"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 13

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This week Finny and I are joined by Nadine of flyers.femme and Christina and Kerri of Some Like It Blue. We first go over the league-wide updates and then we review the games from the 2nd round. We finish by getting a true New York perspective of what exactly is on Jaromir Jagr’s face and how Sean Avery’s spleen is doing.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at http://imnotapuckbunny.podbean.com/

You can listen from the player under my picture to the left, subscribe to it on iTunes, or you can go to the above link and either listen from the site or download it.

As always please direct any questions, comments, complaints, thoughts, ideas, or rants to: imnotapuckbunny[at]gmail[dot]com.


Year-In-Review – 5 – Dan Cloutier & Daniel Taylor

Monday, April 28, 2008

Clouts... I don't even know anymore...

What can I say about Dan Cloutier that hasn’t already been said by everyone else? Does anyone in So Cal really want to read about him anymore? Let me see if I can keep this short and simple…


Okay, after staring at the blinking cursor for about a minute wondering what to write, I’ve come to the conclusion that Cloutier just needs to leave. He wore out his welcome a long time ago and was NOT a consummate professional in my eyes, even though he was getting paid like he was actually a professional athlete. After Barbs was injured and Aubin took the reins, the Kings decided to try and give Cloutier another go with the big boys. Okay, I’ll admit that he played well in a couple of games. But that’s it. A couple of games isn't gonna cut it. Especially not in LA where goaltending has been such a sensitive issue.

Everyone knows he came out with a less-than-stellar interview earlier in the year and then reiterated (and elaborated) on his treatment from the Kings organization, which immediately responded with their side on the matters Clouts spoke about. The relationship between him and the fans is not so great (even though I’ve heard he’s really nice in person), which isn’t surprising seeing as how much baggage Clouts has amassed here and in terms of his numbers on the ice. During his time spent in Manchester after recovering from surgery, he recorded 4 wins, 9 losses. Playing in a Kings jersey, he tallied 2 wins, 4 losses, and 1 overtime loss in 9 games. Obviously not stellar and after his interview with the Vancouver Sun I felt like he was just this gigantic elephant in the room. Since we didn't hear anything come out after the interview, I'm thinking that the situation was dealt with behind closed doors, which seems to have been the case since the team ended the season without another incident of that nature occurring again. But since he expressed interest in playing for another club (and, more importantly, not under 25 years of age), I don't see him returning to the bright lights of Hollywood and that's fine with me.


Taylor has yet to show us what he can do

At the very end of the season, Clouts was out for a couple of games with another injury, which brought out Daniel Taylor from the ranks within the Kings’ system. He spent some of the season with the Reading Royals getting 3 wins, a 2.63 GAA, and a .917 save percentage. He also played in Manchester for 23 games where he went 13-5-2-4 with a 2.40 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He then was recalled to the Kings and actually came in relief for a game where he, unfortunately, was scored on on the first shot he faced. In that one game he faced 10 shots, let in 2, got a .800 GAA, and a 6.00 save percentage. I'm not gonna hold too much against him for those stats with the Kings since he didn't start that particular outing and it was only one game!

He is currently with the Reading Royals in their playoff run. They've advanced to the second round and so far, in the playoffs, he has gone 5-3-0-0 in 8 games getting a 2.66 GAA, and a .899 save percentage. I see Taylor perhaps making a semi-permanent home in Manchester next season since he won't be able to outplay Barbs, Ersberg, or Bernier at the training camp. I don't want to say I'm discounting him, but I just don't think he's ready with those aforementioned 3 going for the #1 and #2 spots with the Kings. If my presumption is correct, then one of those 3 will go to Manchester and either Taylor or Quick will play backup goaltender. And then either Taylor or Quick will go to Reading...OR to the Ontario Reign. The addition of another ECHL affiliate makes for perhaps an interesting twist to who will play netminder there and in Reading since Ontario, CA is MUCH closer than Reading, PA. I'm definitely curious to see who will be on that roster.


Year-In-Review – 4 – J.S. Aubin & Jonathan Quick

Saturday, April 26, 2008

(Juan Ocampo/Getty Images)
At least the mask was pretty cool.

I'm not sure I have too much to say on Monsieur Amp Energy. He was signed for a 1-year deal for $500,000, which some might say would be a bargain. I’m no wizard at etymology, but the word “bargain” has the word “gain” in it; any idiot can see that. I bring this up because I fail to see the “gain” the Kings had in signing J. S. Aubin. I can be a jerk and say this retrospectively because he didn’t do a whole lot in terms of his netminding. At the time of his signing I’m sure he had his purpose, but at the end of the day I’m not sure if he fulfilled said purpose. I will repeat the comment Teebz said a couple months ago in that Aubin was “a bag of crap.” Fantastic.

I'm not sure if I'm seeing things, but Aubin's stats look odd in that his wins, losses, and ties don't add up to how many games he's supposedly played. But, then again, he and Barbs switched it up a lot in the middle of games, so the stat could be true. Whatever, he played in 19 games for the Kings with 5 wins, 6 losses, and 1 overtime loss, while posting a 3.19 GAA, and a .886 save percentage.

I think one thing that stood out to me was that he was physically so much smaller than Barbs. I concluded that since he couldn’t take up as much space in the net, that he wouldn’t be as good as Barbs. Even though both trains of thought were accurate, the latter did not happen because of the former. Aubin just wasn’t as good as Barbs and everyone could see that. But I don’t want to completely discount him; I mean, he’s Mr. Amp with the francophone accent. I’m not gonna lie, I was always nervous to see Aubin either come in relief for Barbs or start a game (a.k.a. whenever he was in goal). For some reason, I never had the full confidence in him to keep pucks out of the net. The whole rotating the tandem in net was lame because it was abundantly clear who the number one was! Barbs backstopped the Monarchs in their playoffs run the previous season and Aubin was a free agent signing. We weren’t in the situation like Detroit was where they had a 1A and 1B. No, this was a clear #1 and #2.

December was a pretty cruel month with Aubin in net for half of it. After looking at the stats for the first couple of games, I realized that I didn't want to look at all of them because I'd just get more depressed. So let's just say that for the whole month the goaltending picture was pretty bad. During this time, Jonathan Quick was brought in to fill the backup role for just three (3) games. In that time he had one win and two losses, a 3.83 GAA, and a .855 save percentage.
Too much booty in the pants

Quick’s first game was one that I actually had to catch on the radio, which was unfortunate because the Kings went ahead and beat the living snot out of whichever team they were playing. I definitely can’t remember which team it was and don’t care to look it up. But this was Quick’s first NHL win so I extend a "good job" to him.

Quick played in 19 games with Manchester this season where he posted an 11-8-0-3, with a 2.32 GAA, and a .922 save percentage. He then played in one playoff game for the Monarchs where he and Jonathan Bernier were going back and forth in net. Quick lost his one game in net while getting a 1.02 GAA, and a .974 save percentage. I definitely hope that he can make a showing at the training camp at the end of summer, but I'm pretty sure he's gonna be reassigned to Manchester once the season starts.

Going back to Aubin, we all know that he was the subject of the first ever trade between the Kings and Ducks. He passed through waivers and was in Manchester up until February 26th, trade deadline day. He was sent to the Ducks roster and, in return, the Kings got a 7th round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft. Not as glamorous an ending as one would hope, but he’ll go down in history with this tidbit of information. He was then immediately sent to the AHL’s Portland Pirates to backstop them in their run for the Calder Cup. But the most comical thing for me was that he was recalled near the end of the NHL season to backup Jonas Hiller while J.S. Giguere was out with a back injury. Seeing him on the Ducks bench clad in Ducks gear was…. terrible (read: hilarious).


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 12

Thursday, April 24, 2008

For this week's episode Finny and I are joined by Steph of No Pun Intended and Cat of the Untypical Girls. I update the listeners on what's new around the league and then the four of us review the rest of the games that closed out the first round of the playoffs and then preview the match ups for the second round. Talking not too coherently (at times) about the matchups and games takes us almost the whole way to the end of the podcast, so we end with some quick shoutouts and then sign off in a ... new way.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at http://imnotapuckbunny.podbean.com/

You can listen from the player under my picture to the left, subscribe to it on iTunes, or you can go to the above link and either listen from the site or download it.

As always please direct any questions, comments, complaints, thoughts, ideas, or rants to: imnotapuckbunny[at]gmail[dot]com.


Year-In-Review – 3 – Jason LaBarbera

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

(Bernstein Associates/Getty Images)
Good Ole Barbs

I’m not sure how to really tackle the goalie situation because there are seven (7) to talk about. Perhaps I'll speak of them by tandem…or however I feel like it. But let’s first review the goalies that have guarded our poor pipes this season.

For how much talk there is about how we need goaltending, we sure have a LOT of netminders to choose from. That being said, I don’t want to bag on any of the goalies that have been given time in LA this season because being a goalie is a thankless job sometimes. That is something that I'll fully acknowledge. Let's do a quick review of the netminders this season before I go in depth. Jason LaBarbera was the #1 for much of the season and as a goalie and a person he's totally chill. I honestly did feet bad when J.S. Aubin was placed on waivers and sent down to the AHL, but the numbers spoke for themselves; he was also the subject of the first ever trade between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, which produced quite a few laughs from yours truly. Jonathan Quick had some face time mid-season as did Jonathan Bernier at the beginning of the season. The two goalies dressed at the end of the season were Erik Ersberg and Dan Cloutier, the former being a relative unknown while the latter is well-known to Kings nation. Management had shown some faith with bring Clouts and his beach balls back to LA for another go. During the last couple of games, Clouts was temporarily sidelined and Daniel Taylor was recalled to be the bench warmer. Ersberg had been quite impressive, but I am annoyed that Kings fans have voted that they want Ersberg as the starting goalie for next year according to a poll done by lakings.com before the season even ended. Have they forgotten about Barbs? Have they so easily brushed aside his injured ribs and willingness to backstop a struggling defense?

I think doing this somewhat chronologically will be easier, but, as of this writing, Jonathan Bernier has just finished his short playoff run with the Manchester Monarchs against the Providence Bruins in the first round for the Calder Cup in the AHL. Even though he started the season in net for the Kings, I think I'll hold off on writing about him until I get to all the other goalies since he is the touted future and I have already (read: completely) bought in.

I'll start with Jason LaBarbera; the number one goalie for most of this season, and, on this site, is the resident snazzy dresser. He ended the season with 17 wins, 23 losses, 2 overtime losses,1 loss in the shootout, with a 3.00 GAA, and a .910 save percentage. Not terrible numbers when you consider who he was backstopping. (I don't mean to bag on my boys and be a jerk, but I can't help it. Maybe it won't be so bad if you think of it as more of me putting a mirror up to their season for them to see.) I felt like after Jonathan Bernier was sent back to Lewiston that maybe the Kings would be able to get their act together and help Barbs keep the puck out of their own net. They seemed to be doing well as October went along and somewhat into November. But that faithful day when the Kings played the Avalanche on December 1st proved to be the demise of the Kings' season. To keep a short story short, Ryan Smyth decided it'd be a good idea to spear Barbs in the third period. This put Barbs out for I can't even remember how long, which was beyond an unfortunate incident because it felt like this started the revolving door of goaltenders. But we're sticking with Barbs for the purposes of this post so let's continue.

I felt like Barbs was good but not particularly fantastic as Nabokov or Osgood was; but that's not to knock his effort this season. He did as well as he could considering how much the team in front of him was struggling with their own issues. This could be promising for next season if Barbs could stay healthy for all 82 games, which is hoping against hope because unless you're Nabby or Brodeur, you're gonna be sitting some games. This isn't necessarily too far of a stretch for Barbs either because if you look at the goaltenders in the first round of the playoffs, you see that there were some who were good in the regular season “but not fantastic,” and when they hit the first round, they played lights out (excluding a one Martin Gerber; but you can't blame him in his situation. The Senators have been their own soap opera this season). So Barbs could feasibly come back next season and play to his potential, but this is contingent on how he's feeling when training camp rolls around. I'm only wary because of the double hernia surgery that ended his season prematurely.

Out of all of the goaltenders this season manning the pipes, I felt like Barbs was a picture of “Old Faithful.” He took the Monarchs deep into the playoffs last season and was in LA making his case, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt, especially when he played like a number one goalie. It was comforting to see his purple pads in net warming up the exact same way every time Jim Fox was telling the viewing audience his stats. Going back to December 1st; I never had a dislike for Ryan Smyth. I really didn't; the only thing that really stood out to me when I heard his name was that he cried a shit ton when he was traded to the New York Islanders at the trade deadline in 2007. But after his spearing of my goalie, I will forever see him as a jerk. I felt like after Barbs' recovery from this injury he wasn't the same in net. He didn't have that same sharpness and confidence about him and it made me nervous and unhappy.

In conclusion, hopefully Barbs can get back on the horse and man the pipes behind a more confident team next season. I'm not sure who will make a killer showing at training camp, but it will definitely be interesting.


Year-In-Review – 2 – Coaching

Sunday, April 20, 2008

(Canadian Press)He does have a magnificent coif of hair.

Ahh, the topic of many conversations among Kings fans all season long. Marc Crawford, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks, was brought in to try to implement Dean Lombardi’s plan for the future while utilizing his extensive experience as a coach in the NHL. According to his stats, he’s not some schmoe behind the bench, but a large majority of the hockey-viewing population may think otherwise. Now we as fans have no idea what goes on in the locker room, but we are left to wonder what is going on when the players look lost on the ice. There were two long stretches in December where the team looked like it was on a permanent IV of valium that was being pumped into their systems. But, wouldn’t you know it, they bounce back on New Year’s Day with the biggest blowout of the season. This just illustrated to me that these players can fucking dominate when it’s functioning correctly. I mean, look at Detroit, the machine of machines. We can definitely play against them and be competent about it, but just not on a consistent basis. So what’s the mitigating factor in this situation? If you guessed “coaching,” well then you get a cookie. But it can’t all be blamed on Crow; there were so many free agents that came into this 07-08 season who were from different clubs, so it’s not surprising that the roster didn’t immediately mesh well. At the same time, it’s easy to retrospectively say that this outcome was predictable, but, to me, it wasn’t. Who knew the team would look like oil and water as opposed to mashed potatoes and gravy.

I wrote earlier in the season of my opinions on Marc Crawford and, after it was clear that he wasn’t going to be fired before the season ended, I realized that management has definitely bought into DL’s plan and has faith in his abilities to bring the Kings from out of the cellar. Crawford has proven in the past that he can win, granted that was with an all-star roster; the current Kings roster is filled with future all-stars, so I’ve come to realize that this might work. Maybe, just maybe, the players and coaching staff can prove their potential next year with less free agents and more homegrown goodness. Yes, we're still projected to have holes in next year’s roster, but it can't get any worse right? Back in December, I also wrote, “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.” I still believe this wholeheartedly and can accept that this “year-long project” is actually one that will take several years.

The question on everyone's mind: Should Crawford be fired? Umm, I'm going to go ahead and say no. Lombardi wants to build a specific system and to have a constant in a coach (and coaching staff) is something that a young team needs. What's the point of bringing in a new coach every year and giving them the ridiculous task of trying to get this roster to gel together? Who better to get these young kids to work together than a coach who has his name on the Cup? Questionable, you say? Yeah, I kind of agree with you. But is it really better to let him go and search within the slim pool of coaches this summer? What good is that going to do? I’m kind of on the fence with this whole situation with Crow behind the bench, but there are two thing that I wanted to address: (1) line combinations and (2) Steve Moore and Todd Bertuzzi.

1) Bottom line, I was not happy with his line juggling. They were ridiculous and annoying. I recall something that KingsCast said earlier this season basically wondering how Patrick O’Sullivan was supposed to grow if he was being moved around all the time. How is he supposed to grow as a player with a specific role when he’s being put on different line combinations on seemingly every other shift? Well, I can kind of accept Sully now since he grew into my Sophomore Stud (we’ll just discount the fact that his personality leaves much to be desired). Going back to the line juggling, after awhile I stopped getting pissed and just accepted them. The crazier they got, the more I laughed. There must have been a hat that had a permanent home on the bench with players’ names on slips of papers so that Crawford could just pull them out before the next line change. Who knows what exactly he was trying to do with his odd lines; trip the other teams up? Maybe, what would you do if you were a Dman looking at Handzus, Giuliano, and Brown? You'd be confused too, don't lie.

In an interview at the end of the season, he stated that with his lines, he was trying to find pairs that worked together as opposed to specific lines:

In this day in age with what you’ve got, and what I’ve always done, and you can look at any team that I have ever coached, most of the time it is twosomes.

I'll give him that in that we WOULD see pairs together most of the time, but, at the same time, we would see ridiculous combinations as well. For example, Kopitar, Ellis, and Willsie? (I don’t know if that was an actual line this year, but would you bet against me on that?) Tell me, where is the pairing in that one? What was that? Ellis and Willsie found themselves together on lines before? Did they? Whatever, I honestly couldn’t give less of a shit, Willsie is dead to me. Moving along.

2) Steve Moore and Todd Bertuzzi. Ok, everyone is sick of hearing/reading about this, so I’m not going to spend too much time on this one. But bottom line is that this whole ordeal could prove to become a distraction next season if it doesn’t get dealt with this summer, which it obviously won’t since it’s been 4 years already. But how is a coach supposed to devote the majority of his time and energy helping a young roster grow while he’s dealing with a ridiculous lawsuit? This one is open for debate and much eye-rolling. I’m just going to state my opinion now: Moore and Bertuzzi should deal with this like adults without dragging other people into their mess. Yes, it was an unfortunate situation for Moore since his NHL career was ended with that hit, but don’t blame Crow. Bertuzzi, you too, stop blaming Crow for what you did 4 years ago.

I'm pretty sure I could have written more on this topic, but I don't feel like writing a novel and I'm busy watching playoff hockey. I have a feeling that this topic will get revisited a few more times this summer and quite a number of times next season. Whatever happens, I'm hoping it will be less drama-filled because we will have a few homegrown kids coming into the lineup next season instead of veteran, free agent dudes who are baffled at the awesome weather in So Cal.


Condolences For Modry

Friday, April 18, 2008

I know he's not a part of the Kings roster anymore, but Jaroslav Modry is still connected to the Kings in that he is our Bill Masterton Trophy nomination. His father had been battling colon cancer for one year, which spanned the course of this entire season, and passed away on Wednesday, April 16th. He received the news that day but still played in Game 4 of the Flyers/Caps series on Thursday the 17th.

From NHL.com:

"Getting back on the ice definitely gets my mind off of it," Modry told NHL.com. "You know, I have too many thoughts racing through my head right now and to have an opportunity to concentrate on something as a team feels good. I need to get away from the sad thoughts."

He played in Thursday's (17th) game that went into the double overtime frame. Modry logged 23:55 in ice time while getting one (1) assist. That one assist was a very pretty pass to Ryan Carter who snapped it past Washington's Cristobal Huet. The Flyers end up winning the game 4-3 in double overtime.

My thoughts and condolences go out to Modry and his family for their loss.


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 11

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

For this episode, Finny and I are joined by special guest Elise from 18,568 Reasons Why and Christina from Some Like It Blue as we look at the games that have already taken place in the first round of the playoffs. But before we dive into those playoff games, I do a quick update on the Kings and on the teams that are not in the playoffs. We end with some quick discussions concerning reffing and the NHL television schedule, update the listeners on the Squee Bracket, and then we end with some shoutouts. Enjoy!

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at http://imnotapuckbunny.podbean.com/

You can listen from the player under my picture to the left, subscribe to it on iTunes, or you can go to the above link and either listen from the site or download it.

As always please direct any questions, comments, complaints, thoughts, ideas, or rants to: imnotapuckbunny[at]gmail[dot]com.


Year-In-Review – 1 – Management

Sunday, April 13, 2008

With the playoffs in full gear for the top 16 teams in the league, the Kings have been left on the outs. I think we all knew this was going to be the reality back in December when the Kings tallied a couple of losing streaks that seemed unending. But one positive from the latter half of the season was when the Kings left California on an 8-game road trip through the eastern (read: cold) states. Some of the boys in Manchester were called up sporadically throughout this trip and made quite a showing. But good things always come to an end and the Kings continued their mediocre play through the end of the season, which, honestly, couldn't come soon enough.

For this set of Year-In-Review posts, I will be specifically looking into the Kings’ management, coaching, goaltending, defense, and offense. I plan on this being an on-going project that will be in this specific order. I am fully aware that this will be a daunting, yet “fun” and informative, task that I'm hoping you all will join me on. So grab a beverage or five of your choice for this trip down memory lane.

(Getty Images)
I guess I should state specifically that I am full supporter of Dean Lombardi's plan for the Kings. I said it back in December and I'll say it again “DL knows what the hell he's doing.” He has more pieces to his puzzle possibly falling into place going into this off-season. The young core of this team has done a great job of coming together while growing individually as well. There is no doubt who will be running this team in the next few years. I don't think I've ever really doubted Lombardi's plan; I witnessed first-hand his success with the Sharks while living in northern California, which was painful to say the least. Knowing that he is now the mastermind behind this organization's rebuild makes me rest easy. Now, if I were a fan in Toronto, I'd be in a different pot of crap. But I'm a couple thousand miles away in sunny So Cal liking where I am, where this organization's headed, and am in full support.

There have been various times throughout the season where the firing of DL became the topic of choice. His decisions regarding everything had been questioned. One that bothered me was when I heard the various jeers of DL's decision to draft Thomas Hickey, I thought, “C'mon, he really can't be THAT terrible.” Being projected to go in the double digits, DL picked him up fourth (4th) overall, which leads me to want to say, “C'mon people, there's a reason why DL wanted him.” Lo and behold, less than a year later Hickey is a certified badass. Need proof? Go check out the Seattle Thunderbirds and see what their team captain has contributed this past season.

People have already started predicting what holes are going to be filled for next year's roster, which I have admittedly done myself. But I'm a self-proclaimed terrible predictor, so I'm not even going to attempt at writing anything down. I prefer to just think about what lines could feasibly work. Now I don't want to blindly hand over my confidence to DL in his decision-making process, but I think I'd be comfortable in doing so. I know I've thrown hissy fits over the course of this season (see: texts to KingsCast) over various player transactions, but at the end of the day I realized that there was a specific reason for every one of his decisions.

As a sidenote: While I'm on the topic that is separate from the players on the roster, I'd like to revisit a specific article from March 5th, 2008, in which columnist Steve Dilbeck of the Daily News brought the issue of ownership to the forefront. In "It's time for Kings' owner to pass the puck," he stated that AEG’s Phil Anschutz should sell the team for the betterment of the franchise. He did raise a couple of valid points, but at the same time, how much does ownership really factor into how well a team is performing? (For a passionately stated opinion, please visit RudyKelly over at Battle of California.) Personally, I don’t see how Anschutz or his lack of presence is affecting the Kings. From everything I’ve heard this year, Lombardi had basically been given carte blanche; he received the okay to spend up to the cap in terms of salary if need be, he went and relieved many within the organization of their duties, and, to my knowledge, hasn’t had any restrictions placed on him in terms of his duties as acting President and GM of the Los Angeles Kings. Near the end of his article Dilbeck stated:

"I asked to speak to Anschutz for this column and was told it wouldn't happen. No surprise.

I asked to speak to Leiweke and was told he was out of town. No surprise there, either. Poor Lombardi had to speak for the organization, and he has been around for less than two years."

I would actually think it very odd if Anschutz came around and spoke about the Kings. I’d wonder why in the world he was talking about a team that he doesn’t have an influence over like DL does every hour of every day, which is separate from the fact that Anschutz owns the company that owns the franchise. I would also wonder where DL was and why he was not in front of the camera answering any and all questions thrown his way. Dilbeck’s point of DL only being around for two years, in my opinion, doesn’t hold a lot of water. Don’t you think he’d be the best to answer questions about a team that HE IS BUILDING? This is his plan, his vision. I would expect no one else to come out and speak competently about what the direction the Kings are headed in. I'm not exactly sure what Dilbeck was trying to do with his piece besides annoy a lot of people.

DL obviously doesn't have to worry about whether or not he'll still be employed by the Kings next year because that's a given. I knew he wasn't going to get fired this season and I'm positive he's gonna be around for next season as well. One thing I'm really excited about being a season ticket holder next season is that I'll be able to hear straight from DL's mouth about his plans for the roster and what's constantly on the horizon.


Brian Engblom's Rocking Hair

Friday, April 11, 2008

The ageless coif of hair

I'm always amazed at how...awesome Brian Engblom's hair is. It looks so terrible, but it's looked this way for so long. Is it a wig or is it actually real? I saw that he had a wedding ring on; does his wife REALLY approve of him leaving the house like this? Or is it just because this is the epitome of Brian Engblom? I guess... he would look even weirder with a different haircut. It would take a bomb stylist to change his hair to match the present year (2008, not 1987), but I think he'd still be judged. It appears that he's in a Catch-22. Thoughts?


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 9 & 10

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Finny and I have combined the end of the season episode (9) with our first playoff episode (10).

In Episode 9 we recap the last two games of the season for the Kings and Ducks. We touch on the NHL draft lottery and I wrap the end of the Kings season with the team awards and updates. We finish off with a quick mailbag with a question about our knowledge of hockey.

In Episode 10 we are joined by Cat and Acid Queen as we take a look at the 1st round matchups in the playoffs. I also tell the listeners which team I will be following throughout the playoffs and which I've picked as my Sweetheart/Dark Horse team (although if you listen closely, I actually say an interesting combination of those two words). Acid Queen and I focus on the Eastern Conference while Cat and Finny take a look at the Western Conference.

We then present our picks for the HLOG Squee Cup, which is our fun bracket to go along with our official brackets. To check out who we each picked, ya gotta listen to the episode. =)

Check us out at our respective blogs and at http://imnotapuckbunny.podbean.com/

You can listen from the player under my picture to the left, subscribe to it on iTunes, or you can go to the above link and either listen from the site or download it.

As always please direct any questions, comments, complaints, thoughts, ideas, or rants to: imnotapuckbunny@gmail.com.


Round #1 Predictions

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I figured since everyone and their pimps are making predictions, I might as well do one myself. So here are my predictions for the first round.

Western Conference

Detroit vs. Nashville
Detroit has been utterly ridiculous this season, nixing their record against the teams in the Central Division. They clinched the President's Trophy once again and they're just truckin' along. I'm hoping they utterly dominate the playoffs, which they haven't the past couple of years. They have a fantastic lineup and an older, but wiser, goalie duo. But did anyone else think Nashville was going to sneak into the 8th spot? Shock to the system, but I gotta go with the boys in red:
Detroit in 5 games

San Jose vs. Calgary
Calgary has the potential to take this series. Kiprusoff, Phaneuf, and Iginla compared to Nabokov, Campbell, and Thornton. But with Huselius in a small slump and Marleau actually making a difference on the ice, this series win could go toward the northerly neighbors. So, as much as I HATE to say it:
San Jose in 6 games

Minnesota vs. Colorado
For some reason I see the Aves taking this one. I don't know why, I just feel it in my gut. Maybe it's Forsberg staring at me in my dreams with his creepy eyes while wearing his stupid Swedish Crocs; maybe it's Smyth threatening to spear me, who knows. But, don't worry Kirsten, I'll be cheering for Minny to take the series!! Even though I don't want it to be:
Colorado in 7 games

Anaheim vs. Dallas
This is another series where I'm thinking the team I loathe will advance. The Ducks have their big bodies on the ice that I'm hoping the Stars can trap the hell out of. The Stars have to also make sure Turco doesn't have a meltdown in the last 3 minutes of these games. I'm hoping:

Eastern Conference

Montreal vs. Boston
After watching the Habs play in person, I'm going with those Canadians all the way in this series. Kovalev is quite the understated-play maker and Carey Price is stellar in the net (with Halak as a very competent backup). Everyone's been talking about the comparisons to Dryden and Roy; I sure am curious to find out if the hype will hold that truth. It's been difficult to follow the Canadians here in So Cal, but they're on the map now and I'll be rooting for the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge. I'm not sure exactly how Boston got in that 8th seed. Who's scoring for them?? No question:
Montreal in 5 games

Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa
Pittsburgh is on a roll. A sweet Jonny Moseley dinner roll. They have some deadly snipers, sweet playmakers, and a solid goalie tandem. How can the slumping Senators get past that? I'm sorry, Sherry, but I don't see the Penguins bowing out in the first round. Sid the Kid carrying the:
Penguins in 5 games

Washington vs. Philadelphia

I am so happy the Caps made it to the post-season!! Not only did they make it to the playoffs, they were the 8th seed before the last game of the season; when that game was won, they took over the Southeast Division, moved into the 3rd seed, and gained home ice advantage. Carolina was ousted and AO will have the opportunity to shine in the playoffs. The Caps are going into the first round with a momentum that some clubs could only hope for (i.e. Ottawa, New Jersey, Stars), and with the additions of Huet and Fedorov at the trade deadline, I'll be surprised if they don't take this series. Philly, oh Philly. You haven't been taking care of Modry!! How can you let him become a Minus 11 player?? I'm sorry, Mo, but it's gotta be:
Washington in 6 games

New Jersey vs. Rangers

Like KMS2, I also don't care about this series. These teams just aren't exciting to me. What is New York doing with their roster of superstars? Did Jagr's mojo leave when his mullet was chopped off? I will say that I think Brodeur's style is interesting to watch. Since it's the age of the butterfly goalie, it's always intriguing to see someone who doesn't follow that path. But... yeah... that's all I got.
New Jersey in 7 games

Good luck to all the teams in the first round!


#2 Overall Pick

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Kings have the second overall pick for the 2008 Entry Draft. I am definitely fine with this since the Kings had a shot at the top 3 overall picks. Having the second pick means that Kings fans don't have the right to be upset at Lombardi for not drafting Steven Stamkos, which was not going to happen. If we had gotten the first pick, I could have seen Lombardi trading down and getting another high pick as well as having the pick that he wanted. Now we have the opportunity to get the DEFENSIVE PLAYER that we need to fill another hole on the roster.

According to Central Scouting and their most recent rankings:

1) Steven Stamkos (C), Sarnia Sting
2) Zach Bogosian (D), Peterborough Petes
3) Drew Doughty (D), Guelph Storm
4) Alex Pietrangelo (D), Niagara Ice Dogs MONO
5) Nikita Filatov (LW), Russian Central Army
6) Luke Schenn (D), Kelona Rockets
7) Mikkel Boedker (LW), Kitchener Rangers
8) Colin Wilson (C), Team USA/Boston University
9) Tyler Myers (D), Kelowna Rockets
10) Cody Hodgson (C), Brampton Battalion

In the way Tampa Bay's representative Dave Andreychuk was talking, he seemed very intent on going with Stamkos in June, which means that Lombardi has top pick among ALL of the available defensemen. I personally want Luke Schenn. He's the player we need on the blueline with his size and role that he plays for Kelowna.

I wanted to end by saying that I LOVE Canadian coverage of hockey. TSN makes even the lottery seem so epic, which, for the teams ranked 25-30, was the case.

Dean, it's time to make it happen.


Purcell Is The Stud Of The Year

Friday, April 4, 2008

Uhh well, actually he's the AHL Rookie of the Year. But it's the same thing right?

He's too sexy for his teeth.

It was announced today that Teddy was the recipient of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Award. It's news like this that makes me not hit the bottle on a daily basis. I'll speak more on Purcell in my end-of-the-year reviews, but I just needed to announce this because he's awesome, basically.


Scoring By Committee

Thursday, April 3, 2008

With the Kings in their second to last game of the season facing the Sharks, I thought this was going to be another game in this 82-game schedule that would have a predictable ending. The Sharks had been on an 18-0-2 tear through the league, but the Kings didn't let the Sharks utterly dominate the game. The Kings played disciplined hockey by not taking any penalties in the first 40 minutes and they were only short-handed for a short stint in the third frame when the Sharks scored a power play goal when Frolov took hooking penalty. I can't actually remember the last time I saw him in the box. (Sully actually took a 10-minute misconduct after a whistle and was out for the last 5 minutes of the game.)

This whole idea of scoring by committee comes into play with Brian Freaking Willsie getting his 3rd goal of the season with a rebound at the beginning of the second period. Ivanans gets his 6th goal of the season from an assist by Frolov and, awesomely enough, it looked almost like a carbon copy of the goal from Tuesday night. Frolov from the back of the net snipes a pass around the right side of Nabokov, Ivanans picks it up, and sends it to the back of the net. He actually gets 9 minutes of ice time without taking any penalties! Raitis, what's going on?! But the game wouldn't be complete without a goal and an empty-netter from the Kings resident-leading scorer Kopi (31, 32).

Highlights of the game:
- Ivanans doing a pre-game interview with the trademark scowl on his face the whole time.
- Cammy blowing a huge snot rocket on the bench.
- Ivanans getting his 6th goal.
- Post-game interview with Frolov.

Score: Kings 4, Sharks 2


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 8

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In Episode 8 Finny and I are joined by Sherry of Scarlett Ice as we talk about the Ducks and the Kings nearing the end of their season. The game recaps are followed by a birthday wish to Mr. Hockey and some swooning over highlight goals from the night of Tuesday, April 1st. Then we finish off with another quirky edition of Off Ice: Awards Edition where instead of choosing the traditional end-of-the-year awards, we make up our own to give out to our respective teams.

Check us out at our respective blogs and at http://imnotapuckbunny.podbean.com/

You can listen from the player under my picture to the left, subscribe to it on iTunes, or you can go to the above link and either listen from the site or download it.

As always please direct any questions, comments, complaints, thoughts, ideas, or rants to: imnotapuckbunny@gmail.com.


AO is Rediculous

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tonight Alexander Ovechkin has tied the league record of the most goals in a season by a left wing. Who did he tie, you ask?


Lucky posted that record in the 1992-1993 season (63-62-125). AO scored his 63rd in the third period of the game on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. This victory over the Canes has kept the Caps' playoff hopes alive. Washington now has two (2) more games to play. Maybe if AO is kept off the score sheet for the next two games, Lucky can quasi-keep his record! Am I pulling at straws? I don't care. It's the little things that are still keeping me alive. Not afloat. ALIVE.

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)CONGRATS, AO!

Hey, Frenchman, yeah, you with those ridiculous-looking pads, why couldn't you be this good when you were with the Kings? I'm just asking. I feel I deserve some answers.


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