Vote NO on Peter Harrold: Canucks 4, Kings 0

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Vancouver Canucks rolled into Staples Center looking for two points, which they easily took from us. Not to say that I was predicting the Kings to win, but if the Kings came out and played well, we could have had the two points instead. Coulda woulda shoulda.

For this game I was sitting in section 108 with a group of women that I did a beginner’s workshop with back in July. We learned to play hockey together and I’m now an alternate for the team that was formed from the workshop. It was good times except that a certain someone and her guest were hammered and it was clear that she didn’t go to too many Kings games or else she would have realized that you don’t need to scream “GO KINGS!” every time they have possession. But good times nonetheless! I must admit, the view from that section left much to be desired. I could only really see clear plays when the puck was on my side of the rink; other than that, I had to look at the jumbo tron to watch the plays. This was also a bit difficult since the person wielding the camera must have been stoned because the camera had difficultly following the puck and anticipating the action on the ice. Maybe the dude with that job was new at it, I have no idea. But the everything combined made it difficult for me to get really involved with the game, which turned out to actually be a good thing since the Kings were taken to task by the Canucks.

List of notables:

  • Roberto Luongo is really good. On one play, Drew Doughty took the puck in deep into the offensive zone all the way behind Luongo, made a sharp pass to the front of the net where Oscar Moller was waiting, and Luongo absolutely robbed my poor rookies.
  • The second line suffered with Kyle Calder in for Patrick O’Sullivan.
  • Peter Harrold is not doing well. Plain and simple; he needs work. When Jack Johnson gets back in the lineup, Harrold can go to Manchester. For now, please, please, please put back in Tom Preissing so that he can be the point man on the 2nd PP unit. I can’t handle this anymore.
  • I don’t know what to say about the goaltending anymore. I know Terry Murray wants to keep going with Jason LaBarbera, but can’t Erik Ersberg get at least one start in the next couple of games?
  • After hearing all this talk about Kyle Wellwood, I was finally gonna get a chance to see him play in person. First off, he’s tiny even though he appears to be bacon on skates. He just doesn’t look to be fit as do other smaller players such as Danny Briere, Michael Cammalleri, and Jiri Hudler. It was the oddest thing to see him skating around during warm-ups. He also has very feminine facial features, which took me by surprise and I couldn’t focus on anything else really except that he creeped me out a bit.
So the Kings obviously were shutout but had almost 30 shots on net. I’m very interested in Terry Murray’s next move...


I Think I Have An Ulcer: Red Wings 4, Kings 3 (SO)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whenever the Kings play the Detroit Red Wings, there is always a feeling of dread that accompanies that thought. But, first off, I must say how glad I am to have watched this gave live instead of at home on the Rinkside View, which is horrific! In my very quick (a.k.a. lazy) search, I couldn't find any Rinkside View images. It's just as well; it's horrible and should be stricken from the record.

Getting to the actual game, the closer it got to the puck drop, the more worried I was getting. We were facing the Cup champs who had added Marian Hossa, you know, just as an addendum. My thought at the first faceoff? "Wow, let me go pee my pants actually." I think the most surprising move that Detroit made was putting Chris Osgood in net instead of Ty Conklin. First off, I'm always surprised when teams put their number one against my team; and secondly, I really wanted to see Conks play. I've seen Osgood play my team enough times; put in Conks next time!

(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Yes, Moller is the real deal

Even though there was a concerted effort from the Kings, the top guns were definitely not performing at their top speed. Anze Kopitar has been lacking in the points production and creativity. Dustin Brown had 23:05 of TOI, 6 hits, no points, but was a +1. Patrick O'Sullivan had 18:39 of TOI but was pretty quiet as well. My offensive guns were lagging a bit in this game, but I'm so happy that we have enough depth to where this isn't a problem in the early goings. At the same time, I could only imagine how much better everything could be if all of our lines are rolling together consistently.

In looking at the other lines, I'm not sure which line had more punch, the 2nd or 3rd. I'm going to argue that it was the 3rd line in that all three players were working their tails off whereas one third of the 2nd line was a bit invisible. As much as I love Alexander Frolov on the 3rd line and what he's doing, I'm sad at the same time. He's not really scoring at his regular clip and his offensive opportunities have been severely limited. I'm not surprised; it's just a bit hard to see him in a role change since I know he has the capability to put numbers up. That being said, he did score on Osgood, which I was extremely happy about. Question: What if Terry Murray tried Fro up on the top line with Kyle Calder/Matt Moulson on the left wing of the 3rd line? Worth a shot?

Jarett Stoll ended the night with a -1 but his contributions were shown elsewhere. He was 75% in the faceoff circle winning 15 and losing only 5. He was definitely fighting hard for every single faceoff he took, which was very nice to see; not that I'm saying he takes draws off sometimes. It's just that it's Detroit and there is a very, very large microscope on every single Red Wings game. When I watched the NHL Network's highlights after I returned to my humble abode, I thought they spent an ungodly amount of time reviewing this game. But then I remembered that it was because they were playing the Red Wings. Would they have spent that much time on the Kings if they were playing, say, the Florida Panthers? I think not.

Another player who had a great game was actually Kyle Quincey, our waiver wire acquisition from the Red Wings. He was playing a physical and intelligent game, and everything he was doing looked great. There's no one play I can thing of right now, but he just had a solid outing and I'm very happy with him. Speaking of, I'm also very happy with Sean O'Donnell. He's only done good things out there since he's joined the Kings. When I find myself surprised that he's still a physical player, I just remind myself that he used to play for the wretched Ducks. Getting back to the happy, I was super happy to see Brad Stuart again. B-Stu! Someone in my section yelled out that he sucked and I looked at KingsCast and said, "Actually... he doesn't..." *pout pout pout*

(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Are these guys really that good? I mean, c'mon.. really... hello...??

This brings us to: Denis Gauthier. Ahhh, Gauts. You're on the left side with the center of the ice wide open with less than two minutes to go in the 3rd period and your team is up by one. Why in god's name did you pass up the middle? This turnover cost us the game. It literally did. How many people expect their respective goalie to stop a Valtteri Filppula breakaway? Yeah, I didn't expect Jason LaBarbera to stop that either. There were at least two other options to make with that pass, instead you go with the third and incorrect choice. I know he feels horrible about the pass; his actions after the goal was scored weren't lost on me. But still, the game was at an elevated stress level for me as it was, and watching Filppula snag the puck and charge toward Barbs was a downright heart breaker.

The Overtime frame was five minutes of ridiculousness. I'm sure the acids in my stomach were taking over and churning and churning and churning because I had a tummy ache for the rest of the evening. Ugh. So OT ends and they scrape the ice for the shootout. This was about the time where I knew we had lost. I was predicting that it was going to be Brownie, probably Moller, and Calder for the Kings and Henrik Zetterberg, Hossa, and Pavel Datsyuk for the Red Wings. I'm not sure if I got Calder right since we didn't even make it to the third round. Osgood essentially shoved his pads down Brownie's and Moller's throats while Datsyuk and Zetterberg gave Barbs a good ole "hello nurse" with their respective dekes.

Not surprisingly the Kings end with less than 20 shots on, while the Red Wings had 37. All in all, I thought the Kings played really well against the Red Wings. There were some great plays throughout the entire game with virtually none in the first period. Actually, the first half of the first period saw almost no offensive jump from either team, but the teams busted out some sick moves here and there by the end and got the energy in the arena up. In the end, it was a good game for both sides. I just wish we had came away with the two points.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.16

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Marie and I are back and we get down to business in this episode. We review the past three games where the Kings faced off against Colorado, St. Louis, and Nashville. If you think we were completely okay with the game against Nashville not being aired, guess again. Much thanks to the NHL for, once again, rendering both teams irrelevant. We then preview the games for this coming week against Detroit, Vancouver, and Calgary. Will Michael Cammalleri be booed or hear some cheers from Kings fans? Your guess is as good as ours! Please listen in because the Player Of The Week is well deserving of his props. Enjoy!

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.


Kings Shutout St. Louis Blues 4-0

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Kings traveled to St. Louis to play the Blues and I had a few concerns going into this game: (1) Matt Moulson was benched for Kyle Calder, (2) Tom Preissing was benched for Peter Harrold, (3) the Blues have the #1 power play in the league and the Kings have the #1 penalty kill. It's definitely strange to think of these two teams doing this well on the specialtly teams, but that was the case and I was really nervous because I didn't want the Kings to end this game not 100% on the PK. But if they had to be scored on, I would have accepted it coming from the team with the top PP in the league. If you're gonna take it from someone, might as well be the best.

Overall this game was pretty great for the Kings. Not only did they dominate on the scoreboard, they took over on the ice for all three periods. To cap off the they game, they get their first shutout of the season! Well, that was a small fib; they didn't completely dominate all three periods. The start of the game saw the Kings take a bit of time to figure out how to play in the neutral zone. This wasn't a new occurrence since we've seen this in their other games this season. They're able to get the puck out of their zone, but get immediately shutdown by the offense of the other team once they get into the neutral zone. One they figure out how to start a game with this problem already figured out, they'll automatically come out with more confidence.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Look at him go!

This game saw everything but the Blues scoring. There were plenty of fights and penalties on both sides. The bout between Sean O'Donnell and Cam Janssen was cringe-worthy since Janssen gave O'Donnell about 73 left jabs to the head. Eeee. Interestingly enough, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Greene, and Brad Richardson got the other fights of the evening with Raitis Ivanans only being called for roughing in one of the scrums. At the end of the evening, the Kings are still perfect on the PK and have killed off 27 of 27 penalties. Now that there is only one other team in the league who is 100% on the PK (Minnesota Wild), I get incresingly nervous with each penalty the Kings have to kill. I like the big, round number of 100%. Other things that are big and round that I like: a fresh Noah's bagel, those jumbo novelty tennis balls that you get players to sign, Kevin Smith, etc.

Kyle Quincey opened up the scoring with a lob from the blueline, which was his first while wearing the Purple and Black (or in this case, purple and white). As great as that was to get on the board, Patrick O'Sullivan's corralling of the puck and sending it past Manny Legace was exactly what I expect from him. He's getting his work done and making a difference every time he's out on the ice. But Mr. No Personality still surprises me with his lack of outward emotion when someone takes a run at him. He just blankly looks around. Do you not have feelings Sully? Anyway, the Blues then debut Ben Bishop who is a whopping 6'7" since Legace injured himself stepping out onto the ice for the start of the game. He was a giant in the net and making anyone under 6 feet tall look like a little kid. He was doing well until Jarret Stoll got a Dustin Brown rebound and wristed it to the back of the net. Easy stuff.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
They love each other lots and lots

Once again, I gotta give props to the checking line. They're looking good out there for almost every single shift. I can't say enough good things about them, bla, bla, bla, boring, boring, snore. Speaking of props, I will grudgingly give a nod to Calder. He was out there doing what he was supposed to be doing, being scrappy and helping to create some room for Brownie and Anze Kopitar. I will also say that Harrold was not horrible either. He wasn't fantastic or anything, but he wasn't tripping over the blueline, which I predicted he would do a few times. He blended in pretty well with the other guys on D, but I'd like Tommy P out there tomorrow. Wait... did he and Moulson travel with the team out on this quick road trip or not? Bah.

So this puts the Kings at 3-3-0, which I'm very happy about. I just hope they can continue this into Nashville. We all know what happened last season. I still have nightmares. But this game ends with another great stat. The Kings had 29 shots on net while the Blues only had 15. Not only are the Kings still on top with their PK, they're doing well getting pucks to the net! So good job, Kings, and congrats to Jason LaBarbera on the win and shutout!


New Layout Gloriousness

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Welcome everyone, to my new layout! I hope it’s much more appealing to your eye than what it was before. My little bloggy blog is almost a year old and I’ve wanted to give it a facelift for awhile. I figured now would be a great time since my old template was becoming more and more obsolete. Out with the old, in with the new, for sure. (Although that doesn’t seem to be the case with the top line for tomorrow’s game. Kyle Calder in for Matt Moulson?! *puke*)

I have made a few changes in the sidebar as well, nothing too drastic though. I just needed to clean up all that business on the side and tidy it up a bit. Throw on a bit of rouge, some high heels, and we’re in business.

So, if you've tried and been rejected, then you know that the comments link is still not working!!! Apparently this isn't an isolated incident, so I know it's not me! If this issue isn't resolved soon, I will get very, very angry. Hulk style. Until then, if you REALLY want to get a hold of me, please email me: aqueenamongkingsblog[at]gmail[dot]com.

[Update:] The comments are finally working! If I see a Blogger employee on the street, I will go Milan Lucic on them.


Sad Face

It has been brought to my attention that my comments link doesn't work now! I'm not sure what the problem is, but I'm hoping to have the issue resolved within the next calendar year. I kid, I kid. I've actually been having problems with the template as a whole for a bit of time now. Please bear with me as I try not to rip my hair out over this.

I'm very amused by the fact that this problem comes immediately following a post on blogs needing comments! You can cut the irony with a meat cleaver it's so thick. I just hope that Preissing wasn't trying to leave a comment.


Some Maple Leafs and Tommy P

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Here we are in the middle of a three-day period with no Kings games! Such a travesty! But there are two things I wanted to talk about for a bit. The first is the Toronto Maple Leafs and their game against the Anaheim Ducks. For a good rub down please visit my buddy Sleek and the tortured Pension Plan Puppets. In the game both teams were looking out of whack since both were suffering from discombobulated-line syndrome. I’m glad Ron Wilson is their coach and not Marc Crawford otherwise the Leafs would soon find Carlo Colaiacovo at the top line center with Nik Antropov masquerading as their nimble puck-moving defenseman. Anyway, the teams sashay their way into getting a few pucks to the back of the net with the ugliest being when George Parros got a breakaway. It was actually a nice goal, but it was ugly based solely on the fact that it was Parros. So the Leafs tie the game after some ridiculous scrambling in front of the Ducks’ net and they head to the overtime frame. One surprise of the game was that the Leafs held the Ducks to ZERO shots on in the third. But the most surprising and questionable incident came in the shootout.

Why, oh god, why, did Ron Wilson put Curtis Joseph in the net for the shootout when Vesa Toskala had been playing the prior 65 minutes? There have only been a few times where this has happened before, which should be an indication in and of itself. Vesa’s bad at the shootouts? Then leave him in there so he can get better! My California laid-back Finn should have been in net. Right when I saw Cujo skate over to the crease I knew the game was over. The feeling in my gut… could have been my dinner, but it was most likely the sinking feeling of knowing proof-positive that the Ducks were leaving ACC with two points. Perhaps their fortunes will change tomorrow when they go up against the Boston Bruins.

Onto item number 2! So the Kings have pleaded with asked Tom Preissing to do a guest column for them on their website. Interestingly enough, they call it the "Tom Preissing Blog." I was intrigued at first, but upon first glance, I realized that it was just a column written by our dear Tommy P. Of course I’m not knocking it; I’m doing just the opposite! It has great content and should be read. I’m just saying that they shouldn’t refer to it as a "blog" because it isn't one.

Why, you ask?

Well, I’m not going to go into what makes a blog a blog exactly, but there is one thing that is unique to blogs, which is what lies at the bottom of the page once the post ends. This space is reserved solely for readers who hopefully have an amusing response to something the writer may have talked about. The ability to leave a comment on what someone has written is essential to legitimizing a written piece as a quote/unquote blog. Once a reader comments, the writer can respond with a comment of his or her own. A rapport is created and voila! A dialogue and connection is formed between the reader and writer. Simple is as simple does.

I only have one gripe with Preissing writing on the Kings website. His entries are not technically "blogs." They're "posts!" What’s the point in calling it a "blog" besides the fact that it’s the sexy new word? Am I just niking picks at this point? Anyway, it is a known fact that Preissing is very well educated whose parents are also educators. Knowing that, you expect the posts to be well written and they are. In his most recent, I like that he actually understands how he’s supposed to be writing to the reader and not just spouting out a drab line to be used for quotations by the MSM later. There is none of: "You know, we came out really strong in the third period and we pulled through because all the guys are on the same page."

Instead you get:

I have to add that I spent a couple minutes in the penalty box in the 3rd period of the Carolina game and that has to be one of the biggest mood swings in sports. I got whistled at a time in the game where if Carolina would have scored, it would have been very difficult for us to come back. So I was sitting in the box, mad at myself…for those two minutes, every good play we make is a great play and every little mistake is magnified by 10. It seems to me that hockey is a real team game when your teammates are bailing you out of a situation you put them in. Believe me, no one in the rink is more nervous than the guy in the penalty box in the third period of a close game. Then, at the end of those two long, drawn out minutes…that elephant that has been weighing you down in the box hops off your back and you become one of the happiest people in that rink.

Now that’s a real quote with a real voice behind it. It also shows the reader that the player in the box is well aware what the hell is going on. I’m glad they picked Preissing to do this and not someone like Marcel Goc. His posts from last season have since been taken down off the Sharks' website, but they had Goc writing for them which was inadvertently funny because his English wasn’t all the great because it’s his second language. After awhile, I just read some of them if I wanted a good laugh. Also, go here for a good laugh.

So I just wanted to point this little tidbit because it’s Kings-related and it's some good insight. I’d go on the website and say, "Great post!" but there’s nowhere to comment!


Colorado Avalanche 4, LA Kings 3, Boo

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Entering the game last night, both the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche were on a two-game winning streak. Unfortunately, the Aves were able to finish the game ahead by one goal (4-3). I’m actually not upset with this loss. It could have been a lot worse when you think about the many “efforts” from last season. I love the games where the Kings go to the wire fighting; they didn’t let up but just couldn’t get the tying goal. This game reaffirmed that I hate Ryan Smyth and could just do without him. Send him to the Eastern Conference please. We don’t want his kind here.

I have to start by giving props to the second PP unit. Oscar Moller recorded his first NHL goal by shooting the puck at Peter Budaj who looked like he had the entire short side covered. I haven’t seen the replay on my DVR yet, so I’m not even sure what crevasse Moller found but it must have been perfect. High fives all around.

I think the funniest instance of the game was halfway into the first period when Alexander Frolov drew two penalties on one play. I knew I loved him for a reason. In the neutral zone, he stripped the puck away and got across the Aves’ blueline while getting slashed, continued on, and then drew another penalty (holding) but ended up missing the shot opportunity. I was really happy with this play because it was when the Kings were shorthanded on a Jarett Stoll holding penalty. The Kings are still 100% on their PK, and each penalty they take makes me more nervous. I want them to be the last team in the NHL to give up a goal while on the PK.

Speaking of Stoll, his faceoff percentage was stellar last night at 75% and Michal Handzus continues to impress with a 76 percentage. The hits are getting dished around by almost everyone on the roster. Matt Greene led the charge last night with 5, but the most interesting announcement came during a commercial break, but I wasn’t paying 100% attention so I may get the details of the foundation confused. It was announced that Dustin Brown will be donating $50 to the Kaboom Foundation for every hit he doles out this season, which the Kings will match once the season ends. I’m assuming he will get more hits this season than last (311), but let’s just equate that out. 311 hits multiplied by $50 equals $15,550. So he’s committed to, at the least, donating that amount, which I think is awesome. By the way, my Brownie jersey came in and it is beautiful.

Jason LaBarbera played the first two periods letting in some pretty soft goals especially in the second. I’m afraid to look at his GAA from last night but it can’t be good. He played 29:41 in net while letting in 4 goals on 14 shots. I think what amazes me more than that was that the Kings were able to hold off the Aves to just 16 shots over 60 minutes while getting 29 shots on Budaj. I was very impressed with their defensive work in the first period. But the second period seemed to show the Kings unraveling, which eerily reminded me of the second period of the game against Carolina. This is best illustrated by the shots on net; the Aves had 10 in the second while the Kings had 7. The first and third frames had the Kings getting more rubber towards Budaj.

Erik Ersberg made his season debut getting the third period to himself and seeing just 2 shots. There were definitely points at which I inhaled my breath sharply, but I’ll have more confidence once he starts a game from the beginning. He didn’t look terrible; but anything was better than Barbs at that point, which I hate saying. Something else I don’t like saying is that over the past two games, Matt Moulson’s TOI has been dwindling. He only played 13:35 last night, which I definitely noticed. I’m unsure what’s going to happen with him on the top line since Patrick O’Sullivan looks pretty good on the second line with Stoll and Moller. Another player who saw a severe drop off of TOI was Tom Preissing. He only had 9:38 on the ice, but I guess this makes sense now that he’s on the 3rd pairing. Conversely, the top four saw a lot of ice with Greene seeing a lot of glass as well. He was checked into the boards at one point and shattered the glass. This didn’t result in a momentum shift in the game; I just wanted to point it out.

[Update:] So apparently my assumption of Preissing limited ice time was real, but it wasn't because he was doing poorly. Here is a quick note from Rich Hammond. Hopefully it's nothing serious!

A milestone was achieved by the roster’s youngest occupant, Drew Doughty. After getting completely undressed by Smyth in the second period (“Welcome to the NHL, Drew”), Doughty got hold of the puck, burned through the Aves, and got his first NHL goal that went unassisted under Budaj’s glove, far side. It was a beauty of a goal, so congrats to him. The goal could have easily been an ugly, redirected shot, but Doughty wasn’t having any of that. He got his first goal in dramatic fashion with a rush of his own. I know he’s only 18, but if you want to see a smooth skater who can pivot and turn without breaking momentum, just watch him. He’s so graceful on his skates, and, yes, I’m completely stroking his ego.

The most nerve wracking moment of the game came at the very end with less than 30 seconds to go with the Kings down by one. The faceoff was being taken in the offensive zone with Ersberg pulled. The Kings had 6 forwards for the last shift: Stoll taking the faceoff, Handzus, Anze Kopitar, Brown, Frolov, and Sully. Budaj was probably peeing himself facing that much fire power for the last shift of the game. Unfortunately, Stoll didn’t win that faceoff and the Aves were eventually able to clear the puck. I wasn’t upset over this loss to the Aves. If anything, I’m happy they lost this way. They fought their way back after a less-than-stellar second period, and ended the game with a huge effort. One of the last charges into the offensive zone saw the Kings skating across the blueline four across with dramatic flair. If nothing else, my boys are very entertaining.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.15

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The season is in full swing and Marie and I finally have a substantial amount of regular season games to analyze. The Kings are not occupying the bottom of the Pacific Division and we are hoping the boys can continue this trend of not losing games. Some topics up for discussion were Alexander Frolov's move to the 3rd line, Matt Greene's contract extension, and the FSN Rinkside View. We introduce a new Player of the Week feature that will be carried on until the season ends. Please tune in to find out who that is this week and why.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at:

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


Kings Beat Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in Overtime

Saturday, October 18, 2008

For the second game in a row the Kings bring some excitement to Staples Center by ending the game against the Carolina Hurricanes in dramatic fashion. After the first goal of the game that got the Kings up in the first minute, the 4-3 OT win didn't actually hold a consistent tone since the tables tilted back and forth between the two teams. The Hurricanes were able to turn three (3) redirected shots into goals against for the Kings. The Kings' new system of converging in front of Jason LaBarbera is both good and bad. Good because they're helping out Barbs and blocking shots, but bad because they're creating more traffic in front of the net causing his vision to be limited from shooters from the outside. Even though there was a good sized number of people in attendance at Staples, the crowd didn't get into the game until about the latter end of the second period. The three goals against were a bit demoralizing because they were pretty ugly.

But the talk of the town was Michal Handzus. He scored less than a minute into the game and got the goal in OT for the two points. He had a fantastic game and I'm happy to see him doing better. He had 20:33 of TOI and I noticed him on every shift. He even was 65% on his faceoffs! This is a good trend for Handzus, and I hope this continues trending upwards for him.

Once again, this is the situation where there is always great individual sucess even when the Kings aren't playing that well. Case in point, the second period. The Hurricanes came out strong in the second scoring three crappy goals while also completely taking over the neutral zone. The Kings were doing a good job shutting down the Canes down low and clearing pucks but were not not able to turn around and start generating. The Canes were more aggressive with their sticks and it was definitely getting frustrating sitting in the stands.

The Kings were able to start turning things around as a collective group once Dustin Brown scored in the waning minutes of the second period. They also killed off the five (5) penalties that they took. They are still perfect on their PK, 19 for 19. I'm so flipping amazed and proud of them. A noticeable player on the PK was new-comer Kyle Quincey. He's got some good positional work going for him, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well he was able to fit in with Matt Greene. I wasn't surprised by his play (c'mon, he's coming from Detroit) but more with how he was gelling with the boys. It's a good sign and I'm sure Patrick O'Sullivan took his buddy out for Pinkberry later.

The Kings looked good defensively for the first half of the third period, but once Anze Kopitar scored his goal to tie the game, the Canes started coming back with energy of their own. They were breaking up passes and forechecking like crazy. It was all the Kings could do to try to run the clock down and end regulation. There were definitely some insanely stressful moments in the last few minutes of regulation with Barbs having to flash the pads to get the boys to overtime. But the arena was buzzing by that point and the energy levels remaining high during overtime instead of the players looking to get through the five minutes with caution. Halfway thought the OT frame Handzus got a break and he and Alexander Frolov entered the Canes zone with a Canes defender between them. He was apparently looking to pass but instead took the shot. Thank god because I felt like they wouldn't have scored if he tried to get it over to Fro. So the game began and ended with Handzus. Congrats to him and the Kings for the win!


Connie, Kings, and the Price is Right

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yesterday I was going through the pregame stuff from Tuesday's game against the Ducks on my DVR and hilariously enough I saw myself on TV. It's not anything glamorous, just funny to me. I'm sure no one else in the world would have realized it was me, but I caught the shot and had to snap a picture of it to share. As you may notice, I do not have an HD TV, which makes me sad.

Those are my jeans and jersey.

Here is a little sneak peak at the Price is Right where Dustin Brown, Derek Armstrong, Kyle Calder and Denis Gauthier tested out their pricing with a certain garment. It's just a short clip and worth the viewing.


Kings 6, Ducks 3

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Kings put a great effort on the ice last night. It’s no secret that the individual talent on the Kings’ roster has seldom translated into a winning formula as a whole, but last night showed us a glimpse into what that’s supposed to look like. There are positives that I could talk about with every player on the Kings bench; that is, except for one lone soul (if you were watching the game, you should know exactly who I’m talking about).

This game was to see who would have to occupy that unfortunate spot of dead last in the Pacific Division, which is where the Kings were for much of last season. I came into the game fully content with the possible result of the Kings being slotted in that 5th position. None of my daydreams yesterday had the Kings winning 6-3 over the Ducks. Then again, I wasn’t expecting the Ducks to look like a group of disorganized high school kids. They continued their physical brand of crap while taking 13 total penalties. Two were fighting majors and two were coincidental minors (Ryan Getzlaf and Denis Gauthier canceling each other out). So the Kings had 9 PP opportunities and converted on 3 of them. The Kings took 9 total penalties with 5 being actual PKs. Once again my boys killed all of the penalties against them and haven’t given up a goal while being shorthanded yet! They’re 14 for 14 and I’m loving that stat. They looked solid last night and I was very much impressed. Jarret Stoll has continually impressed me with his scrappy efforts, and he definitely improved on his faceoff percentage going 60% (won 9, lost 6).

Another notable on the PK was Michal Handzus. He looks so much stronger and looks less afraid to get his nose dirty. He’s actually taking the body now, which he rarely did last season, so I’m pretty happy with how he’s been doing on an individual level. He registered an assist and had 18:18 of ice time. Going back to Stoll, he had plenty of TOI at 20:39. At first I was wondering why he always seemed to be out there, but then I realized it was basically a game of specialty teams with all the penalties that were being called.

The awesome thing about the goals by the Kings was that the 6 goals were scored by 6 different skaters. I think Matt Moulson had the prettiest goal while Patrick O’Sullivan had the slickest goal. I honestly didn’t think Moulson was going to gain control of the pass from Dustin Brown and have time to get the shot off before the angle to the net got too sharp. But gain control he did where shot it from the left side over J.S. Giguere’s left shoulder far side. If that goal doesn’t make Kings fans notice my boy, I don’t know what will. The shot was so pretty and perfect that he couldn’t have made it any better. Giguere literally followed the puck with his eyes all the way to the back of the net. Perfect. Sully had a fantastic game last night. He had a bit of the time on the PK, more time on the PP, and ample time at even strength so it seemed like he was everywhere on the ice. He was so effective in everything he did that I believe he’s earned his spot back on the top line with just one game. I knew he had it in him; it was just a matter of when.

With Sully on the top line, the subsequent shift of players was unexpected for me. Moulson was moved to the 2nd line left wing, which I was stoked about, but that meant Alexander Frolov was moved to the 3rd line left wing. As much as I didn’t expect that, I think that just gets our 3rd line moving that much more to have a big body that is always searching for ways to get the puck to the net as opposed to shutting down the opposition. I thought that all four lines the Kings rolled out looked great together. The defensive pairings were a bit of a different story. With Jack Johnson out, the pairings obviously changed and after some time in the second period I noticed that Peter Harrold was getting an ungodly amount of minutes (17:55) with almost four minutes coming on the PP. This fact coupled with Drew Doughty not having been out on the ice for quite some time, I voiced my concern. Whereupon, ½ of KingsCast and I tried to get some information from people watching the game on TV at home, but there was nothing until the 3rd period when we found out that Doughty was having “flu-like symptoms.” I was so relieved that it wasn’t a substantial injury because we would have basically been screwed if he AND Jack were out. But the flu isn’t bad, he just needs some shuteye and he’ll be back in no time. Going back to Harrold, for how much he was fumbling and bumbling around, he had way too much time on the PP. None of his passes were landing; he couldn’t outmaneuver past Ducks or even clear the damned puck at some points. It was so frustrating to watch Harrold stumble around while the rest of the roster was working smoothly. He definitely stuck out like a sore thumb when he was on the ice.

I must take a minute to address the fight between Raitis Ivanans and George Parros that occurred less than two minutes into the game after the first Ducks goal. I’ve never seen anyone land that many kidney shots in succession as Ivanans dished out to Parros. It was fantastic and got the crowd amped up. Conversely, Chris Pronger had 4 hits in the game, which all seemed to be against Oscar Moller. Hey, D-Bag, you’re an ugly monster and Moller is an 18-year-old kid who you are twice as big as. There’s really no need to plaster his face against the glass whenever you can. Stop being a prick. And I saw you raise your elbows while skating by Moulson. You elbow him and I’ll shankify your ass.

I could honestly go on and on and on about how great this game was, but I won’t. I will end by saying that I’m glad the Kings now have a decisive win under their belts after losing two games against a solid Sharks squad. This performance is very promising for the Kings as I’m sure Terry Murray knows the boys have it in them to not suck on a game-to-game basis. Good job, guys!


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.14

Monday, October 13, 2008

Marie and I once again meet up to record on location. This time we record in four amazingly exotic locations: outside Staples Center, inside Staples Center, upstairs in the upper bowl of the Staples Center, and finally in the comfort of our own homes. We review the past week's events which include Patrick O'Sullivan returning, Anze Kopitar's brand-spanking-new contract, and the Kings season opening games. Enjoy!

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at:

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


Sharks 1, Kings 0 In The Home Opener

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Kings lost the season opener against the Sharks last night (3-1), and they lose the home opener against the Sharks tonight (1-0). I guess it's not horrible to lose two games to one of the top teams in the league as of this moment. The game tonight honestly looked a lot better than last night, so I'm happy with that. My boys were actually able to keep their shots on net in the teens (19), so that was a vast improvement from the 23,457 the previous night. It was only a 1-0 loss, but it could have easily been a 2-1 victory tonight. The two disallowed Kings goals were utter trash. Was Dustin Brown really in impeding Brian Boucher's ability to stop the puck? Did Matt Moulson REALLY put the puck into the net with a "distinct kicking motion?" It's all about judgment and the refs decided to err on the side of crappy caution. Who needs a conservative ref anyway? I'd rather have refs that are consistent than retarded. Honestly, how many times did I see a King get tripped up or knocked down? Am I being too biased? Whatever, I don't care; the game was really frustrating to watch. This was coupled with the fact that Anze Kopitar got a 10-minute misconduct for slamming his stick against a pane of glass causing it to crack and delaying the game while they changed it out. Yeah, he should have kept his cool, but what does that tell you when our best player is that frustrated that he takes it out on the glass? The fans weren't the only annoyed people in the arena tonight.

As always, there were some bright spots with the Kings. For some reason, even when a game is going horribly, there will always been at least one player who is showing that he gives a damn. That isn't to say that the Kings weren't giving a damn tonight, there was effort; they were just going up against a very aggressive Sharks squad that is looking to blaze some balls out the gate. Lukas Kaspar got the lone goal of the game by taking a shot on the short side of Jason LaBarbera. I really hope Barbs can shore up his short-side glove work because I can see plenty of other teams taking advantage of that.

Once again, Oscar Moller showed why he earned his place on the roster. He, with his small frame, was taking the body along the boards and not giving any Shark the room he needed to get by. It looked like exhaustion was overtaking him by the end of the game, but he's 18 and he's still learning how much energy to expend at different points and in certain situations in a 60-minute game. The other kid, Wayne Simmonds, had a bit more difficulty getting to the puck and landing passes. He was still his scrappy self, but he definitely looked better during the preseason than he did tonight. Our pride and joy, Drew Doughty, got top minutes (23:56) and was being used in all situations. I noticed by the third period how much he was on the ice, but that was around the time I also noticed that Jack Johnson hadn't been on the ice. Because the NHL deemed it acceptable for teams to not have to disclose specific injuries of players, we don't really know what's going on with Jack other than he has a upper body injury. Hopefully it's nothing too serious because we need him out there. As much as I'm cool with Tom Preissing, I'd rather Jack gobble up minutes than Preissing get over 20 minutes a game. Going back to Doughty, when the Kings had pulled Barbs in the waning minutes of the game for the extra attacker, Drew was out there. I'm pleased to see him getting so much experience so quickly. That tells me how highly Terry Murray thinks of Doughty when he's out there for the end of a game during a critical time.

Brownie was his badass self with 3 shots on net and 6 hits. He took the body as per usual and wasn't afraid to get his nose dirty. There was really nothing bad to say about his efforts tonight. Patrick O'Sullivan came out with both cap guns firing (19:21). He was being moved around on the lines and eventually found himself back with Kopi and Brownie. I was pretty happy to see that and the fact that he was also paired back with Michael Handzus on the PK. Someone else who did better tonight compared to last night was Brian Boyle. He came out a little more aggressively and took the body a bit more. He wasn't spectacular, so there's a whole lot of room for improvement for him. Just... keep doing better, Boyle.

I was surprised that Moulson only got 12:48 of ice time tonight. But when I reflected back on the game, Sully's presense somewhat caused Moulson's ice time to diminish. It's unfortunate because I thought Moulson was getting the job done on the ice. He was getting into the corners and in front of the net (a.k.a. his disallowed goal), and he had some great hustle on the PK. At one point a guy behind me said, "Moulson! That's my boy!" And I thought, "Uhh, I don't think so. He's mine!" Yeah, I'm possessive. What are you going to do about it?

Something the Sharks were able to do tonight, which not many teams were able to do last season, was get Alexander Frolov off the puck. As you may remember, Fro had amazing puck possession ability. He could hold on to the puck for days and make everyone else look foolish. But tonight the Sharks took a more aggressive stance against him and put his body into the boards so that Fro wasn't able to buy his teammates time to set up. This is me rolling my eyes... not against Fro, but just in general.

One definite downer was the Kings PP and their complete lack of getting anything going in the offensive zone. The Sharks did a fantastic job with clogging up the neutral zone and breaking up any passes the Kings were trying to land. Even when the Kings tried the dump and chase move, the Sharks were able to get to the puck first and clear it. It was VERY frustrating to see nothing really happen on the 5 PP opportunities the Kings had. The latter half of the third period was also a bit unbelieable. It was so disorganized that it looked like neither team had any semblance of puck control or possession. It kind of looked like both teams were having trouble getting specific line combinations out on the ice, so it kind of looked like they were always changing on the fly getting one guy on the ice but realizing that it wasn't the guy they wanted out there with that line against the Sharks line, bla-bi-bla-bla-bla, and so on and so forth. It was just a bizarre ending to the game.

So the Kings lose the first two games of the season and they face the Ducks on Tuesday. I'm definitely not jumping out of my seat for that game. I'm hoping the next time the Kings face the Sharks they'll have gotten their players to work together as a more cohesive unit since the lines were different tonight than they were last night. Gotta just keep tweaking and tweaking until something works or until Terry Murray blows a gasket.


Kings 1, Sharks 3

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Well, the Kings lose their season opener to the San Jose Sharks. Great. In what seemed like a promising game ended in ... a bit of disappointment. The Sharks came out tentative but slowly picked up their momentum and killed off any hope for the Kings to get back in the game. But that doesn't mean I gave up hope for them to make a come back.

I thought the Kings had a great first period. It seemed a bit tentative in the first 10 minutes and I felt like the Sharks would take control of the game at any moment, but the Kings were able to get a bit scrappier when the tempo was hightened. Something that I thought was interesting was that during the Sharks' first PP rather than getting the puck into the Kings' zone as quickly as they could, they regrouped and came into the Kings' zone four across. I don't think I've ever seen the Sharks do that; so I can automatically see a change for that team. Alexander Frolov's goal was pretty solid. The cross-ice pass from Michal Handzus hit Fro's tape and the Kings were up 1-0. But really, that was it for the positives.

In the second period, the Sharks dominated the Kings all over the ice, but I never believed that they'd get a goal against Jason LaBarbera. I was feeling pretty confident with their efforts. Be that as it may, the Kings were missing passes and causing turnovers, but I was still hoping... The first goal against Barbs was by Devin Setoguchi in a scramble at the top of the crease. I was more annoyed with the second goal against the Kings, which was shot in by Tomas Plihal off the short side blocker. Jack Johnson pushed him out to the outside angle but Plihal was still able to get the shot off. Booo. And of course the Kings end two periods with only 9 shots on net. 9!!! Just to illustrate how ridiculous that was, the Sharks had 31 by the end of 2. How do they expect to win if they can't get anything going in the offensive zone?

Just relax, Connie...

One last thing, Handzus (my faceoff whipping boy from last season) has won 8 faceoffs and lost only 5! Amazing! BUT, the guy we brought in to win faceoffs? This Jarret Stoll? He's won only 1 and has lost 4 so far. That's 20%, Stolly. C'mon now.

The third period doesn't hold any better for the Kings. The Sharks come out and continue their dominance. Time to move to bullet points.

  • In looking at the stats at the end of the game, Fro was the only forward to get more than 20 minutes of ice time.
  • Interesting: Stoll only had 13:44 of time. He also only won one faceoff and lost 6. Crud.
  • Patrick Marleau lost 2 and won 9. I hate you, Patrick Marleau.
  • The Kings end the game with only 13 shots on. The Sharks had 41.
  • On a positive, Matt Moulson had 17:05 of ice time where he saw time on both the PP and PK. It was a bit of a disappointment to see that he ended at a -3. But hey, is that really surprising when you're on the Kings?

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadians
In the same fashion, the Leafs were dominated by Montreal. The game started out promising, but the Habs took over and were taking advantage of everything the Leafs were missing out on. Just like in their opener, the Leafs weren't able to generate any offense and the Habs were looking pretty damn good. One thing that stook out to me was how well the Habs were able to hold down their own slot area. Anytime the Leafs were able to get the puck in front of the Habs' net, there were always either 4 or 5 red jerseys there.

The Habs came out the victors in this game winning 6-1. Vesa Toskala was pulled after 40 minutes and Curtis Joseph didn't look too bad in net. Hopefully their next game looks a bit more cohesive where their lines can actually move together. Hmm, sounds like something the Kings need to accomplish. Is it too early to say that I don't think it'd be too farfetched to say that the Stanley Cup finals might have the Canadians facing off against the Sharks? God, I hope the Sharks don't make it that far...


Kopitar Signs 7-Year Extension!

Anze Kopitar has proven that he wants to stay in So Cal and help take LA into the cliched sunset. It was announced late last night that he signed a 7 YEAR DEAL!!! When I awoke to a text from Marie about the extension sans terms, I thought it would have run along the lines of four (4) years or so. Maybe five, if the Kings were lucky. But 7 years is honestly what we as fans needed to hear after spending the whole summer wondering what the fate of Patrick O'Sullivan would be. I haven't the slightest idea what the dollar amount will be. When compared to the other guys on the roster, maybe $5-6 million per year. But when looking at the other players around the league, it could easily be for $6-7. I will venture a guess and say that it will be heavily front-loaded. By the time his contract is halfway over, Sully will need to make a decision on whether or not he wants to stay in LA and some of the more highly-touted prospects will need to be paid, Jonathan Bernier, Thomas Hickey, and Drew Doughty.

We still have a few players who will need to be signed to extensions before this season ends. Matt Moulson re-signed for one year (08-09), and I'm sure his contract signing beyond this season will take a bit longer than the other two Manchester boys, Teddy Purcell and Brian Boyle. After the latter two disappointed in training camp, I'm wondering what they will sign for. Originally I was plenty scared that those two would be asking for a good chuck of cash, but it now appears that they will need to finish rounding out their game before they can solidify a space on the roster. The scariest of the bunch is Jack Johnson. I'm SO curious to know how much Kopi signed for because that should give us an indication of how much Jack may potentially ask for. In any case, before the puck has even dropped the Kings have reigned in two more of the core. I am as happy as happy can be.

Sidenote: Per the press release, Kopi's 7-year contract is the second longest ever signed by a King. The longest was 8 years by Wayne Gretzky in 1988.

[Update:] The Kings inked Kopi to a 7-year, $47.6 million contract. This is momentous. It's within the range that other top flight players are making today, but it's not grossly obscene. I think it's well deserved, and, hey, it's LA. It's not like we're Detroit where people are willing to sign for crackerjack boxes. This is a team that is slowly but surely going to be great. I'm so unbelievably happy that I actually don't care if we win or lose tonight. I just want effort.


Leafs Victory and Hoping the Kings Win

Friday, October 10, 2008

As I sit here on a Friday night, I can only think about how awful my stomach feels. I've had this ache for well over 12 hours, ugh. Anyway, like I stated in yesterday's post, I'm super excited for the Kings first game tomorrow and am still thinking about the Leafs victory over the Red Wings yesterday. Who woulda thunk it?! So here is my first game review for the Leafs! How exciting!

The Leafs sat on their bench and witnessed the Red Wings raise their banner to the rafters, but not before they watched them crowd around to take their obligatory photos with the Cup and banner. Yet that was the only highlight of the evening for the Wings. The Leafs proceeded to battle the Wings in a very disorderly fashion while also winning. That last sentence felt weird typing just because it was poor English. I thought Vesa Toskala played a solid enough game; as much as he could while facing Detroit. The harsh reality put itself on display at times, i.e. Tomas Holmstrom's goal, but the Leafs were able to shut the Wings down enough to where they actually came out the victors. I'll admit, I didn't know who many of the Leafs players were, but hey, I have 81 more games to figure everyone out. The face of Ron Wilson behind the bench is familiar to me, and I'd feel good about him being there if I were a hardcore fan of the Leafs. I hated the Wilson-led Sharks... wait, I still hate the Sharks. Whatev, he'll do a better job than the last dude; of that, I'm sure.

Gosh, this is turning out to be longer than I thought it'd be. I'll end this segment by saying:
- the Leafs need to work on their offense
- land their passes in the defensive zone, the neutral zone, and the offensive zone
- Nik Hagman: learn to play better
- Brad Stuart: stay clean-shaven
- Pavel Kubina: don't take penalties in the last minute of a game

On to the Kings! I'm both excited and nervous about the game tomorrow against the Sharks. Excited because it's the start of a new season with a new and improved roster but nervous because it's the Sharks. Not only have they been slated as Cup favorites by too many people, but they have Rob Blake. My Blake! I foresee myself telling myself repeatedly that it will be okay. I'll think more about how the Kings' lines and defensive pairings look than how ugly the teal is on Blake. Whatever happens, I just have to stay calm and be as supportive as I can for my team, because if I don't, it'll be a longer season than I anticipate it to be...


Season’s Greetings

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Today is the start of the games in North America for the season. I feel that I will be pretty busy this season since I have my newly minted season tickets, Center Ice queued up, and a new team to follow. This does not mean I will have two teams that I will be following equally; rather, I’ll have a small percentage of my attention focused elsewhere at times. I may do a small blurb here or there concerning this new team if I feel the need arises. What’s the team you ask? Well, a good friend has suggested I start following Canada’s team, a.k.a. his team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. You’re all probably wondering why I’d choose the Leafs as my secondary team out of the 28 other teams available throughout the league since I could easily choose one that will definitely make it to the playoffs. Before you think that that last statement was a knock on my pal; it was, but it was also a knock on myself as well. With both of our teams flirting with the basement (according to every single analyst), I fear that my writing could slowly (or quickly) veer toward the cynical musings of any severely jaded fan. So are you still asking me why the Leafs?

Well, I have my reasonings with a big one being: why the hell not? Don’t worry, this space will remain ever and always devoted first and foremost to my Kings, that sad and sorry lot. This team is what keeps the blood pumping through the life veins of this site. Without them I’d just be another lost soul.

In any case, the first game that I will be watching will start today 4PM PDT on Versus where the Leafs face off against the Detroit Red Wings. There will actually be plenty of players that I will be watching once the Stanley Cup presentation concludes; most notably being Luke Schenn, Vesa Toskala, and... the entire Detroit roster.

For more info on the Versus coverage, you can check it out here and here is their game schedule. The Kings drop the puck on Saturday the 11th at 7PM PDT, so I will be diligently waiting in front of my TV the entire day. If you need to get a hold of me that day, just text. If you don’t have my number, you are SOL.

Also, here is the short clip that the Kings released of the Frozen Fury. I am nowhere in the video, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the clip!


Kings 2008-09 Season Preview

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

As stated in Kings World Podcast - Episode 1.13, this is the third draft of this preview. Events in the past five days or so have caused me to re-evaluate how I see what’s going down with this roster. Just note, this review could be updated before the puck drops on Saturday night.

Here we are, just a few days until the start of the new season! I thought the day would never come, but I am relieved knowing there is relevant hockey to be had soon enough. I am unsure about many things in life, but there is one thing I can state with confidence: the Kings won’t end the season in 30th place. Wait… I think...? In any case, there is plenty of time to debate this statement, but I’m positive that the Kings can’t look any worse than they did during the 07-08 season. They just can’t. With new coach Terry Murray in place who brings a much calmer coaching style, I’m hoping the Kings don’t come out looking like they already have their tails between their legs. It’s clear that Marc Crawford’s yelling with steam shooting from his ears approach wasn’t working, so it really can’t be any worse, right?

Now that I’ve gotten over the tediousness of the Year-In-Reviews, I can take a more focused look at how the roster appears for the start of the season. The Kings have assigned a number of players, only one of which caused me to do a double take (Teddy Purcell). Sad face. The roster has now been slimmed down and these are the lines that have been running at practices as of late (with their ages). After attending a bit of practice this morning and talking to Daryl Evans for a few minutes, I am more confident with what I’ve written below.


Matt Moulson (24) – Anze Kopitar (21) – Dustin Brown (23) - Purple
Alexander Frolov (26) – Jarret Stoll (26) – Oscar Moller (18) - White
Kyle Calder (29) – Michal Handzus (31) – Wayne Simmonds (20) - Gray
Raitis Ivanans (29) – Derek Armstrong (35) – Brad Richardson (23) - Maroon

Patrick O’Sullivan (23) – Brian Boyle (23) - Green

John Zelier (25) – IR

Yesterday Sully re-signed with a 3-year contract, which is ridiculously fantastic in my eyes because his cap hit is only $2.925 for the duration of the contract. He won’t be making more than Brownie, which I was a little concerned about. I’m completely happy with this conclusion even though I know it was a very trying time for him, especially since he had to miss almost all of training camp and all of the preseason games. He has to now earn his spot back on the roster, something that could take as little as a few days to a few weeks. I’m not really in any rush to push him too hard because (1) I don’t want him to get injured and (2) Moulson looks damn good with Kopi and Brownie on the top line.

Two disappointments for me from training camp (which was reiterated by Daryl Evans) were Purcell and Boyle. Purcell apparently didn’t show up to camp having done what he should have done during the offseason. I didn’t ask what those specific things were, but it’s not like Boyle impressed much either. This is very disconcerting for me since I was counting on those two to be in the lineup and provide offensive output. To know that Boyle isn’t even on a set line in practice doesn’t instill too much hope for me either. Now that Purcell is officially not on the starting lineup and Sully is back, I’m curious to see which of the two kids (Moller and Simmonds) will remain on the team for the entire season. I’m unsure if Moller can, but Simmonds is flat out energy with potential point production who I believe could possibly stay up with the Kings.

The return of Sully actually tosses a wrench into the top two lines, which will, in turn, cause disruption with the bottom two lines. That’s obviously a natural progression, but I’m very curious to see what Terry Murray will do. Many of the players can play different positions, so it’ll be more a matter of shifting the lines to find different dynamics that will still output the desired results than just trying to find a place for Sully to play. Shifting gears to the bottom lines, the spark is definitely Simmonds with Boyle as a disappointment. This could pan out to be an interesting battle for the latter.


Jack Johnson (21) – Matt Greene (25)
Sean O’Donnell (37) – Drew Doughty (18)
Tom Preissing (29) – Denis Gauthier (32)
Peter Harrold (25)

If the Kings decide to run with 6 defenders, Harrold could potentially head back to Manchester. Or if the Monarchs need a veteran on their young roster, I could see Gauthier being shipped over. This would conversely cause the third D pairing to be smaller, but the pairings could be easily shifted around to accommodate the play depending on who the Kings were up against. We know that Doughty and Harrold are more offensive-minded while O’Donnell and Gauthier are the shutdown types. Preissing can get in the mix on the PP or use his positional play on the backend, so I don’t see this as being too much of a problem. That being said... O’Donnell and Gauthier? It could obviously be better, so we shall see. If Murray runs his PPs in the regular season as he has during the preseason, we’ll see only one Dman per shift. I’m pretty sure Doughty will get to be on one unit, but I am unsure who would be the other Dman… Preissing? You know what, now that I’m 100% sure Kevin Dallman won’t be on the point for the PP, I’ll be happy with whoever is out there. Gauthier and Greene obviously got a lot of time on the PK during preseason, so I don’t think I’ll be too surprised there.


Jason LaBarbera (28)
Erik Ersberg (26)

The assigning of Jonathan Quick to Manchester bring us back to the goalie tandem that was set for… just a few games last season. When Barbs was out because of his hernia surgery, Ersberg found himself in a tandem with all those random other folks, Dan Cloutier included (puke). I’m glad that Murray named Barbs as the number one as opposed to last season where Marc Crawford had Barbs and J.S. Aubin on a rotation. This season is Barbs' to take. He came into camp leaner and has stated as such; so as he gets more games under his belt, I'll be hoping he can play to his potential with Ersberg providing sound backup for him. I'm not sure what Ersberg's potential could be. He played in a few games last season and could possibly step in if need be. In any case, I'll be nervous for any goalie in a Kings jersey if the defense doesn't get its act together.

Here's hoping for a great start to the season!

Where's that bottle opener....

x-posted to HLOG


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.13

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Marie and I are once again by the ocean with the evening breeze blowing across the microphone while recording this thirteenth episode. We look at the roster that looks like it's been finalized except that there are a few wrenches thrown into the mix. We give the rest of the updates from the preseason and do a short preview of the Kings opening weekend. Please tune in and enjoy!

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at:

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


3 Years!

Patrick O'Sullivan. Signed? Can it be true?


He will wear the Black and Purple for 3 years getting $2.925 million each season on a front-loaded contract.

Who goes from the roster now? John Zeiler? Marc-Andre Cliche? Richard Clune? All these guys are injured, so it's anyone's guess here.

Or will it be Oscar Moller and/or Wayne Simmonds?

Or Kyle Calder? Please....


A Bump In The Road

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Kings have finally pared down the roster to a manageable number. Out of everyone that's been assigned to Manchester or their respective Junior teams, the most surprising is that Teddy Purcell was sent to Manchester. He came to training camp looking like he bulked up, which he did and is sitting at 202 pounds; I thought he had a solid showing. I never once thought he'd be assigned to Manchester before the season began. I'm not sure what he did exactly to warrant him being assigned, but I have a feeling it wasn't just him. If you couple Oscar Moller and Wayne Simmonds' fantastic camps with Purcell's non-flashy camp, that might have been the kicker to give the former two a chance to prove themselves with some real NHL games. If they don't last, they can easily be sent down and Purcell can be brought back up. If Patrick O'Sullivan and the Kings can come to terms, one of the two kids can also be sent down.

Quote from Terry Murray courtesy of Inside the Kings: "With some guys, like Purcell, I tried to be specific in things I saw and things I'd like to see a big focus on."

Hrm, pretty vague... Anyway, I had a preview up and running for later this week, but now that Purcell isn't on the roster, I'm going to have to tweak it a bit. Stay tuned for another Kings World Podcast episode that you can grab up Wednesday morning and a season preview in a few days. I originally wasn't going to do one, but what the hell.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure. This video is amazingly awesome. It's only one minute long with 4 players from Manchester acting like goofballs. Kudos to whoever made it!


Reader Appreciation!

Kings fans officially have 6 days until the season starts! This has been a long and arduous offseason for us and I wanted to thank you all for sticking around this space. I've tried to keep the past 5 months interesting with either my Year-In-Reviews, podcasts (KWP or INAPB), or my clever witticisms. I won't lie, it's been a trying offseason for me, but to see the number of people coming to this humble site actually increase in numbers fills me with joy. Joy because that means you are truly interested to see how the Kings are looking and what they might accomplish for the 08-09 year. I am a self-proclaimed horrible predictor, so your guess is as good as mine. But I hope everyone sticks around to find out with me! This will be an interesting season seeing as how we got rid of the pomp and circumstance on the roster and replaced it with actual hockey players.

So I thank you again, and, remember, just 6 more days!


Important Stuff!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tonight Marie and I will be hanging out at Blog Talk Radio and will be interviewed by Darryl Houston Smith a.k.a. "Black Moses." Come listen or ask questions by calling in!

[Update]: Please listen to Marie and me on Blog Talk Radio. We don't come in until the 28 minute mark where we are asked about the Kings and the Frozen Fury. We finish of the interview by picking our own fantasy teams.

And please don't forget to register to vote!

Speaking of, there's really nothing that would ever make me want to return to high school. But this might. (Not that the majority of high schoolers can vote, but that's besides the point.)


Preseason - Kings 1, Ducks 2 (SO)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Kings faced off against the Ducks last night for the first time this preseason, and, I must say, it was crappy. The defensive pairings were subpar and the forwards couldn’t land their passes to make decent rushes out of their own zone. There were noticeably more people attending this game compared to the first preseason game held at Staples, which meant that more people were subjected to the horrible defense of the Kings.

Let’s actually start with the forwards. Oscar Moller and Matt Moulson swapped ice time with each other to be on the top line with Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar throughout the entire game. It was nice to see Moller getting big minutes and with the top two skaters, but there were times when he was just out of position. He obviously wasn’t making an obscene amount of blatant errors, but it was apparent that he was on a tryout with the top offensive pairing. There weren’t as many penalties in this game compared to Frozen Fury, so it didn’t seem like a night solely devoted to specialty teams. That’s not to say the reffing was fantastic or anything; in fact, it was straight up horrendous.

  • I thought the checking of Kyle Calder headfirst into the boards was grounds for a penalty, but the refs thought otherwise.
  • I thought the times the Ducks interfered with Jason LaBarbera while he was still in the blue paint was grounds for multiple penalties, but the refs didn’t think that was a big deal.
  • I thought the holding penalty against Kopi during the OT frame was the biggest piece of nonsense, but apparently those are supposed to be called.
Okay I will preface this by saying I don’t play hockey on a daily basis, so I probably don’t have the authority to critique the refs, but… honestly. Since this game wasn’t televised, I’ll lay the scene out. It’s in overtime where the Kings are on the power play. Some Duck grabs a hold of Kopi’s stick and holds it across his midsection. Kopi notices this and puts his left arm up in the air to show that he’s not hooking or holding the Duck. The latter then proceeds to try and get himself tangled up in Kopi’s stick somehow and then magically trips and falls. Whistle blows and Kopi is sent off the ice for holding.


There is then a minute of 3-on-3 skating, which creates so much ice that it’s ridiculous. But just like in the regulation periods, the Ducks spend most of their time in the Kings’ zone. I am baffled as to how the Kings just couldn’t get anything going into the offensive zone. Sometimes they couldn’t even get into the neutral zone, but when they did, the Ducks blocked passes and shut them down around their blue line. The only way the Kings could really create chances were if they played the dump-and-chase card. I hate the Ducks so much.

(Noah Graham/Getty Images)Jarret Stoll on the point? I guess I can live with it

The defense... needs work. I shouldn’t have been toooooo hard on the guys since both Jack Johnson and Tom Preissing sat up in the press box. I really think that one or the other should have dressed for the game since having both players out created a weaker defense. In Jack we could have had a physical puck mover out there or a positionally sound veteran dman in Preissing. Too bad we had neither player and had to resort to putting two 18-year-old dmen on the PK at times. Pretty scary stuff. There were also some ridiculously huge defensive breakdowns, especially in the first period. Davis Drewiskie, wow. I can’t really describe this one play that almost resulted in a breakaway for the Ducks, but he did get better as the game went along, thank god.

Barbs was in net for the entire 65 minutes + shootout. I thought he looked okay, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous as all hell whenever the Ducks got a shot on. For some reason I was super stressed out over this game. I know it’s just a preseason game and it’s not worth any points, but, damnit, I hate losing to them. Although, if this were a regular season game and you asked me if the Kings deserved the point for the shootout loss, I would have said, "hell no." The only real positive for me was that Moulson scored the lone goal for the Kings. He received the pass while standing with his back to the net to the right of the goal mouth. Since he’s a lefthanded shot, all he did was pivot to his right and stuffed the puck into Jonas Hiller. Other than that, the game was pretty bad.


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