Monday, September 5, 2011

I've Moved so Change Your Feed!

With the 2011-2012 season approaching I have decided to re-brand my blog. This blog has moved to:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No, Not Simmonds!

I shed a tear today when I saw this photo of the new Flyers in those awful orange jerseys.

photo sent to me by Connie. Actual source: ?


No...not Simmonds...
And why is Schenn smiling so hard?
Voracek still only knows how to say "Hi, my name is Jakub" in English.


So, where is the fancy press conference and photo op with the new LA King, Mike Richards?  

Maybe once the Kings search party has finally found Dustin Penner
they'll then refocus their efforts to hunting down Richards.  
'Cause, ya know, the Kings could use some scoring next year.

I know, I know, I shouldn't complain.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Great Crosby Debate

Hermano here.

[Edited on 06/09 due to mi Hermana's superior memory - for the record, she smoked me every single time we played that ridiculous game Memory when we were kids.]

My law school friend has a blog about the Kings and, being a relatively new fan to hockey, wondered why people either hated or loved Sidney Crosby. She solicited people to write for or against Crosby. After reading the first two submissions, I felt compelled to respond.

Read the first pro-Crosby entry HERE.

Read the next anti-Crosby entry HERE.

Here is my response:

--

Debating about Crosby is like debating about cats: you either love cats or you hate them. People either love Crosby or they absolutely despise him. I certainly don’t love Crosby, but I definitely don’t despise him. This is my submission for the pro-Crosby camp.

Let’s start by saying that I am a Kings fan and do not own, nor have I ever owned, a single piece of Pittsburgh Penguins memorabilia. (In my book, hockey cards are not “memorabilia” for purposes of this discussion. Therefore, my O-Pee-Chee Premier Jaromir Jagr rookie card, which is, sadly, the most valuable card in my antiquated collection, does not count.) I have never cheered for the Penguins, even as Jagr and his mullet were crushing it with Lemieux back in the early 90’s. Even as the Penguins were on the brink of beating the hated Red Wings in 2009. (Actually, I cheered when Fleury made that unbelievable save on Lidstrom to win the Cup – not because the Penguins won the Cup, but because it was the most clutch save I’ve ever seen in my life.)

So why am I in the pro-Crosby camp? Because every single hockey fan out there wishes his or her team would’ve drawn the Number One pick in the 2005 Draft, a.k.a., the Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes. [1] In other words, every single hockey fan wishes Crosby played for his or her team. If not, they’re fucking lying.

Yeah sure, you’ll probably argue “I’d rather have Ovechkin than Crosby” on my team. But would you argue “I’d rather have Eric Staal than Crosby” or “I’d rather have Toews than Crosby”? Benoit Pouliot was still on the board. Hell, I’m a lifelong Kings fan and I’d trade Kopitar for Crosby (straight up) any fucking day of the week.

Would I do the same for Ovechkin? Probably not – the guy is one dimensional. Teams shut him down by limiting his shots on net and forcing him to pass – something that’s not in his nature. Apparently, the only way to shut down Crosby is to throw a blindside hit directly in his face. Don’t tell me Steckel’s hit wasn’t dirty – it’s the same hit that Torres slammed on Eberle, only Torres is a ginger and gingers deserve to get suspended. And don’t tell me you’d rather have “any other player than Crosby” playing for your team. Would you rather have Phil Fucking Kessel than Crosby?

People argue that Crosby isn’t tough. If this is your argument, then did you bitch back in the day (assuming you’re old enough to remember) when Gretzky was lighting up the NHL? Did you complain that Gretzky isn’t tough because he just cherry-picks the blue-line, he doesn’t hit anyone, and he doesn’t fight anyone? It pains me to state the obvious, but not every hockey player is put on the ice to start a scrap with someone.

Crosby haters like to argue that he showed his lack of toughness for not bouncing back after getting concussed back in January. Haters argue Crosby should’ve shaken off the cobwebs in his head and played the rest of the 2011 season. The fact is that Crosby got his shit rocked on January 1st and suited up for the next game four days later, only to get his face slammed into the glass, compounding his injury and forcing him to miss the rest of the season. If you argue that he should’ve toughed it out like Eric Lindros, then hear this: I guarantee Lindros can’t remember what he had for breakfast today, let alone anything that anyone might have said to him the day after Scott Stevens ended Lindros’ career. There’s a reason the NHL has been cracking down on headshots and teams are taking extreme precautionary measures for players dealing with concussions: SO THEY DON’T ALL END UP LIKE ERIC FUCKING LINDROS!

If I’m the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and I’m sitting on the billion dollar lottery ticket known as Sidney Crosby, I don’t care if Crosby is pointing a gun to my head and telling me he’s fine to play the rest of the season – I’m not risking it all just so that the face of the NHL can prove to his critics that he’s tough enough. I’m not sending him out there until I have every doctor in a 2,000 mile radius telling me that Crosby is 100% good to go. I’d be fine forfeiting one season in order to ensure many more seasons with Crosby. (Which is, apparently, what Pittsburgh smartly did.) It’s not like Crosby pulled a Jay Cutler and quit on his team during the biggest game of the season. [2]

You want to know the reason why I’m in the pro-Crosby camp? Because he’s a team player. There’s a great story in Gare Joyce’s incredible book Future Greats and Heartbreaks that I’d like to mention. Apparently Jonathan Toews[4] and a few of his junior hockey teammates were criticized for getting preferential treatment taking a chartered plane and getting comp’d a hotel while the rest of his team schlepped it out overnight on the team bus to the next event. When asked about it, Toews said he didn’t think twice about it and didn’t think it was a big deal. Joyce compared this to his dealings with Crosby (when he wrote his book on Crosby), saying Crosby would go out of his way to make sure that he never stood out above his teammates. When Crosby landed his enormous sponsorship deal with Reebok before he was drafted to the pros, he made sure the company outfitted his entire junior hockey team with new gear.

Yeah yeah, it’s just one story and with the money Crosby received from Reebok he could’ve bought a new plane for his junior hockey team instead of having them ride on a bus. We’re all suckers for feel-good stories and I’m no different. But we’re not talking about a lone story that deviates from the norm. Even during HBO’s coverage of the Winter Classic, there is no way a true hockey fan could dislike Crosby. I was prepared for a face-palm-worthy HBO dick-sucking fest of Crosby for four straight episodes – yet it never happened. The guy is the face of hockey for a reason: he’s not some stuck-up athlete clamoring about not hitting the incentives in his multimillion-dollar contract.

Why do I want Crosby to succeed (unless it’s at the expense of my Kings)? Because I love hockey. Anyone who can appreciate the game of hockey knows deep down that Crosby is one of the most skilled players to play the game in the last decade. He makes the game better in almost every way and hockey is better off with him around doing his thing. [3] He absolutely KILLED me when he scored that overtime goal against Ryan Miller in the Olympics. A piece of me died that afternoon. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to hate him for bringing America’s Hat a gold medal.

These days, when baseball is dealing with post-roid fallout, basketball players are ditching cities to create Voltron-esque squads, and football is about to miss a season because the owners love how much pie they’re eating, I’m fucking sick of the NHL staying the fourth most popular sport in America. I’ll gladly accept seeing Crosby’s mug and conquistador-esque moustache everywhere I go in order for hockey to be in the hearts of every American.

Much love till my next post.




[1] For you new hockey fans, the entire 2004-2005 NHL season was cancelled due to a lockout resulting from a labor dispute. NHL Entry Drafts are usually conducted by having the team with the worst record select first, and so on (although one team that didn’t make the playoffs in the prior season will win a lottery and move up four spaces) until the team who won the Cup picks last in the first round. Since not a single fucking game was played in 2004-2005, every team was given one to three balls based on prior playoff appearances and first round picks for the last three years prior. The balls were drawn to determine who would be picking first, second, third, etc. Therefore, every single team had a chance to win the first pick, i.e., Sidney Crosby.

[2] I should also note that I’m a huge Chicago Bears fan and did not appreciate Cutler’s mopeyness during the NFC Championship game.

[3] With the exception of diving, of course. But then again, all players have been known to take dives. (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, DREW DOUGHTY!!!)

[4] Mi Hermana pointed out that it was Kane, not Toews, who took a plane (with Sam Gagner and other top prospects) for certain playoff games while the rest of the team rode the bus. Personally, I love Kane because he punches cabbies and apparently doesn't put up a big fight when ladies want to steal his shirt before taking pictures with him. But that's another post for another day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Game 6 Review Part I

Fact:
The Kings are 0 for 2 in playoff series when The Briggs perform at home games.  Superstitious much?  Yes.

They're just taking up seats!  What a disgrace.

Solution:
Do not ever allow The Briggs to perform at home playoff games.  This isn't Nashville.  We don't need live music before and during games.  We don't need a live faux punk band attempting to pump up the crowd.

Better Solution:
Do not ever play The Briggs song "This is LA" in relation to anything Kings related.  Also, get a new freaking team motto.  I'm sick and tired of seeing Pride = Passion = Power.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Very Superstitious...

Hermano here.

Yesterday I asked my buddy which team he considers his absolute "favorite" out of the "Big 4" sports (hockey, football, basketball, baseball). After thinking about it, he gave me his initial answer. I then told him about what I'm going to tell you, and then my buddy suddenly changed his answer to the L.A. Kings. What caused this reversal? Superstition and the ridiculous belief that ANYTHING we do as fans (aside from pulling a DeNiro in The Fan) has an effect on the outcome of a sports game.

Granted, I will accept the following arguments which thus form the exception to the above belief:

- Seattle Seahawks home games and the incredible number of false starts for the visiting teams
- Boise State's atrocious blue field and the fact that their home jerseys match the color of that "grass"
- UCSB Basketball games at The Thunderdome, where visiting teams are forced to endure insults from fans that are positioned right behind the bench, as well as forced to dodge flying tortillas

Other than those three scenarios (and to be honest the third one really isn't that big of a deal ever since UCSB lost their TV deal back in the day because of the flying tortillas and subsequent technical fouls assessed on our team), whether you cheer loudly at games and hurl insults at opposing players will generally have no outcome on the final score. Yet we still believe it does.

Similarly, whether I put on my left skate before my right skate before playing a hockey game should have absolutely no effect on the final score. But the truth is that I follow the exact same routine putting on my goalie pads as I've done for the past 16 years. Why? Because I'm extremely superstitious and deep down I know that if I don't follow that exact routine, I'll get shelled for a ton of goals and lose the game.




I am now faced with the following dilemma. On the one hand, the Kings are my favorite team out of the four major sports here in the US. By far. Not even close. I would love nothing more than the personally witness the Kings win tonight's game, forcing a Game 7 which would lead to an inevitable Sharks collapse. On the other hand, I'm currently 0-2 this playoff series while watching the Kings in person. In fact, I'm 0-3 if you factor in watching the Kings with my eyes. (I was at a bar with friends watching Game 1.) For Games 2 and 5, I had commitments which kept me from watching those games - and so I risked the wife's fury and continuously checked the progress of the games via ESPN mobile and Twitter.

My record doing this? 2-0.

Now, do I go to tonight's game? Do I stay at home and watch the game on TV? Do I only follow the game via ESPN mobile and Twitter?

My brain is thinking Option 3, but superstition might blow back in my face because I'm not "forced" into checking the score via ESPN mobile and Twitter. Plus I'm airing this out to the general public, something that I almost never do with my superstitions.

This is what caused my buddy to change his answer. He said out of all of the teams he loves, he'll adhere to his superstitious ways only for Kings games. Whether it's wearing the exact same jersey to all the games, ordering the exact same drinks from the bar, doing the exact same celebration when they score - whatever it takes. That, he said, is how he knows the Kings are his favorite sports team.

Me? Right now I'm thinking of watching the game at the concession area of the Toyota Sports Center seeing as how I have my first game of the season right after the Kings game. I've had extremely good luck watching games there. (Cough cough, Lakers-Celtics, Game 7...)




Much love till my next post.

Game 6 Preview: Win One, Just One for the Home Fans

I know not everyone's going to love all the same Kings players I love, but at the very least I hope hockey fans will show respect to certain players that deserve it, such as Anze Kopitar, the 2nd Season Drew Doughty, and Dustin Brown.  Another Kings player that deserves recognition?  Jonathan Quick.  It really pisses me off when hockey fans outside of LA can't see what a top rate goaltender he is.  So naturally, I became enraged this morning when I popped on over to Puck Daddy and read the "What We Learned" feature by Ryan Lambert.  He described a save by Quick in Game 5 as: 

A great save on a great night from Jon Quick, a not-great goalie

Are you fucking kidding me!?!?  "A not-great goalie"?  Get the fuck outta here Ryan Lambert.  Just because he looks like he'd fit in better in a Charlie Brown comic strip than on an NHL team, doesn't mean he's a not-great goalie.  

(Photo by John David Mercer / US Presswire)
Team USA goaltender, Jonathan Quick

Look through the games this past season and you'll find plenty of evidence that proves Jonathan quick is a great goaltender. It's no secret offense has been a problem all season long.  A season where the power play was more of a negative and the penalty kill was one of their strongest points, in order to win games the Kings had to rely on their defense, especially their goaltender,  and Jonathan Quick routinely saved his teammates's asses this year.  The Kings wouldn't be where there are right now without him. So yeah, I'm a little offended that someone would call Quick "a not-great goalie".  

So, Game 6 is tonight...I still don't have much faith in the Kings' chances to advance, but it would be so effin' awesome if they could force a Game 7 in San Jose.  And seriously, it would royally suck if the Kings didn't get at least one home playoff win this year.  C'mon boys, just win one home playoff game.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Game 5 Review: You Wanna Kiss the Goalie!

Three of the lines were completely mixed up in Game 5, but the one constant throughout this series was the success of the Clifford-Richardson-Simmonds line.  It looked like Clifford was going to be credited with the first two goals, but Simmonds barely got a stick on the puck for the first goal.  Regardless, Clifford has 5 points this series (3G, 2A) and Joe Thornton has 3 points (1G, 2A).

Thornton celebrates his goal by blowing kisses,

'tard

 while Clifford celebrates by looking like a crazed lunatic

I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!


Despite the amazing offensive production of the "third" line, the story of the Game 5 was Jonathan Quick's unbelievable performance in goal.  I lost count of the number of times he made a huge save and I said, "Quick deserves a kiss for that save".

(from CardiacKid67)
Drew Doughty & Jon Quick
everyone's jealous of the hug and kiss


When the final buzzer sounded and the team congratulated Quick, it looked like Doughty may have planted a kiss on Quick's helmet, but it was difficult to see.  I couldn't find any evidence online, so instead I'll assume it looked something like this:

(AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
i can haz kiss too?

And in case you missed it, history was made last night when Dustin Penner finally decided to show up and score a goal.


I bet Niemi was so far back in his crease because he, like all Kings fans, was also thinking "there is NO WAY he's going to score".

So the series continues on Monday in LA.  Who the eff knows what'll happen or who'll be playing or who decides to show up and contribute.  I'm just glad the Ducks have been eliminated.  Good job, Predators!

 And if you're bored, watch The Little Mermaid, or play the song "Kiss the Girl" and replace 'girl' with 'goalie':
Sha la la la la la don't be scared
You got the mood prepared
Go on and Kiss The Goalie
Sha la la la la la, don't stop now
Don't try to hide it how
You wanna Kiss The Goalie

Now I can't get the song out of my head. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Game 5 Preview: at least we know the team will still be in LA next season

I grew up playing AYSO, club, and high school soccer and had many coaches over the years with personalities all over the spectrum.  I had coaches that blew off the handle at any little mistake, another coach that routinely screamed "YOU'RE KILLING ME!!" to 12-year old girls, and another coach who went so ape-shit during a game that parents on the other side of the field were scared for us.*  I truly appreciate coaches who can calmly navigate a team through highs and lows, bad refereeing, mistakes, etc. and still bring out the best in his players, especially when they're playing from behind and are able to finish on top.  But even the calmest coaches can lose it.  And sometimes it's these rarest of moments, when the coach who has kept his cool for so long finally lays into his team, that can be so meaningful and have the most impact on his players.  

So tonight, if the Kings look like shit again and Terry Murray reluctantly calls a timeout, then I sincerely hope he turns into Bruce Boudreau and goes absolutely crazy at his team and finishes his 30 second tirade with a line as awesome as "GET OUR ASSES OUTTA OUR HEADS!"  Sometimes it takes a real stern talking to in order to get the point across, especially if coddling them isn't working in the playoffs.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)
happy?  sad? angry? concerned? constipated? who knows.

And in case you haven't heard, LA Kings Insider reported that Scott Parse, who's been broken almost the entire season, will be back in the lineup, Dustin Penner and Jarret Stoll will be dropped to the 4th line, Alexei Ponikarovsky will be sitting on the sidelines (because obviously he was the problem this whole time), and Oscar Moller is still scratched so Kevin Westgarth can pretend to be a useful NHL player.

Well, it was a good run.  At least we know the team will still be LA next season.

*after I read that sentence several times I realized that all those years the parents were ok with having these crazed men scream at their little girls.  And this is girls soccer we're talking about.  It's not like we actually have a chance of making it big as a professional girl's soccer player.  This is only makes me realize how insane youth sports can be for boys, especially junior hockey, where parents will probably let anything go as long as it means their son has a shot at the NHL.  I think it made me mentally tougher as a kid, but I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about this when I have kids who play youth sports....or maybe I'll be thankful someone else can yell at my kids the way I wish I could.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I Hate San Jose AND I HATE ALL OF YOU!

Hermano here.

If you're a Sharks fan, you must be stoked to finally see Ghost Joe Thornton appear for the 2011 playoffs. If you're a Kings fan, this is probably how you felt about last night's game.



The Kings' defensive breakdowns last night were inexcusable. There are only so many miracles Quick can conjure and he used all of them (and more) in the first period fighting off that two-man disadvantage. He deserved that standing ovation at the end of the first.

If I'm Quick, this is probably what I'm thinking right now:




The part that really kills me is that entering the third period, we were only down one goal. At this point I'm feeling shockingly optimistic, especially since Brad Freaking Richardson now has two goals in the playoffs.

And then the defensive breakdown of the century occurred.


Give Richardson credit for his third goal here

There's simply no excuse for Richardson to blow his coverage like that. There's simply no excuse for the Kings to completely melt down and let the Sharks score 6 on them in consecutive games.

Again, being a lifetime Kings fan has taught me these ever-important words: "Maybe next year."

Yet, being the eternal optimist, you can't win Game 7 without first losing three games.

Here's to the Kings. And, honestly, Blackhawks - because the only thing to take the sting out of this post-season would be to see last year's post-season nemesis go down in flames.



Much love till my next post.

Kings 3, Sharks 6: We're not really a home ice type of team

Game 3 was a gut-wrenching loss, Game 4 was just disappointing.  This is why I was protesting the first round by not buying tickets.  But, thanks to the hermano, he gave me an extra ticket to Game 4 so I could witness history being made....the Kings allowing 6 goals in consecutive playoff games.

I hate coming off as a pretentious know-it-all Kings fan, but I'm really frustrated with Terry Murray's coaching decisions in this series.  I haven't felt this way since 2006 when Marc Crawford refused to bench Dan Cloutier despite the fact he was letting in an early soft goal almost every single game he started.  Dustin Penner has been dead weight all series long, with the exception of his one brilliant play where he fed a perfect pass to Michal Handzus.  Last night was the second time this series he was demoted to the fourth line by the end of the game.  Really, Murray? It takes you two periods to finally reprimand Penner for being effing worthless in the game?  I wonder if Murray refuses to start him on the fourth line because he's giving him a clean slate each game or because he knows Penner won't be able to do much playing alongside Kevin Westgarth.  Which brings me to my next point.  

Why in the world is Kevin Westgarth still in the damn lineup?  He played 7 terrible minutes in Game 4.  He occasionally delivers a decent hit, but it's so painful watching him in a playoff game because he's slow, can't backcheck or play defense, and doesn't have the skills to overtake the Sharks on offense.  (Wow, that description almost matches Dustin Penner.)  Did you notice Westgarth on the ice with about 4 minutes left in the game when the Kings were trying make a last ditch effort?  Yeah, I sure did because it made me think Murray had already thrown in the towel and was thinking about Game 5.  Does Murray really think it's necessary to have Westgarth in the lineup for insurance in case the Sharks start roughing up the Kings?  Sure, the Sharks are a physically big team, but it's not as if the entire Kings lineup is made up of players the size of Marty St. Louis or Nathan Gerbe.  I'm sure if some of our players got roughed up, then Kyle Clifford would go after any Sharks player, because he's just that effing crazy....and awesome.  Or does Murray really think Oscar Moller is that much less effective than Westgarth?  I just don't see it.  Moller is small and has had trouble recently getting knocked off the puck easily, but it's not as if Westgarth is all that good at holding onto the puck.  At least Moller has speed and skills.  Put that Swede in the lineup!  

We all knew the Kings offense would have trouble putting in goals, but I've been shocked by how poorly the defense has played in 3 of the last 5 periods (not counting OT in Game 3).  It's as if each player at one point is channeling Randy Jones, has a complete brain fart, and forgets how to clear the zone or cover his man.  Did you see how wide open Big Ghost Joe Thornton was when he finally scored, and then proceeded to act like an effing twat and blow kisses to the crowd.  


I guess I shouldn't be surprised that someone as lame as him would blow kisses instead of shushing the crowd like he's Mike Such a Huge Asshole Ribeiro.

While all of these goals weren't Quick's fault, I still disagree with Murray's decision to keep him in the game.  He already allowed 6 goals in Game 3, so give the guy a rest and just put in the hot stuff sitting on the bench.  The way I see it, goalies are pulled for one of two reasons: (1) they play like shit or (2) to send a message to the rest of the team to wake up and play some G-D defense!  A lot has been put on Quick and he's played really well at certain times, especially the first period of Game 4, but when the team breaks down and lets in two or three quick goals, it's time to give him a rest so he can start mentally preparing for the next game, get Bernier some playing time and playoff experience, and hopefully provide a spark to the rest of the team.  I thought maybe Murray was going to pull Quick after the third San Jose goal in the second period, and I definitely thought he was going to yank him after the two quick goals in the third period.  

Before the playoffs started I was prepared for the Sharks to sweep the Kings. But there was a glimmer of hope in the first two and a half games that the Kings could advance to the second round.  However, the last game and a half reinforced my initial belief that the Kings don't have what it takes to be successful in the post-season this year.  Most of the guys will be back next year, so this series will be a good lesson in why it's so important to play 60 effing minutes every game.  And hopefully the Kings can stock up their lineup so Murray doesn't have to worry about only rolling three lines.  Anyone think we can trade Penner in the off-season?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Believed In You, Kings. You Broke My Heart. You Broke My Heart.

Hermano here.

In the seventh grade, my health sciences teacher taught us the cons of doing cocaine. The only thing I remember was that as much as it takes you “high,” it’ll bring you down the exact same amount. Who knows if that’s true. Assuming it is, I’ll go ahead and say that tonight’s Kings game was like hitting the reverse switch on Meter Maid from Spaceballs with a vacuum filled with cocaine.

First period? Possibly the most jubilation I’ve ever felt as a Kings fan, second only to… oh… Krushelnyski scoring that OT goal against the Flames while being pinned to the ice… Gretzky scoring his 802nd goal… the Kings winning Game 1 of the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals… the Kings beating Detroit in OT in Game 6 in 2001… every time Bernie Nichols scored and did the Pumper-Nicholls.

Honestly, for every one of those first 4 Kings goals, my teammates/homies/wife/WAGs went absolutely crazy, together with the rest of the Kings faithful inside Staples Center. I haven’t ever experienced a feeling like that at a Kings game ever.

And then….. the second period happened.

It was as if Terry Murray went back to the locker room after the first period and said something like “Great job guys, great first period. I’m feeling pretty good about this, so let’s go home and call it a day.” And the team listened.

The first period gave me a high I’ve never ever experienced at a Kings game. The second period brought me straight down. Remember that final song from Get Him To The Greek?

Like the booze deep in my belly, I’m going down, down, down.

And for 20 bucks in the alley, I’m going down, down, down.

(Luckily, we weren’t nearby an alley.)

You know how I feel right now? Like the beginning of the 2005 season when the Kings faced the Stars for the first game of the season. Roenick (BARF) was our key off-season acquisition and gave us some attitude and pizzazz that we were missing for the past few years. My buddy DVR’d the game, but I couldn’t help but check the score after the first half of the game: 4-0 Kings. Oh yeah, I’m thinking. Stanley Cup here we come!

Unfortunately, checking the score halfway through the game was probably the worst thing I could have done. What happened next? I went to my buddy’s house, met up with some other friends, sat down to watch the Kings score 4-0… and then watched the Stars score 5 straight to win the game. Tonight’s loss was probably a little worse than that 2005 loss, but the sinking feeling remained: “The more things change, the more things stay the same.”

Actually, scratch that.

How do I feel right now? I feel exactly like I did 363 days ago – after the Kings blew a lead to lose to the Canucks 6-4. It was in our grasp. It was ours. Tonight, we took 20 minutes off and waved goodbye.

I’d LOVE to blame Penner or maybe even Terry Murray for not calling a timeout after the Sharks scored that second (or even third – or even fourth) goal. But the fact of the matter is that none of those goals were soft (unlike that first goal against Niemi). The team got beat and it was too much to ask of Quick to pull more magic tricks outta his ass.

Where do we go from here? We go right back to kicking ass for a full 60 minutes. And we bench Pennner and bring up Moller. Or maybe demote Penner and drop Westgarth. Or maybe call up Clune. And maybe we bring up Zeiler to take out Marleau’s knees.

Does anyone else think it’s slightly amusing that Penner and Ghost Joe (Thornton) both have 1 assist throughout this series?

Much love till my next post.

And feel free to follow my Twitter rants: @NHLwithHermano

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kings 4, Shark 0....No... Wait, Kings 5, Sharks 6 (OT)

Unbelievable.  The only thing I can think of to say at this point is that I'm so fucking disappointed in the LA Kings.  

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Zeus: Are you fucking kidding me?  
Me: Yeah, seriously, are you fucking kidding me?

How the hell did the Kings blow a 4 goal lead?  

It doesn't matter that there was almost two periods left in the game when they held such a substantial lead.   A 4 goal lead doesn't mean you can stop playing defense or count the game in the win column.  I can't bear to write anymore right now.  Possibly more to come tomorrow when I have time to cool down.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kings 4, Sharks Fail

What the heck am I supposed to rant about when the Kings shut out the Sharks?  I've been thinking all day of things to write about and I'm coming up short because there's not a whole lot to say other than the Kings played a pretty damn good game.  The power play finally had some success, Jack and Drew tightened up their games and, not only played well defensively, but got some much needed points, and Jonathan Quick was lights out.  Who cares if Penner was 'better' this game or if Stoll wasn't there to win all the faceoffs or Westgarth didn't fuck up so somehow that translates into a positive (it doesn't) or Oscar Moller got knocked off the puck too easily because he's my size and he's playing against guys who are built like brick shit houses.  Ryan Smyth, Justin Williams, and Oscar Moller did an exceptional job of cycling the puck. Trevor Lewis played well on the penalty kill and played a lot more minutes to fill the void left by Stoll.  And, of course, Kyle Clifford, Wayne Simmonds, and Brad Richardson still had a huge impact despite playing far fewer minutes than most guys.  I almost teared up when I saw the 3 Stars:


I'm so proud of the Kings for proving me wrong!  Of course, it helps when your opponent is known to choke in April.

Since I'm still basking in the fact there will be a Game 5 and can't think of anything else to write, I'll leave you with links to other Kings blogs and a few from Sharks fans:

The Royal Half: brilliant commentary and another Heidi/Stoll joke, which NEVER gets old.
KingsCast: videocast of Game 2
Life in Hockeywood: celebrates Quick's first playoff shutout

Fear the Fin: why, yes, it was a 'textbook road game' for the Kings! Couldn't agree more.
Sharkspage: nice compilation of game photos

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Game 2 - Zeiler OUT, Moller In

The Hockey Gods must be LA Kings fans because late Friday night it was revealed that John Zeiler will not be re-called by the Kings because of waiver requirements.  THANK GOD!! 

I really like Dean Lombardi and Ron Hextall, but I seriously question their judgement of Zeiler.  He's an "energy" guy with limited skill (sidenote: I hate the term "energy" guy).  He's perfect if the goal of every shift is to hit as many players as possible and rile up the team and your fans.  The problem is, this the fucking playoffs, and the Kings have Dustin Brown, Matt Green, and Kyle Clifford the Big Red Dog, to deliver huge checks and still be effective offensively and defensively.  I bet Zeiler worships Kyle Clifford, who is exactly the type of player Zeiler should be.  But he's not.  He doesn't even come close.  Clifford is a scary looking dude, a Ducks fan I know called him, with a jealous twinge in his voice, "a beast", and as the season progressed, so did his skills, which were apparent in Game 1 when he almost won the game!  

Zeiler, on the other hand, is a fucking liability in the playoffs, just like Kevin Westgarth.  Did you see that one shift when the Sharks were in the Kings' zone for what seemed like eternity and it looked like the Sharks were on the power play?  Westgarth looked lost on the ice as he tried to figure out how to play in a penalty kill scenario, Dustin Penner looked gassed because he's fat, and Trevor Lewis did his best to show his linemates how to play defense.  

You have to feel bad for Oscar Moller, who has to know he's only in the lineup because of an administrative technicality.  He's bite size and will look even smaller against the Sharks.  He's not that affective fighting for pucks along the boards, but if he plays on a line where other guys can do that, then he should be able to use speed and make Kyle Wellwood look like a lazy piece of fat shit again.  C'mon Oscie boy, prove management wrong and convince them you should be in Game 3 and not Westgarth.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Kings Have Thrown In The Towel

would have been more if he wasn't so damn good looking

ooops, wrong picture.  that's his ex-fiancée's ex-husband....
ewwwww, no wonder he called off the engagement.

that's more like it

oh sweet jesus...really?? him?

Kevin Westgarth and/or John Zeiler will most likely be in the lineup in Game 2.  
Again, what the hell is Zeiler still doing in the Kings organization?
Somewhere in LA Anze Kopitar is breaking shit with his crutches.

Yep, it's official.  Sharks in 4.

Breaking News: NHL Jealous It's 83 Fucking Degrees In Los Angeles

Hermano here.

Word is that Jarret Stoll will get suspended for 1 game for this:




Can someone (not a dim-witted Sharks fan, preferably) explain to me how Stoll gets a one game suspension while Zdeno Chara failed to get suspended for this:



Can someone (again, preferably not a dim-witted Sharks fan) please explain how Jason Demers failed to receive any kind of suspension (or review, for that matter) for his rendition of Superman?



The only explanation I can think of is that the NHL executives in charge of assessing suspensions failed to get tickets for Coachella this year. They'll probably shed a tear when Duran Duran plays "Ordinary World." And they should.

Please excuse me while I grab a glass of cold water to cool down from this weather.

Much love till my next post.

Kings v. Sharks - Thoughts About Game 1

Hermano here.

The good news is that the Kings weren’t down 4-0 at the end of the first period like I initially thought was going to happen. The bad news is that we lost Game 1. The really bad news is that I feel exactly like I did a year ago after we lost Game 1 to the Canucks, a game we could have and should have won.

If there’s one thing I’m proud of about this team, it’s that they didn’t completely collapse after San Jose scored 28 seconds into the game. Flash back one year ago, the Kings would have immediately imploded, prompting a goalie change only to see that backup goalie get lit for a couple goals and then throwing a hissy fit and then the original goalie coming back into the net. Not that I’m bitter about last year’s loss to the Canucks. But seriously, good riddance, Ersberg. (Although major props to your agent for scoring you that Direct TV ad.)

J-Dub

If there’s one thing that surprised me from last night’s game (besides Clifford almost winning it for us late in the third period and/or Richardson almost winning it for us in overtime), it would have to be Justin Williams. I never thought he was that great, but I was shocked at how good he looked out there.

I read goalie blogs religiously and the one thing that all minor league goalies say about transitioning to the NHL is how creative the shooters are. When a minor league player has the puck, goalies will say the shooter will have about three options to make a play (e.g., shoot, pass back to point, cycle behind net). When an NHL player has the puck, goalies will say the shooter has about seven to eight options (e.g., shoot, pass back to point, cycle behind net, pass across slot to open man, pass to point on opposite side, backpedal with puck and wait for more options, try to burn defenseman one-on-one, sprout wings, or do some other crazy move I have no idea about).

For example, the Kings without Williams and Kopitar are, offensively, a minor league team. Every single offensive plays goes like this: they skate with the puck out of their zone, they shoot from the blue line, and they try to score if a goalie is stupid enough to give up a big rebound. That’s about it.

Insert Justin Williams (“J-Dub”). He’s chasing pucks down low, he’s cycling, he’s shaking off checks from defensemen, he’s making critical passes and making Niemi look the other way while wrapping the puck into the net. J-Dub has fooled the Kings into believing they’re an NHL offense again. I never knew how good he was, and now that he’s playing again (and putting up points and making the Kings look much better than they actually are), I absolutely love it.

Then again, sharing my hermana’s traits, I was a total Negative Nancy (Negative Nathan?) before the start of last night’s game. I honestly thought San Jose was dirty enough to start taking cheap shots at Williams after his first shift, knowing that he’s not fully recovered from a dislocated shoulder. I guess I was wrong – they waited for Williams to take about 7 shifts.

Stoll

Yeah yeah, cry me a river about Stoll destroying Ian White’s face. Stoll is apparently facing a disciplinary phone call, but he was just trying to make a play and finish his check. Stoll’s not a dirty player and there was nothing dirty about his hit. You want to see dirty? Check out Jason Demers’ hit on Smyth. I’m no ref, but I’m pretty certain you’re not allowed to jump into the air like Superfly Snuka and throw your forearm into someone’s face.

Seriously, Sharks fans, open your eyes. If you think Stoll's hit was dirty and, therefore, should be suspended, then what did you think of Chara's hit on Pacioretty? Because I'm pretty sure White didn't suffer a fractured neck and it's not like Chara got hit with a penalty, fine, or suspension.

Random Thoughts

Can someone please tell me what Westgarth was doing in our lineup last night? I almost had a stroke after I found out that Moller was scratched for last night’s game and Terry Murray was going with Westgarth instead. I guess Murray was concerned that Clifford was going to get his face caved in, especially after Clifford’s recent showing against the Ducks. And I guess there was almost a moment of redemption when Westgarth had the puck down low in the second period and looked like he was going to rifle a shot past Niemi. And I guess the Sharks were scared shitless when Westgarth started shouting at their bench after the Clifford fight. But I don’t think the presence of Westgarth is going to stop the Sharks from taking dirty runs at Williams. We might as well insert some much-needed offense (Moller) instead of trying to scare the Sharks.

Can someone please tell Simmonds that he’s already made the team and that we actually need him to get some shots on goal instead of being Johnny Hustle and running around like a maniac?

If Drew Doughty is going to become the 2010 version of Randy Jones, we might as well forfeit the next three games. His arrogant attempt to channel his inner Rob Blake and destroy Logan Couture with a hip check was one of the most selfish and foolish defensive moves I’ve ever seen in a playoff game.

Doughty, you weren’t around when Rob Blake was on the Kings. Rob Blake only taught that move to one person: Jack Johnson.


If it sounds like I’m harsh on Doughty, it’s because I am. As a lifelong Kings fan, when your second overall draft pick gets a Norris trophy nomination in his second season, you tend to have pretty high expectations for him. Like Lidstrom-esque high expectations, especially considering Lidstrom was picked in the third round.

Goaltending? I thought Quick was solid, especially considering he stopped 42 shots. Yeah, that second goal was a little soft, but hopefully it’ll teach Doughty a lesson and play some smart defense. The overtime goal was just a laser – Quick was out beyond his crease so he had the angle covered, he knew the puck was going to the trailer (Pavelski), and simply just got beat. It sucks to go out like that, but at least it wasn’t a soft one.

What can the Kings do better to win Game 2? Find this guy.

Seriously, you had to know that was coming.

Also, I’m thinking of making this sign to take to Games 3 and 4. Good idea?


I think I'm about to get struck by a lightning bolt.

Much love till my next post.

Game 1: Kings 2, Sharks 3 (OT)

Oh Kings, you're such a tease!

I actually got my hopes up midway through the game that the Kings might actually win the game.  

(AP Photo)
what do you think they're talking about?

there was so much less stress when I convinced myself the Kings were going to  lose

Dustin Penner had a solid 15:46 TOI (~95% of it on the 4th line)
only Kyle Clifford and Kevin Westgarth played fewer minutes
and the colonel got a 5 min major for being awesome.

I wonder how badly the Kings would have looked without Justin Williams.  So glad he's back.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kings 2011 Playoff Preview

I know, I know, I'm wee bit late on this whole playoff preview thing.  I wasn't even going to do a preview because of my Negative Nancy mood about the Kings' playoff chances, but then the guys at the sports blog 'Case and Point' asked if I could do a short preview of the Kings.  For some reason I have a really difficult time writing things for this blog, but whenever someone asks me to write a guest post or small snippet I always have the easiest time.   It went something like this:
Quick is awesome, Bernier is hot.  Scuds is The Piece, Drew needs to step it up.  Penalty kill rocks, power play sucks.  Can we have the shootout in the playoffs just this year?
Head to Case and Point to check out my super ridiculously awesome Kings Playoff Preview and while you're there you can also read about all the teams in the playoffs from other bloggers.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Playoffs!!! Yay?!? I Guess

What a difference a year makes. One year ago I was so anxious for the playoffs to start. I spent a ton of money on playoff tickets for every single home game and I didn't care one bit about how much it cost me. I probably would have spent three times the amount, because F*ck It, I was going to a Kings playoff game for the first time ever! EVER!! I had sorta budgeted for it, but in actuality I probably only had enough saved for two games. Probably a good thing the Kings didn't make it past the first round.

This year....totally different story. Before playoff tickets went on sale J-Dubs went down with a shoulder injury. Then Kopitar and the entire Kings fan base cried in agony when he broke his ankle.

(photo by Michael Zampelli)
Oh Shit. Oh Shit. Oh Shit. Oh Shit.

 And Dustin Penner-Squee/Mania/Tration has only 2 goals since he came to the Kings; recently he's looked a lot better on the forecheck, but he needs to score some freaking goals! I also opted not to buy the full playoff ticket package so I was in a bit of sticker shock when I realized how much the individual tickets cost. And to top it all off, I might have work obligations in the evening that may conflict with one or two games. Now that the matchups have been set and I know the Kings will face the Sharks in the 1st Round, I still have not purchased any playoff tickets. And I feel like a horrible fan when I say "I may not go to a playoff game because I don't think it's worth it to spend all that money just to see the Kings lose". Yep, I said it.  And the crazy thing is I actually saved for playoff tickets this year, but now I'm being a scrooge and every time I watch Penner attempt a fancypants pass or Ryan Smyth gets completely outworked along the boards or Kevin Westgarth play more than 5 minutes or Jack Johnson or Drew Doughty cough up the puck, which then leads to a goal, or Jonathan Quick looks uncharacteristically soft, I have no desire to part with my hard earned money. I'm also really disgusted that the Kings lost 3 out of the 4 last games to end the season. They got blown out by San Jose, barely pulled out a win against Phoenix (to miraculously clinch a playoff berth), didn't show up on the road against the Ducks, and could not figure out how to beat Dan freaking Ellis to close out the season. The power play has looked piss poor the entire season and it became even more excruciating to watch the Kings man advantage yesterday.

By the way, the fake Dan Ellis twitter feed is hilarious:
@fakedanellisSo Emery can just take time off whenever he wants? That dude is spoiled.

I know I should have faith in my team and support them by buying playoff tickets, but I'm disgusted and frustrated with the lack of offense and terrible power play. I know I should say #IStillBelieve, but I don't. I'm just glad the Kings don't have to face the ginger twins in the 1st round again this year. I feel pretty confident that the Sharks will advance to the second round; I just hope the Kings can eek out at least one win.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm Slowly Getting Used to Saying, "Dustin Penner is an LA King"

I really didn't want Dustin Penner to get traded to the Kings for two reasons:
  1. I just don't really like Penner, mainly because he used to be a Duck and won a Cup with them
  2. I was worried the trade would involve Wayne Simmonds
Now that I've had a couple days to reflect on the trade and digest all the analysis from various "experts" I'm slowly accepting the fact that shortly I will be rooting for Dustin Penner.  So let's look at the positives of this trade:
  1. The Kings finally get the sacred Left Winger they've been seeking all season long.  Marco Sturm was definitely not the answer. Obvi.  Hey Capitals, have fun with him.
  2. No active roster players were sent packing #waynesimmondsisawesome
  3. Penner has one more year left on his contract so he's not a rental for just a couple months
  4. Braaaayyyyyden Schenn is still in the Kings organization
  5. We could get to hear Penner give some great interviews
  6. He's easy on the eyes and now I can embarrass myself as I behave like a 13 year old fangirl by saying "PENNERSQUEE!!!" 
These photos of Penner were taken way back in 2007.  I felt compelled to take them as Finny (a Ducks fan) of Girl with a Puck was giddy with excitement at seeing Penner.



I make no promise that I won't take another photo of his derrière in a Kings jersey, but I do promise that I won't complain about him unless he goes goalless in the next 19 games.  I'm anxious to see him play alongside Anze Kopitar because I think we can all agree that Brad Richardson just ain't doin' it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kings Played Like Poop Against Islanders

Today's game sucked.  The Kings played like poop all game long.  They got a ton of shots on noob goalie Al Montoya, but I counted maybe one or two quality shots.  I honestly thought I heard wrong when the second period ended and Bob or Jim mentioned the Kings had 17 shots on goal in that period.  The Kings may have had a lot of shots on goal, but they were the weakest, most non-threatening shots on goal.

You know what else sucked?  Watching Drew Doughty and the rest of the defense play like poop.  You could tell the blueline corps were off when Jack gave Drew a hospital pass on the freaking power play that led to a short handed goal.  It was just turrrrible.

You know what else annoyed me?  Hearing Islanders fans boo Ryan Smyth.  Really asshats?  You really think you're entitled to boo Smyth?  Really?  He wore an Islanders jersey for like 2 seconds, he cried when he was traded to your team, and no one outside of your island thought for a second that he would actually sign with the Islanders once the season was over.  Bitches, please.  Get over yourselves.  Ryan Smyth in an Islanders jersey is like Wayne Gretzky in a Blues jersey.  It never should have happened.

This game was an all-around righteous bed shitting.  Not cool.  They better bring it in the next game.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks Have the Exact Same Record

During the past month I've been compulsively checking the ESPN NHL standing, as if the Kings are going to miraculously jump ahead a couple spots in the middle of the day, but after about the 11th time of looking at the standings today I noticed something that creeped me out.  With the Kings losing to the New York Rangers tonight in a shootout, the Kings and Ducks have the EXACT same record, including the same home and road record. (click image to enlarge)

LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks NHL standings

Weird, right?  Not that the playoffs begin tomorrow, but in case you're wondering about the tie-breaking procedure it looks like the Kings are placed behind the Ducks because so far in the season the Ducks have earned more points in the series between these two teams, or something like that....I'm not really sure, there are a lot of words in that 3rd tie breaker.

Regardless, the Kings are kicking ass in the goal differential category and they've been earning a lot of points on this road trip.  I don't like that the Kings have the same record as the Ducks, but that will eventually change when the Kings jump ahead of the Ducks.  I just really, really hope they don't face each other in the first round of the playoffs.  But if they did, someone would have to make Corey Perry's head bleed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

ESPN NHL Front Page Grammar Fail

Went to ESPN NHL to see the results of the All-Star Draft and immediately noticed a grammar fail (I outlined it in red in case you're one of those people who often make this mistake) on the front page:


Mixing up "there" and "their" is a huge pet peeve of mine.  It's right up there with mixing up "your" and "you're".  I especially cannot stand it when a major news outlet makes the mistake.  Good job, ESPN.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

what is wrong?

Remember all that shit talking Kings fans did when the Kings were ruling the NHL (for maybe a day, whatever) and the Devils were sucking butt and Kovalchuk couldn't score even if he paid the goaltenders to let in the puck? Yeah, I remember, because I did it too!  Well...

funny pictures - KARMA
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

While New Jersey isn't exactly a playoff contender, Kings fans aren't laughing much now. Sheeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiit....can the All-Star break start tomorrow??