A Not So Surprising Trade

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I had a feeling something was going to happen between Monday's game against Columbus and this Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. To say that I knew there was going to be a trade going down would be a total fabrication; rather, I just thought four days was too long for a team to sit idle especially with this elephant in the room called "a ridiculous logjam of goalies."

For those that don't know yet, Jason LaBarbera was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2009 7th round draft pick. On the upside there have been some high-quality picks coming out of the 7th rounds in past draft years: Henrik Lundqvist (2000), Johnny Oduya (2001), Joe Pavelski (2003). So not... too disheartening, but only time will tell. Vancouver, on the other hand, is dealing with their own goalie situation with Roberto Luongo still out, but I'm not going to look at that since the Kings have their own problems. Barbs was on the lower end of the pay scale this season and I had just assumed that he was going to be allowed to walk when his contract was up because I really didn't see anyone taking a chance on Barbs, even through waivers. So high five to Dean Lombardi for getting SOMETHING in return. That being said, I'm a huge Barbs fan because he couldn't be a nicer guy.

The start of the season saw Terry Murray name Barbs the #1 during training camp; you could infer that this was because Erik Ersberg was ill during part of the camp. After 10 straight starts, Ersberg FINALLY got his own set of starts and played very well. It was clear to the fans who the number one was but I'm sure Murray kept saying Barbs was the number one to save face and not seem like a flip flopper to whichever goalie was on a decent streak. That's fine, no one likes a flip flopper, but it was hard to ignore the raw numbers the guys were putting up and the sense of confidence or lack thereof that was displayed by the rest of the team depending on who was in net.

Ersberg went down with a temporary groin injury and the Kings were able to recall Jonathan Quick on an emergency basis. Quick proved that he deserved some starts... or was it that Barbs couldn't prove he belonged there? Either way, Quick has been lights out in net and we (I'm sure) were all hoping that Quick wouldn't be sent down when Ersberg came back. I didn't want to face the situation of Quick being reassigned to Manchester and having Barbs as the other goal for the rest of the season, but I didn't have to face that music because of Barbs getting shipped off to Vancouver. Now we have one less goalie and another pick for next year's draft. Lombardi, how do you do it?

To Barbs: I hope you find some success in the NHL in Vancouver or perhaps in the AHL. Either way, happy holidays and now you get to start a new year with a new team! Thanks for your hard work the ast few seasons and good luck in Canada!


SNAFU: CBJs 2, Kings 0

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Columbus Blue Jackets were ready to play the Kings last night. Boy, they did their research. They knew just about every which way to shut down the Kings in the neutral zone and how to put forechecking pressure to prevent the Kings from even having the confidence to break out of their zone. The most telling stat from the first period that foretold the rest of the game was the number of shots on. The Jackets had 10 and the Kings had only 8. I could tell from this stat that this was going to be a fight to the finish; the Jackets had CLEARLY come to LA ready to play.

The other telling fact from this game was the sheer number of missed calls throughout the game. Dustin Brown was getting run over almost every single shift; there were interference penalties not being called all over the place; trips, slashes, etc not called. It got down to me being surprised when the refs arms would go up in the air and thinking, "Ok, you're gonna call something now?"

As you can tell, I'm not really in the mood to write about this game. The new year is upon us and my mind is in other places. The Kings don't play again until this Saturday when the Philadelphia Flyers come to Staples, which I'm super excited for. I'll probably post again before that game so check back when you have a free moment!


Solid Job: Kings 4, Coyotes 0

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Kings don't disappoint as they route the Phoenix Coyotes in the second game of this back-to-back. I was a bit wary that they wouldn't be able to pull out the win purely due to the fact the game was in Phoenix and the Kings didn't have the home crowd behind them. But as Jim Fox said after the game, the Kings have usually won the game following a messy loss and this was no exception as they shut out the Coyotes four to nothing.

To start, the first goal of the game was pretty spectacular; Raitis Ivanans took a slapshot coming across the blueline and it went in beautifully over Ilja Bryzgalov's shoulder. I think everyone was surprised by that one, especially Ivanans! He leaped into the air in sheer joy and the look on Jarret Stoll's face was priceless. I'm pretty sure he took the shot just to get a shot on net, nothing more. But it was a great and surprising goal to start off the game. Go Raitis!

An interesting thing to note about this win was the ridiculous number of penalties the Kings took. Their play didn't look particularly undisciplined, but they were getting called every other minute it seemed. They had 10 total penalties against them with one being a fighting major, which was John Zeiler squaring off against Daniel Carcillo. I wasn't too impressed with the encounter in general and was definitely expecting Carcillo to win because, well, it's Zeiler. The Kings penalty killing units stepped up and did a fantastic job on all nine infractions. Their control of those minutes was the complete opposite of the previous night's game, which made it that much more satisfying.

(AP Photo/Paul Connors)
The only exciting part about this "fight"

Alexander Frolov was a standout in this game, not because of his stellar skating abilities (which appear to have gone straight down the toilet), but for his two goals. He was just in the right places and he's still the top goal scorer on the team as of this moment, which is a fact that I'm sure many people don't know, but he's knocking in the pucks and racking up the points. I'm still pretty baffled at how poor his skating has become and how easily he gets pushed off the puck. I don't understand what's going on with that, but it doesn't appear to hurt his point production considering he's not technically on either of the top two lines. Go Fro!

I was especially proud of Teddy Purcell in this game mostly because I had been so disappointed with his showing this season so I was extremely happy to see that he was digging in his heels and earning his ice time. Players have been getting lost on the fourth line with Ivanans and Zeiler with the latter being the main problem. In this game Purcell finally showed his potential and for one of the PP goals he set up Stoll beautifully with a cross-ice pass. I think he stood out as much as he did because of the time he got on the power play that totaled 6:02 and he looked pretty great; he was moving his feet, landing passes, and being an effective player. I think if he continues getting ice time on the PP, his upside will start to come out more on a game-by-game basis. Go Teddy!

(AP Photo/Paul Connors)
So proud of you, Teddy!

The stud of the evening was, hands down, Jonathan Quick. This boy was a wall in net and didn't have me nervously looking on at any point in the game. He did his job and did it well; he stopped all 26 shots sent his way with the post stopping two of their own. One thing about Quick is that when I was watching him play at Staples two nights ago, he looked kind of smallish side in the net; I didn't think he was more than six feet tall. But in last night's game where I was watching on the boob tube, he looked much bigger and Foxy even said that he was 6'1" and was over 210 pounds! Maybe I didn't think he was that big because of how well he was moving and his general athleticism when the Coyotes were making rushes to the net, but he was positionally sound and they were getting shut down every which way. Go Quick!

(Holla to Greener for saying Quick was going to be good. Two shutouts so far with excellent(ent) rebound control.

Erik Ersberg is supposed to be coming back any day now and this could potentially hurt the Kings because then Quick will get sent back to Manchester with Jason LaBarbera being backup on the bench. The idea of this is... not promising. I don't want to think about that point in time before it actually comes up; I'd rather just keep moving one game at a time and hoping the basement isn't where the Kings will be in a few week's time.


Blargh! Coyotes 2, Kings 1

Friday, December 26, 2008

Why can't the Kings beat the Coyotes? I don't get it. Someone please help me to understand why Phoenix has the Kings' number virtually every single game they play. I didn't do a write up for the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets where they completely dominated and where Jonathan Quick looked solid between the pipes. I thought I'd have the opportunity to write about a win for tonight's game. Boy, was I wrong.

This was the first of a back-to-back against Phoenix with the second being in their house tomorrow. Just to set it straight: this game was pure slop for the first two periods. Don't get me wrong, Quick still looked good in this game, but the difference was that the Kings had crappy passing for almost the entire game. Way to not land any passes, guys. Actually, it was sloppy play from both teams and the first period was QUITE the snoozer. The Kings actually had less shots on net than their opponents in the opening frame! I think this is the first time this season where that's happened, and I was quite frankly a bit surprised, but I was so annoyed with the subpar passing that I just gave up on the Kings cleaning their act up. Well, I held onto the hope that they'd come out in the second period with better passing, but that didn't happen and the Coyotes continued to patrol the neutral zone like vultures.

Drew Doughty was his usual studly self and played 26:19. I'm very curious about how his minutes will be altered when Jack Johnson returns to the line up. This won't be for at least another month so I really shouldn't be thinking about that, but their play tonight has made my train of thought focus on other things besides their efforts in the game. I can't really say how many minutes they'll go down by, but I'm pretty sure he won't be carrying the brunt of the minutes once JMFJ returns to stand fools up at the blueline.

It was a pretty packed house at Staples Center tonight, which was the exact opposite of what I thought it was going to be. I just assumed that people were going to be out of town for the Christmas holiday, but I guess the party was at Staples this year. I'm definitely not complaining because the noise level was where I think it needs to be on a nightly basis. The "roar of the crowd" should really sound like a roar and not like a feeble purr.

So the subpar playing continued on until about half way through the third period when the Kings decided to turn on the jets to try and tie the game up. Oh yeah, the Kings goal was scored by Peter Harrold playing the forward position tonight; yet, this was on the PP where he plays the point, so it was like he was a Dman in that situation and he got the puck on net pretty cleanly. Okay, back to the third period, the Kings start to pour it on... which isn't as effective as it sounds considering their passing is still in the toilet. But they manage to get a decent amount of shots toward Ilja Bryzgalov, but to no avail! He stops everything (with some seemingly coming from luck) and the Kings leave the ice with their tails between their legs. I kind of have nothing more to say; this was a pretty poor performance and I'm kind of tired now. I think sleep is the best option at this point.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and stayed safe in whatever debauchery you decided to partake in. I'm hoping the Kings can squeak out a win tomorrow against the Coyotes because I need something positive to happen here before this year ends. Please.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.22

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Kings are on a 4-game losing streak and Marie and I aren’t completely discouraged but explain that the Kings had better shape up quick. We do a sharp roundup of the games the past week and preview the games for the Christmas week with only three games on tap: one against the Columbus Blue Jackets and a back-to-back against the Phoenix Coyotes. Listen, enjoy, and have a safe holiday celebration!

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at Kings World Podcast.

We welcome any and all feedback! Please direct any questions, comments, or thoughts to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


Losing Streak? Red Wings 6, Kings 4

Saturday, December 20, 2008

So the Kings have lost four in a row but it really doesn't feel like it. The previous four games have all been lost in different fashions; a shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks, an OT loss to the New York Rangers, a blowout against the Buffalo Sabres, and a regulation loss to the Detroit Red Wings, respectively. Tonight the Red Wings beat the Kings 6 to 4 and yesterday the Sabres shut them out in an ugly 5-0 contest.

The game against Buffalo was a weird one; the last three meetings have been completely one-sided with this one not being any different. I thought the Kings would get the win when they were completely outshooting and outworking the Sabres. The Kings had 40 shots compared to their 23. Jason LaBarbera was the unfortunate soul in net for four of the goals and then Jonathan Quick let in the remaining two. Virtually all were odd goals that were going in one after the other, and after Barbs got pulled I kind of lost hope for the Kings to come back, which is not what I should be thinking because they can come back. They've displayed that fight before and I generally do have confidence in them to do so, but yesterday was slowly going down the toilet.

(Getty Images/Bill Wippert)
Don't be lame, Kaleta

Side note, I thought Patrick Kaleta was a total douchebag for trying to challenge Denis Gauthier and then not even throw down the gloves! What the eff was up with that?! Why would you challenge someone when your team is up four goals to nothing and then not even follow through with it?! Well Katela got what was coming to him because Gauts didn't even hesitate. He threw off his gloves and gave Kaleta a sock in the teeth and he went down like a sack of potatoes. I shouldn't be mean and say he deserved it, but he really did.

Tonight Quick was in net and I was just hoping the Red Wings wouldn't demolish my boys. They didn't, thank god, but they definitely got stronger through the game, which forced the Kings to try and keep up with them, which is nothing new considering it's the Red Wings... With a combined four goals and 25 shots on in the first period, I wasn't sure what to expect for the rest of the game since neither team was getting too much of an opportunity to set up for too long in either zone. There was a lot of neutral zone play with a lot of subpar passing, but there were still plently of goals getting past both Quick and Ty Conklin with the most memorable one being where Alexander Frolov got a pass from behind the net and skated the half circle of the goal crease and put it past the Wings. Kinda pretty and ugly at the same time.

(Getty Images/Dave Reginek)
Is this really the lighting in the Joe or is it just the angle?

Congrats to Trevor Lewis for notching his first NHL goal and point, which he didn't even get to really celebrate. His shot didn't get through cleanly, which was why everyone thought Patrick O'Sullivan had backhanded it in. I didn't doubt Sully got the goal because he's just that awesome, but Lewis got it and I'm sure he's happy about that but it definitely is overshadowed by the loss. Can you really call this a heart breaker when you weren't expecting them to win in the first place? It's a question that keeps me up at night. Those are some long and lonely hours, let me tell you. The Kings looked like they had hope until the last few minutes of the game when Jiri Hudler scored, and then Dan Cleary, and then Kris Draper. Crud.

Teddy Purcell was moved to the 4th line in the game against Buffalo (13:29), which was where he stayed for tonight's game (6:29). His minutes were reduced by seven minutes while Lewis went from 9:14 to 15:08. Needless to say (since I've said this from the start of the season), I'm disappointed that Teddy didn't make the team out of training camp and I'm bummed that he's not doing well now that he's actually up here. He got the chance to shine in his first game up by being on a line with Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar! How can you not take that opportunity and run?! I'm keeping my eye on you, Teddy; you'd better shape up!

So the Kings begin a new week starting tomorrow where they'll face the Columbus Blue Jacket on Tuesday and I really hope they break this losing streak that doesn't really feel like a losing streak. They need some points here! I'd like to get above .500 because it feels like they're just trying to keep their heads above sea level.


GODDAMN: Rangers 3, Kings 2 (OT)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So the notion that goalies can win/lose games for you became crystal clear tonight. Jason LaBarbera blew it for his teammates. The forwards and defensemen were getting the job done; they were blocking shots and getting in the passing lanes. When the Rangers scored on the third shot of the game, I knew that something was wrong. DISGUSTINGLY WRONG. And it wasn't a shot that was deflected or an ugly goal mouth scramble; no, this was a shot that he originally caught, but then it trickled past him, and went right into the net.

I was angry. I mean, the Rangers had only had two shots on net until the last minute of the first period and then Barbs had to go and allow this?? It completely killed the good vide in the building and I missed Erik Ersberg badly. It's the kind of heartache you feel when you suddenly realize that it has become too cold for Pinkberry. The Rangers second goal wasn't any better. At the beginning of a PK for the Kings Jarret Stoll's stick breaks and the ref said he threw it toward the puck carrier. Wow... really? Anyway, Michal Rozsival gets a penalty shot and scores top shelf on the back hand. That's right folks, this is the way to score on Barbs. Go in for the shot, deke a couple of times, and when Barbs is on his stomach, flip it up top shelf. Everyone knows this, so I'm not giving away any trade secrets here.

I'm disappointed with this loss mostly because the goaltending was, once again, the weakest spot for the Kings. Everything was looking good after about 10 minutes into the first period since the teams were just skating around and feeling each other out at the beginning. But then the Kings peppered the Rangers and it seemed like it was in the bag. The last two games have been lost in the post-regulation time and we got two points, but that easily could have been three or four. But I don't want to be down anymore; there are plently of positives to be taken from this game. Stoll once again proves awesome in the faceoff circle going 81%!! Sweet action.

(Noah Graham/Getty Images)
Stoll's laughing at how good his faceoff percentage was in this game

The Kings outshoot their opponents (41 to 30), but are outhit 42-31. Dustin Brown got 7 hits and was his usual stud-self on the ice. It's amazing the kind of presense he commands when he's on the ice now. What is it that's changed? Is it the confidence? That has to be it, right? He just commands the attention now and isn't taking crap from anyone. Drew Doughty got 26:15 of TOI with three shots on net. He took the risk with his offensive rushes with one coming in the OT frame where he just looked completely comfortable.

Set up to a question: Raitis Ivanans played less than two minutes, John Zeiler played less than three, and Teddy Purcell didn't take a shift in the third period. What is the point of having Zeiler on the team again? Since Brad Richardson is on IR now, why can't the Kings put Peter Harrold back on wing temporarily (I know, I know, don't strangle me), send Zeiler down to Manchester and give his minutes to Ivanans, and put Teddy back in the goddamn lineup?! Oh yeah, and put Tom Preissing back in the lineup!!!

All-in-all, I was sad with the outcome, but happy with the way the Kings performed. The sense of consistency is one that is getting more and more common, which is exactly how it should be. No more crappy streaks please; I'll allow for the rare sub-par game or blowout, but that isn't the norm anymore. Once Ersberg gets his Swedish ass back in the net, I'll be able to breath a sigh of relief when the puck drops.


All-Star Commercial Goodness and WJC News!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So the Kings have come up with another good commercial asking fans to vote for Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown in the upcoming All-Stars Game in Montreal this year. We all know they won't get in because the voting is just a popularity contest and the Kings are so far off the radar that they can't ever get any love from the general hockey fan. But at least the Kings marketing team can put together a good showing for their players and their respective personalities. I never said they were great actors; c'mon now, they're hockey players. Cut them a little slack.

Onto World Junior Championship news: Thomas Hickey and Colten Teubert have been named to the Team Canada roster.

Oscar Moller has been allowed to leave the Kings to play for Team Sweden.

Viatcheslav Voinov has been also allowed to leave Manchester to play for Team Russia. Umm, hopefully this doesn't sour relations between Russia and the US seeing as how they're not gonna be able to keep Voinov after he's played for them...


A Good Fight: Sharks 3, Kings 2 (SO)

The San Jose Sharks and my Kings battled it out on the ice last night and it was quite a battle. I went into the game not expecting a win; I just wanted a good fight out of my boys, which is exactly what I got. The Sharks came in with an ungodly record and I just sat back to watch whatever was going to unfold.

Surprisingly, the Kings only took two penalties, one of which was a fighting major. So they were shorthanded only once, but that proved to be just the thing the Sharks needed to get on the board. The Sharks went down plenty of times but the Kings couldn't convert any of them because those guys have these ridiculous penalty killing units. I was quite shocked actually. They were always a step ahead of the Kings, which was getting frustrating because there'd be times where the Kings would just struggle to get past the neutral zone! The shots on, hits, and faceoffs were virtually even, so there weren't really any complaints from me in that regard.

The scariest part of the game was when Erik Ersberg took himself out of the game about six minutes into the second period, and it was announced that Jason LaBarbera was in net. I felt we stood a fighting chance for the win with Ersberg in net, but once Barbs got between the pipes.... basically, all hope was lost for me. But the boys made it through regulation and the OT frame. The shootout...

I thought Wayne Simmonds had gotten an inordinate amount of time and THEN he was in the shootout. Where were Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown?? The shootout had Wayner, Patrick O'Sullivan, and Teddy Purcell. I could understand the latter two, but Simmonds? The game is basically falling on the shoulders of three guys and our top two players can't take the shot? It's the Sharks! C'mon man... In any case, we went away with one point, which is obviously better than none. So we'll go into tomorrow and go against the New York Rangers. I have no idea what that's gonna be like, so I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Last thing: get over booing Rob Blake. Yeah, you hate him, you think he abandoned the team, you think he's a traitor, but (then again) you could be completely wrong. So get over booing him. It gets old and honestly takes the arena's focus away from what's important, supporting the Kings in their efforts to try to get a win from one of the best teams in the NHL right now.


Yay For Winning! Kings 3, Wild 1

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Kings once again proved that those clunker-type games are coming around less and less. I wasn't sure what to expect going into this game against the Minnesota Wild, but I knew it wasn't going to be a cake walk. Although.. how does one walk on cake? Walk in cake? No clue.

Once again Marian Gaborik was not in the lineup, and ever since the rumors started of him coming to LA, I couldn't care less. The longer he's out of their lineup, the less chance there is he's coming to LA, because, really, I don't want to pay him big money if he's going to be sitting on IR. What's the point? The one Wild that stood out to me was Mikko Koivu. He was a lot scrappier than I thought he was going to be, and did a good job clogging up the neutral zone when the Kings were on the attack.

The top defensive pairing of Drew Doughty and Kyle Quincey has been killing it, as per usual. I have no complaints with the defensive, but there are two things. (1) I think I'm not as angry with Peter Harrold getting so much ice time because I'm so focused on how poorly Denis Gauthier has been doing. (2) I'm still wondering why Tom Preissing has been benched for as long as he has when Gauts has been sucking balls on the defensive end! Yeah, Tommy P doesn't kill penalties, but Gauts sucks on the even strength. Pick your poison.

Teddy Purcell got about 2:40 more TOI than his first game up, which was virtually all during even strength play. Hopefully his time will go up when Terry Murray sees that he could play on the special teams up here, although I'm not sure where he'd go as of now since our special team units aren't doing poorly. And speaking of ice time, where is Oscar Moller's ice time going?? He played less than 10 minutes! Well Wayne Simmonds played almost 13 minutes, so that could be it. Although, you could easily find an extra five minutes if you just took John Zeiler out of the lineup completely...

(Noah Graham/AP)
Yup, no complaints

Once again the Kings outshoot their opponents (43-34) and three of the four goals were on the PP. I'm glad we won this game against the Wild because the San Jose Sharks are going to whip through town on Monday. I don't think I'm going to expect a win that day; I'll just go and be an observer. The only thing I hope for is that the Kings don't come out flat-footed because they really can't afford any of that on their end. It's obvious what the Sharks are going to do, so I just want a good fight out of my boys.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.21

Friday, December 12, 2008

Marie comes back from being MIA last episode, and she and I return to our usual antics of praising the usual players while vilifying those that deserve it. Since there were too many games to run through, we speed through everything a bit and end the show at a reasonable hour. Who had the “best week ever?” Tune in to find out! Although, it’s not surprising… like at all.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at Kings World Podcast.

We welcome any and all feedback! Please direct any questions, comments, or thoughts to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


Hats Galore! Kings 6, Blues 2

The Kings shake up the lines and they put on a show for the devoted LA fans. After an inconsistent couple of games, they boys come roaring back with some big roster tweaks. Teddy Purcell had been recalled from the Manchester Monarchs and placed on the right wing with Anze Kopitar and Patrick O'Sullivan. Dustin Brown was moved to the second line right wing and played without his heterosexual life partner for perhaps the first time this season. This being the case I was pretty nervous about how Teddy was going to do, but it turned out that I didn't have to worry because play well he did, albeit only getting 10:05 of TOI. I'm sure he didn't play as physical as the coaching staff wanted him to play (which had been the knock against him in training camp), but I think he did well enough in his first game up with the big boys this season. I will point out though that there were some blatant passes that he just could not get a stick on right in front of the goal. That being said, he was 100 times better there than Kyle Calder was, and I'm sure his ice time will increase steadily as long as he continues an upward trend in his performance.

On the defensive end, Drew Doughty was paired up with Kyle Quincey and Sean O'Donnell was moved over with Matt Greene. I wasn't devastated with this switch when I heard about it and I think it proved the point that the Kings just needed a little tweaking to get back to their normal form. The defensemen were in fine form and there were no complaints from me about them. And Quincey got two assists. That's right, TWO.

I was irritated with two things in this game: (1) The fact that John Zeiler sucks. Every time he was out on the ice, I thought he was going to ram someone's head into the boards, which he kind of did at one point. Once again, he doesn't hit well and is just wild out there. Have the Kings ever considered shock therapy? I heard Carrie Fisher swears by it; (2) At the end of the game, one Blues player tried to engage Raitis Ivanans in a fight but Ivanans wasn't having any of that. The situation ended with a ref holding Ivanans whilst being surrounded by 4 Blues. 4!!! Was that necessary?

Back to the good things:

  • Brownie was basically awesome. He's a great all-around player and he was just doing the right things in this game and he was rewarded with a hat trick.
  • Kopi's first goal was pretty freaking great. Teddy's pass to Sully who backhanded it to Kopi with the wide open net. Ahhhh, sweetness. There was no way Chris Mason was going to stop that one. Watch it here!
  • The Kings capitalized with three PP goals to start off the game.
  • Concurrently, the Kings were 100% on the PK.
The only negative to the game was that the boys were 48% in the faceoff circle. Booooo. C'mon, Stoll; we're not paying you to be 43% here. So the Kings trot out another solid game and I only have about a day and a half to revel in this success because the Minnesota Wild are swinging through LA on Saturday. We shall see how the boys fare against the trapping Wild.

Lastly: Here is some RARE national coverage on Brown! Please read here.


Teddy's Back!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Teddy Purcell was recalled from the Manchester Monarchs today. I'm pretty stoked since I was singing this boy's praises all last season and through the summer. When he didn't make it past training camp two months ago, I was pretty bummed. But apparently there were disappointments all around, so it wasn't surprising that he was sent yonder. But he's back and and I'm hoping he finds a spot easily in the lineup... somewhere... your guess is as good as mine.

His summons is from Derek Armstrong going down with an unstated injury. I hope it's nothing serious because Army provides a spark on the 4th line when he actually gets a chance. I wouldn't go so far as to say that he's a point-producing machine, more like it's cool that he can get a chance when he's given the opportunity.

So go Teddy, get better Army, and let's not suck tomorrow, mmkay?


Son of a *&@%*!!: Aves 6, Kings 1

The problem with watching a game AFTER you already know the resulting score is that it looses the sense of suspense and drama. I just cued up the DVR and with four minutes in, I turned it off. I knew the Kings were going to let in six total goals, so after the first two got past Jason LaBarbera, I didn't feel like watching it anymore.

In looking at the stats sheet, I'm amazed that the Kings dominated in the faceoff circle winning 67% of the faceoffs! Hot damn, Anze Kopitar got an 86 win percentage. I'm probably not going to watch the rest of the game, but I'm wondering why Barbs was kept in for the entire game...


Snoozefest 2008! Kings 3, Blue Jackets 0

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Kings snap their three-game losing streak with a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. We definitely needed this win seeing as how the boys were dropping very quickly in the standing with each loss. Even though this was a win, it started out as just about the most boring hockey ever. The first period was a little painful to stomach actually. I wasn't necessarily fighting sleep, but the brain cells that help me to function on a daily basis were slowly melting with each passing minute. Funny enough, the Kings outshot the Jackets three to two in the first frame. Let me repeat that. The Kings had 3 shots on net and the Jackets only had 2. Unbelievable.

(AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Jared Boll thought the game was boring too.

One thing I was looking forward to was that I got to see Steve Mason live and in color for the first time. He's a lot bigger than I thought he was gonna be, but he was competent enough even though he tallied a loss for this game. The Kings only put 18 shots on the Jackets and got three goals with one being an empty netter. The Jackets had 23 shots on Jason LaBarbera who looked pretty good again except for the occasional ugly rebound. I'm not sure why he lets rebounds out so easily like that. You're a professional athlete; you can gobble those up, right? But he got the shutout and was the first star of the game, so I can't hate.

(Noah Graham/Getty Images)
Too cool for school, Walter Cronkite

The scoring began with Wayne Simmonds who got a break in the second period and charged toward the net taking a shot that wasn't looking too promising, but it actually went in! It went far side and Mason just couldn't get it. We actually all thought the first goal was scored by a one Patrick O'Sullivan who was on his own break in the first period. But he lifted the shot, it hit the post, and bounced off Mason's back, which was why the angle of my line-of-sight made it seem like it went in. Later in the game Sully got the chance to take a penalty shot, but that one was unsuccessful too. Lame.

I know this is old news (old hat?), but I can't ignore it. You know who had too much time on the ice again? That's right, ladies and gentlemen, John Zeiler had 8:24 of TOI. He was just plain horrible; he did absolutely nothing to help the team. He's an offensive liability because he just runs around and hits whatever, and he just came off a suspension! Just please put a leash on that guy.

Conversely, can we take a guess as to who ISN'T a liability? He goes by the name of Drew Doughty and is just about our most highly coveted prospect. This kid is going up against the top flight players in the league and he can do no wrong. I think the big test for me personally was when he faced Alexander Ovechkin. When I saw that he could stick with Ovie without any problems or hesitation, I was completely confident for this game against Rick Nash. Doughty logged 25:05 of TOI and looked fantastic while doing it.

I feel like I'm repeating myself. I need something new to say, pretend that I'm actually smart. I give praises and critcisms all the time it seems. Maybe I should focus on someone else for a bit... Sean Avery? No, eff that guy. Actually, I need to drop him from one of my fantasy teams...

...Please hold...

Ok, picked up some Vancouver guy. Anyway, so I can't think of anything interesting or funny to share with my faithful readers. Although I did hear Nick Nickson say that the guys at the NHL Network recently called him up and interviewed and filmed him for their "Voices" segment that is running all through this season. Be sure to be on the look out for that! Okay, I'm going to transfer the "snooze" from this Snoozefest of a game and take it into my bed. Night all.


A Flip-Flopping Good Time; Oilers 5, Kings 4 (SO)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Kings are now in a 3-game losing streak, but it really doesn't feel like it. We still got a point last night but we had to take this crazy game to the shootout. The Edmonton Oilers scored three goals in the first period on 11 shots on Erik Ersberg and Jason LaBarbera came out for the next 40 minutes where he proceeded to let in only one goal on 30 shots. Pretty shocking but a familiar feeling (read: shot differential similar to last season). The Kings ended with 44 shots against, which is utterly ridiculous considering how they've been playing all season. The Oilers ended with 36 shots against them, which is normal for the Kings to do to their opposition, but this game was definitely back and forth.

The Oil dominated the first period whereupon Moose reassured me that his boys don't play a full 60 minutes whilst threatening a 12-year-old kid on the concourse. He turned out to be correct when the second period opened with the Kings blasting out the gates. Four goals and 20 minutes got the Kings up 4-3 with a full period left to play. Ridiculous. The openness of the game was a bit surprising as well, and there were some sweet individual moves and plays. I.E. Ales Hemsky doing about four toe-drags... in a row... like in the same possession.

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Honestly, Gauts. Now is not the time, nor the place...

The prettiest goal had to have been be from Jarett Stoll. Right-shot on the right side gets the puck and wrists it up past Mathieu Garon's left shoulder. Sick. The most ridiculous save was by Barbs in the shootout. Actually, he had plently of surprising saves! It's amazing how plesently surprised you can be when you're not expecting anything from your goaltender. This isn't me being a jerk; I love Barbs. He's the most chill guy you'll ever meet, but I can't invest so much emotion in his play anymore. I've been hurt too many times. So, yes, his play was good besides some instances when he was out of position and the Oil would just miss the net completely.

Do you know who is a waste of space? John Zeiler. He played 4:23 and did absolutely nothing. We don't need two players who are going to play less than five minutes on the playing roster on the same night. Raitis Ivanans? You notice that monster of a man; he has a purpose. Zeiler? Waste. Of. Space.

So the Oil get a win under their belts as they head up to San Jose and try to play in the same sand box with the Sharks. Have fun up there, boys. My Kings play the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight and I forsee this being a bit easier than the Sharks.

Last thing: Read Tom Preissing's 5th post! Intelligent hockey players do exist! It's like finding a diamond in the rough.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.20

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This episode is an HS/HS Invasion! This week's episode found Marie mysteriously absent, which left me to take on the reigns. I take the initiative and invite Greener and Moose from He Score, He Shoot! as my awesome guests. Moose holds his own while discussing his Edmonton Oilers, Greener makes a feeble attempt of talking about his Toronto Maple Leafs, and I am my normal awesome self when the Kings come up in the conversation. There is a reason these guys are on the show, which is explained at the top of the episode, and the general merriment extends the show past the normal recording time. Please drop by and have a listen to the madness this odd threesome creates.



Please check us out at our respective blogs and at Kings World Podcast.

We welcome any and all feedback! Please direct any questions, comments, or thoughts to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


My Poor Kings; Leafs 3, Kings 1

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On Monday December 1st, the Toronto Maple Leafs came into town and battled my Kings. It was interesting to watch two teams that I have a very personal stake in. My Kings will always be number one in my heart, but my fondness for the Leafs is steadily growing. I still cheered my little heart out when Alexander Frolov scored the lone Kings goal in the first period, but at the same time I didn't want the Leafs to be losing. Very interesting feeling indeed.

I spent the warmups on the Leafs side of the rink with Greener and Moose of He Score, He Shoot! fame. Moose was your average, heavily-sedated fan while Greener had to be put on a leash. This boy seriously needed to be reigned in, so I took the fuzzy handcuffs out of my back pocket and cuffed his ass to a chair. This glass pounder actually had 3.42 seconds of fame late during the game. With my season seats in the upper bowl also comes many views into all of the broadcasters' booths. After one of the Leaf goals, who do I see out of the corner of my eye on the monitor showing Leafs TV, but Greener. Greener! That silly bitch was on TV!

Stempniak was surprisingly not bad looking

The Kings were up 1-0 for the first 40 minutes of the game. Once the third period rolled around, the Leafs kicked it up a gear as did the Kings. But two quick goals against Jason Labarbera gave the Leafs the win that night. I know Terry Murray wants to give equal time to Barbs and Erik Ersberg, but I honestly would have put Ersberg in for this game and given Barbs the game against the Phoenix Coyotes. But I'm no hockey coach, so I'll just admire the Maple Leaf blue for awhile...

This was the first time I saw my boys playing in their third jersey since I missed the game against the Avalanche when it was debuted. I thought it was just okay when I saw the entire jersey for the first time, but now I'm thankful it's not as terrible-looking as other teams' thirds have looked. The Kings could have gone in a completely incorrect direction, but the throwback to the Black and Silver era with a modern twist works. Although I would have absolutely loved to see the retro Black and Silver jerseys, I can deal with this.

Back to the game, Matt Stajan and Mikhail Grabovski scored the two goals for the Leafs and Jeff Finger got the empty netter at the end closing the game out. I was definitely disliking how the Kings weren't able to land their passes in the neutral zone in the latter half of the game. The spunk and bite from both teams were milling about on the ice, which was frustrating in the second half of the third period when the Leafs took over the game. The Kings made a valient attempt at trying to tie the game back up; alas, my boys weren't able to pull it off and the Leafs left Staples Center two points richer.


Apologies From This Author

Hey everyone! I'm really sorry about the lack of a game review post for the match up last night against the Kings and Leafs and the fact that I still have not gotten up the podcast I did with Greener and Moose. But real life is getting in the way and the ftp client is being a _____ (fill in with your own colorful word slash words).

I DO plan on doing a write up for that, so be on the lookout hopefully sometime tonight (cross fingers). I'm also trying my damnedest to get that awesome podcast episode up. Please bear with me as I deal with real life.

Thank you and I hope everyone had a marvelous (American) Thanksgiving. Here is my belated "gobble gobble" to you.


Faceoff Killas: Kings 5, Blackhawks 2

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Chicago Blackhawks were in town and the Kings welcomed them with open arms, which they promptly used to squeeze the Hawks into submission. The Kings opened up the game with something that happens about once every month, score a goal in the first few minutes of the first period! A bit of confusion in front of the net concluded with Jarret Stoll being awarded the goal with Michal Handzus and Alexander Frolov assisting on the play. I think I'm getting use to hearing Handzus' name being announced over the loud speaker.

Besides the fact that the Kings won the game, there is a stat that must be put in the spotlight here. The Kings dominated the Hawks in the faceoff circle. It wasn't just a beating, it was a pounding of the epic sort. Stoll won 10 faceoffs out of 14 for a percentage of 71. Anze Kopitar beat Stoll by winning 15 and losing only 5 for a 75 win percentage! The third was Derek Armstrong with a 73 win percentage by getting 8 and losing only 3.

(Images courtesy of IMDB)
Dude Stoll, it's okay if you aren't 100% in the circle...you're doing fine...

The first period seemed to promise 40 more minutes of play from two teams who seemed evenly matched, which wasn't really the case as the Kings proceeded to slowly take the game from the Hawks. That doesn't mean there weren't close calls. The Kings have been averaging a league-leading 24 shots against, which the Hawks were able to get by the end of the game. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is when it's rare for a team to get that many shots past the defenders and onto Erik Ersberg. The little one was seeing a lot of rubber flying his way, but he looked pretty great once again. He did end with two pucks getting past him, but it's not bad when you think about the 5 that got past Christobal Huet. The Kings threw their own 28 at Huet who looked a bit odd in neon-red pads. What nutjob approved that color?

After Stoll's game-opening goal, Fro notched one of his own in the second period. In the third period Army got his second goal of the season by driving the net and being the role player that he's become. Sweet action. This turned out to be the game-winner when the door was closed by Kyle Calder of all people. Here we were sitting in our section talking crap about Calder all through the game and then he scores. What a buzz kill.

What Kopi visualizes as he approaches the faceoff dot...

The Blackhawks attempted an early salvage of the game when they pulled Huet with just under three minutes remaining. With this, Patrick O'Sullivan roofed an empty net goal and the arena started to empty out. Oddly enough, Sully played two more minutes than Kopi, but when looking at the stats, I can see why. The time that Sully was on the PK shoots his number past Kopi in that aspect, which is fine. We really don't need Kopi getting hurt by blocking shots.

Army, just because you're not scratched doesn't mean you can go kicking people...

All-in-all, I thought this was a well-rounded game. The 1PM start didn't seem to hurt the Kings in any way. The minutes played by everyone seemed to work well, sans Calder getting 15:00 of TOI. Honestly, is there no one else who can play the top line left wing?? He's not creating anything and when he does get the puck he either makes a shitty pass or waits too long to take the shot, which causes him to take a no-angle shot. Hence, he sucks. P.S. He also needs to be taken of the PP. Not just on the first or second unit, but both. He should be on the bench during those minutes. I'm completely confident that Oscar Moller could eat up those minutes without any problems.


One Down And One Up In Western Canada

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Kings played Calgary on Wednesday and basically got their tails handed to them, but the game didn't start out that way. The first period made it seem like it was going to be a good contest. The shots were even and the goalies were looking pretty solid. But once the second period started the Flames got stronger and stronger. Even though the Kings lost a terrible 6-2, it definitely didn't look like one of those horrendous losses from last season where it seemed like they stopped trying altogether. The Flames just dominated a team that was struggling in all aspects of the game. The effort was visible, but nothing was working so I'm not going to jump down their throats. I'm not suggesting the Kings needed a loss of that sort since they've lost worse in past seasons. It was just another sign that this is a team that is still learning and feeling out the lines.

The one thing from this game that had and still has me a bit worried is the fact that Erik Ersberg was pulled and Jason LaBarbera was put in. Barbs then played last night against the Edmonton Oilers. Does this mean that Barbs will play until he has to get pulled? Is that how this is going to work? I guess that's fine... I'm not sure how I completely feel about it, but I can honestly say that I'm not feeling too confident about the back end anymore. Denis Gauthier did NOT have a good game against the Flames, and I'm wondering why Terry Murray is so happy with him. Yeah, he can kill penalties, but, really, he's made some horrible plays in general. He's definitely outside the circle of trust.

(AP Photo, The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

Greene though the Kings were figure skating that night hence the terrible, terrible hockey

Terry Murray reunited the Patrick O'Sullivan, Anze Kopitar, and Dustin Brown trio for the Flames blowout, but, once again, the very next game, Sully gets demoted and Kyle Calder gets put back on left wing on the top line. Gross. Why is it that when this awesome line gets a chance to shine, the entire team has an off night? What's the deal? C'mon Fates! Help them out a bit here! I'll give Murray one thing though; it's blatently clear that he's not going to coddle this line. One game to show him something; if not, it's back to the drawing board. I can respect that but can you please put someone else up there instead of Calder??

The bright spot: Sean O'Donnell. I'm so freaking happy he's on the blueline. He got a 5-minute fighting major, a 10-minute misconduct penalty, and a 2-minute instigator penalty. The game was already in the bag for the Flames but O'Donnell wasn't going to take shit from anyone, and he let the Flames know that. Talk about mentorship and leadership. On the flipside, Raitis Ivanans got 10 minutes of TOI and did nothing but take penalties. Let's think about this: last season when he'd get more than two penalties or so, he'd get less than 5 minutes of TOI. But in this game he got 4 penalties (8 total minutes) and 10 minutes of ice time. Was Terry Murray hoping Ivanans was turn the momentum of the game? Well, it didn't work.

One last thing about this game versus Calgary. I was watching the Calgary feed, which was on Rogers Sportsnet. Wow, whoever the play-by-play guy and color guy were, you guys were terrible! I'm so glad I don't have to listen to that for 82 games. Their "commentary" was piss poor and didn't enhance the viewing of the game at all. What they were saying wasn't biased in favor of the Flames; rather, it was terrible because they weren't saying anything of worth! "That was a great pass." Wow... is that all you got? Really?

The game on Thursday the Kings went against the Edmonton Oilers. The Kings bounced back very nicely and won 2-1. They returned to their disciplined play out-hitting and out-shooting the opposition, but they weren't over 50% in the faceoff circle. I'm blaming this on Derek Armstrong (4 for 11) and Kopi (8 for 18) combined with Michal Handzus playing on the wing. Jarret Stoll, you keep doing what you're doing. The Kings also took only 5 penalties in this game compared to 15 against Calgary. Were the interference calls against Brownie and Barbs really penalties? I don't know, but I'm not going to dwell on it. The penalties were taken and killed; end of story.

I WILL bitch about the boarding penalty that Steve Staios took against Sully. Dude is mere feet from the boards and you're gonna give him a shove in the back towards the boards? C'mon man, can you be a bit more mindful of the head of another player? Sure, Sully may have whiplash this morning, but can you not try to give him a concussion to go with it? Another change was that Tom Preissing was back in the lineup and Gauthier took a seat in the press box. I honestly thought Preissing wasn't going to make the mistakes that he did. They weren't as terrible as the ones Gauts has been taking, but still...

A rarity: the Kings scoring first! And wouldn't you know it, it was Sully who netted it and, amazingly enough, he showed emotion!!! If you haven't noticed it before, Sully usually scores and has a deadpan look on his face. No reaction whatsoever. But this was such a change that I even cheered more! Who knew he possessed the ability to have more than just a vacant look on his face?!

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)
Not new: Sully scoring. New: Him reacting.

Who know who's awesome? Dustin Brown. He's just freaking fantastic and I heart him. I know I heart a lot of things, but I REALLY heart him. He's just such a great leader and is getting noticed more and more and more. He can honestly do no wrong. He's a dynamically solid player who is doing nothing but getting better.

The second half of the game didn't see anymore goals, but it was a solid game for the Kings. I'm not sure how happy Moose was though. I think the text saying "We are an AWFUL hockey team" means that the Oilers are struggling. I'm not sure, but I think that's what it meant. In any case, the Kings got back on their ponies with this game and have a break until they face the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at the beautiful Staples Center.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.19

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In this episode Marie and I review the past two weeks for the Kings. There were plenty of games to go through and there were a few games to preview as well. I discuss the Meet The Players party and Marie delves into the Kings new third jersey. The Player of the Week changes names and the shoutouts stay the same.

Please email any questions or comments to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


Meeting Some Yahoos

I was unable to view any of the game yesterday due to my personal life, but I did make it out to Dodger Stadium for the Meet The Players "party" this afternoon. I was able to "meet" Oscar Moller, Raitis Ivanans, Kyle Quincey, Denis Gauthier, Erik Ersberg, Wayne Simmonds, Sean O'Donnell, Michal Handzus, and Jarret Stoll. My friend, AJ, stood in line for an hour to see Dustin Brown. So while I saw 9 of the players, she only saw 5. Bummer for her but she got what she wanted, so it's all good. General thoughts from the "party":

  • They should nix the word "party" and just call it a "session" or something. "Meet the Players (while we guide you through roped off lines)"
  • Handzus seriously lacks the ability to smile. This is the second time I've taken a picture with him and it's the second time where he's looked like he's in pain. Maybe it's me... but I shower everyday!
  • Kyle Quincey has the MOST GORGEOUS EYES. I was trying my best to not get hypnotized...
  • I'm not sure which line was longer, the one for Anze Kopitar or for Drew Doughty. Either way, there was no way in hell I was going to even attempt that.
  • Ivanans was totally smiling and conversing with me, but right when the camera was aimed at us, he tried to get the smile off his face. Boo.
If you're my friend or "friend" on facebook, you'll be able to check those pictures out. Good times had by all. Oh, this was also my first viewing of the third jersey. It's... fine. It's another black and white jersey. I LOVE the Gretzky Black and Silver era, which this was attempting to harken back to, so I can't be too critical. According to our little handout we recieved:
The KINGS alternative uniform is designed to give us a fond look back to glorious times for our franchise with an eye to the future to inspire players and fans alike for what lies ahead... a future that is grounded with the values, the determination, the pride and the passion that serves as the foundation for the LA KINGS franchise.
Fine, fine. I'm just glad it's not as hideous as some of the other 3rds that have been rolled out. Ahem... Ottawa. Anyway, I got some pucks signed, but I ran out so I just started having them sign the front of my jersey. The only person allowed to sign the back is Brownie. That is all.

After the day wound down and AJ and I were headed home, we drove by the Forum in Inglewood, which was looking like it was up to no good, and it totally doesn't look right without the "Great Western" up there. So I added it.

Looks better, no?


Kings Smash Caps And Ovechkin Cries: Kings 5, Capitals 2

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Kings brought a dominating performance on the ice against the Washington Capitals. They had a great first period by not allowing the Caps any room in their zone, which translated into the latter getting only three shots on. I honestly think teams are shocked when they come to Staples and are limited to less than five shots in the opening frame because the shots total rises with each subsequent period. The Capitals fell victim to this trend, which really wasn't surprising. They were playing without Alexander Semin, Sergei Fedorov, and Matt Green. These three are definitely key players to their lineup, but, what's the saying again? Oh right, "no excuses." The Caps were outshot 33-21, which continues to amaze me and make me so proud of my boys. We also outhit the Caps 34-29. Team leaders were Brian Boyle (shocking) with 5 and Alexander Ovechkin with 7.

The top line of Patrick O'Sullivan, Anze Kopitar, and Dustin Brown was reunited and they played a great game. Respectively they tallied an even-strength, short-handed, and power play goal. But the evening's first goal came from Drew Doughty from the point. It was just perfection and we proceeded to stand up and cheer four more times after that. Later in the game, Doughty was actually almost completely undressed by Ovechkin, but Drew stuck to him and broke up the individual rush. It was nerve-wrackingly awesome.

The one blemish on the stats sheet: Kyle Calder getting 15:36 of TOI. Really? Is that really necessary? He really wasn't helping out the team with any of the shifts he took and myself and I believe everyone else in my section was experiencing the same sort of wrath.

(Getty Images/Andrew D. Bernstein)
Another blemish on the roster

Halfway through the third period, there was a rush to the Kings net and it ended with a lot of bodies in the crease. When the whistle blew, Ovechkin was the only one still kneeling on the ice. He appaently got hurt somehow, which I missed, and when he got up and skated to the ref to give him some words, Staples Center proceeded to boo his ass. I've never actually heard a crowd boo a player when he has gotten up after being hurt in some way on the ice. It was a little odd but Ovechkin ended up getting an interference penalty at the end of all that and he looked fine. He just needed to shake it off, whatevs.

The game ended two quick Kings goals in the last minute of the period, which took the game out of the hands of the Caps. We cheered. The Kings had a decisive win and we all left Staples Center happy. The end.


Kings Face Some Caps Tonight

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple of days. The economy punched me in the face yesterday. The Washington Capitals did a bit of their own punching as well. They knocked down the Ducks with six (6) goals yesterday and we face them tonight. I was pretty nervous going into this week, but now, not so much. The Capitals will most likely be without Alexander Semin, Sergei Fedorov, and Mike Green. I think there's another dude, but the aforementioned three are the most important. Green got taken down by Chris Pronger with a clean hit knocking him into the boards. It was definitely hairy for a bit, but he's doing fine with his shoulder in a sling.

So the teams won't be meeting as evenly-matched because of those injuries to the Caps, but I'm not too bummed since the Kings need these two points.


Boo Ducks; Ducks 2, Kings 0

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The whole crosstown rivalry with the Anaheim Ducks is something that I don't get too caught up in, but that doesn't mean that I don't hate the Ducks more than any other team in the league. I do hate them the most, and, for the second day in a row, I'm bummed that the Kings have dropped a game. But the Kings didn't get shutout by a poor showing; they displayed their usual solid play but were actually less able to generate chances when compared to the game yesterday against the Preds.

There were four PP opportunities for the Kings with one being a 4-minute penalty but they weren't able to get anything going on any of them. The 4-minute penalty was actually played better by the Ducks than the Kings, which was... mildly.. frustrating... especially since the penalty came from an incident with Ryan Getzalf's stick accidentally making a beeline for Patrick O'Sullivan's face. This boy already has lost 4 or 5 teeth, he really can't afford to lose anymore; so when I saw him spit something out of his mouth that looked like a tooth, I definitely flashed back to last year when he took a puck in the face and had to have emergency dental work. But, whatever happened didn't seem to affect him too much since he was back on the ice before the end of the first period.

Once again Erik Ersberg looked solid in net. He was doing his usual thing of not getting rattled inbetween the pipes. Both Ducks' goals were even-strength goals with the first by Corey Perry. I haven't taken another look at the goal but I remember wondering where the D was on that rebound. Oscar Moller was the Kings player that was there for the initial shot, but the rebound couldn't have gone anywhere but in the back of the net. Bret Hedican's goal came with less than five minutes to go and was the game sealer. Terry Murray didn't pull Ersberg with two minutes to go and I wanted Brian Hayward to shut the hell up. You obviously know why he's not pulling Ersberg, so shut up about it! Ugh!

(Debora Robinson/Getty Images)
Is this the aftermath of a hit? Hilarious either way.

One surprising note, Wayne Simmonds got only 8:53 of TOI! Yeah, he's an ugly, ugly skater, but he had been getting around five more minutes than that on average. Drew Doughty logging 28:27 of TOI is... just... beastly... although he didn't record any hits. Actually the Kings were definitely outhit overall, 22-14. Boo. It appears that I've lost interest in this recap, so I'm just gonna... stop and go do something else.


Los Angeles Is Burning And Preds Win; Predators 3, Kings 1

The Nashville Predators rolled into Staples Center as Los Angeles was engulfed in flames. I was very happy to be in a setting where there wasn't ash floating through the air and where my lungs weren't taking on the smogy haze. The Kings did not disappoint as they put up a hell of an effort against the Preds. Actually, the Kings dominated the Preds. Once again, the opposition was held to far less goals than the Kings put up, 34-22.

Erik Ersberg was solid in net and make some game-saving stuffs against the Preds. At the other end of the ice, Dan Ellis was busying keeping his own team in the game. This game snaps the 4-game winning streak, but I can't be mad at my boys. They fought until the end where Shea Weber scored an empty-netter putting the game away for good. Michal Handzus scored the lone goal on a deflection from Kyle Quincey. Nothing the Kings did was upsetting to me. They worked hard, got shots on net, out hit the Preds, etc, etc, etc. They just couldn't tie it up and get the win.

The Preds leave with two points and the Kings head into the Honda Center tonight. *cue dramatic music*


Is This Really Happening?: Kings 3, Stars 2

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Four wins in a row? I'm still watching the Kings right? According to ESPN, the last time the Kings have had this long of a winning streak was back in October of 2007. A bit lame, but, hey, I'll take it. We're on one now and that's all that matters. This game was much easier won than Tuesday's game where the Stars hung on for the shootout. Everyone has been looking really good... wait, that's a lie. ALMOST everyone has been looking good.

Good: Erik Ersberg, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown. Doughty lead the team with 27:05 of TOI with the average shift lasting a minute long. Impressed? I think so! I absolutely cannot wait for Jack Johnson to get back to the lineup. I can't imagine what it's going to look like with another huge body back there. Ersberg notched another win on his fourth straight start. I trust and respect Terry Murray's decision not to name the Swede the number one until he's comfortable with his conststancy. I can see exactly his reasoning and won't be terribly disappointed if he waits a long time to make it official.

Not good: Denis Gauthier. I don't mean to make him my goat, but he makes egregious errors and it needs to be pointed out. He only had 11:48 of TOI in the game, which let's me know Terry Murray is seeing what everyone else is seeing.

(Matt Slocum/Getty Images)

The Kings won 65% of the faceoffs with Jarret Stoll winning 11 and losing just 4 giving him a 74 percentage!! I am very impressed. I basically have no complaints with this game. The Kings came out and worked hard at the start all the way to the finish. Well, I'll point out that the Kings scored only two (2) times on nine (9) PP opportunities. They're getting there; I'm not complaining. Just pointing it out. They ended with 29 shots on and limited the Stars to 26. I'd have liked the Kings to have at least 32 shots on, but I guess it doesn't really matter since they won. Go Kings!

A little bit of Maple
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs went against the Edmonton Oilers where the former won 5-2. I could write plenty, but I'm a bit tired and wanna go to bed soon.
  • I had my doubts about Nik Antropov. I still do; I really think he could be more of an intimidating player. He's just so large and not so nimble, but a little birdy told me to just watch and wait. I can definitely eat some humble pie tonight because Antropov's goal was pretty freaking sweet. Very cleanly put into the net and got the Leafs up further on the scoreboard.
  • Will Jason Blake need to be a healthy scratch to get it in his head that passing is a good thing? He had two great passes tonight, which lead to two goals. Simple, right? I really don't think it should come to him getting benched for him to realize just exactly what Ron Wilson wants.
  • In looking at the stats sheet, I was very surprised that none of the Leafs forwards had over 20 minutes of TOI. There are usually one or two Kings that get over that mark, but I guess that doesn't have to apply for all teams. This really isn't an astute observation or anything; it's just something I noticed.
  • Congrats to Sam Gagner for getting his first goal of the season!
Bed time!


Oh, Captain. My Captain. Kings 3, Stars 2 (SO)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Dallas Stars came to Staples for the first time this season, which marked the end of a 7-game home stand for the Kings. This game started out on a good note, but I was a bit afraid that it was going to slowly take a downfall for the Kings. They came out of the gates at a good pace getting 11 shots on to Dallas' 8, but the Stars were the ones that stepped up their game. They got their heads' screwed on straight and made this game interesting.

Dustin Brown had a monster game. He tallied a goal, got 20:27 of TOI, had a team-high of 5 shots on, and another team-high of 6 hits. His most notable hits were (1) placing Stephan Robidas ever so gently into the Kings bench, and (2) putting Mike Ribeiro into the boards. (Note: Please see FSN's telecast of Jim Fox's breakdown of this clean hit.) Brownie left the game with a minute left in the game, and the Kings were left with a 3-minute PK to deal with that spilled into overtime. I absolutely loved Brenden Morrow coming over and fighting Brownie. Captain versus captain. Badass against badass. You really couldn't have asked for a better matchup in that situation.

(Noah Graham/Getty Images)
What the hell, Fro?! You're cheating on me with Avery?? UGH!

With everyone gushing over Drew Doughty, I feel I need to add to it. He can't be 18 years old; he just can't. He looks so good out there and he's working so well with Sean O'Donnell that he couldn't have been playing with teenage boys a few months ago. That being said, with the way this boy is playing, there is not enough adoration being sent his way. We Kings fans can get on our knees and thank the Defensive Hockey Gods for sending him our way, but that's not going to get his name out there any faster. It's too bad that he has to get points in order to get some national attention, but that's okay! His job is to help the Kings get better and, on a nightly basis, he's not disappointing. Gush, gush, gush.

Erik Ersberg gets another win putting the Kings on a 3-game winning streak. I would be shocked if Jason LaBarbera got put back in net for the next game. There really is no reason for a goalie switch right now. Ersberg is doing well and he's getting great support from the rest of the team. The team that's on the ice right now is not the team that was there last season. I'm not talking about the names on the roster. I'm talking about the work ethic and desire to work as a team. They're the fundamentals of the game and they had been non-existent. I can't say enough about how happy I am to see my boys having their shit together on a nightly basis.

But, one certain defenseman did NOT have his ish together. Denis Gauthier. Really, dude, can you stop having defensive lapses? I'm not understanding why Terry Murray thinks Tom Preissing is a defensive liability when YOU'RE the one that's mishandling the puck at the most inopportune times!! Yeah, you can hit, but you need to work on the passing. One of those pesky fundamentals, right?

The game's goals all came in the first half of the game with three (3) in the first period alone. The backhalf of the game saw the Kings on their heels doing what they could to stave off the Stars. I'm pretty sure the Kings had zero (0!) shots on net in the latter half of the third period and all of the OT frame. What's up with that? Seriously. How can you get a win with no shots on net? Answer: the shootout.

This marked the longest shootout of the season so far going five (5) rounds. The first three shooters were Patrick O'Sullivan, Wayne Simmonds, and Anze Kopitar. Sully, please get another shootout move. Marty Turco knows exactly what you're going to do; he's not an idiot. Simmonds scored on a beauty of a backhand and Kopi was blocked. The fourth round saw Doughty, but he got super fancy with the puck and wasn't able to get a decent shot off. No matter, Alexander Frolov brought home the bacon with his shot and the Stars left LA with only one point. Thursday the Kings face the Stars again, this time at the American Airlines Center. Fingers crossed.

P.S. Hey, Dallas fans. Why are you paying Sean Avery so much money again?


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.18

Monday, November 10, 2008

This episode marked the start of Erik Ersberg in the net for the Kings. Marie and I relive the past week and the Kings’ three games against Anaheim, Florida, and St. Louis. We then look ahead to the next three, which has the Kings going against Dallas twice and Nashville once. Marie gives the listener a bit more of her mind concerning the Rinkside View that a FSN executive producer is pressing upon the unwilling viewers. We give props to our Player of the Week and end with the usual business.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at Kings World Podcast.

We welcome any and all feedback! Please direct any questions, comments, or thoughts to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


You're My Boy, Drew; Kings 5, Blues 3

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Los Angeles Kings faced off against the St. Louis Blues last night and my boys got two more points to get out of 5th in the Pacific Division. They've also won two in a row, which may seem pathetic, I know, but really, it's the Kings. I have to take the positives where I can. This is actually going to be an abbreviated review since I have stuff to do today and don't have too much time here. Busting out the list format while dropping the wicked beats (...was that nerdy?....):

  • Drew Doughty got a goal and an assist while logging in 25:09 of ice time. I don't think he needs his ego fluffed up anymore this week.
  • Anze Kopitar finally scored his second goal of the season. He really needed this and it was an absolute beauty of a goal. To watch him take the put around the back of the net and beat Manny Legace before he could shift over the left side of the net was fantastic. He finished off the rest of the game getting 2 assists.
  • Alexander Frolov, Tom Preissing, and Dustin Brown all got a goal and an assist as well.
  • This was definitely a more exciting game than the last one against the Florida Panthers. The Blues were able to get on the board with 3 goals of their own, but we clinched the game with an empty-netter with less than 2 minutes to go.
  • It was nice to see Sean O'Donnell sticking up for his teammates in the middle of the third period. Peter Harrold had gotten his second hit to his head of the game and O'Donnell wasn't going to let the Blues goes quietly into the night.
  • I would also like to give the standard golf clap to Erik Ersberg. This was his third start and he's looked pretty damn good in all three games. Note (which I've already told 1/2 of KingsCast): if you pick up Ersberg as a goalie in your fantasy league, don't be expecting great save percentage numbers. The Kings have been letting so few shots on goal that every goal Ersberg lets in drops that percentage severely. That being said, he's pretty solid otherwise for the wins and GAA numbers.
  • Last thing: three of the four goals last night were on the PP. Sweetness.
This has been a pretty good week for the Kings and I can only hope they continue the momentum through to the next week where we face the Dallas Stars twice and Nashville Predators. I would like to see Kopi and Patrick O'Sullivan get on the board in terms of goals for next week. Everyone else can continue in said fashion. Wait... I'd also like to see Kyle Calder elsewhere on the roster, like say, the 3rd or 4th line.


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