Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kings 1, Sharks 2 (SO)

7 rounds. 7. I'm impressed the Kings made it through 3 rounds without losing and it's such a heartbreaker to see them lose to the San Jose Sharks in the 7th round of the shootout. Kopitar hit the post, Jack snipered one in, Doughty had 1,000 touches but Nabokov never flinched, Brown ran out of room and never got a final whack on the puck, Frolov shot it wide, Handzus, who I was positive was going to end it, did something unremarkable, and Purcell had to tie it to keep it going but failed when Nabokov got his pads on it.

The guys played alright tonight. They definitely looked outplayed in the first and third periods, but were thankfully able to score the equalizer in the second period. They held their own and despite having to play frantic defense for a lot of the game they came out with one point. The Kings penalty kill did a fantastic job of keeping the puck out of the net on 8 Sharks power plays, but Ersberg is probably the one who deserves the most credit since the guy was phenomenal tonight.

What is Marleau doing?

San Jose's goal came off a shot from just inside the blueline that was perfectly deflected by Michalek. When the play happened it looked like Ersberg didn't even move as the puck sailed past him. On the replay it was clearly visible that Ersberg didn't have a chance on that one. This game could have easily ended in the middle of the third period but Ersberg continued to stonewall the Sharks with huge saves. A tiny step to advance the Kings in the standings and hopefully a slight confidence booster knowing they can play with the top team.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ersberg in Directv Commercial

Not sure if this commercial is national or only shown locally but Erik Ersberg is in a DIRECTV commercial.

I don't know how long it's been on the air but I first heard about it today from my fiance and I saw it today when I was watching an episode of 'Friday Night Lights' that I recorded from last Friday. First Aubin, now Ersberg. How many other Kings goaltenders are in the pipeline to be in a commercial?

And speaking of 'Friday Night Lights', Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton have got to be the absolute best married TV couple. They are amazing together on-screen. And how many of you got teary-eyed when Tim Riggins realized he lost his best friend to the NYC? It's so heart breaking watching Tim Riggins get emotional.

x-posted to HLOG

Sunday, March 8, 2009

O'Sullivan Out, Williams In

Well, I can't say I'm shocked O'Sullivan was traded since I had a feeling on the eve of the trade deadline that he could be moved. The more I thought about Sully the more I came to believe that he wasn't one of Lombardi's "core players", something I've been questioning since the off-season when it took months and months for Sully and the Kings to come to terms on a contract.

He missed most of training camp, which caused him to begin the season not on the same line with his old linemates, Brown and Kopitar. I took Sully's lack of instant chemistry with his linemates (and he had plenty) as a sign that he was rusty from not having been at training camp. But the more he was shifted around the lineup the more I began to think his time in LA was limited. He began to look like Cammalleri Version 2.0; had a strong outing in one season, demanded a high-paying contract, lacked the same production the following season, and was on the down and out with the fanbase.

The Kings have a lot of players around Sully's age and Lombardi always stressed the importance of having enough players at different stages of their careers. Justin Williams is on the older end of the age scale and has more successful outings than O'Sullivan. He has a lot more experience than Sully and when he's not injured, he's a fantastic player. Along with Brind'Amour, Cole, and Staal, Williams was one of the core players that was instrumental in bringing the Cup to Carolina. In the first year of the "New NHL" I was very taken with that Carolina team and was impressed with Williams' play, specifically in the playoffs since that's when I watched him the most. He reminds me of Handzus, but more of a goal-scorer.

The good 'J. Williams'

I'm sad to see Sully go, especially since he made huge strides between his rookie season and first full NHL year. He has the potential to be a great goal scorer but the Kings will benefit from having a bigger player who already is the player the Kings need. My excitement for him is almost as big as when the Kings signed Handzus. I can't wait to see him in a Kings jersey.

Kings World Podcast: Episode 31

In this week's episode of Kings World Podcast, Connie and I are joined by Greener of the blog, He Score, He Shoot. Our intelligent discussion of the Kings, Leafs, and NHL trades is intermittently interrupted by background noise since we were podcasting outside a local Starbucks. In addition to the usual game reviews and previews, Greener gives us the lowdown of his confusion over Wayne Simmonds being in the NHL and his mancrush for Mats Sundin, Connie lets us in on her dream of encountering Matt Moulson, and I excitedly discuss the return of Sean Avery to the NHL.

Please send all feedback, questions, and comments to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kings 5, Stars 4 (OT)

Thanks Yahoo! for not refreshing the boxscore and making me think for 4 hours that the Kings lost 4-3 tonight (I wish I had evidence of this). Only now did I finally go to the Yahoo! NHL homepage to find out that the Kings beat the Stars 5-4 in Overtime. For a second I thought there was another reporting error, like the one where Jack Johnson was called 'Jackson', because the whole night I was upset thinking the Kings had lost and were edging closer to the Western Conference basement floor.

Another 'Thank You' goes to the local LA TV stations for not broadcasting this game; Gotta love it when home games aren't televised.

This win is quite amazing because the Kings came from behind, Kopitar tied it up with 14 seconds left in regulation, and then Handzus clinched the winner with a Hat Trick! How sweet is it to have the game winner be your hat trick. Awesome.

AP PhotoI told you he would be good this year. I heart Handzus.

So Handzus had 3 goals tonight, Frolov and Kopitar each had 1 goal and 2 assists and Doughty had 2 assists. Kopitar may not be scoring as many goals this season compared to last year but he's definitely netting the clutch goals. How many game tying goals in the waning seconds does he have this season? I think I can count three within the past month. Kopi is such a stud.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Season Over.

After losing to Chicago on Sunday and then losing again tonight to Columbus, the Kings season is over. Done. Fini. When I can't get excited about watching a game, I just know it's over.

The Kings have 21 games remaining this season but I don't think it's possible for them to win enough games to secure the eighth playoff spot in the West. Especially considering the way they've been playing as of late and how well some of the teams they're chasing have been playing. When the Kings play solid defense, they can't score. Yet when they find the back of the net they don't play well on defense. They won't finish last in the league or 29th, but I am worried that if they don't shape up soon they may find themselves sitting in last place in the Western Conference.

And to make matters worse, Jason LaBarbera is Mr. March in the Kings calendar; I'm going to have to replace him with someone else...probably Frolov.

The trade deadline is tomorrow. I didn't expect the Kings to be very active before tonight's game occurred and now that they lost the game, I definitely don't expect anything big. The team is in a selling position but the players most teams would want will not be traded unless it's an unbelievable deal that would have several highly touted prospects and/or high draft picks coming to LA. I could definitely see Kyle Calder being traded because he's a very gritty, in-your-face player that isn't afraid to go in the corners and do the dirty work. He hasn't taken as many dumb penalties lately and has proven that he can play well and even notch some points.

The only player I could see being dealt that would probably shock fans is Patrick O'Sullivan. He had an incredibly long contract dispute with the team over the off-season and he hasn't thrived offensively this year compared to last season (sounds a little too much like the Cammalleri situation). He's been shuffled around the lineup playing anywhere from the top line with Kopi and Brown to the fourth line. He's currently on the checking line with Handzus and Simmonds. He's a solid player but hasn't regained the scoring touch he had last year. However, the Kings have him for one more year on the cheaps, which is a pretty big reason to keep him.

Overall, I don't expect much to happen in LA tomorrow, probably just one minor trade. But, of course, I'll be glued to the interwebs all day, checking to see which teams go all in hoping to make the one crucial trade that will help them win the Cup.

(x-posted to HLOG)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Kings World Podcast - Episode 30

The Kings went 1-2-0 in the past week and I am not a happy camper. Connie is a little more optimistic but you can definitely sense our disappointment in this week's Kings World Podcast episode. We were pleased the Kings beat the Wild (in a shootout!!) but were sad to see them fall to Philly and Detroit. We wonder who will step up and be the go-to goal scorer on the team because the Kings need to put up some goals.

We preview this week's games against Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, and Minnesota and how the results from the first two games will impact their position at the Trade Deadline.

Please give us some feedback or direct questions to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.