I'm easily irritable and usually I keep things to myself, but there's one pet peeve I can't hold in anymore. I cannot stand it when players, coaches, analysts, etc. use the phrase "First Class" when describing a certain player, coach, organization, etc.
The most recent offense I witnessed was committed by Rookie Non-Sensation Steve Stamkos when he was interviewed by FSN's Patrick O'Neal at intermission during the Kings/Lightning game. In that one interview Stamkos described the Lightning as a First Class Organization and then, just minutes later, described Rookie Phenom Drew Doughty as a First Class Player. How original! And guess what? I learned so much more about the Lightning organization and Doughty from that phrase!
Of course, Stamkos isn't the only one guilty of using the most irritating and nondescript phrase ever. I've heard plenty of people in the hockey world use it, and I would probably hear other sports figures use it too if I actually watched another sport. I realize interviewees want to appear composed, competent, and polite, but can they stop acting like they're reading verbatim from the Public Relations Master Handbook? It's like there are only a handful of phrases they're allowed to use.
In my opinion, "first class" means nothing. It's like the adjective "nice". When I went through Sorority Rush Recruitment and we had to talk about every single girl who went through Recruitment, we weren't allowed to use the adjective "nice" because it doesn't mean much and doesn't help other people who haven't met her know anything else about her. That's exactly how I feel about "first class". Every single player, coach, organization, etc. has probably at one point or another been described as First Class. Heck, I'm sure even Sean Avery has been described as a First Class Player, albeit, probably from Brett Hull, but nonetheless, it doesn't help someone unfamiliar with the situation know anything more. What does "First Class" tell you? He's....polite? nice?
I feel like "First Class" is the go-to phrase in an interview. Can't think quick enough on your feet? Just say he's a "First Class Player"! Can't put your finger on the best descriptor? Just say you play for a "First Class Organization"! I would much rather hear someone talk about how an organization will go out of their way to help rookies transition to the NHL. Or how an opponent is an outstanding player who works incredibly hard to be the best and is one of the most competitive people to play against. "First Class" does nothing for me....it's almost as bad as describing someone as a real "stand up guy". Ugh, don't even get me started.
Connie and I review the past two weeks' worth of Kings games and try not to dwell on the bounty of negatives. It was a little more difficult picking a player for "The Best Week Ever" but we both finally agreed upon someone deserving of the title.
Next week we'll review two games and recap the All-Star weekend.
I've been marinating this shootout loss for an entire day trying to decide if the Kings really did play alright or if my expectations are really high. Throughout the game Jim Fox kept mentioning that the Kings were playing much better and I just couldn't figure out what he was smoking. I thought the Kings played like crap!
The first two periods were God awful from both teams. The game was boring and messy and given that it was scoreless for almost two and a half periods, it seemed like both teams were just waiting for the other to score. The Kings continued to have problems establishing offensive pressure and, once again, the power play was embarrassing.
Whatever happened to those days when the Kings put up double digit shots in the first period and limited the opposition to under 25 shots through three periods? During those days the Kings did a lot of things right. They cleared the zone, made tape-to-tape passes, stonewalled teams on the penalty kill, and converted on power plays. Not so much anymore.
The first Kings goal was the perfect example of everything they need to do to be successful, but rarely ever accomplish. The play started down low with Doughty, who passed it out of the zone to Calder, who skated over the blueline and crisply connected to Brown who finished it off with a sweet shot past Turco. Tic-Tac-F'ing-Toe. It was a very simple play, executed perfectly.
The Stars woke up after the Kings got ahead and my prayers to escape the game with 2 points were stomped on when the Kings found themselves down by a goal. I gotta hand it to the Kings who persevered and tied the game with 16 seconds left. I thought the Kings had a chance to win it in shootout, but, "Damn, Ribeiro!!" I hate it when the Kings play against that sneaky little pisser. I'm partially satisfied seeing the Kings take one point, but I still don't think they played very well yesterday. The offense is just not there anymore and I find it hard to believe that the Kings can win enough games to stay in the playoff race by only scoring a couple goals. They can't continue giving shitacular performances and expect to win.
Last season the Kings had a meltdown in December and this season the Kings are on a verge of melting down one month later. If they don't win at least one of the next two games (both on the road), this season is D.O.N.E.
I highly doubt he'll be in LA for too long (since Ersberg is sidelined with a minor day-to-day injury), but there's definitely a comforting feeling just knowing he's in the LA lineup. It's probably because he's super hot. Or, maybe it's because he's supposed to be the face of the LA Kings in net. I don't know, one of the two. You can choose.
they couldn't connect passes, they coughed up the puck so often it looked like they didn't even want it, they hung Quick out to dry, they took way too many penalties, the refs made some BS calls against the Kings (and let a lot slide for the Devils, or maybe it's just that I was at the game and didn't see any replays of the 'offenses'), the Kings failed to win key faceoffs, Harrold look like poopoo, they made Weekes look like an All-Star, and to top it all off, Matt Greene looked like a noob when he tried to battle Mike Rupp in the waning minutes of the game. If you're gonna fight, at least look like you have a slight clue as to how to fight. It just ended up being the final kicker to an embarrassing loss to the New Jersey Devils.
The highlight of the night was definitely a hit by Brown where it looked like he was going to get rammed into the boards but somehow got the Devil turned around and laid a pretty nice hit on him. As my FI put it, "You can go pick up your manhood from Dustin Brown". I'll post a clip of it if I can find it.
On the positive side, LA Live is looking pretty good. I couldn't believe how crowded it was and there are heaters on the outer walls of the buildings!! What?! Haha, as if it's that cold in LA that we need to have heat coming out of the buildings. So awesome.
For all the things the Kings did to completely turn their game around from two nights ago, they really tried their hardest to totally blow it by handing the Ducks 6 power plays. 6! Including one for too many men on the ice and another for puck over the glass/delay of game. This is the second time in as many games where the Kings allowed a power play goal due to a delay of game penalty. Focus, guys, focus!
I think he's baaaaaaaaaaack!
However, the Kings did do a lot of things right, especially finding the back of the net. So here they are again at 0.500 with a record of 17-17-6. They're doing a pretty good job of staying average. If only they can display some consistency and string together some wins. But I guess it could be worse; we could be the Islanders.
P.S. I'm really not a fan of this Ryan kid. He really stinks of....what's the word? Hmmm...I think "douchiness" will do just fine.
P.P.S. Total ice time for my two favorite players: Kyle Calder 5:38 Jon Zeiler 4:10
According to Inside the Kings, neither guy played in the third period...Gee, I wonder why.
This book goes into a whole lotta detail about the guy, Victor Conte, who started BALCO, and the weird twisted six-degrees-of-separation-cobweb of steroid users, makers, and distributors. Barry Bonds, of course, is stage center in this book, but also implicated in the book are a lot of other professional athletes, mainly track and field stars.
It's an easy read but incredibly fascinating and chock full of information, including grand jury testimonies that were supposed to be sealed. It makes you think twice about being a sports fan and how much you can trust the athletes that are so adored.
I don't know how I made it through the entire game but it was so painful watching my Kings doing...nothing. It's a good thing Anaheim wasn't on top of their game or else the Kings would have gotten blown out while they glided along the ice, thumbs up their butts, watching the other team skate circles around them. Ersberg was easily the best player for the Kings tonight and even he wasn't stellar, just wasn't tested much. This game was downright terrible.
Getty Images It was messy, slow, and boring. That's what she said.
The first Kings World Podcast episode of 2009. We do a quick review of the games from the past two weeks, touch upon the departure of LaBarbera and the emergence of Quick, and discuss the upcoming games, including a home-and-home against a Perry-less Anaheim.
All comments, questions, and feedback regarding the podcast may be directed to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.