Tonight's game against the Vancouver Canucks on Devil's Night was so bad for the Kings on so many levels. Traffic getting to Staples Center was horrendous (it took me 3 times as long to get there), the crowd was practically nonexistent, and Brown was assessed a double minor before I even sat down after the anthems. I kept waiting for the Kings to turn things around but their best showing was during the 4-minute penalty kill when LaBarbera was downright awesome. He made save after save on shots that I thought were definitely going in. Then they took another penalty, killed the two-man advantage but eventually let in a power play goal. After the first goal the Kings never showed much brilliance. Sure, they hit the post at least 3 times and Fro was awarded a penalty shot, but there were way too many instances when it looked like either it just wasn't their night or they were missing just a bit of focus and drive, or probably a combination of the two.
The Kings play was so broken; a great pass but then the puck was mishandled. As the game lingered on it seemed like more passes were connecting to each other's skate than stick to the point where my two companions started making up drinking games, but realized they wouldn't be able to play the game because they would end up either too drunk or too broke. Drink when someone passes to his teammate's skate. Drink when they turn over the puck. Drink when they can't get it out of their zone. Drink when they can't score on the power play. Drink when they look like they've never skated before. Drink when they shoot like a girl.
There were a couple non-game related highlights of the night.
- I finally met Greener of He Score, He Shoot fame and was able to finally put a face to the voice. (Great meeting you, Greener!)
- The group of Canucks fans in my section showed their Country's pride by singing along to their national anthem...incredibly loudly, severely out of tune, and a couple beats too early. I have never laughed so hard during a national anthem and while I wasn't laughing at the anthem I still felt like I was committing a sin. I really wish singing along to the anthem would catch on in LA because I think it's awesome to hear an arena full of fans singing the Star Spangled Banner
- My fiance kept telling his friend that he never wins anything at hockey games and somehow tonight he "won" 2 shirts and one of them had a Team LA Store gift card in it. What are the freaking odds of getting one shirt, let alone two?? Of course, they're both XL and say "Pride=Passion=Power" which is totally gay but whatever, he finally won free stuff so he can never complain about it ever again.
So yeah, those were my highlights of the night. I'm terribly disappointed in the lackluster effort put forth by the Kings tonight and really hope they get it together by Saturday. My two cents on how to get a better result? Kick Calder down to the fourth line, remove Ivanans from the lineup, place Moulson on the second line with Stoll and Moller, put Boyle in on the fourth line with Calder and Armstrong, yank Harrold out of the lineup before I blow a gasket and place Preissing on the blueline. Moulson has no business being on the fourth line and Calder is not going to make Moller or Stoll better. Harrold looked like crap tonight and I think Tommy P deserves another chance. Kopitar, Brown, and Sully need to find their chemistry and make it work because I want results from those three. Oh, and a power play goal once every 50th chance would be nice too. I know, I'm demanding. And yes, of course, I know more than the coach that's why I'm blogging.