WJC & One In A Row!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Some updates:
- I got DirecTV! SWEET ACTION. Now I won't have to listen to the Kings games on the radio. Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans; I love you guys, but I'm going off to enjoy the games (be in misery) with Bob Miller and Jim Fox.

- Player transactions:

  • John Zeiler was sent back to Manchester.
  • Jon Klemm was recalled.
  • I'm pissed.
- Team Canada - Has been killing it over in the Czech Republic in the WJC.
  • Jonathan Bernier - In the tournament opener (Wed. 26th) he got a shutout (3-0) with 44 saves against the Czech Republic.
  • Thomas Hickey - He's been paired with Luke Sheen (who is draft eligible in 2008) and these two have been building noticeable chemistry. While Sheen may be physically bigger, Hickey has been getting his job done in the corners. This boy's got some sweet moves.
  • Wayne Simmonds - The surprise addition to the roster has been adding needed energy for the bottom lines. At the end of Thursday's game against Slovakia, coach Craig Hartsburg shortened his bench, thus Simmonds saw limited ice time toward the end of the game.
  • Oscar Moller - I can't seem to find much info on Team Sweden, but I'll scour some more...
Team Canada update: Sweden defeats Canada (Sat 29th) ending their 20-game winning streak that began in 2004. Moller scored a power play goal for Sweden ending Bernier's shutout in the third period. Canada falls 4-3 against Sweden.

Kings Game Day:

- So a noon start for the game today? Wack. I would have NOT known this fact unless I'd read RudyKelly's post at BofC. The Kings battled the Aves in Denver.
- Will Ratti play more than 4 minutes and 16 seconds like the last game?
- Jon Klemm is recalled and is a scratch?? What's the point???

1st Period:
I don't see too much difference in the way the Kings come out at the first faceoff from the other games. One thing I DO notice is JJ takes the puck from Aubin's goal line all the way to the Aves' goal line by himself, TWICE. His individual efforts (frustrations) are noticeable.

The Aves get on the board making it 1-0 at 12:35 by Jordan Leopold. Kings have 4 shots on compared to the Aves 13. Damn.

2nd period:
Jim Fox put it best by saying that the Kings are pacing the game how they wanted; slowing the flow and not allowing the Aves to take control. The only exciting part of this period is during the second half with Ratti and McLeod dropping the gloves. With Ratti being 53 pounds heavier than McLeod, I wonder who was the big boy in this fight. They both go off 5 minutes for fighting and continue to jaw at each other from the penalty boxes and their skate to the bench is slow and tense. McLeod gets on the bench and throws as many F-bombs as he can over to Ratti. Ratti is standing there throwing eye daggers back. McLeod stalks off to the locker room getting a 10-minute misconduct. Second period ends.

Shot total: 22 (Aves) - 10 (LA). Aves still up 1-0.

3rd Period:
Pace is still slow. Kopi gets a high stick to the face from Smyth and gets cut on his upper lip but there's no call. Kings Goal by Army (3) at 10:13. Fro moves into the zone first but the puck gets deflected into the air. It goes back to Army who is crossing the blue line; he grabs it out of the air, puts it at his feet, slaps it to the net, and it's tied at 1-1.

2:17 later it's a Kings Goal again by Thornton (3) at 11:30. 3 Aves follow Giuliano behind the net leaving Thornton wide open at the left wing. Manchester Boy stop and pushes it in front of the net; Thornton gets it and puts it past Theodore. Kings up 2-1.

The Kings have scored twice in 2 minutes and 17 seconds on 3 shots. After Army's goal, the Kings pick up the pace of the game and the passing becomes sharper and quicker.

With less than two minutes remaining, Colorado pulls Jose Theodore and gets the extra attacker. Kings Goal by Anze (16) on an empty net.

End of Game:
Kings 3, Avalanche 1. Kings snap their 8-game losing streak. The Kings outshoot the Aves 13-8 in the last period. (Ratti played 9:28 this game.)


8 In A Row

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

- Had dinner with KingsCast at the Royal Room. Thoughts: It was a little dark in there. It gave it a kind of "I'm too cool for school" ambiance. The food was good and you could definitely share one order of something with someone else.
- Sharks activate Cheechoo and the Kings scratch Cammy (ribs), Willsie (sucks), and Dallman (sucks and broke his foot). This is gonna bring some poor soul up from Manchester.
- Sharks start Carle, Rivet, Cheechoo, Thornton, Roenick (to resounding boos), and Nabokov
- Kings start JJ, Modry, Thornton (the not superstar one), Handzus, Giuliano, and Barbs
- No matter how much the Kings suck, the opening on-ice video and music presentation can always inspire me into thinking that the Kings could actually pull something off.
- When Crow's name was announced, the entire arena filled with boos. Really not surprising.

First Period:
- There were a couple of good hits thrown up in the opening minutes; Lubo is able to break through SJ's sloppy D.
- After a whistle Lubo and Goc get into a short but sweet slap fest and both get sent to the box. I think Goc wanted some cookies but Lubo wasn't willing to share. Each get 2 minutes for slapping.
- Did anyone else notice JJ taking a face off?
- Hey, guys, we're 3 minutes into this game and it already looks lifeless.
- JJ - HIT
- Preissing and Stuart - you guys could probably do better.
- Giuliano is forechecking like crazy 5 minutes in, but one guy working on his own isn't gonna get it done.
- A Shark almost gets annihilated by Blake's ass. =)
- Let me just remind everyone that Kopi's got some sweet ass moves.
- Goc just can't seem to stay away from Lubo. He's all over him and it looks like it's gonna be a long night, for Lubo, and hey, for us as well!
- Sharks Goal: Milan Michalek slaps it past Barbs at 9:02.
- At one point Kopi, Sully, and Brownie charge across the blue line and Kopi throws it up at Nabby who makes a solid glove save. Lesson from this moment: don't put it on Nabby's glove side.
- Sharks Goal: Joe Pavelski at 12:17 on a backhand from Marcel "I want some cookies" Goc.
- This marks SJ taking 9 shots resulting in 2 goals, which brings Aubin in net. Umm...

I'm sorry we suck so badly, Barbs.

- JJ breaks out and chases the puck into enemy territory. Even though Nabby makes the save, it was nice to see him being aggressive on those kinds of plays.
- JJ - HIT
- 5:30 - It appears that the Kings are shutting down SJ's offense and are taking some control of the neutral zone. This causes the Sharks revert to a dump-and-chase.
- 3:01 - Aubin! WOW! Good save!
- So the Kings don't have control of the neutral zone anymore and are lacking everything. This is where I wonder, "Hey guys, you're playing 5-on-5, right?"
- Sharks penalty on Rob Davidson for too many men. Sully tries for a sweet wraparound but can't stuff it past Nabby. JJ fans on a shot and a Shark grabs it for a break away. Score remains 2-0 because he shoots it high and wide.

End of the first period:
- You guys should really stop going glove side on Nabby. He's kinda grabbing everything.
- Nagy looks like he's figure skating out there.
- Sharks are up 2-0
- The smoking balcony is cold and filthy. Hear that KingsCast? Gross.

2nd Period:
- Kings are on the PK at 2:41, then it's 4-on-4 at 3:57, and then the Kings have a 5-on-3 for a little bit. The Kings were able to kill the first part of the first penalty against them; it was kind of boring, not gonna lie.
- But on that 5-on-3, way to NOT take advantage of that.
- Who is this Brad Stuart kid? What is your function? Conjunction junction?
- Kings Goal: Fro, way to take it to the net. Nabby blocks the shot but the rebound goes right to Blake (3) on the outside who slaps it home at 6:18.
- Sully - goes for a softy hit
- Brownie - HITx2
- Fro gave Matt Carle the behind
- There are some sloppy plays on display; one might even question if these are even "plays."
- JJ - HIT
- Ratti - HIT (Playing without the face shield; he's ready to be the resident pugilist again.)
- 10 minutes left - If the Kings were on a PK, I'd praise them for their hustle. But they ain't.
- Blake - HIT
- 6 minutes to go - Anze takes it up himself, through the neutral zone, across the blueline where he gets shut down. Good effort but no help from the teammates. Story of the season.
- Nagy loses the puck and gets leveled. Hey Sharks, don't you know this guy was injured? Leave him alone, jerks.
- 4:17 - (I am not creative so I'm going to use some well-know imagery here) The Sharks cut through the neutral zone and across the blue line like a heated knife through room temperature butter. We really should work on every aspect of our game.
- JJ & Thornton have some shit they need to work out, which draw penalties at 16:04 (JJ for cross checking and Thornton for roughing).
- Nagy is getting picked on hardcore. Rivet gets 2 minutes for elbowing, a 5 minute match penalty, and gets ejected for cross checking Nagy in the throat. Nagy sits 2 minutes for cross checking Rivet.
- I shouldn't have to say what you already know; the Kings need to stop passing so much. Period.

End of the second period:
- Stuart needs to be benched or something. He's sucking some major ass out there.
- Sully, being the stud that he is, is not playing up to par...gotta work on that.
- The second half of the period had an overall lack of focus and control from both teams.

3rd Period:
- Began this period with 2:something left on the match penalty and the Kings don't take advantage. Fro even got a good pass but hesitated a little too long and lost the shooting lane. Bah!
- A good opportunity came when Fro took it to the net at 17:20. Nabby stops it but has no idea where it is; he regains composure and stops any stuff attempt by the Kings.
- Giuliano has a spirited but unsuccessful forecheck.
- Sharks Goal: Milan Michalek tips it in at 3:24 in.
- At 5:23, the blade of Blake's stick somehow finds Ehrhoff's mouth and is called for high sticking.

There was a lot of this business going on.

- Giuliano gets rooooooooocked
- Question of the night: who do I trust less, Stuart or Vish?
- Side note: it might be worth going to Staples just for the highlight montages on the jumbo tron. They assure me that the Kings can't really suck this much.
- For a team at the bottom of the standings and who has said they're "desperate," they sure aren't playing "desperate hockey."
- 4:55 left - the shots are surprisingly even at 30 a piece.
- Holy hell, Carle gets called for slashing at 19:27, which leads to a Kings Goal by Vish (3) from the blue line.

End of the game:
- Kings 2, Sharks 3
- Has Crow just told Zeiler that he's not allowed to shoot the puck at the net? He's basically the "dump" of the "dump and chase" school of thought.
- What is with the Kings' inability to connect the stick to the puck??? Everybody's fanning out there!
- 8 losses in a row. So when's the bleeding going to stop exactly?

Just in case you've never seen the inside of the Staples Center


Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy holidays to everyone for whichever holiday you celebrate! (How PC)

Look for my next post from the Kings/Sharks game on the 26th since I will be in full attendance along with others who still hold out hope for the ailing Kings.

Until then, have a safe and very merry Christmas (et al)!!

Here is an article on Jaroslav Modry and an insight into a part of his personal life.

Jonathan Bernier is starting for Team Canada!


Like a Kid in a VERY Expensive Candy Store

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I went to the Kings Game-Used Equipment Sale this morning to see what kinds of goodies were up for grabs. It supposedly started at 10AM, so I went at 10:30 thinking I'd be one of the first people there, but the place was packed. I was going to take a picture of the sale, but I wasn't allowed to. No matter, I posted pictures of what I bought and that's all that really matters, right?

The sale was set on the roller hockey rink at the Toyota Sports Center. There were jerseys lining the fencing; tables with sticks, skates, and blades; and there was a table of socks and practice jerseys.

- The white jerseys were $400 and the black jerseys were $600. With the 45% discount they were still $220 and $330, respectively. Hell no! Sorry Teebz, you don't get your Cloutier jersey.

- Pushkarev uses a heavy stick. WOW. That thing was super heavy compared to all of the other sticks on the tables.

- There were a ton of Frolov, Thornton, and Brown sticks.

- I really liked Sully's stick; it was super duper light and the shaft was pretty grippy (if that's even a word).

- I saw an Alfredsson stick there??

- Ivanans is a tall guy, so why is his stick so short?

- The are way more left-handed players than right-handed players on the team, which made it difficult for me.

- One guy working there picked up a Cammalleri stick and said to his buddy, "I'm surprised this Cammy stick is still here." Well, dude, it's probably because it's the only one laying on a table with about 100 other sticks.

My loot from the sale:

- I only saw ONE Blake stick, so I snatched that up (obviously).

- I picked up a Brown stick as a gift for my brother. I think I lucked out with the pricing on it, so I'm happy.

- Lastly I bought a black practice jersey. The jerseys with numbers on them were only $5 more than the ones without.

Conclusion: I don't know how much stuff is going to be there tomorrow considering how many people came through for the 30 minutes that I was there. But I'm going to lob a guess and say that there are gonna be PLENTY of game-used jerseys left above all else.


The Train Is Pulling Up To The Station

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Kings have been playing atrociously lately, which is not news. Their inconsistent play has made me one sad panda. I texted KMS2 this morning saying, “I have officially boarded the Fire Marc Crawford Train!!!” But once I calmed down, I realized that I haven’t fully boarded said train, rather, I have bought my ticket and am waiting for the train to pull up. My reasoning is this: this is the third 5-game losing streak the Kings have recorded this season and they are currently on a three-game road trip. I will fully board this train if they get zero points in these next two games. If they lose all three in this road trip, that would make it a 7-game losing streak and I’d upgrade my ticket to first class and ride in style.

I can’t tell you how embarrassing it was to listen to Detroit (25-6-3) absolutely dominate my poor team (12-21-2) last night (I think I would have hung my head in utter shame if had actually watched this on TV). Hearing Cammy get a penalty in the first minute of the first period and then have Hank score at 0:59 was ridiculous. How fucking predictable this has become. Not only are the Kings on a losing streak, but they have to play the NHL’s best team? Way to rub salt in the wounds, scheduling committee. But wait, I shouldn’t place the blame on you since you could not have foreseen the Kings sucking this much 35 games into the season. How could you, with a promising crop of players and a boatload of new free agents. But how do you think it makes me feel when I ask a Canadian buddy what he thinks of Aubin and the response I get is, “He’s a bag of crap.”

This reminds me of a very straight forward question Keith asked in Episode 7 of KingsCast, “Slippery Slopes.” He said, “If Dean Lombardi is so good at signing prospects and drafting, why is he so terrible at signing free agents?”

What is interesting to me is that it seems as if there are trade rumors constantly circulating. Talk about players, gossip about GMs, and the like, but I haven’t heard or read anything coming from Camp Lombardi. Is something going on behind the scenes that no one knows about? There has to be; DL can’t be sitting in his office okay with any of this. He’s been quiet this season and I’m wondering why. Am I correct in assuming that he’s waiting for the end of this small roadtrip to fire Crawford?

As I see it, Crawford has 2 guaranteed days of employment left. If he comes back to LA with two more loses, he’s gonna be packing his bags and hitting the road. I think I was the last person to jump on this train; I guess I was holding on to some non-existent hope. Stupid me; Crawford has taken this talented group of players and done nothing with them. There are so many new faces on this team and he really hasn’t given them time together to gel with each other. The whole line-changing again and again and again and again has got to stop. Next thing you know, we’ll have Aubin centering the top line!

This team needs a leader; someone that can challenge these guys because it’s obvious these players aren’t responding to jackshit. Things that have pissed me off thus far:

1) Our defense looks slow and disorganized. And aren’t the D-men supposed to switch sides on the PP? Vish looks awkward out there on the point.

2) I don’t know who made the final decision to send back Moulson, bring in Gauthier, and hold onto Klemm, but that was piss poor decision-making. Gauthier did absolutely nothing and, really, neither did Klemm. Why did Crawford put him out there as a forward when he’s a defensive defensemen? Why the fuck didn’t you just keep Moulson? Klemm is a left-handed shot as is Moulson. Honestly, what was Klemm giving you that Moulson wasn’t? Out of those three players, only ONE showed any promise, and that was the one that was sent back prematurely.

3) Why the hell does the PK suck so badly? Why do they always look like they’re back on their heels and afraid to challenge? And for that matter, why does the PP look weak too? Stop passing so goddamn much and take it to the net!

4) THANK GOD Bernier was sent back to Lewiston. I think I would have cried if he was on this team right now. He would have been destroyed trying to back this team up. But he's safe down there in the Juniors; look for him on Team Canada!!

What exactly is going on with the lines of communication on this team? It is apparent to me that Crawford is sending out bad non-verbal signals to go with his verbal messages. Or maybe it’s the tone with which he talks. Tone and inflection can change the meaning of a message entirely. What the hell is he doing in that locker room??

So the question here is this: Is Dean Lombardi going to give the city of Los Angeles a fabulous Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift and fire Marc Crawford?


Updates, Questions, & An Introduction

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

1) Jason LaBarbera was activated on Monday in time for the home game against the Avalanche.
2) Jonathan Quick was sent back to Manchester.
3) The Aves rolled through town and handed the Kings their 4th loss in a row. Just one more loss and they're gonna match their season high of 5 losses a row. Not a record you want to be breaking, guys.
4) Jaroslav Modry apparently has started his own blog! Well, on THN's site. His first entry is about his pairing with Jack Johnson. Man, with all these articles out on JJ, you'd think this guy was some stellar athlete or something! =P

I must address the recent piles of excrement the Kings have been producing that they call "games." With the Caps getting a point in last night's game against the Red Wings, they have moved 3 points higher in the standings. The Coyotes have been on a tear lately. They handed the Rangers an embarrassing loss beating them 5-1. This win puts them 4 points ahead of the Kings.

So, tell me, how can a team look decent and promising on paper, but look like lost little boys on the ice? What’s the deal? I read an article a little bit ago where Jack Johnson said that he'd never played on a losing team before. (Sorry, I'm usually pretty good at citing where I read stuff, but this was probably more than a week ago.) So we have to step back and remember that individually these players shined while growing up on their respective teams. There is a verifiable reason why each of these players is on this roster. Everyone knows the role they’re supposed to be playing for this team for this year. But it looks as if Crawford is trying to fit squares together to make a circle. Something is not right in Hollywood, well, more like downtown LA. But I’m not here to argue logistics. Or maybe I AM.

Since this post on my thoughts on coaching, the Kings have played 8 games and they have gone 2-6-0. What’s the plan here, Crawford? Where are you leading these players? Like your lines, are you tweaking your long-term plan? You’ve gotten zero points in the last 4 games. What are you doing differently from 4 games ago to prepare for Detroit at The Joe tomorrow? Yeah, they were sent to the shootout by the Caps, but what is one mediocre game by the top team in the West? They will just wipe their brows and move on since they were able to leave that arena with two points.

I mean, take a look at this line during a practice; Frolov, Cammalleri, and O'Sullivan. Tell me how bad ass that line looks. They look solid, but something happens between here and a game where the meshing doesn't continue. What's the deal?

An Introduction:
But let’s take a deep breath and look somewhere else for some inspiration. The story of this player I’m going to talk about is what makes me love this sport even more. Chicago Blackhawks’ Jake Dowell is on IR with a broken foot. But recent events following this placement absolutely warm my soul. On November 22nd he was recalled from his AHL team in Norfolk to Chicago and scored his first NHL goal short-handed against Calgary. A couple of nights later against the Oil, he took a puck off his skate and brushed off the effects like a man on a mission. His mission? To get back to Chicago so that his parents could see him play on NHL ice in person.

There have been a couple of articles written about Dowell recently. Here is an excerpt from The Hockey News.

Jake’s father John, a former small college offensive linesman and a fitness buff, was diagnosed in 2003 with Huntington’s disease, an incurable genetic brain disorder that leads to a steady regression in mental and physical capabilities. With each passing month since the diagnosis, Jake has watched his father lose ground to the fatal illness. Those stricken with Huntington’s disease gradually lose control of their voluntary muscles until they’re almost immobile. At the same time, the ability to process information deteriorates. Death typically comes 10 to 20 years after diagnosis.

Now, the slap-in-your-face part of this reality is that this disease is hereditary, which means that Jake Dowell has a 50% chance of having this disorder already flowing through his body.

Everyone who has the gene develops the disease, which rarely strikes before age 35. Jake, and his mother Vicki, decided that he wouldn’t get himself tested until he turns 35 or when he gets married. The likelihood of negative news would be absolutely crushing.

"With the progress of stem cell research, hopefully they can come up with a cure before it even affects me," Dowell told Baggot last February. "Besides, I think with the way I am, I don't think it would go too well for me if I knew (the test result) and just had to carry on. I don't think I'd be able to do it."

Stories like Dowell's are necessary, yet tragic, because they cause you to sit back in your chair and reflect. Reflect on what you're doing in that instance. Everyone needs a cause to look inward and Dowell's story hits you in the face like a pail of cold water. I, most definitely, will be following up on Jake and his future in the NHL.

Oh, why is he on IR? Because the puck he took off his skate in Edmonton broke his foot. He was playing on a broken foot for not just that game in front of his parents but also for however many practices the team held as well. (Here is a more recent article written about this game his parents attended. Please scroll down about a third of the way.)


So This Is What The Basement Feels Like

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I took in this game not up in the 300 section or on the radio, like usual, but in the 100 section. KQ and her family had an extra ticket on their hands and were extremely gracious in inviting me to sit with them. It was unbelievable to be sitting 13 rows back from the glass. So, much love and thanks to her and her family who were unbelievably kind.
- On to some news: Fro is back in the lineup, which makes me very excited because he is a big body on the lines and was the highest point holder before his injury.
- Scratches: Willsie, Dallman, Nagy (good thing his contract is only a year long), and Barbs (obviously)

1st period:
- Starting lineup is JJ and Blake on D with Sully, Cammy, and Fro out in front. Aubin's between the pipes and, once again, I AM UNSURE.
- The first couple of shifts bring a free-flowing type of game with no real puck possession for too long. Zeiler is moving around and being the gnat that he is.
- Army has two HITS in the first 3 minutes.
- Fro - HIT (I just hope these hits don't aggravate his injury since he hasn't been playing at this high of an intensity for awhile)
- Calder and Sully are getting in some forechecking trying to keep the energy levels up.
- Wild Goal - Gaborik nets it at 3:48 going top shelf on Aubin from the right circle. Apparently it's gonna be one of THOSE games.
- It is clear that neither side is taking ownership of the neutral zone. Where is the Wild's Trap that I've heard about?
- Giuliano - HIT (I think I'm just gonna start calling him my Manchester Boy)
- As I look up at the scoreboard and see that there is 13:08 left in the first, I also see that the Wild has only one shot on net. What the hell? Damnit Aubin!
- Ahh, there's that Wild Trap. BUT, Zeiler is able to break through two Minnys just outside the blueline and charges into the Wild zone. Obviously he doesn't score.
- Anze is called for hooking at 10:14. So this is the first of about 100 penalties that Mick McGeough calls tonight. Yes, it's McGeough at the helm and he is quite whistle happy. Handzus gets a break into the Wild zone but Harding solidly denies him. The puck gets moved out but it appears that the Wild are pretty good at this Trap business. Anze comes out of the box and immediately makes a break for the net and throws the puck at Harding on the backhand. Wild still up 1-0.
- Ratti - HIT
- Anze - HIT
- Sully, Anze, and Brownie are out on the Kings PP. They're getting chances and I thought something was going to happen when Blake moved his 6'4" self in front of Harding. Vish gets the puck and slaps it right at Harding's midsection.
- 2:23 left - Blake gets a break on his own into Wild territory, but instead of awkwardly going all the way to the net, he stops and takes a slapper from the top of the circle. Harding saves and the score remains the same.
- Calder receives two for holding at 19:06. C'mon guys, just get through this period! I'm still unsure about Aubin here because Minny is setting up well on their PP. The minute ends and it's 15 minutes of rest.

End of the first period:
- Kings have 12 shots on to Wild's 10.
- It looks like the Kings are losing steam and, once again, they have to play down on the scoreboard. It must be so mentally tiring to ALWAYS be down.
- Who's gonna come with energy into the second? The Kings? The Wild? Well, I know Ratti's always up for some trash talking.

2nd period:
- This is the start of a seemingly non-stop slew of penalties. After a while, I really had no idea who was called for what when it was a 5-on-3 for the Kings or 5-on-4 for the Wild. It was utter pandemonium so I stopped keeping track.
- The woman sitting to my right was super nice and I loved her commentary through the game. She made me laugh even when the Kings were making me sad. (KQ, don't be so sad! When the Kings hand you lemons, you gotta smash them back in their faces!) The reason I mention this woman was because she called Giuliano a "sparkplug," which I thought was a very appropriate descriptor. My Manchester Boy was looking productive out there, which is more than I can say for some of the guys...
- Anze gets rocked and Moore takes down Brownie.
- 15:06 left and the Kings can't get anything set up on this PP. Hmm, sounds familiar.
- The Kings get called for too many men at 4:54 (p.s. I'm now looking at the box score for these times).
- This just getting ridiculous; I don't know who's in the box, on the bench, on the ice.
- It's a 5-on-3 now (I don't even know what's going on), and Rolston gets the puck right in the slot at the top between the circles and slaps it toward Aubin into all of the traffic. What do you know, Minnesota scores and it's now 2-0. The Kings look like slugs out there.
- Modry is doing his work on the PK, as my right-hand woman said to me. Ok, I'll give props where props are due. I'm not one to shun effort.
- So I mentioned this previously, but it looks like Handzus is more concerned with trying to get a short-handed goal than actually trying to clear the puck on the PK. He really should be more focused on getting the damn puck outta the zone first!
- Dizzzam, Stuart just got rocked into the boards. Hope he got the license plate number on that fella.
- 11:10 left and Calder is called for holding. (Damn, I can't read my own notes for this PK...ha...ha....)
- 7:22 left and the Kings have another PP. I thought they did well setting up in the neutral zone and controlling the puck into the Wild zone. There was a good chance here with Kopi getting a solid opportunity. Once again, Harding comes through for Minny. Damnit, Kirsten!
- There was one play where Sully was on the right-wing half boards and cross passed it to Fro who one-timed it but was denied. Surprisingly, the same exact play happens when Sully gets the puck again. This time, Harding is ready for it. Blast!
- Kopi is just not having a good night; here's another play where he is denied. Cammy is on the goal line on the right side and passes it to Kopi on a backhanded fancy spin move. *sigh* Harding is just a wall tonight.
- Kings PP at 15:35. They're able to cycle it enough, but nothing is working. They get some shots on, but to no avail.
- Right after this PP ends, the Kings go on the PP again.
- Then Blake gets a penalty for interference. I was just amazed at how many times McGeough blew his whistle.

(What did you call me? That's 2 minutes for name calling. Get in the box.)

End of the second period:
- Fred Roggin was sitting by the glass with his wife and kid. His tiny blond woman had some major bling on her finger. Whoa.
- So I guess I'll give someone else some credit here. Aubin has actually been making some saves here and there. I'm not as pissed at him as I have been in other games. I mean, at least it isn't 6-0, right?
- This view 13 rows back is crazy close!
- Fro is definitely making his presence known on the ice but his frustrations are highly visible.
- I wonder what Handzus' face off percentage is so far?.....

3rd period:
- The rest of Blake's penalty was killed without a hitch.
- Brownie actually had a break on his own, but it was him versus 3 Minnys and a Harding. Obviously he was shut down, but I liked the effort! If I had a "Vote for Lubo" cookie, I'd totally give it to Brownie.
- There was a point where (I think) the Wild should have been called for too many men (Crow was standing on top of the bench all kinds of pissed off), but I guess McGeough didn't feel like calling that one.
- Brownie - HIT
- We're just getting shut down left and right. Rolly McGeough helps this by calling a play dead when Harding didn't even have control of the puck. Argh.
- The face off at 15:05 brought in some good chances. Carney flat out denies Cammy's shot. Talk about frustrating; my energy level is dying...
- Schultz absolutely smashes Ratti. Something else I've noticed lately is that Zeiler isn't falling all over the ice anymore. He actually possess the ability to keep himself upright.
- 11:05 left and the puck is moving from end to end to end to end, aka, no one has clear possession for too long. Calder gets boarded but McGeough decides he doesn't want to call this either.
- Kings are on the PP again at 10:25. They're able to keep it in the Wild zone but this doesn't look like a PP at all. Fro is getting annoyed.
- 7:19 - On the scoreboard I see that Minny has 10 less shots on (22) than the Kings (32). Why are they up 2-0? Aubin...
- Kings on the PP again - Passing and passing and passing and passing. Minny is just getting their PK done. They're being aggressive and forcing the Kings into lameness.
- Cammy falls on Harding during a scrum and gets a goalie interference penalty at 16:05.
- Kings Goal - Blake at 18:48 with assists to Cammy and Sully. They had a 6-on-5 by pulling Aubin and got a result. There's hope. And if not, at least they didn't get shut out. Always gotta look on the bright side.
- The end of game rush begins after this goal. There is a mad dash by the Kings and the play is whistled with 4.3 seconds left. All they have to do is win the face off and get a shot on. It's happened before. Just please don't let Handzus take the face off....
- Cammy steps up to the plate and draws. We get the puck but it's scramble, scramble, scramble, scramble in front of the net and the game is over.
(Hey Staples Center, maybe you should clean your glass)
End of the game:
- Kings 1, Wild 2
- Shots on - Kings 36, Wild 24
- A total of 18 penalties were called, with the majority coming in the second period. In looking at the score sheet, can you really blame me for not knowing who was off for what, when, why, how?
- Surprisingly Anze gets the third star of the night with 0 goals and 0 assists. Can someone tell me why? Why didn't Blake get it? He scored the only freaking goal!
- Kings Talk on the dreary drive home. Some guy called in saying he read online that DL came out saying that he wanted high draft picks and so signed the free agents to make it so. Ok, this was just about the most asinine thing to call in about. What website was he reading? Or, more likely, what message board was he on? The internet is filled with gossip and it's people like this guy that perpetuate this crap. I was so irritated at this guy for saying this on the air. Do you really think a GM of multi-million dollar professional sports team would really say this? "Hey guys, I want high draft picks so I'm just gonna sign guys to make this team suck. Sound good? Ok, it's set. Go Operation Kings Suckage." I can't believe this caller thought DL actually said this. It's obvious he doesn't read any websites of substance and reliability.
- Ummm...the basement sure is cold.

Follow up:
1) Watching the after game interview Crow is pretty fired up. It's 4 minutes and 40 seconds of heated comments. But they don't even show the full interview, so who knows how long it actually went for.
2) Jason LaBarbera is now on IR (retroactive to December 1st).


Mini-Rant – 4 - And Updates

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This will be some updates on the Kings and a rant or two. I think I'll start with the rants first. Here we go.

1) Who is the first person up on my Mini-Rant? I'll give you one guess; his name starts with an “A” and ends with “very.” I was reading this article on NHL.com minding my own business and I get to the bottom of the page and what do I see? This terrible picture with an equally terrible quote.

(Courtesy of NHL.com )
Just call me Mr. DBag

This picture makes me want to knock him over bully-style. He is Milhouse and I'm a cuter/smarter Nelson. Not only is the picture atrocious, it makes me wonder if those are real prescription glasses or if they’re the original plastic lenses and he’s just putting up a front. “Hey, look at me guys! I look smart! I also pee sitting down!”

Sean does this to himself; he should know that wearing this type of frame is going to produce ridicule from yours truly. I literally can’t stop laughing at this picture. At the same time, I feel disgusted that his frames look suspiciously like mine. Although I should feel okay about this since my frames don’t make me look like a wacky hipster. In any case, they make me want to punch him in the face even more.

On to the quote: Around the Atlantic -- Outspoken Rangers forward Sean Avery came up with one of the best one-liners of the season when he was asked if he would take a reconditioning assignment when he returns from a wrist injury, saying; “You have a better chance of seeing God.”


2) So apparently the Stanley Cup is going to be riding on a float at the 2008 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Do I want to wake up ass early and watch this? I think not; I've had enough of Pronger's gap-toothed mug. Instead, I think I'll be sleeping in, watching the Winter Classic, and then heading to the Staples Center to see my Kings take on the Blackhawks. Toews, Kane, and Havlat (if healthy) are going to be the ones I'll be looking for.

3) Hey Teebz! Did you notice that Bucci doesn't have a mail-bag this week? Damn...maybe next week. Perhaps your email caused him to crawl into bed with a gallon of ice cream and not want to touch his computer.

Follow up: So Bucci decided to get his mailbag out today instead of yesterday (someone f-ed up in the web department) and once again, it sucked major ass. Not only does this DBag NOT answer questions, he spouts off random crap in hopes that the reader won't notice that he made absolutely no attempt at even feigning an answer!! Why is this guy even allowed to have a mailbag? Every week it's riddled with grammatical errors and is terribly written. Am I being too hard on him? Well, gee, I thought if you were getting paid to write, you'd at least have the writing skills of someone in middle school. I'll just put ONE of his many stupid responses here:

Hi John,
My wife and I are expecting our first child in 2008 and I'm looking for ideas for a good hockey name. So far, I've come up with "Teppo Newman" if it's a boy, but I'm open to your suggestions.
Matt Newman
Newcastle, Maine

Willie Travis Newman.
Hockey fact: Henri Richard has won the most Stanley Cups as a player (11).

Ok, naming your kid "Willie?" Are we in 1893? And what does Henri Richard have to do with Mr. Newman's question? Am I the only reader that sees Bucci as asinine?

4) I found this picture on Ken Henderson's blog of artwork. I think it's pretty self-explanatory.


1) As of 12.14.07, the Kings currently sit tied for last in the NHL. The Kings (12-18-2), Caps (12-17-2), and the Yotes (13-16-0) all have 26 points a piece, but in the last 10 games the Yotes have gone 4-6-0, Caps have gone 6-3-1, and the Kings have registered 3-6-1. Hmm, this does not sound that good. Can you tell me what the F they have to do to get two wins in a row?

2) On a MUCH HIGHER note, the Kings currently have 3 prospects who have been selected to Team Canada for the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship tournament. They are goalie Jonathan Bernier, defenseman Thomas Hickey, and forward Wayne Simmonds.

Also, prospect Oscar Moller will be playing for Team Sweden. (They probably couldn't have taken a more adorable picture. He looks so happy!)

3) Not only is Jonathan Bernier the next hottest thing in net (move over Ricky Di), but he's also awesome.


Hidden Gems – 10 - All-Star Voting

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wow, when I said that I had found the greatest thing ever with Marcel Goc's blog, I was completely wrong. The Kings have put together a video clip of the boys trying to get your votes for the All-Stars. At first my thoughts were, "What the hell is this?" But about 10 seconds into it, I couldn't stop laughing. Just find the Kings Vision link and you'll see it.

"Cookie?? Vote for Lubo!" hahahahha

Man, whoever made this was a genius. GENIUS.

Oh YouTube, I knew you'd pull through. So here is the clip, but just to note the picture quality is NOT as good as on the Kings site. My suggestion is to go to their site to watch it. But here is it:


Kings 4, Canucks 2

Monday, December 10, 2007

Roster Moves:
- Gabe Gauthier was sent back to Manchester
- Jeff Giuliano was recalled from Manchester
- Thoughts: I thought Gauthier was invisible for his limited time on the ice over the three games he was here; and he was actually a scratch for one of the games. Apparently he wasn't given the opportunity to showcase why he's actually one of the top scorers on the Monarchs this season. But even so, don't you think that he should have been able to show SOMETHING? We'll see what Giuliano brings to the Kings' table. Ha...ha...I'm so witty.

- I decided to see what it was like to watch a whole game at the local sports bar near my dwelling. So I brought some cousins together and we set out. Now, I'm not afraid to admit when I think another girl is cute (in this case, the waitresses in this joint), but geez, couldn't they have at least come with some brains??
- This most likely isn't going to be as in depth of a review because I was definitely watching with no sound on the TV, but I could hear whatever football game loud and clear.

First Period:
- I noticed that Luongo was on the bench and I was hoping that this was an automatic indicator that the Kings were going to come away with 2 points.
- Kings goal - Stuart (3) takes the shot at 3:22 in. Sanford definitely got a piece of it off his shoulder.
- Canucks' Burrows is looking to start some shit with Cammy. Hmm, I wonder what the energy is going to be like for the game.
- Thornton is actually not a healthy scratch tonight and comes to the aid of Zeiler who gets rocked by a Canuck.
- Vancouver goal - At 7:34 Taylor "Let me woo you with my smoldering eyes" Pyatt gets a PP goal past Aubin who gets caught laying down. Well, I'll give credit because he made some saves before Pyatt took it up high on J.S.
- Vancouver is forechecking pretty aggressively but the Kings aren't being outworked = GOOD SIGN!
- Kings Goal - Anze (14) moves straight down the slot from a solid pass by Brownie. He takes a backhand on the near side of Sanford and brings home the bacon.
- Calder - He's been having some nice shifts out there and he looks comfortable in front of the net screening Sanford.
- I gotta give props to Aubin so far; he looks a lot cleaner and less frantic in his movements than from Saturday's game. But please don't leave the crease to play the puck; you still look awkward doing so.
- Nearing the end of the first, Vancouver is setting up quickly but, around 3:30 left, the Kings have a good forecheck situation and they're just as quick to shut down anything the Canucks are thinking to start.
- Army - HIT
- Aubin - Save!
- The last 15 seconds I thought the Kings had a good break out that started behind Aubin. Sully banks it off the boards to Vish and then he charges through the neutral zone. Ahh, effort in the last minute of the period; things are looking up.

End of 1st period:
- Kings up 2-1
- Shots on: Kings 12 to Canucks 9

Second Period:
- Kings Goal - Army (2) gets the only goal this period at 4:49 in with assists to Blake and JJ.
- Kings PK - I'm starting to like Sully's style on the PK. Giuliano goes a nice job removing any passing lanes around the point, which is something I wish the Kings would do all the time. His efforts force the Canucks to go down low and he successfully blocks a shot. I thought this was a good PK overall.
- Stuart - HIT
- Brownie - HIT
- Last half of the second - no side really has complete control over the puck for too long. There are some quick first passes but there's no follow through to the second pass to the neutral zone.
- Calder is very visible mucking up in the corners and in front of the net. This line is keeping the energy up for the last 10 minutes here.
- Kings PP - This is something I've noticed recently: the Kings set up and look decent for the first minute, but once the opposing team clears the puck, the Kings have a problem getting everyone back into the attacking zone. I'm hoping this doesn't continue on for too long.

End of 2nd period:
- The Kings have played a full 40 minutes. Wait, make that 39 minutes. The last minute of the second showed an unorganized Kings line.
- I don't like watching this game without sound. Where's the server to refill my drink?
- Shots on: Kings 1 to Canucks 9

Third Period:
- One player I haven't really noticed so far is Brownie...Is it because I don't have sound and I'm not hearing his name mentioned on a regular basis?
- There is a rush at 14:55 and let me just say that Sanford got lucky.
- Patrick O'Neal is shown interviewing Emilio Estevez. It's Billy the Kid!! Man, I wish I could hear what they were saying...
- Krajicek totally takes out Sully, but less than a minute later Sully recovers and backs his rear up against Pyatt. It's almost a la Blake-style, but not quite there. It was lacking a little bit of "My name's Rob Blake and it's lights out for you."
- There are some choppy passes that aren't connecting and the Kings can't break out. Argh.
- Burrows takes out Anze at the boards while he had his head down. Anze wasn't facing the boards, but I'm just gonna put it out there that I thought it was fucking cheap. I'm glad Cammy immediately came to Anze's defense, but I seriously felt like slapping a ho.
- The Kings are now on a 5-on-3 and the puck is being moved around cleanly. Army is at the left goal line and makes a solid pass onto Brownie's stick. Kings goal at 11:41; Brownie hardly did anything on this pass by the way. Army's pass hit the blade dead on and Brownie is on the board with his 14th goal.
- 6 minutes left and I'm thinking that Cammy needs another goal...
- The Kings are actually picking up the rolling pucks off of the Canucks' rebounds. Finally.
- Blake is in the box for cross checking at 16:44.
- Vancouver Goal - Aubin makes a sweet kick save denying Pyatt but Elder gets the rebound and throws it behind Aubin.
- With about a minute to go, Blake is in front of the net with Cooke and basically mauls him down to the ice. This results in a 2-minute roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.

End of game:
- Guiliano made a good showing in this game. I was pleasantly surprised to see him contributing.
- Shots on total: Kings 31 to Canucks 28
- Once again, the Kings inconsistent play brings the fans something to cheer about. A decisive win and two points! Hooray!


Kings 2, Coyotes 4

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Before I go into the game tonight, I'd like to give a shout out to all of the people driving north on the 110. Fuck you very much! Why were so many goddamn people on the freeway at 6pm on a Saturday night?

First Period:
- Starting lineup is Lubo with Modry, with Ratti, Anze, and Zeiler out in front. Aubin in net, GREAT.
- Most exciting part about the game so far, seeing Gretzky on the bench. The last time I saw that guy was when he was still playing at the Forum. Ahh, those were the days.
- Zeiler has been showing his presence out there, especially when he maneuvered the puck through the neutral zone and through some Coyotes all the way to the Coyotes' end boards and THEN layed up a nice HIT.
- Aubin - Makes a lucky save. But he didn't actually MAKE the save. The inside of the left post did when the Yotes had a 3-on-2.
- Brownie - HIT
- Carcillo decides to start some shit with Sully and gets a roughing penalty, which bring out the top line. This line comes through with Anze (13) scoring from Brownie and Lubo at 6:24. There was crisp passing and no one held the puck for too long, which put Phoenix' s D out of position. Brownie holding onto the puck the way he did showed patience, which caused Bryz to fall for the fake.
- Ratti gets called for roughing and 30 seconds later Blake gets called as well. I thought this was complete bullshit. Thanks to the ref for giving the Yotes a 5-on-3.
- Watching Handzus and Modry on this PK made me VERY uneasy. It might be their lack of finesse that causes that feeling. Aubin is definitely getting some lucky breaks with the Coyotes not being able to follow through on plays they set up. Ok, now that Vish and JJ are out, I feel more confident that they'll kill the 5-on-3 advantage, which they do. Whew, dodged that bullet.
- Ratti - HIT
- Thoughts on Gauthier: He's small and I don't know how I feel about his play on the ice because he hasn't played much from what I've seen. He definitely looked like a little kid next to Ratti.
- Kings on the PP - As Phoenix is trying to clear the puck Blake snatches the puck out of the air, drops it, and takes a hard slap to the net. I love that. For the rest of the PP, I thought the majority of players were milling around the neutral zone. It didn't look like there was too much effort to get it to into the Phoenix zone.
- Phoenix was able to set up a play, which Hanzal later fanned on. But Aubin should have covered up the first damn rebound that was right in front of his face so that Hanzal didn't get the opportunity to fan on it in the first place!
- Phoenix goal - Tjarnqvist at 18:30. This was shot from inside the blue line in front of the Kings' bench and it went through everyone's legs, including Aubin's. Terrible terrible goal.

End of the First:
- So I'm just going to now say that I am UNSURE OF AUBIN. I think that he should be pulled right now just for his sloppy play.
- At the end of the period Blake is talking to the ref on the ice about the roughing penalty. He is then given a 2-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike, a 10-min for misconduct, and a game misconduct. WHAT THE FUCK.

2nd Period:
- Willsie serves Blake's minor penalty. This is problematic because JJ is back to being paired with Modry, which is not a good sign because now all of the defensive pairs are shuffled around AGAIN.
- Gauthier was actually out on the ice but did not complete a hit that he went for. Zeiler is able to chip in and ROCKS the Yote's world. And in dramatic fashion the Yote's stick goes flying.
- Kings are on the PP. Cammy's actually noticeable tonight and is helping out in plays. He and Kopi got a nice rush and quickly took it to the net but were denied by Bryz. But after the first minute the Coyotes clear it and the Kings weren't able to regain their composure for the rest of the PP.
- Brownie - HIT
- Zeiler - HIT
- Aubin is just not doing it for me. Put in Quick.
- Gauthier is also not doing it for me. Has he even played more than 3 shifts? Thank god Klemm was sent back to Manchester. Why was he even here in the first place? So Crawford, are you gonna bring back Moulson now or what?
- Kings PP - Brownie definitely caught a Yote with his head down. You should really be more careful. I thought the Kings had good puck movement and got some good shots on.
- Stuart has been a nice surprise in this game. He's blasting shots from the blue line that are actually hitting Bryz and not going wide.
- Zeiler - HIT. His hits are definitely the loudest, which make me happy. Plain and simple.
- Sully - He's making a bit of a showing. But he definitely is not as studly tonight as he has been in previous games.
- A Yote got a break with the puck; just him and Aubin. And Aubin actually saved it! Is it sad or normal that I was genuinely surprised that he made the save?

End of the second period:
- I definitely thought that this was the poorest last minute of any period. It's like the Kings didn't want us to get the McFlurrys! What's the deal? Why you gotta hate? Where's Fro?
- Thoughts on Gauthier after 40 minutes: Wow, I can't even say that you're sucking ass because I don't even see you out there on the ice. Are you still suited up?

3rd period:
- Kings PP - Once again, too much passing. The puck needs to get on net for scoring chances, right? Or am I completely off base here.
- There was a lot of messy coast-to-coast playing for a couple minutes at the beginning of the 3rd. A little too much; the Kings need to get something started, like cycling the puck and ATTACKING! Oh yeah, and grabbing a rebound or two would be nice.
- I felt that JJ was moving slowly in this game. You could tell that he was thinking about his next move, but he wasn't hopping on anything too quickly. Was it because Blake was out and he was back with Modry? He just kind of looked lost out there for the last 40 minutes.
- To Aubin - STOP coming out of the crease to play the puck. You look awkward and your stick-handling skills are sub-par. Huh! True to fashion, he just came out and got caught up in the trapezoid.
- It seems that the Calder-Handzus-Willsie line is the energy line tonight with Willsie at the helm.
- Goal - Handzus (3) with assists to Calder and Willsie at 10:39.
- The Yotes were able to cycle the puck and get it into the slot with Aubin exposed. Aubin let's another one in. That makes it 3-2 Yotes at 12:16 by Keith Ballard.
- Willsie is called for hooking and the Kings are on the PK. Stuart has definitely been pulling his weight this game. His partner, Preissing, on the other hand...
- Oh my god, Gauthier, you're still playing?!?!
- A Yote goes for a clean breakaway and the ONLY thing that saves Aubin is the crossbar.
- DAM line - They were able to get some great opportunities. Brownie threw up another solid HIT, and Cammy actually broke through two Yotes right inside the blue line to go to the net.
- The Kings pull Aubin for a 6-on-5 at the end of the third. But what was the point? The Kings literally shut down in the neutral zone. The last three minutes were piss poor hockey and the Coyotes totally owned the Kings. Oh yeah, Shane Doan got a goal on the empty net.

End of game:
- Kings 2, Coyotes 4,
- Aubin should NOT have been in net tonight. I felt cheated by not seeing Quick get his second NHL start.
- If I ever see Ryan Smyth on the street, you know fists will be flying and hair will be pulled.
- Zeiler needs to learn how to skate with efficiency. I'm tired of his choppy strides that aren't effective in getting him from point A to point B. Other teams are now realizing what role he's playing out there and he needs to start stepping up other parts of his game or he's just gonna get manhandled.
- After checking the game summery, I saw that Gauthier played for 5 minutes and 45 seconds. Ok, Blake played in only the first 20 minutes of the game and was out there for 7 minutes and 53 seconds. What the hell is Gauthier supposed to be doing? The fact that he's from Torrance, CA does nothing for me if he's not contributing on the ice.


Mini-Rant – 3 - It's Like a Bad Car Accident, You Just Gotta Look

Friday, December 7, 2007

John Buccigross is a moron. This is a certifiable fact. After speaking at length to my friend over at Hockey Blog in Canada, Teebz, we’ve decided to take two different approaches to Bucci’s weekly articles at ESPN.com. He has gone the way of never reading anything by him again, and I have chosen to suffer through them just to illustrate to you why exactly he is a gigantic tool. In looking through his Mailbag from this week (on December 6) titled “Some advice for Ducks, Leafs, jersey buyers ... and drummer lovers,” there are some points I’d like to...discuss.

1) Josh from New York asks about what the thoughts are on re-sizing goaltender equipment, which he would have already known had he read any of the numerous opinions on that subject. He thought Bucci had the ultimate answer??? Whatever, here's the response.

I just think it's going to be hard to go backward in terms of protection, and my argument for net size is also based on the size of the goalie himself. Remember how big Phil Esposito looked on those big, bad Bruins teams? He was like 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. Ilya Kovalchuk is 6-2 and 235. Roberto Luongo is 6-3 and 175. Twenty years from now, we will have a 6-4, 250-pound player as fast as Kovalchuk and a 6-6, 220-pound goalie who is bigger and faster than Luongo. Also, the quality of equipment for the skaters to block shots and the coaching to collapse on the goaltender also contributes to less net to shoot at.

Wait one damn second you ass-hat, can you imagine someone 6’6” trying to squat under the crossbar, not to mention that the goaltender is gaining extra inches from his skates and the padding on his rear? And if you think someone that’s 250 pounds is gonna out perform someone that’s 15 pounds leaner, you’re completely off your rocker. I don’t care that he said “in twenty years,” he’s still an imbecile. Did this guy ever play collegiate or professional sports? Don’t you know that carrying an extra 15 pounds while you’re trying to outwork the guy next to you is not ideal? I mean, why do you think the Oil is trying to get Penner to lose weight? The boy needs to slim down in order to compete with the players that are smaller (thus quicker) than him. 245 pounds is a lot to lug around.

And that’s a pretty shitty last sentence. Why don’t you check out how to put words together to create sentence flow.

2) Lauren from Oregon asks about Manny Legace’s recognition within the NHL. Now her question is legitimate; Legace rocked in one of my fantasy leagues a couple of years ago. But she probably could have asked her dog and gotten a better answer. Within his response are these sentences I have pasted here, which shouldn’t have ever been uttered because they’re so elementary in their logic.

His small-sample playoff record is not good. His save percentage has gone down in the playoffs. It has to go up. You have to get better in the playoffs, not worse; otherwise, you can't be among the NHL's elite.

Way to state the obvious, moron.

3) Most times when people say random things, I find them hilarious because they’re out of left field and catch me off guard. Bucci’s random thoughts just scare me. Philip from Minneapolis asks some questions with the third one being about rookies staying with veterans. This is Bucci’s response to that question.

Joe Thornton did the same thing when he was a rookie in Boston. Top-level hockey players are used to the "billet" family arrangement. It saves the young player from worrying about some issues he would have to take care of on his own as they try to play in the greatest hockey league in the world. Can you imagine making about $50,000 a paycheck at age 18 and living on your own in Chicago? Good gosh, I'd end up naked on a sail boat in Lake Michigan with a stack of pancakes, a harmonica and a 1989 Mad Magazine.

I honestly feel violated.


Part II - GM

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Part I - Coaching

Part II - GM

The reason why I decided to write about these topics is because of a recent column I read at hockeybuzz.com by Carla Muller. She wrote about an article she came across on foxsports.com mentioning rumors of Luc Robitalle filling in Dean Lombardi’s shoes as GM. My stance on most issues is mild at best (because I don’t want to foolishly make an uneducated opinion), but I definitely would not be an advocate for this happening. As as fan who is taking in (as much as possible) everything the Kings organization are putting out to the fans, I’m liking what I see. This is specifically referring to Robitaille becoming President of the business operations. But let me look at DL for a second.

If you check out his Wikipedia page, it appears that DL knows what the hell he's doing. He built up the Sharks into what they are today, a hated contender in the Western Conference. The players that he drafted before the lockout developed and made up the power house that they were 2-3 years ago causing them to be constant thorns in my side. I was a personal witness to many of their games, not that I enjoyed it, but I couldn't deny them their efforts. Now I don't know what DL is like in person, he could be a douche or he could be the kindest man ever, what I do know is that he's already building this team to something.

If you look at a previous post, you can see that there is a core that's being formed involving specific players. And what I think is promising is that this core does not include Cammy or Fro. These two are expected to be the veterans once this Core 4 begins to dominate. There is a lot that's going on within the team roster right now, which doesn't include the players developing in Manchester (and Bernier out in Lewiston). From an interview at Inside The Kings, DL said he drove 6 hours to see how Bernier was doing out in Lewiston. 6 hours of driving! If you don’t think that’s dedication, then you need to open your eyes. Lombardi has a plan and it’s not some one-year plan either. If you take him out of the equation, what’s going to happen to the developing players that are in the system? Are they going to be brought up prematurely or moved to some other team? My “Baby Bernier Watch” is on here for a reason. It’s not because I think he’s a cutie pie, which I’m sure every girl will tell you that he is. It's here because I believe he has the potential to rock the net when he’s good and ready to play a full season for the Kings. But I will not be hesitant to say that the players have to f-ing protect their goalie. The games at the beginning of this season were lost not because of Bernier’s poor playing; it was because he wasn’t protected! I can’t tell you how difficult it was to watch the defensemen not blocking shots for him or not cutting off the passing lane for him. Overall, they just were not acting like a cohesive unit. You can’t throw a 19-year-old goalie out there and expect him to be like Roy in his prime! It doesn’t work like that! Sorry, I think I stepped on my little soap box unknowingly...

In moving from DL to Robitaille, I think Lucky is doing a FANTASTIC job on the business relations end of the spectrum. He is one of THE faces of the LA Kings and I would be shocked if he didn’t stick with this job for a number of years. He is one of those franchise players that needs to be in this type of position, which enables him to be accessible to the fans while working toward the betterment of this organization. I don’t think he would be the best fit as a replacement GM. I don't know all of the inner workings of what GMs have to do, but I will say that I think Lombardi knows exactly what he's doing and how the Kings should be building. And I am a complete advocate in keeping Robitaille as the public face of the organization to the 20 million people living in Los Angeles. You can’t deny the draw that Lucky has; in knowing this, why would you put him in the GM position to face the wolves. He's already doing a hell of a job wooing the crowds now. I think maybe it's the fact that he's the highest scoring left-wing in the entire NHL. But what do I know, I'm just a girl.

Conclusion: I want to see what DL has up his sleeves and I love seeing Robitaille in this position, which keeps him visible to the fans. I’d rather not see a front office shakeup right now, but if that’s what the Higher Ups want…

Follow up: 12.07.07 : I found this over at The Hockey News, an article titled "All The Kings Mistakes." Could this guy have presented more lopsided stats? In order for me to even consider this guy as reliable, he probably should have presented the numbers in a more complete manner. He is basically letting you all know what he thinks of DL. Below was copied and pasted from this article.

Here’s a list of L.A.’s top five scorers so far this year and five of their worst regular roster players (from a statistical perspective). Some were brought in by Lombardi, some by former GM Dave Taylor, Deduce the trend.


Anze Kopitar, 29 points (drafted by Taylor)
Mike Cammalleri. 25 points (drafted by Taylor)
Dustin Brown, 24 points (drafted by Taylor)
Alexander Frolov, 20 points (drafted by Taylor)
Lubomir Visnovsky, 16 points (drafted by Taylor)


Michal Handzus, 5 points, minus-11 (signed by Lombardi)
Rob Blake, minus-11 (signed by Lombardi)
Brian Willsie, 4 points, minus-7 (signed by Lombardi)
Patrick O’Sullivan, minus-7 (acquired by Lombardi)
Brad Stuart, minus-10 (signed by Lombardi)

Now, the resurgent Flyers:

Michael Richards, 31 points (drafted by Clarke)
Daniel Briere, 30 points (signed by Holmgren)
Joffrey Lupul, 17 points (acquired by Holmgren)
Mike Knuble, 16 points (signed by Clarke)
Jeff Carter, 15 points (drafted by Clarke)

Let me ask you this, Mr. Ryan Kennedy. Where are the plus/minus numbers for the first and third group of players? What are the point totals for all of the players in the second group? Where are the guys that Taylor signed and Lombardi drafted (P.S. These guys are kinda kicking a lot of ass right now). When you're trying to present an argument or trying to raise some eyebrows, why don't you give up ALL of the numbers. Thanks.


Part I - Coaching

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

For starters, I’m just going to state that these are my personal opinions on two issues I want to address: coaching for Part I and GM for Part II. I am just a fan looking at the sport/organization from an outside perspective and who does not have the inside scoop whatsoever.

With all the drama-mama that’s been going around the league about who might be getting fired and why, I figured maybe I should toss in a thought or two. At the top of the headlines, the Leafs are currently getting blasted by the fans and even by those within the organization on how things are being handled. I’m sure there’s been enough talk leaking out of people's mouths so that I don’t have to reiterate what’s been allegedly said by whoever to whomever.

Part I - Coaching

On the home front, I really didn’t look at a front office shakeup being a possibility for my Kings. Maybe I’m just biased, but I believe in what Dean Lombardi’s doing. Do I agree with Crawford changing up lines like the Mad Hatter on crack? To be honest, I don’t really know, but I’ve definitely noticed it. Don’t get me wrong, we ALL have; but that’s his job, right? To tinker and tinker until something clicks. But at the same time, we’re 27 games in and it’s getting a little ridiculous. Fro is now on IR and Cammy is floundering. He’s getting shut down left and right and now I’m wondering if he actually got 10 goals in 10 games at the start of the season.

After last Saturday’s game against the Avalanche where they lost 5-2, I left Staples feeling dejected and angry at the same time. What the hell is going on? Why are the Kings falling apart? They had a great first period! Now I can’t speculate about what’s going on in the locker room, but I’ve read people’s opinions that seemingly blaming everyone in the organization. But from being on sports teams for many years, I believe that no matter how much the coach is trying to show the athletes the way, if they don’t take a stance and actually execute the plan, the results aren’t going to be there. Not surprisingly, this has caused me to absolutely despise clichés. “Buy into the plan,” “we need to play with more heart,” and my personal favorite to hate, “take it to the next level.” I’d like to punch whoever made that up in the FACE. Maybe it’s because I heard it too many times without a substantial result, but I’m hoping that Crawford doesn’t become a victim of cliché bashing.

I was taught never to question the coaching staff; they have an overall year-long plan of what they want to do and what paths they have to take in order to do so. With the Kings being a professional sports team with millions of dollars being spent every year, the pressure for results is extremely high. Any year-long project is at risk of being cut short if it becomes stagnant for too long. We can see from this season already that some teams have made this leap (Atlanta, Dallas, Capitals) while others have been holding on for as long as possible (Leafs, Phoenix). But let's face it, Gretzky owns the whole state of Arizona and isn't going anywhere.

Now I don’t like to constantly bash on my team, but I do angrily question what’s going on with them sometimes. But I’m not going to stand on a soapbox and demand that that Crawford be fired because you can’t deny him his efforts. If he decided he wanted to get fired, he would have kept all the lines the same and not tried to find some hidden chemistry that he believes is there. But I’ll reiterate the fact that athletes need time to gel with one another. But I do like to muse about what Crawford could do to run this team into the ground and not just into the bottom of the standings.

What could have been:

Scene: Crow sits down at his big oak desk and ponders how exactly he’s going to ruin this team. “Hmmm… I think I’m going to keep Cammy, Kopi, and Brownie together all year. After all, they’re pretty DAM good. (see that? see what I did there?) I think we’ll be able to ride that line for a while before people see I’m not doing a DAM thing. I’ll just let the other lines flounder around. Maybe I should have Vish center the 3rd line and I’ll bring up…Ratti to run D with Blakey. Wow, that’s fantastic! What else…oh! I almost forgot about the goalie situation! I think bringing back Cloutier will seal the deal. Yes, he’ll definitely be the back bone of this squad. I’m a flipping genius!”

As a note: I may like to make light fun of the players here and there, but don’t question for one second my complete loyalty to the Kings. No team can come in and take my attention and loyalty away. Ahem..cough cough DUCKS FANS cough.

Also, just to let you know, I’m not some beer-guzzling dude who thinks the new Reebok jerseys are too small because of my beer gut and who thinks I know what’s best for my team. Rather, I’d like to think of myself as a cute beer-sipping chick who will patiently wait for my team to get their act together without publicly bashing them to anyone who will listen. I’m not going to pretend I know what the best course of action is; I’m not making the millions of dollars to make these types of decisions. But even if they were to offer me the cold hard cash, I wouldn’t know the first thing about building up or saving a professional sports team.

Check out Part II - GM


  © Blogger template Cumulus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP