In case you haven’t heard, the Kings lead the league with 16 points. And no, I’m not talking about leading the Pacific Division or the Western Conference. I’m talking about the entire NHL. And yes, I’m extremely glad NHL announcers say “N-H-L” instead of “National Hockey League” whenever they’re talking.
Without further ado, here are my random thoughts so far:
- What the hell is up with the Kings’ schedule this year? For example, we played at home on Saturday and our next home game is on . . . Thursday?
- 10 points in 11 games? Up that trade value, Stoll!
- People might knock Bernier right now, but his value is much more than what he’s doing in net. There’s no doubt that Quick has become better simply because he’s got serious competition right behind him.
- One thing that hasn’t changed about Quick is his atrocious stick-handling abilities. But when you’re posting a 1.84 goals against average (sorry, “GAA”), you don’t need to worry about doing your best Marty Turco impersonation. And yes, myself being a
n ice hockey roller hockey goalie, Turco is the best stick-handler I’ve ever seen.
- I always knew that Doughty would get injured someday and spend some time away from the game (just like NY Jets fans knew that Revis would get injured shortly after signing his new contract). But I never knew that we’d actually play better with Doughty sitting in a luxury box, texting his friends.
- The big question for the season: is Alexei Ponikarovsky the next Alexander Frolov version 2.0? If I call him “Frolov 2.0” will that jinx his performance?
- I’m extremely impressed with Brayden Schenn. He’s got great skills, skates hard, and always finds himself involved in scoring chances. Unfortunately, he lacks that scorer’s touch; but that’s something I blame on him being rookie rather than a lack of skill. There’s no doubt that within the next year, he’s going to get stronger on his skates and start putting pucks in the net. And, to answer your question, yes – I cannot pronounce his first name without doing a Jim Breuer goat boy impression.
- Has there been a better pickup than Ryan Smyth? The answer is no. Every team needs that “Luc Robitaille” to be successful. I’m talking about the guy who somehow finds the back of the net. Smyth is that guy. He’s always in the mix, always in front of goalies waiting for them to make mistakes, and he always seems to find a way to score. I was skeptical of how effective he would be for us when we picked him up last season (as was my hermana), but there’s no doubt in my mind that this has been one of Lombardi’s finer moments.
- Which begs the question: What was Lombardi’s worst move? I’m sure my hermana might chime in with a different answer, but my answer would be trading for Dan Cloutier and then immediately giving him a lucrative extension. Probably the worst move in the history of the NHL. (And no, signing Jeremy Roenick was not as bad as Cloutier. Neither was hiring Marc Crawford.)
- A question that might never get answered: do people in the league genuinely fear getting hit by Dustin Brown or do they view him like a little brother trying to give you a dead arm but you can’t feel anything because your little brother is so puny? Regardless of the answer, I think Brown has been doing an excellent job as captain and I absolutely love the energy he brings on every shift.
- Is it just me, or does anyone else think Wayne Simmonds might hit 80 points this year? That goal against Dallas, when he juked the goalie and then pushed the goalie’s pads into the back of the net, only to eat a stomach full of post, really showed that Simmonds has the most potential on the Kings (save Drew Doughty) to explode into a ridiculous player.
- It was good to see the Los Angeles fans give Ilya Kovalchuk a friendly welcome of Boos on Saturday night. Was I impressed with how Kovalchuk looked on Saturday night? Not at all. Although, I will admit that he pulled a series of three moves on Matt Greene in rapid succession and the only reason why Greene stopped Kovalchuk is because Greene was still reacting to Kovalchuk’s first move and somehow managed to disrupt the play while Kovalchuk was about to put on a fourth move. You’re pretty good, Kovalchuk, but you’re no Ziggy Palffy. (And yes, I’m still living in the 90’s.)
I’d love to go on and on about Ilya Kovalchuk, a.k.a. “RGD” (Russian Gold Digger), but what’s done is done. We’re first in the NHL and New Jersey is last.
But on to a more important question. As a lifelong Dodgers fan, I was groomed to despise the Giants. As a normal human being, I was groomed to despise pretty much everything Texas. Therefore, I just didn’t really care about this World Series. But at gunpoint, who would I have rooted for? And thus, the question: as a lifelong Kings fan, do I hate the Ducks or Sharks more? If the Ducks and Sharks were ever playing in the Stanley Cup (not possible, but what if), and there was a gun to my head, who would I root for?
The answer to that question deserves a separate post. Much love till then.