Thursday, February 28, 2008

Feb 28th: Kings 4, Oilers 5

Yet another untelevised game. I'm not even going to comment on this since I've already bitched about untelevised games. But don't worry, I'll still bitch about something...get ready.

As I drove home at around 7pm I turned on the radio and was shocked to hear some basketball game on the usual Kings network. I flipped to the other station that sometimes broadcasts Kings game. Another fucking basketball game. I then scanned through the entire AM section and could not for the life of me find the game anywhere. I finally settled for the news radio station 980 that does sports updates every 0:15 and 0:45.

When I got home I was curious to find out if the game was even broadcast on radio so I checked the LA Times game day report (haha, report...yeah right, more like, sentence), which stated that the game was broadcast on radio station 1260 and with a whopping ONE HOUR DELAY!! 1260 AM!? Are you fucking serious?? I'd like to hear one person say they heard the game on this radio station because there is noooooo way the game was on it.

And even if the game actually was broadcast on 1260 AM, why in the world would a sports game be delayed on the radio?? What's the point? That is the most ludicrous thing I've heard all week.

Right now I feel like the Kings are lower than high school girls soccer on the SoCal sports scene.

At least tonight's episode of Lost made up for the lack of Kings coverage. And for all of you Losties looking for good online Lost coverage, check out Lostpedia and The Lost Diary.
Thankfully the next Kings game will be televised. We take on the Colorado Avalanche and I can't help it but be curious about whether or not Forsberg will be playing. I'm contemplating doing a live game blog but I'm not sure if it'll be worth the work. So if you think I should do one, let me know in the comments.

No Sympathy for Phaneuf

TSN is reporting that Dion Phaneuf's SUV was stolen the other day. Poor, Woofie, right? Wrong.

I do have to say that I would be absolutely devastated if my car was stolen, mainly because buying a new one would require delving into my Kings season tickets/house down payment fund. Since there's only street parking in my neighborhood and I live in the gay ghetto I'm always worried that I'll leave for work and not be able to find my car.

With that said...I have no sympathy for people who do stupid shit like leaving your car running while you get something because you're too lazy or too trusting (stupid) to turn it off, run your errand, and come back and turn your car on.

The article reports that:

"Phaneuf left his SUV running and he came back out just in time to see the perpetrator rolling away.

Phaneuf did not want to discuss the incident following the Flames overtime loss to the Avalanche."

Yeah, I wonder why he didn't want to discuss the incident...because he realized what a moron he is for practically handing over the keys to some lucky bastard criminal. What's next, is he going to leave his 500G iPod, Gucci sunglasses, and Tag Heuer watch on the dashboard, tempting every person who walks by to break the passenger window and walk off with the loot? This is why I trust NO ONE. C'mon people, let's use our brains.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hockey Night in Blogdom & SportsHubLA: My Trade Thoughts

I've written about the Kings trades on two different sites and don't feel like coming up with new witty ways to say the same thing.

Slap Shot (the NYT blog) is back with another rendition of 'Hockey Night in Blogdom' entitled, "Did Your Team Get Jobbed, or Did It Propser?". Each blogger piped in about his or her team's trade(s). We all know how I feel about Stu Bear (see yesterday's post) but in case you're wondering how I feel about the two trades executed by Lombardi check out my responses. You'll also get to read what Bill Houlihan of Abel to Yzerman and Cassie of Anaheim Duck Fan feel about acquiring Stuart and Aubin, respectively. (Don't forget to check out Part One and Part Two of this blogging series.)

Additionally, you can find my new post at SportsHubLA where I touch upon a couple bigger name trades and discuss the trades executed by the two SoCal teams. If you're into LA Sports I highly recommend you frequent the website because they always have posts about some guys named Kobe and Pau. Yeah, I know, hockey loyals...who?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Good-Bye Stuart!

Dear BS,

I'm sorry about all those terrible things I said about you behind your back. It's just that I didn't know you that well. You were that new kid in town with the frosted hair who acted like he was the most popular kid in class before the season even started. Your boyish good looks and pursed lips instantly made you and Jack the dynamic duo out on the town. I doubted your abilities to be that awesome. I thought I was cooler than you. I harped on you for every little mistake you made when I turned a blind eye to Lubo's mistakes and faults. As soon as I decided that maybe you weren't all that bad and that maybe we could be friends I decided to give you a chance.

But as soon as I began to warm up to you and believe in you, you had to go and get yourself traded. All you had to do was admit to yourself that LA is super awesome and that you couldn't imagine playing anywhere else. Look at all the young talent we have, are you sure you don't want to stay? You know we're going to be contenders in the near future so why couldn't you re-sign? I don't know who to blame for your departure but I want nothing more than to see you succeed even if it means that the Red Wings succeed too. I'm sure DL will make good use of those two draft picks and hopefully our paths will cross again.

Good Luck, BS!

with tears of sadness,

You look so good in purple...

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Answered 5 Questions

Slap Shot, the NY Times hockey blog, is doing a fun short questionnaire segment with bloggers from all 30 NHL teams.

I am honored to have been asked to participate. You can read my answers (and those from the rest of the Pacific Division bloggers) HERE!

I find it funny that 4 of the 5 Pac Division bloggers are female. I'm no feminist, but GO US! PMS UNITE! (I think all of my male readers just threw up.)

Upcoming Trade Deadline: My Predictions and Wishes

With the NHL Trade Deadline approaching fast, I want to make some predictions for what will happen to the Kings. I also want to make a Wish List of all the players I want to see traded.

My Wish List for the Trade Deadline
Here are the following players that I want to see gone:
  • Rob Blake - you're dead to me. Just go to Colorado so you can be with your loverboy and help the Avs knock out Anaheim.

  • Tom Preissing - sometimes I'll be watching a game and think, "is TP scratched?"

  • Ladislav Nagy - you have been such a disappointment this year. I can't believe I actually gave you the benefit of the doubt when you signed with the Kings. I feel like you cheated on me and I HATE feeling that way! So that's it Nagy, we're done!

  • Kevin Dallman - I told you to retire after that marvelous game you had but nooooo, you just had to go and continue being a "hockey player" or as I like to call it, "bait".

  • Brian Willsie - It's never a good thing when I get you confused with Kevin Dallman. It's also never a good thing when I complain about how often you undeservedly get too much playing time and then I check your stats and find out you've only played in 40 of 64 games this season. You and Kevin Dallman should run away together to a nice small Canadian town and play for the local AHL team.

  • Matt Ellis - it's not you, it's me. I have feelings for someone else and I don't want to lead you on.

Who Will the Kings Trade??
Ok, folks, let's get real. Based on rumors, what the Kings need, what the Kings may be able to get in return, and the trusty beer gut, here's a list of guys I think will be traded.

  • Rob Blake - why else would trade rumors have been flying around the league in December?? I think deep in your heart, you know you won't be able to play as long as Chelios and that it might take that long for the Kings to make a viable run for the Cup. I think you passionately want another Cup and that you've been all talk the past couple of weeks. Also, even though I'm against rental players, the Kings will probably be able to acquire good stuff for you. You're no Sundin; You left once and you can leave again. Take one for the team, Blakey, we'll see you in September.

  • Michael Cammalleri - he does have one year left in his contract but he's had a decent season thus far and he's played enough games since his injury that I think he's getting better acclimated to playing. Obviously he wouldn't be a rental player so he would be good for a team that needs to add a skilled center not only for the playoffs but for next season, especially if the team is going to lose a top UFA. The Kings have a lot of talented players that are younger than Cammy's 25 years so his void would be easily filled. Like Blake, I think the Kings can walk out of this deal with some good players and/or prospects. I hope the Kings can get a good defenseman in return.

  • Brad Stuart - I'll be sad to see him go. I said some harsh shit about BS earlier in the season but he has finally won me over. Any team would be lucky to obtain the services of BS and considering he's a UFA at the end of the season I think DL will be trying hard to ship him out. Oh BS, we had such good times together!

While I want the Kings to trade away a good chunk of players I don't see DL doing such a thing. Of course he'll be looking towards the future, but hopefully he'll fair better than last season. We did get a lot of picks through last season's trades and we're totally stocked with picks in the 2008 Draft. I'd like to see some quality players that can contribute in the very near future rather than several (2-4) seasons down the road. C'mon DL, bring in the good stuff!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Feb 23rd: Kings 5, Hawks 6 (OT)

Before I begin the game review I have to explain that I DVRd this game because I knew I was going to be gone for the first half of it. As I drove home this afternoon I decided to turn on the radio to listen to part of the game. I listened to most of the second period but finally had to turn the radio off when the goalie change occurred. "Good luck, kid. You're gonna need it," was what I said to Ersberg (or rather myself) as I shook my head and pondered whether or not I would watch the game from the beginning when I finally made it home.

Even though I knew a 4 minute 6 second bloodbath occurred during the second period I still wanted to watch the game from start to finish. I already knew how bad it was going to get so I figured I could withstand watching the game in its entirety. I didn't know what happened in the third period and managed to restrain myself from checking the final score before I settled in to watch the game. Here's how it all went down:

First Period
The first period was nothing to write home about. Both teams had their scoring chances and both teams had goals scored off of shots from the outside that found their way to the back of the net thanks to some quality screening. Although, Jack, thanks for leaving that Hawks player ALL ALONE in front of Cloutier. Poor guy couldn't see anything around the opposition and I'm sure he would have wanted someone to deliver a timely and well deserved cross check to clear the front.

Anyhoo, the Kings goal was scored by Peter Harrold, his first ever NHL goal! It looked like a harmless shot but I think it deflected off a Blackhawks defenseman. Kopitar, Cammy, and Jack played the best during the first period and I was surprised that neither Kopi nor Cammy were able to score in this period.

Second Period
The Hawks were on their heels right off the faceoff but despite applying a lot of offensive pressure the Kings only managed a couple shots and nothing too threatening. Brownie attempted to lay out Toews but didn't quite hit him square on. Seabrook came to Toews's rescue and Brownie effectively held Seabrook to only a couple minor punches to come out of the scrum relatively unscathed. Seabrook was assessed 17 minutes of penalties (2 min. instigator, 5 min. fighting, and 10 min. misconduct) and Brown was given 2 for charging and 5 for fighting. The radio guys were convinced that Brown shouldn't have received a penalty for charging because they insisted he threw a clean hit. Upon watching the game I agree with Jim Fox, who pointed out that Brown did leave his feet, thus qualifying the hit as a charge.

Seabrook's display of protection must have lit something under Chicago's panties because they proceeded to embarrass the living crap out of the Kings for the remainder of the period. The Blackhawks entered the Kings' zone on the ensuing faceoff and Havlat eventually took possession of the puck in the corner. Lubo held him to the outside, but as Havlat kept moving forward, Lubo kept moving backwards...uhhh, Lubo, why don't you just let him skate into the net!!?! As Lubo went to protect the cross ice pass ( one, since there wasn't a 'Hawks player on the other side) and no other Kings defenseman challenged Havlat, he finally came into a scoring position and lifted the puck into the far corner.

15 seconds later the 'Hawks scored AGAIN! as Zyuzin (not a real name) exposed the Kings' defensive troubles and skated unmanned into the slot, received a perfect pass from the corner, and shot the puck past Cloutier. I fully expected Crow to call a timeout but he did no such thing....Hmmmm, I seem to recall what happened when Crow didn't call a timeout when Nashville scored a couple quickies...oh right, they beat my boys by a score of 7-0.

Roughly two and a half minutes later Toews made it 4-1.

Just over a minute later Williams made it 5-1.

Crow finally made a move and replaced Cloutier with Erik Ersberg, the sixth Kings goaltender to make an appearance this season. Staples Center erupted in cheers and applause as the goalies switched position but my heart went out to Cloutier. The Kings defense was essentially nonexistent for all four second period goals. The Kings might as well had been playing with three forwards and one goalie. The Kings left Cloutier out to dry and the guy, who needs all the support he can get from his teammates to not only win back his confidence but the confidence of Kings fans, got nothing in the second period. He probably could have saved Toews's goal, which came off a rebound, but considering Toews had the hunger to chase down his own rebound and make the nearest Kings defenseman (I think it was TP) look invisible shows what little help Cloutier received.

Ersberg faced 6 shots in the second period but no shots were challenging. The Kings ended the second playing like a team but with a huge void to fill.

Third Period
The Kings have had some crazy comebacks this season so I knew the game wasn't over. But when the Kings started the third period looking listless and disorganized my hopes for a comeback slowly dwindled into the back of my mind. It took them roughly 8 minutes to collect themselves and establish any solid forecheck. But once things started clicking they were on a roll and finally playing like the team I know they can be.

Cammy got the Kings back on the board at 9:06. He fought to gain prime position in front of Lalime and itty bitty Cammy was able to connect on the rebound for a goal into a wide open net. A little life, a little more hope.

Three and a half minutes later TP of all people gave the Kings (and Staples Center) some real hope! This goal occurred due to the hard play by Kopi, who carried the puck into the zone and established the forecheck, and by Cammy whose quick hands and vision enabled him to keep the puck away from the 'Hawks D and pass it TP who had a beautiful shot that somehow found its way past Lalime.

Still down by two goals it looked like the Kings were going to eventually tie it up. But as the seconds that passed turned to minutes, it was panic time. Ersberg kept the Kings in the game when he stopped Kane on a breakaway. Crow pulled Ersberg with about two and a half minutes to go and thankfully O'Sullivan was able to bring the Kings to within 1 after him and another Kings forward had several jabs at the puck, which Lalime never had full possession of and thankfully the ref never called the play dead.

With Ersberg pulled after the faceoff the Kings managed to keep the puck in the offensive zone. It looked the game was over when the 'Hawks broke out into the neutral zone just steps away from an empty netter. Jack MF Johnson somehow broke up the empty netter attempt and kept the Kings alive. The 'Hawks iced the puck with time winding down and Crow called a timeout.....Ohhhhh, so that's why he didn't use the timeout earlier in the game. Hmmm...I'll keep my mouth shut next time.

(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Get your heads out of your asses and start PLAYING!

With under a minute left Anze Kopitar scored the tying goal and I jumped onto my couch in utter disbelief!!! I think I screamed something along the lines of "DID THAT JUST FUCKING HAPPEN?!!?" P was sitting near me with his mouth and eyes wide open completely shocked that the Kings actually tied it, especially considering he thought I was insane for even watching the entire game when I knew the Kings were down 5-1 in the second period. (He's quick to write my team off...sometimes we don't like his negativity.)

The game proceeded to OT and well, the Kings couldn't finish off the 'Hawks. The Kings were on such a roll that I was convinced we were going to win this game. However, I am happy that my team fought back and didn't die after the second period. It's good to know that the team still has some pride in them and even though they're not going to make the playoffs they're not going to let teams get easy wins.

Hopefully the Blackhawks are embarrassed for squandering a 4-goal lead after the second period and will give the Ducks some hell tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Kings have till Thursday to sort themselves out and figure out how and why they completely broke down for a span of 4 minutes 6 seconds. Damn...their next game isn't till Thursday! Another untelevised game. There's a good chance we'll see some new faces and it's anybody's guess which current guys will be gone.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Five Focus

Here we go again. Five things (at least four of which are hockey related) that have been on my mind this past week. Feel free to speak your mind in the comments.

1. I am thrilled that Frolov is on such an amazing run. In the month of February he has 15 points in 10 games. In 2008 he has 31 points in 23 games. If he maintains his current points per game average (54 pts in 52 games = 1.038 ppg) through the remainder of the season (19 games) he could net 73 points and beat his career high of 71 points that he achieved last year when he played all 82 games.

2. Patrick O'Sullivan is making it difficult for me to choose a 'Sweetheart'. I've always liked Frolov and he's finally coming through and playing like a topline forward even though he's on the second line. And now we have O'Sullivan who last year had potential and all of a sudden exploded this season. I don't think I ever expected to him to be this good but he's displayed such tenacity and has a great sniper shot. I keep waiting for the Kings to re-sign him and after his 5-point game last night, I'm really anxious to see what kind of contract the Kings will (or, should) offer him.

3. When Philly beat the Kings earlier this month I was under the impression that Philly was really good and on their way to winning their division. Several weeks later and I see headlines about them losing 9 games in a row and now they're out of a playoff spot. OUCH! I thought Philly was the most improved team from last season and while they still have time to turn things around I was shocked by their recent position.

4. Going along with item #3, how in the world is Petit Briere a -24?! +/- is not a category I usually like to spend too much time dwelling over but for some reason Briere's -24 stunned me. I guess I always assumed poor +/- ratings were reserved for players on the worst teams (like the Kings!) but even Frolov is a '0'. Do Flyers fans feel that Briere is overpaid or are they willing to defend his pricetag? And what about Rangers fans and the salaries commanded by Drury and Gomez? Looking at my team, yes, I am ticked off that Blake is making $6 million because no, I don't think he's worth that much at all. If he re-signs with the Kings I hope he makes between $3 mill and $4 mill. I still think that's high but I am taking into consideration that he's a veteran who can still play. Ideally, I would like to see him bring in a paycheck closer to $2 million with bonuses attached to it depending on how well he and/or the Kings perform.

5. P and I are made for each other which is evident by our recent conversation:
P: Do I look good today?
me: Yes, but I look better. I'm having a really good mascara day and I'm very happy about it.

Last week I bought new mascara and I'm finally getting used to it (the brush, how it applies, the texture, etc.). I have never used this brand of mascara before but apparently it's good for curling, volumizing, and lengthening. It goes on very smoothly and doesn't clump. However, if you're not careful about how much gets on the brush then too much may end up on your lashes. It isn't waterproof, but it doesn't smudge and is easy to remove. If you're willing to spend a little bit extra on mascara, I highly recommend it --> Fresh Supernova Mascara. Don't hate, sometimes I really like being a girl.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Feb 21st: Kings v. Blues

The Kings had 5 shots in the first period.

It's near the end of the second period and the Kings are ahead 4-0 thanks to a 6:40 scoring spree.

Let's hope we don't blow this like the Rangers.

Holy Shit! 3:31 into the third and the Kings are up 5-0! FROLOV with the HAT TRICK!! Patrick O'SULLIVAN has his first 5 point game with one goal and 4 assists!! Why did I not go to this game? Why isn't this game televised!!

GAME OVER! KINGS WIN 5-1! It's a shame Cloutier couldn't get the shutout but I'm not going to complain since the Kings spanked the Blues!

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Thornton, it's good to see you back!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

3 Belated Game Reviews

I am way behind in my game reviews so don't expect a mindblowing analysis of any of the past three games. Quite frankly I only want to talk about the first game since that was the best, but I suppose there are some points to take away from the two games against the Coyotes.

Feb 15th: Kings 6, Flames 3
I didn't think the Kings had a shot in hell of even being competitive with the Flames. The road trip was ok, netted the team some points, but it wasn't as if they dominated throughout the entire trip and just barely lost a couple games. The guys have looked siginificantly better since the 8-game losing streak but in order to be a top team they need to string together some wins, something this team can't seem to accomplish for a second consecutive season.

Lately it's been somewhat frustrating trying to figure out what team will be on the ice what with guys going on and off IR or the scratch list and moving back and forth between LA and Manchester. Before Friday night, Matt Moulson was, for some unknown reason, sent back to Manchester. I guess for Friday night's match Brian Willsie was a better candidate for ice time than Matt Moulson. Go figure... At least Brian Boyle was still in LA. Teddy Purcell was a late recall to replace an ill Cammy. I was also hoping for a defenseman to replace Kevin Dallman but unfortunately he was left in the lineup...or was it unfortunate???

Kevin Dallman surprised the hell out of everyone who watched this game as he proceeded to play the game of his life! He scored the first goal to get the team rolling and never stopped till the horn sounded the end of the game. He hit every Flames player that came his way, didn't turn the puck over, made smart passes out of the zone, created offensive chances, hell he even outplayed every other Kings defenseman. Did Lubo just fail to clear the zone? Oh, there's Dallman to the rescue! Did Phaneuf mysteriously elude a check? No worries, there's Dallman!! Did Barbs just collapse from heat exhaustion? Well, get out of the way 'cause Dallman's going to play goalie and outduel Kipper!!! Dallman was a fucking machine on Friday and when the game was over I turned to ckim and said, "He needs to retire right now because there's no way he's ever going to play a better game." Well, he didn't listen to me and instead reverted back to his true form the next night....that's another story.

The rest of the game was quite incredible. I kept waiting for Kipper to get pulled, especially when we had 6 goals on 17 shots. Iginla tried more than once to receive a long pass but the Kings impeded the breakaway every time. Phaneuf was leveled by Boyle and Brown and, if I'm not mistaken, also by Giuliano, all 5'9" of him. The hit by Boyle was incredible because at first it looked like Boyle was going to become the next Eric Lindros but, instead of getting caught with his head down, he stood up strong and Phaneuf bounced right off of him (see below for the video). Although we were up by 4 goals at the end of the second period, I was still nervous. Hell, even the Kings have had remarkable comebacks this season so of course the game wasn't over. Thankfully the Kings played a very smart defensive game and only allowed one goal in the final segment. Teddy Purcell notched his first NHL goal, Brian "I'm a fucking beast" Boyle got his fourth goal in seven games, Alexander Frolov kept up his points streak, and Kopitar potted one as well. What would have ultimately sealed the night was if Giuliano had scored on his penalty shot....oh well, I guess now we know why he never participates in the shootout. Overall, great team effort: Scoring by Committee!

I know RudyKelly already posted this video when he did his game review but it brings a huge smile to my face every time I watch it and hopefully you'll enjoy it too!

Was somebody a saaaaaaaad panda?

(two more game reviews after the jump...although, let's just pretend those games never happened)

Feb 16th: Kings 3, Coyotes 4
The NHL game scheduler should have made this game come before the Calgary match because the poor guys just came home from an 8-game road trip and after playing one incredible home game had to travel to Dirt City for yet another road game. The NHL schedule never ceases to boggle my mind...

I had high hopes for this game because I couldn't stop thinking of the possibilities! Kevin Dallman could continue his badass streak. Cloutier might play like he did against Columbus. The Crazy Russian can't stop us again, right? Maybe the Kings will begin a winning streak! Blerg....well, I was wrong.

Even though the scoreboard was close I never thought the Kings actually looked like they were going to win. The penalty kill was weak again. Cloutier looked okay but when he let in that sharp shot from the corner all I could do was shake my head in disbelief. How was he not set? Did his skate hit a rut? Then there was another play where a Coyotes player had a semi-breakaway and I thought Cloutier acted too soon, which left the net wide open. As for the rest of the team, I thought the chemistry just wasn't there. Were they not ready to play? Were they tired? What happened to the team that showed up the previous night? We didn't deserve to win with the effort put forth.

Feb 18th: Kings nil, Coyotes 4
This game was a disaster...not like the meltdown against Nashville, but just so very disappointing. I fully expected my boys to jump back from their previous lost to the 'Yotes but no such thing occurred. But before I get into why this game was so painful to watch, can someone please give me a reasonable answer for why Brian Boyle was sent down so that Lauri Tukonen could be called up? I realize the front office probably wants to see Tukonen play, but why now? Is his 19 points with Manchester not telling enough that he probably isn't ready to play in the NHL? All I have to say is Brian Boyle has 5 points in 8 games....when else has a Kings rookie who was called up in the middle of a season produced that many points in so few games? This guy was on a roll and then all of a sudden was sent back to Manchester. How many more games will Kings fans have to endure Tukonen over Boyle or Moulson? I'll give Tukonen two more games to impress me...

There were so many problems with this game...they couldn't connect passes, enter the offensive zone, establish any rythym, or even stay out of the box. Memo to Kings players: your PK still sucks so stop taking so many penalties!! The play that sealed the Kings' fate that night was when Danny Carcillo schooled Kevin Dallman. I don't know what astonished me more: seeing Carcillo pull off a such a slick move and then complete the play by scoring a goal or seeing Dallman react to Carcillo's deke as if it was his first time playing hockey. My heart sank after that play and I just knew there was no chance we were going to eliminiate the 3 goal deficit established at that point.

The only highlight of the game was the Ivanans v. Carcillo bout. If Ivanans lost that fight I would have petitioned for the Kings to revoke his contract extension. He may have been bleeding when the fight ended but Bam Bam definitely got the best of that little punk.

We have two more games against Phoenix this season and I really, really hope the Kings show up for at least one of them. I never thought the season would come when I was praying for just one win against Phoenix.

And if you're a champ and made it this far in my useless game reviews, then I'm rewarding (or punishing) you with a little girly commentary. I just watched the Project Runway 'reunion' episode and could not believe how stuck up Victoria acted throughout the entire time. She was kicked off because her jeans coat and "skirt" looked like crap and she deserved the boot. And why was she so angry about Jack leaving the show? Was it because Chris was invited back onto the show and is now a finalist? Whatevs...Chris deserves it! Girl, get over yourself!

Next Kings game: Thursday against the Blues. Get out your radios 'cause this home game isn't televised! Boooooo! This game better be fierce.

Trades Shmrades

Why did the Philadelphia Flyers pick up Jaroslav Modry? Is he really the answer to their defensemen woes? It's not easy to declare the winner of this trade considering the Draft is still months away. However, based on last year's draft, our pick in the third round was Bryan Cameron, a smallish center who has played decently the past two seasons in the OHL with the Belleville Bulls. It's highly possible the Kings will end up the winner of this trade considering DL's knack for drafting.

Of all the defensemen on the Kings, I'm surprised that they passed up Tom Preissing and Brad Stuart. I'm still trying to figure out why TP was thought to be a good off-season signing and I guess the Flyers agreed. He hasn't done that much bad but he also hasn't done that much good. He's just....there. I'm willing to bet the Flyers didn't want to give up much for a veteran defenseman which is why they didn't trade for Brad Stuart. At least it gave me another day of hope that BS won't be traded. I'm really warming up to this guy and it only took me roughly 50 games! He's got some grit to his game and has one hell of a slap shot. I'm willing to forgive his myriad turnovers that were commonplace in the first half of the season because lately he's been showing why he's a studly defenseman.

(more after the jump)

I hate to doubt good ol' Rob Blake ("ya know, back in the olden days I had a mullet! hardy-har-har!"), but now I don't believe a damn word that is published about him. A month or two ago I could have sworn there were reports saying Blake was willing to waive his no-trade clause and now he's saying that he was never asked to do such a thing, nor would he capitalize on the opportunity to go for the Cup this season. I don't know what to think about you, Blakey. Do you really mean it when you say you want to stay in LA or are you just saying that because you're injured and the suitors are slowly getting out of line? I'm not going to comment any further about No. 4 till after the trade deadline.

I just have to say something about the Forsberg Fiasco. Today ESPN has an article stating that Foppa might actually still be considering a return to the NHL this season because after all the trade deadline is still one week away!! Are you serious?! First of all, why would a team want to risk signing him when there's been so much speculation about whether or not he's even 100%. This isn't Sniedermayer or Teeeeeeeeemu we're talking about, two guys who just had to maintain playing form while they pondered retirement. Foppa has ankle issues. Foppa has skate issues. Foppa doesn't even know if he's 100% and he's allegedly asking for a two-year contract worth $3 million/season? What?! Does anyone else think this is totally whack? If I were him I would be paying clubs for a chance to play for a Stanley Cup contender and then have in my contract a clause that states "if I can play in every single regular and postseason game and average 'X amount' of minutes, then you have to pay me 'X amount' of dollars next season." But then again, that's why I'm not in the "signing-hockey-players-to-contracts" business.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Feb 15th: Kings 6, Flames 3

I know I'm behind with this game review but I haven't been in a writing mood lately. But here's a picture of my "KOPITASTIC" sign. Don't even ask how long it took me to make...there's a reason why I don't do artsy stuff very often because my engineering background comes into play and I start getting super anal about how everything should look. Check back in a day or two for an actual game review. Also, I have the PHX game on DVR so if I get around to watching it I'll do a game review for that game (I know the final score but I'm curious to see how my boys looked).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Five Focus

It's technically Friday when I remembered, so here we go with my weekly scheduled post:

  1. Please, oh pretty please, will a GM take Nagy off our hands!? Puh-leeeeease!!

  2. If Matt Moulson isn't called up after the trade deadline I will shit a brick. He is a much better player than Brian Willsie and I think he's had enough practice in the AHL. It's time for the Kings to stop carting him back and forth between LA and Manchester and keep him with the big boys.

  3. I can't believe it's already February 15th...Looking at the upcoming schedule it's sad to see that the end of the season is quickly approaching. Soon I will have to say good-bye to my team and pick a different team to adopt for the playoffs. *sigh*

  4. The Kings OWNED Phaneuf tonight and it was very, very sweet.

  5. I think Carolina is going to make the biggest (and most suprising) trade before the trade deadline. They need a strong veteran who can score and attempt to replace Rod the Bod as the team enters the playoffs. I don't see any other team making a huge splash, but that assumption isn't based on any hard facts...just my gut feeling.

Staples Center needs to CHILL OUT!!

Tonight was the first time in my 19 years as a Kings fan that I brought a sign to a game. I made one sign that read, "KOPITASTIC" since whenever Kopitar does anything amazing I say, "Kopitastic!". The other sign I made was initially going to read, "JACK > phaneuf" but I had to change my idea since Staples Center only allows signs equal to or smaller than 11"x17" and I wanted to get the sign all on one line. Instead, I went for "KILL JACK KILL" and quite frankly, the sign looked damn good. I walked through the metal dectectors at Staples Center, a security guard looked at my sign, a puzzled look formed on his face, and he got the opinion of two other security guards. All three security personnel concluded that my "KILL JACK KILL" sign was unacceptable because "Kill" is a deragotary term....ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?!?!? Do you know anything about Jack Johnson? Apparently not. I contemplated whether or not I should let some tears squeak out of my eyes but I held back my rage and handed over my fabulous sign, but not before ckim took a picture of it:

Jack, I didn't forget about you!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Guest Podcaster

Finny, ckim, and McPhizzle have started doing a podcast, "I'm Not a Puck Bunny, Because Fan Girls Do It Better". McPhizzle was unable to do the podcast so I stepped in as a guest. Until I figure out how to embed a media player, check out Episode 2 of the podcast here --> I'm Not a Puck Bunny

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Feb 10th: Kings v. BJs

This afternoon, 3 pm PST, the Kings will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Kings have not experienced any kind of success against the BJs this season and I can't quite figure out why. We lost 1-4 at the end of October, 1-2 in December, and most recently 3-4 at the beginning of 2008. We have shown some moments of brilliance in the past couple weeks so hopefully we'll be able to bounce back from yesterday's game and put on a good show. I don't think Kopi and Fro were on a line together in any of the three losses to Columbus so maybe that'll provide some offensive spark. Cammy needs to get his scoring touch back and prove to everyone why he thought he deserved top dollar. I fully expect Columbus to be aggressive so the Kings will need to play at their level and not be caught flat footed early in the game.

For info on the BJs check out Bethany's Hockey Rants. Although, if the Kings miraculously pull out a win, don't expect her to provide a full blown game analysis. For the second consecutive game I'll be providing a pseudo-live-blog/game diary. But I must say, I don't exactly enjoy doing these and I don't know how the -ookies manage to do these for almost every single Devils game. So check back just before the puck drops and at each intermission for my running game analysis and quips of the game. GO KINGS!

Bob and Jim talk about the return of Cloutier. They emphasize that Cloutier's role is that of the backup goaltender. Backup. Alright guys, I sure hope so. They also talk about the improved play of Jack Johnson. I agree with them that Jack has been more comfortable as of late, especially with Rob Blake out of the lineup. Apparently the BJs have had recent goal scoring troubles: only 9 goals in the last 5 games. Hmmm, hopefully that'll continue today.

First Period
Cloutier and his old school helmet. I'm so fucking nervous!!

19:17 Oh SNAP! 43 seconds into the game and we're up 1-0!!! The review of this goal is killing me...either because I've had too much coffee and no food (ok, yeah, I just woke up, lay off me!) or because I desperately want this goal to count. Crow looks like he's going to piss his pants. YES! IT'S A GOOOOOOAAAALLLL!

I admit that goal was U-G-L-Y. However, we crashed the net which is exactly what we needed to do, something Columbus did in the December game that paid off for them. Kopi got the goal, assisted by Cammy and Brown. So maybe those three will be playing together much for Fro and Kopi continuing their awesomeness together.

17:24 Columbus rocketed one off the post and the arena sounded the horn. Stupid Nationwide Arena...Cloutier had one hell of a rebound on the initial shot, who has he been taking lessons from, Aubin?

14:27 BJs tie it up on the power play. Cloots was screened and could hardly see the incoming shot. The Kings need to do a better job of clearing the front and giving Cloots a better view of the shot. The nearby Kings Dman had one guy in front and one behind him and didn't do anything to clear either of them from the front.

Fucktard, Stuart is out, not because of two bruised hands thanks to Detroit, but because he's under the weather. And who is on the blueline to replace him? Kevin "I should be an AHL-career player" Dallman.

10:18 It looks like the Kings are on the penalty kill...that's not promising. How in the world is Columbus able to keep it in our end for this long? The Kings really need a better blueline because Preissing is just not doing it for me. Neither is Dallman. Nor Modry, although he hasn't really been on my shit list this's just that he's old and average.

9:03 I couldn't figure out why Army shot the living crap out of the puck from that close in but Leclaire gave up the most ridiculous rebound and I thought Fro was going to capitalize on it but Leclaire was able to snatch it up. Lucky bastard.

6:40 Cloots went behind the net to play the puck and I instantly thought, "Don't fall down"

5:59 Why is Ivanans playing with Kopi and Cammy?? And this was the lineup on the faceoff...

3:56 Cloutier made a huge save! Oh wow, the Kings really needed that. I swear, the Kings need to escape the first without allowing another goal.

At several points during the first it looked like Columbus had an extra attacker. It seems like Columbus is able to skate easily into the Kings zone without encountering much opposition. Once in the Kings zone they effectively cycle the puck and the Kings can't even get a body on a BJ to knock him off the puck nor can they get a stick on the puck to intercept a pass and clear the zone. The first period was fast and the Kings were keeping up with Columbus but I'm worried that if this pace continues the Kings will be completely worn out in the third. They need to get back on the scoreboard in the second and re-establish their lead. And since their PK hasn't been very effective in the past two games they need to limit the penalities they take. This is turning out to be a good game to watch.

Second Period
17:08 Man, these line combinations are killing me. First, it was Kopi, Brown, and Cammy to start the second. Then Fro, Handzus, and Calder. Then Brown, Boyle, and Moulson. Then just before play was stopped Ivanans had replaced Brown....What is Crow doing?

13:34 So Handzu, Calder, and Giuliano were on a line together, a combo I like seeing if Giuliano isn't going to be with Moulson and Boyle.

This period has seen a lot more back and forth play. While Columbus seemed to dominate the first, I say the Kings are dominating this period so far. A couple times in this period the Kings are quickly dumping the puck back into Columbus' end just as the forwards are touching up. This allows the Kings the keep it in the offensive zone and not allow the BJs to break up the play past the blueline and counter into the Kings end. In fact, I think at this point Columbus has only one shot on goal in the second.

11:53 The Kings are on their second power play of the day. I just can't get over how aggressive Columbus is on the PK. It's almost like the Kings should just forget about drawing penalties because they've been playing better at even strength.

10:58 Wooooaaaah, Kopi scored his second of the night!! This was the first opportunity on the power play and the Kings buried it. Leclaire came out far to meet O'Sullivan who fired it on net and Kopi made Leclaire pay for allowing such a huge rebound. Nice job guys. Well done.

5:42 Not much has happened since the Kings scored. The BJs are applying more pressure and have a couple more shots on net, although nothing of much quality. The game is now shifting in Columbus's favor as they are keeping it in the Kings' defensive end and the Kings continually have difficulty clearing their zone. Rick Nash's line had the best opportunity of the second period for his team but he shot the puck wide.

5:05 Oh damn, Chimera has one hell of a black eye!

4:05 Oh crappity-crap-crap, the Kings will be two men short for a full minute. They jumped the gun on aiming for short-hand opportunity and got caught with too many men on the ice.

3:04 Oh fuck. The game is tied 2-2. I thought the Kings were going to be able to clear the zone but somehow the BJs kept it in and Nash netted the tying goal. Thankfully the goal came right as the first penalty ended so at least the Kings aren't still down a man.

Cloutier actually had a couple of good saves on the the penalty kill and it's unfortunate that he couldn't have saved Nash's chance.

1:20 YES! Kings goal!! Oh, SHIT! O'Sullivan totally kicked that one in. There is no way that goal is going to count. The goal is still under review but I'm not holding my breath. goal. Whatever. I agree. So do Bob and Jim. The slow motion replay definitely showed the "forward kicking motion".

This game is pretty even. Both teams have had their scoring opportunities and both teams have had their "oh shit" moments. The Kings appeared to try to slow things down after their second goal and it backfired on them as they got caught defending in their end for much of the second half of the period. Columbus was able to gain some momentum, especially during their power plays, and challenge the Kings for the lead.

Damn, Bob just threw out the stat that the attendance at Columbus averages just over 14,000 per game.

Third Period
16:10 Cammy almost scored with his signature move, shooting with one knee down. He does draw a penalty, so we'll see if the Kings can take advantage.

14:09 Cammy had another great shot this time from the point with loads of time and space. That guy needs a goal! Unfortunately the Kings can't take the wonder Columbus is ranked at the top of league in penalty killing.

12:55 AGAIN, the Kings are caught in their own end. Luckily the Kings were able to limit the scoring chances from Columbus but spending a lot of time in the Kings end is not what this team needs.

11:36 Fuckin' we need to take a penalty? No! That penalty was not necessary, yet another result of the Kings spending too much time in their own end and not being able to clear it out! C'mon guys, get it together.

9:29 Holy hell, did the Kings just kill off that penalty? I think my heart stopped about three times during the 2 minute frenzy. You would have thought that was a 4-3 man advantage. Columbus is really good at maintaining a quick they ever play slow, boring games?

Cloutier is one game below 0.500 in his career. Just thought I'd put that out there.

6:23 You know who really needs to be left off the Kings roster come next fall? Kevin Dallman.

0:00 I never thought I'd be saying this today but Cloutier is sending this game to OT. Kopi had a huge hand in it as well when he stopped the puck right on the goal line, but Cloutier kept his cool and came up with some unbelievable stops within the last 4 minutes.

4:23 Kings start OT with the upperhand as Cammy really took it to Columbus.

3:57 Kopi and Fro started the second line in OT....I love those two together, just like I love it when Locke and Ben are in a scene together. Such chemistry.

2:27 I feel like I just downed 12 shots of espresso. This OT is insane.

1:44 Ohhhh, I thought Cloutier was going to give a BJ a strong right's good to see some intensity. He's keeping the team in the game...

1:19 3 on 3. Note to Cammy: use your teammates, sometimes (most of the time) you can't do everything by yourself.

0:33.1 Modry, were you even trying on that shot? You need to rip it!!

0:00 Aaaaaahhhh, a shootout....

This is one of those moments where I would be very happy to see this game end right now. Both teams deserve one point and that's it. Columbus dominated the end of the third period and the Kings had the better chances in overtime. Neither team now deserves to lose the game in a shootout. Regardless, this game was actually really good. I expected it to be fast and it definitely was, which made doing this game diary all the more difficult. I don't even know if Cloutier has won a shootout we go.

BJ#1: shoots it wide

Cammy: what was that!?

BJ#2 (Nash): goal...damn, I hate you...but you're still a cutie.

Brownie: GOOAAAL!!! totally faked Leclaire and put it up top.

BJ#3 (Peca): Cloutier with the save!!!

Kopitar for the win: denied!

BJ#4: Cloots all the way...

Paht-ty: and it's a goal!!! So he is the hero with the game winner.

(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Even though they are an opponent, I do hope Columbus makes the playoffs because they're not that bad of a team. I can definitely see upset the favorites and since I don't have anything against Columbus it would be good to see them go far in the playoffs. Anyhoo, back to the game. Cloutier looked good in this game. He made the saves that he needed to. No soft goals, no mental breakdowns. Both Columbus goals came on the power play and I wouldn't place Cloots at fault for either. The Kings kept up with the pace set by Columbus and didn't show any signs of fatigue, something I feared before the start of the game. Great game guys!

Well done, Cloutier!
(Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Belated Friday Five Focus

I'm beginning to think I should change this weekly post to "Saturday Six Seminar" because I cannot for the life of me remember to do it on Friday. Anyhoo, here's what's been on my mind this past week:

  1. Will Rob Blake really waive his no-trade clause to go to Anaheim? And if he is willing, does Anaheim really need him? Don't they have enough power and stability in their defensive corps? Not that I know everything about Anaheim but I thought they were in the need for another first or second line scorer? Such as Hossa. Whatever, back to my initial question. My boss (the Ducks fan) and I had a discussion about this trade rumor. He doesn't think the "cross-town-rival" sentiment is that deeply ingrained in any former or present Kings and Ducks player. I partially disagree. I think there are definitely some players who wouldn't dare sign with the other team. Luc Robitaille? No way he would have played for Anaheim during his playing days. Teemu Selanne? He did play for SJ but I highly doubt he would ever play for the Kings;

  2. The points system needs to change. The standings are ridiculous. Why is a team awarded a point if it loses? I don't care if a loss occurs in OT or the shootout, the winner receives 2 points and the loser receives absolutely nothing.

  3. I think Cloutier will play between 7 and 10 games. What I'm worried about is Crow forcing Cloutier onto the team like he did last season. He kept starting Cloutier even though Garon was playing better. I think he did this to give Cloutier another shot and build up his confidence but it didn't work at all. Unless Barbs performs like he did against Detroit and Cloots turns out All-Star performances in every game he starts, I do not want to see Cloutier start more than 10 games.

  4. ckim and I are going to the Kings game on Friday. We're going to have signs and while she knows what she's going to write on them, I'm having some difficulty figuring out what should be on mine. Keep in mind that the sign can't be bigger than 11x17. Right now my two favorite are "Re-sign Patty" and "Cammy, don't ever fight". I really wish I could bring a sign that says "Cammy, don't fucking fight" but Staples Center doesn't allow curse words on signs...go figure. Or, should I have a sign that says, "Sir Brian Boyle the Beast" because that should be his official name. Anyone have any suggestions?

  5. In honor Hextall being inducted into the Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame, here's a video (courtesy of YouTube) of Hextall jumping Chris Chelios.

    I didn't get to see Hextall play very much when I was growing up but I always remembered him being a badass.

Kings v. Pens

Ugh, it's a Saturday matinee in Pittsburgh which means a morning game in LA. With ckim out for the weekend I promised her I would do game diaries for today and tomorrow. So here's my attempt of doing a semi-live blog. I'll attempt to give updates on key plays and my opinions as the game goes on and will update this post after every period. However, I do have to be somewhere at noon so I'll do the rest of the game when I return.

In the Pre-game show Bob and Jim talk about the standings. I think it's unreal that Carolina is first in their division with 58 points. I'd be pissed if I was any other team in any of the other two divisions. Crosby is still out with a high ankle sprain and will miss his 9th consecutive game. But it seems like Malkin is filling the void quite nicely.

First Period
As I predicted, Barbs is in net. The Manchester line (Giuliano, Moulson, and Boyle) starts the game but Pittsburgh has the first offensive pressure. Kopitar, O'Sullivan and Frolov are playing on the top line. Ever since Cammy returned Fro and Kopi have played very well together so I'm glad to see Crow has left the two together to make sweet, sweet love on the ice. Heeeey, Laraque got some playing time!! Even though Ivanans was on the ice at the same time no chippiness occurred. We'll have to keep an eye on these two to see if a fight will occur. The Kings finally got their first shot on goal almost 5 minutes into the first.

With 5 minutes into the first, the Pens have the shot advantage, Barbs has come up with some solid saves, but I wouldn't say that the Pens are dominating the Kings. I'm just glad that the Kings were able to get through one minute of play without allowing a goal. Well that didn't take long! Laraque v. Ivanans. Apparenlty one is right-handed and the other is left-handed which is making the fight difficult for both. Laraque had the better start but an all out punchfest never quite developed. Ivanans got a couple hits in before Laraque lost his balance and the two crashed to the ice.

We're at about 11 minutes into the first and now Giuliano is playing Handzus and Calder. At just past the 11 minute mark the Kings take a penalty. The Kings have done so well in recent games in limiting the penalties they take so it's slightly unnerving that they've taken one already. Hopefully they won't make this a habit in today's game and revert back to their old ways of allowing a plethora of PPGs. Oh crap, the Kings are going to be two men short for 34 seconds. This is frustrating because the Kings had two opportunities to prevent the Pens from entering the zone but were caught flat-footed. Shit, Malkin scored at 8:51, 9 seconds left in the 2-man advantage. Barbs made a great first save but Malkin jumped on the rebound, brought it to the slot and sent the puck home.

The Kings did a much better job killing off the second penalty. Although the Pens were able to enter the zone, the Kings didn't let them set up before they cleared the puck. When the Pens finally did set up their cycle towards the end of their power play the Kings read the passes well and didn't let any quality chances get to Barbs.

Jim provided us the fact that since Jan 13th (and including today's game) the Kings have only allowed 3 PPGs. One of the reasons the Kings have had more success as of late.

The Kings will finally have their first power play of the day with just under 6 minutes to go in the first. Cammy, Kopi, and Brown are on the first power play unit. Fro, Army, and Calder are on the second power play unit. Both PP lines were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone, set up the cycle, and get multiple chances. The Kings kept trying to succeed in the cross ice pass to the backdoor but could never finish it.

Second Period
Sheeeeeeeeee-it (Clay Davis style). Ryan Malone scored the flukiest goal ever. Malone shot the puck, it deflected off Preissing who was in front of him, it bounced to the left of Preissing, hit Stuart somewhere on the side or backside and into the net. So the path of the puck went forward, to the side, and then forward again. Awesome. I guess the bounces won't be going our way today.

Malkin scored Pittsburgh's third goal. I'm losing a lot of interest in this game.

The Kings are on another power play and even though they set things up nicely and appeared to have a lot of momentun, they just can''t score. And, of course, as soon as their PP is over they take a penalty. The Penguins apply a lot of pressure and Barbs comes up with a couple huge saves to (maybe) keep the Kings in the game.

fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Pens score their fourth goal with 2.7 seconds in the second.

I have to leave. I'll be back in an hour or so to watch the third and give a recap of it. Can the Kings score 4 goals in the third for the second consecutive game? The Kings don't look so hot in this game and if Cloots was in net we would be down 8-0.

Ohh, and completely off topic, but I'm trying to add the "Read More" function to my template and I cannot figure it out. Can anyone help me?

Third Period
I'm back to watch the third period and see if my Kings can do anything in this game. Bob tells us that on this road trip the Kings have outscored their opponents 9-2 in the third period.

The Kings are applying a lot of pressure early in the third, but no goals yet. Barbs made a key save on the Pens, their first opportunity of the third period. Despite allowing four goals Barbs hasn't looked that bad...or am I just delusional?

Oh snap! Derek Armstrong puts the Kings on the board!! Cammy started the play by moving the puck out of the corner into the slot. He saw Army go to the front and backhanded the puck towards the net. Army batted the puck out of the air and past Conklin's backup...whatever the hell his name is.

The Kings have another powerplay with 16 minutes left in the game. Can they take advantage to get within 2? A minute left in the PP and the Kings have yet to do much with this opportunity. They're having difficulty holding it in the zone and establishing any sort of rythym. The Pens are doing a good job of applying pressure early, intercepting passes, and dumping the puck. With a four goal lead they don't have to take any chances on the penalty kill and try for a shortie.

The Pens continue to make safe, smart plays after the Kings power play ends. They held the puck in the Kings end and while they don't have any quality chances on net they ate up a lot of time on the clock. Fuck you, Pens.

Not too much has happened in the last 5 minutes. I'm having difficulty picking a Kings player that has positively stood out in this game. You know, this game is boring.

Why the hell is Conklin literally not on the bench?? Is there really not enough room on the actual Pens bench? He's sitting near the entrance to the ice with what looks like 3 Pens personnel or trainers. How much would it suck to sit through an entire game without your teammates?

8 minutes to go, the Manchester line is out there keeping the puck in the offensive zone. This would be great if the score was reversed. We're applying pressure but not getting any scoring chances...we just took a shit ton of time off the clock. Awesome.

Awwww, they just showed a pic of Cindy Crosby and his boyfriend Jack Johnson from when they were at St. Mary's together. They look so young and innocent. I should do a "Day in the Life of Cindy and Jack" post.

Alright, the Kings are awarded another power play as former Kings defenseman, Darryl Sydor, takes a penalty. Cammy, O'Sullivan, and Kopi are out on the ice first. They establish a cycle and get a shot off but it's deflected out of play. The Kings squander the remainder of the power play as they can never re-establish their presence.

With just under 4 minutes to go I'm going to call this game over and give the Pens the win. The only thing I want the Kings to do right now is to deny Malkin the hat trick. But with the Pens back on the power play we may not be able to prevent it.

1:32 left and Sir Brian Boyle the Beast scores!!! His 3rd goal in 4 games....whaaaattt!! Frolov kept this play alive after it looked like the puck got loose from him. Fro then stripped the puck from a Pens player, brought it up, passed it Boyle who was streaking down the center and notched another tally! I think Boyle just secured his spot on the roster for the remainder of the season.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Haha, Malkin missed the empty-netter! How the hell did he miss that? In the game against the Islanders Frolov made an empty-net goal from his own end and today Malkin couldn't even make it from the Kings' blueline.

Game over. Kings lose. We need to figure out how to start scoring earlier in the game. Best Kings player of today's game? It was a tough decision since no one looked phenomenal but I'm going with Frolov because he had two assists today and is consistently one of the better players for the Kings. I don't have a good feeling about tomorrow's game but hopefully the Kings will bounce back. They're so close from getting out of the basement...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Kings 5, Wings 3...What?!

I had very low expectations for this game. And when I checked the boxscore and saw that the Wings scored within a minute of the puck drop, I thought it was going to be downhill the rest of the game. I didn't get out of work till about 5:30 pm so I knew I was going to miss most of the misery. I made it to the gym, hopped on the treadmill, found FSN on the mini-TV, plugged in my headphones and groaned when I saw the score was 3-1 in Detroit's favor late in the second period.

In an unbelievable turn of events the Kings scored 4 unanswered goals in the third period to:

  • beat the Wings 5-3;
  • win at Joe Louis Arena for the first time in nearly 8 years (their last win in Detroit came on Feb 18, 2000);
  • end the Wings 8-game winning streak preventing them from tying a franchise record of 9 consecutive wins;
  • win for just the fourth time this season when being behind entering the third period;
  • prove to the Wings and the rest of the league that no one can assume they'll get an easy 2 points from us. We may be last in the standings but it doesn't mean this team can't play.
It was unbelievable how everything just fell into place. O'Sullivan was able to pot a goal early in the third to give the team some hope and momentum. After going 0-3 on the PP through the first two periods, the PP unit was able to connect on the fourth Detroit penalty. In fact, I thought the first half of the fourth power play was atrocious. Passes weren't connecting, Detroit's PK line was fierce and aggressive, and the puck just wouldn't stay in Detroit's end. But alas, the tide changed. The Kings entered the offensive zone and in that one cycle were successful on converting on the man advantage. I couldn't believe that we had actually tied the game. In fact, even though there was more than half the period left in the game I was just praying that we could send it to overtime and at least leave Detroit with one point.

On the ensuing faceoff at center ice the Kings were able to keep up the pressure and intensity. I kept waiting for them to relax and breakdown but the team that showed up in the third period smelled the weakness brewing in Detroit's lineup and desperately wanted the W. Another Detroit power play set up the fourth Kings goal, which, once again, came when the second power play unit came on the ice. With just over 5 minutes left on the clock, Kopitar provided some insurance when he outpositioned and outmanned Lidstrom and sent a sweet backhand past Osgood.

Detroit fans may have been spewing out of Joe Louis after the fifth Kings goal but I was about to crap my pants from excitement and frightfulness. I have never stayed at the gym as long as I did tonight because I couldn't leave without watching the entire third period. My heartbeat was through the roof and I kept reminding myself that the game wasn't over and there was still plenty of time for a team as good as Detroit to tie it up. Barbs had a key save as the clock dwindled down and the rest of the team did their part to ensure the victory.

Brad Stuart was deservingly the first star of the game. He had two key blocked shots in the third period and actually, I'm slightly worried that he may have broken a bone in one of his hands on one of those plays. I've been happy with BS ever since the last game against Anaheim. I can't believe I'm going to say this but I'll be very sad if BS is traded.

Frolov was the second star of the game. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Frolov has progressed a lot this season and is a huge part of this team. He had some setbacks early in the season due to injuries but he's on fire. I think he has 21 points in the last 16 games (including tonight's game). He still has the best points per game average (0.955 ppg) on the team and is only 8 points behind Kopitar. If he continues on his recent pace, he could very well overtake Kopitar for the scoring lead.

LaBarbera let in some weak goals tonight but since the team was able to bounce back and get the win, I'm hopeful that the Kings can do the same in the event Cloutier isn't at the top of his game. The Kings have back-to-backs coming up so be on the lookout for Cloutier to start in one of them. My guess is that Barbs will start on Saturday against Pittsburgh and Cloots will get the green light on Sunday against the BJs.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I can't fucking believe it.

Cloutier is back

All I want to do right now is go home and cry.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Kings v. Douchebags

I really wish this game was in LA because I definitely would have gone to witness Avery playing on the opposing team, Drury with his "aww shucks" look, and Gomer with his posse (aka, Dad). Oh, and Cammy is back, bitches! (Brown is back in LA to be with his ultra-preggers wife.) Too bad I didn't set my DVR, but at least I'll be able to watch the third period.

ckim and I got a huge laugh upon seeing the Kings Gameday report. Can you tell why?

Extreme close up!!!

Why are their heads so small?

Aren't my paint skills super awesome? First of all, what the hell is up with Avery's picture? Is he actually trying to grow a mohawk? And when did Avery become emo? Just look at Drury's picture..."awww, c'mon guys. Why doesn't anyone like me? Why does Jagr always give me dirty looks? I'm just trying to be his friend. Guys...guys..where are you going? I wanna hang out, too. You do know that I'm a part of this team, right? Guys? Guys? Are you even listening to me?" Gomer is totally that guy who thinks he's super cool and can nail all the ladies but everyone secretly hates him and is just nice to him so he'll buy them rounds of drinks and other gifts. So yeah, basically Gomer buys his friends but he has to run all his transactions by his dad first. "Dad, I really need that 6-pack of toilet paper. No, I can't use newspapers to wipe my ass because I don't have any newspapers because you know I can't read!"

The Kings need new pictures...maybe they should hire a photographer who will have them pose so their bodies and heads are proportional to one another.

4 pm PT game time! Go Kings!

When I checked the boxscore during the first period and saw that the Kings were outshooting the Rangers 14-1 I had to watch the game. A quick phone call to P solved the problem who was thankfully watching the game so the DVR was able to start recording from the start of the game!

Today was the first time in a very long time that I watched a recorded game even though I knew the outcome. I checked the boxscore while I was still at work and listened to the end of the game during my commute home yet for some reason I just had to watch the game.

The Kings impressed me a lot tonight. I thought LaBarbera had a solid game. He saw the puck well, didn't allow too many crazy rebounds, was able to get set, and even took a penalty to show that he wasn't going to take any shit from the Rangers. During the game against the Devils P kept insisting that the Kings need a new goaltender, a bonafide Number 1. I kept trying to remind him that LaBarbera is capable of being a decent Number 1 and there weren't any available goaltenders in the league who would be that much of an improvement over him. Additionally, the Kings were playing like shit on Saturday and Barbs can't always be their saving grace. Give the guy something to work with and then he'll make the easy saves and the key saves to keep the team in the game.

What with Brown out and Cammy back in I knew the lines were going to be messed around and I was so confused about what would happen. Would Cammy go back to the top line? Fro deserves to be promoted to the first line...but Fro and Moulson have recently been stringing together great games while playing together. Would Willsie play? Would Thornton play? When the hell is Purcell going to be recalled?

I was slightly surprised to see the Manchester Boys (Boyle, Giuliano, and Moulson) playing on the same line; I suppose chemistry overruled the need for a veteran presence. The three of them played very well together and I may soon think that Giuliano deserves to stay in LA and perhaps *gasp* not just be that "checking-line-guy". The line even got the second Kings goal. It was very similar to Thornton's goal, which put the Kings ahead 1-0, in that a Kings player was left practically completely open in the slot to send the puck past Lundqvist. Boyle now has 2 goals in 2 games and 3 points in 2 games. Not a bad start to his NHL career.

One of the key points in tonight's win was the top line: Frolov, Kopitar, and O'Sullivan. Last season when Kopitar was a rookie I thought he was going to make Frolov a better play (i.e., put up points) and really anticipated the two of them playing together, which I don't think occurred for the majority of the season but correct me if I'm wrong. Tonight the two of them helped each other play and look better. Frolov has great hands and is so skilled at stripping the opposition and tonight he excelled in both areas. I really hope Crow keeps this line together. When Brown gets back I think Crow should have him play with Cammy and maybe Army. Or with Nagy (if he ever gets healthy).

I think it's funny that Jagr had 7 shots on goal and Gomez had 6 shots on goal and neither recorded a point tonight. Maybe those guys should concentrate on quality and not quantity. Thanks for helping improve LaBarbera's stats.

For some reason tonight's win was very satisfying. Was it because we gave Gomez, Drury, and Avery the finger by taking away 2 points from them? Or was it because we played well and were rewarded with a win? Regardless, I hope the Kings can continue the momentum and enter Joe Louis on Thursday with confidence and play a competitive game against the Red Wings.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl vs. Stanley Cup Finals

Last night was the first time I really watched a Super Bowl (well, ok, I almost fell asleep during the first half but I was wide awake during the 4th quarter) so I can finally make a comparison between America's favorite game and my favorite time of the year.

Why the Super Bowl (SB) is better than the Stanley Cup Finals (SCF)

  1. The SB is only one game so you better have your A-game otherwise you're done. If the Giants and Pats played a best of 7 series there's no way the Giants would have won: exactly why last night's game was so exciting.
  2. It presents itself as the perfect setting for a party, either at a friend's house or a bar. It's more of a social gathering than a celebration of a sports game. Maybe the kids in Canada hold SCF viewing parties but not in SoCal. However, if the Kings ever make it to the SCF again you can bet your life savings that I'll hold a party for every game as long as I'm not attending it.

Why the SCF is better than the SB

  1. One 60 minute game isn't drawn out into a 4+ hour festival. Especially since most of the game was exceptionally boring the game seemed to last forever. However, I realize the game has to be exceptionally long because of commercials and corporate sponsorships, which leads me to...
  2. The SCF isn't commercialized like the SB. Every year pseudo football fans say they're going to watch the SB for the commercials. Sure, I look forward to them but every year I'm disappointed with the quality of the commercials and yesterday was no exception. I think Coca-Cola had the two best commercials (the best going to the ad with Stewie and Underdog competing for a coke and Charlie Brown coming out the victor). Pepsi probably had the third best ad with the slight parody of "Night at the Roxbury". Bud Light's ads, which are normally clever and amusing, were so-so this year. All of the car commercials were utterly gay. The Go-Daddy ads and the ones with the talking baby were God-awful. Need I continue?
  3. In order to make room for the trillion commercials, it was so frustrating when the game would come back on, a kick-off would happen, and then another TV timeout would take place. Talk about disruption of flow...well, not that there's much of that in football to begin with...
  4. The award presentation is far superior in the SCF. The game is over, the commissioner comes out, the CUP comes out with handlers wearing white gloves so they won't smudge the Cup with nasty, greasy fingerprints, the commissioner makes a quick congratulatory speech and the Cup is handed off to the Captain of the winning team. (I know the MVP is awarded somewhere in there but it's a fairly quick presentation.) No oldtimer makes a speech. No owners take time away from those who won it...the trophy goes straight to the winners who kiss the Cup, lift her over their heads, and skate gloriously around the rink.

And don't even clobber me in the comments by making false statements that I'm "biased" because that is so not true. What can I say, the Stanley Cup Finals is just unbelievably awesome.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Belated Friday Five Focus

I completely forgot about my FFF. I know it's Saturday but I'm still only listing five things that have been on my mind lately.

  1. As of today Phoenix is only 4 points behind Anaheim AND the Coyotes have played 4 fewer games. How awesome would it be if the Coyotes made the playoffs and Anaheim became the next Carolina Hurricanes;

  2. Lately it seems like the Kings are the Manchester Monarchs because of all the call-ups. Today was no exception as Brian Boyle made his NHL debut. He made quite a splash notching a goal and an assist and was just a scrum shy of getting a Gordie Howe hat-trick. Boyle looks like a fucking beast out there because he's HUGE! With Nagy and Thornton injured I'd like to see Boyle stay with the Kings so we can find out if his two-point game was a fluke or something we can expect in future games;

  3. I'm going to do some shameless advertising but it's mainly because I don't want to write another post on the same topic. I've recently started doing a weekly column at SportsHubLA (a website dedicated to Southern California sports) and a couple days ago I wrote a column about the Kings prepping for the trade deadline. I'm interested to see who gets traded and what we can get in return. There are a couple Kings that could help other teams but I don't know what we could get in return that would be of much value except for more draft picks. I found out today that Nagy was put on IR, so now I'm not so sure he'll be moved unless he can get healthy quick or DL can work his magic wand;

  4. Is Forsberg really going to sign with an NHL team? If he does, Philly is my guess. But will he have any impact at all? Do teams really want him? How much will he get paid?

  5. Why the hell can't I get cool hockey shit at McDonald's? Just another reason why I like Canada and probably wouldn't mind living there. Even though I think it's cold in California when it's 55 degrees outside I suppose I could get used to actual cold weather if it meant that I would have easy access to hockey-related items.