, and Win.

Will the Flames be Doused in the SoCal Storm?

Sorry, I just couldn't resist a cheesy title. I mean seriously, how often does it rain down here and even worse, how often does it pour??

The Kings and Flames meet up tonight for the second time this season. That would be the 21-14-7 Calgary Flames, the team I predicted to win the Cup (I know, big statement, right?) against my feeble little Kings who have a downright embarrassing 15-25-2 record. OUCH! We have the fewest wins, the most losses, and are just 3 goals away from being the team with the most allowed goals. However, in all that dim light we are just 2 points away from tying Tampa Bay! And, we have 2 of the 3 top HOT players (Nagy and O'Sullivan) listed under Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey for the past 2 weeks. What are the odds of that happening...

What are the odds that we'll win tonight? How about the odds that a goalie is pulled? Or the odds that Patrick O'Sullivan nets another point? Or the odds that Stuart will turnover the puck again? What is it with that guy and his slow reflexes? He chases the puck down with no one even near the circles, puts his head up, looks, looks, looks, looks, looks, and then by the time he realizes he should actually play the puck, the opposition strips the puck away. I'm beginning to like him less and less with every game I watch, but Preissing is still in the lead for my least favorite free agent signing.

I'm convinced that we'll win this game if Ivanans gets a fighting a major. Why? Well, was it just a coincidence that we ended our losing streak the first game Ivanans got into a fight since being deemed inoperable thanks to Blakey? Or that we annihilated Chicago when Ivanans got another fighting major? Yep...I think there's a pattern.

Speaking of Blake, $5 says he's gone before the trade deadline. The LA Times and ESPN Rumor Central both have him saying that he'll waive his no-trade clause if need be. Hmmmm, sounds like someone has a case of the grumpies. I know Blake, you thought coming to LA was the best idea ever because of your fond memories of working with Crow and your dreams of becoming the next Mario Lemieux by being Jack's surrogate father. Hah, little did you remember that Crow just ain't that hot and poor you didn't realize how much more of a man Jack is than Cindy Crosby. Blake, I will not be sad to see you go. (Sorry ckim) But Blake, when I eventually move to Manhattan Beach, maybe we can go surfing together, ok??

Oh, and a final non-hockey note, someone please tell me you watched Friday Night Lights tonight! Oooooh Tim Riggins.....you studly devil.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I leave town for a couple days and the Kings destroy Chicago! I was impressed that the Kings won the first game in OT and was blown away when I checked the score of the second game and saw we were ahead 6-2 after the second. After finding out that both Nagy and Fro had two goals at that point I figured there would be a good chance that at least one hat trick would occur. I was also praying that we wouldn't blow a 4-goal lead. Since I wasn't able to watch the game while I was in SF (although I did catch the Winter Classic, thanks to NBC, and part of the Washington/Ottawa game thanks to FSN Bay Area Extra...what??), I bring you quotes from my hermano who went to the game with a bunch of friends, all of whom are big Kings fans, so thanks to the hermano for giving me some blogging material.

Last night I went to the Kings game with 3 buddies. When Nagy scored his first, the line looked like this: 1 goal, 1 assist. I turned to Vince and said "Nagy's having a pretty good game." Vince replied "Yeah, but a $4 million game? I don't think so."

After Nagy scored his second and assisted on Frolov's goal, Vince turned to me and said "NOW he's playing like a $4 million man."

After Nagy scored his hat trick, I turned to Vince and shouted "GIVE THAT GUY AN EXTENSION!!!"

The game was great. For once, the visitors were playing like the Kings, while the Kings were playing like the visitors.

Funny how Kopitar recorded zero points amidst the scoring frenzy. Only proves my theory that he's half-assing it out there. Or everyone else's theory that Kopitar gets double-teamed into submission.

Ivanans and that other guy went at it, fighting to a draw. The best part was two-fold: (1) both players tossing their sticks and gloves and circling each other before swinging - just like old time hockey; and (2) even when the linesmen tried to separate them, they still wanted to go at it. Haven't seen that kind of fury in a while. Someone must've made an Eastern European Yo Mama joke.

While I'm not quite convinced that Nagy is worth $4 million, I am convinced that he plays well with Frolov and that the two of them will continue to have a great season. Fro got injured just as the two guys established chemistry which caused Nagy to become invisible. With Fro back and healthy I am looking forward to watching those guys help create a solid second line that will alleviate the scoring pressure placed on Kopi, Brown and Cammy. While Army has played decently, once Cammy gets back I'm sure he'll be dropped to the third line and O'Sullivan will once again play with Fro and Nagy.

I've also been disappointed with Kopi's play lately. I don't know what it is. Maybe the coverage on him has gotten better...maybe he's putting too much pressure on himself...maybe he's trying to do too much...

I'm still sticking to my New Years resolution so I need my guys to win two more consecutive games. Or, Tampa Bay could continue to suck and we could eventually overtake them. Can I tell you how shocked I was when I checked the standings and saw that TB was 29th in the league?? Guess Vinny can't do everything.