Year-In-Review – 19 – Patrick O'Sullivan

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Broken bone in his face, losing teeth, and becoming a badass.

Check, check, and check.

Patrick O’Sullivan’s growth this season was really one of those rare occurrences that management wishes would happen to all of their young prospects. This season my Sophomore Stud was one of the few to play in all 82 games. He blew all expectations by scoring 22 goals and 31 assists for 53 points. He actually had the most shots on net with 220 (followed closely by Dustin Brown with 219). His growth on the defensive end was definitely noticeable and he fought his way up to the top line. When Michael Cammalleri was placed on IR due to a rib injury, Sully stepped up to the plate and delivered. He didn’t exactly render Cammy obsolete, but he did prove that the Kings were fine without Cammy’s sniper shot and, therefore, was expendable once the trade deadline came around.

While he was proving that he belonged with the young guns in the lineup, he was also displaying his defensive abilities. His backchecking abilities became better and he became noticeably stronger on the puck. If there was one thing I could point to that was less than stellar, it was something that he’d do game after game (it seemed); it’d be the same move while leading the attack into the offensive zone. He’d get the puck, get across the offensive blueline, and leave the puck for someone else on his team. The problem with this was that, more often than not, there would be no one immediately behind him to grab the puck, so that a turnover would occur even before the Kings were able to create any offense. This caused me endless frustrations because you could just see it coming; you knew that’s what Sully was going to do. At the same time, it’s easy for me to be sitting at home or in the upper bowl critiquing his play. And really, if that’s the only thing I’m critiquing, I think we’re lucky.

His defensive efforts were rewarded at the end of the season when he was named the Best Defensive Player on the team by the media. It really couldn’t have been anyone else getting this award. Brownie and Anze Kopitar are definitely great defensive forwards, but Sully showed his badass-ness with his ability to chase people down with strides that appeared short and choppy but that were actually extremely efficient. This was also put on display when he gained more and more ice time on the PK. By the end of the season he was in every PK situation with Michal Handzus and it seemed that every time they were out there, one of them would be prowling for that shorthanded opportunity to make a split second appearance. When it did, whoever got the puck first pounced on it and drove as fast as he could to the other end of the ice. This resulted in 3 shorthanded goals for Sully and 3 for Handzus.

(Los Angeles Kings)
Is that really how he tapes his stick?

There is actually another thing I can mention about Sully that isn’t exactly 100% positive. But before I go into that, I’m going to backtrack to create a better chain of events. At the beginning of the season, whenever the Kings made it to the shootout, the three shooters were always Kopi, Brownie, and Cammy. As the season progressed and as the roster started to develop, I noticed that whenever Alexander Frolov would have a great game, he’d be placed in the shootout in lieu of Cammy, which I completely agreed with. Around this time when Fro was getting some shootout attention, it was clear that Sully also had some sick skills with the puck and totally deserved a spot in the shootout as well. With Brownie and Kopi in there every time (which is how it should be) that third spot was open to whoever had the best game out of Fro, Cammy, and Sully. When the latter started to kick ass in the shootout, I would commence my bitching and moaning whenever he wasn’t the third shooter. Even when he was the 4th shooter, I would still bitch. Anyway, I started to notice that he’d take the shot the same way every time he was out there. He would pick up the puck, shift to the right, pick up speed, and once he got past the hash marks, he’d wrist it between the goaltender’s right leg and right arm.

Same move. Every time.

It became predictable and it was amplified by the fact that when he started doing interviews, he would talk about how he had used that same move in the shootout since he was a kid. I thought announcing that was a bad idea and it was proved as such when the Kings played the Ducks in the game that went to the 6th round of the shootout. He went for the same shot and Jonas Hiller flat out denied him. It may have worked against Marty Turco in early January, but it won’t against Jonas Hiller in late March. So I hope Sully has learned his lesson in that you shouldn’t blatantly give away your move like that. I’m sure teams would have figured it out soon anyway; but, perhaps his talking about it accelerated it a bit. In saying that, I’m sure he’ll bust out some more sick moves next season in the shootout.

After the season finally came to an end, Sully and Brownie traveled to Canada for the IIHF World Championships to represent USA Hockey. I wrote some posts on the tournament on all my Kings who were in the Championships. Sully had another great showing in an international tournament, so congrats to him.

Even though the Kings didn’t draft Sully, he still proved that the youth movement is the direction this franchise should be headed. Lombardi’s philosophies are working and I’m glad that Sully is now considered a part of this pain-inducing process. I don’t think I ever viewed him as a defensive liability, but he definitely has stepped up his overall game and is displaying top line skill. He improved immensely as the season went along and I expect him to be one of the top flight players on the roster next year.

As of today, Sully still has not re-signed with the Kings. Apparently his agent and the Kings are still deciding on how much Sully is worth when compared to other players around the league who are of similar caliber. In Episode 1.6 of Kings World Podcast I predicted that Sully would get a 5-year deal with the payout as such; $3 million, $3, $3.5, $3.5, $4. This would take him to UFA status and would include a no-trade clause for the first three years of the contract. I didn’t like the inflated contracts that GMs were handing out like candy on July 1st, so I’m curious to see how close I actually get to the contract terms whenever the Kings and Sully decide to consummate their relationship on a long-term basis.

I'll keep you posted...


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 25

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Please check out this week's episode where I am joined by Z of Coyote's Hip Check. She updates us on all that has been going on in the desert concerning the departure of Blake Wheeler, the trade for a top line center, and where the Yotes could be in the next season. I then give my updates for the Kings, which is mainly the trade that probably won't affect the Kings roster in any way, shape, or form. We end with our shoutouts and then sign off. Enjoy!

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at

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.



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yes, you heard correctly. There was an earthquake in LA; Chino Hills to be exact. 5.8 in magnitude and I'm ok. I haven't been in an earthquake since I was a kid and I definitely wasn't sitting in an office building when I felt the last one. But, uhh... yeah, spur of the moment post since I've gotten texts, phone calls, and messages from various people.



Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.6

Monday, July 28, 2008

This week Marie and I discuss how the Kings have been holding up for the past two weeks. We first talk about why the Ottawa Sun got it completely wrong concerning Anze Kopitar; then we discuss all of the trades and signings, including the hiring of then new head coach; and then round out with a bet concerning Patrick O'Sullivan. We are asking the listeners for help with this bet, so please listen and enjoy!

We are currently experimenting with some new recording software and there are some growing pains with it, so please bear with us while we try to make it as clean as possible. Thanks!

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.


Top 10 Way Too Adorable

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I realized that while I was compiling my list of Top 10 Hot Bitches that there were plenty of players who I thought were just too cute to be placed onto said list. So I've made another list of players who could never make their way onto the Hot Bitches list because it makes me feel dirty thinking about them in that manner. You can’t say, "Well, maybe they’ll get older and grow out of their baby faces." Seriously, Lubo is 31 and still cute as a button. So here it is.

10) Rick Nash (CBJ) – Adorable grizzly bear.
9) Mike Green (WAS) – Squishable cheeks with a fauxhawk to boot.
8) Vesa Toskala (TOR) – How can an ex-Shark be on this list? I dunno, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Vesa.
7) Zach Parise (NJD) – He was hotter before he got his front teeth knocked out.
6) Sidney Crosby (PIT) – Still got that baby fat on his face… if you can even call it baby fat anymore. It’s more like hockey gloriousness spewing forth from his tree trunk thighs and pouty lips.
5) Sam Gagner (EDM) – Hard working cutiepie. What’s not to love?
4) Jonathan Toews (CHI) – One could argue whether he belongs on this list or the Hot Bitches list.
3) Daniel Briere (PHI) – I heart him so much.
2) Lubomir Visnovsky (EDM) – Lubo Cookie!
1) Dustin Brown (LAK) – How can this baby face have led the NHL in hits last season?

(Courtesy KingsCast)



Top 10 Hot Bitches

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I’m going to take a little departure from the seriousness of the Year-In-Review posts that I’ve been doing and have a little fun.

A little while ago Puck Daddy wrote a post that put on display hot hockey players around the NHL, which Margee from Sportsquee got a hold of and decided to invite her readers to do the same. I was going to do it but got sidetracked with other things in my life, but I didn’t want to NOT be a part of it. She has since stopped taking lists because she received so many, so I’m just going to have to post it here. In following her rules, there are two:

The rules are that the players are on regular NHL duty, and a reason is given for why the number one is the number one.

Sadly, I cannot put any Kings prospects on this list… but I guess that’s a good thing since those young ones are almost jailbait anyway… haha… ha….

10) Jose Theodore (WAS) – Underneath that mask is one sexy bitch
9) Martin Havlat (CHI) – Perhaps he can stay healthy for more than 2 games in a row for him to grace us with his presence
8) Sheldon Souray (EDM) – Good god, how can you stop yourself from wanting to rip his clothes off?
7) Brad Stuart(DET) – Occupation: Throwing body checks and breaking hearts
6) Joffrey Lupul (PHI) – He gives new meaning to Blue Steel
5) Mike Komisarik (MON) – He’s got that All-American look with a killer smile
4) Carey Price (MON) – Sexiest swagger in net… that is, until Jonathan Bernier hits the Big League!
3) Alexander Frolov (LAK) – Russian Hottie, a King, and a right-handed shot
2) Henrik Zetterberg (DET) – I would find it difficult for people to argue this
1) Rick DiPietro (NYI) – I hardly think I have to justify this pick. He is so unbelievably smoking hot that it hurts to look at him. Charisma lives on his face, it seems, and it’s reassuring to know that his face will remain the way it is because of his mask. It will protect his picture perfect features until the fates deem otherwise. Oh yeah, he’s also left-handed.


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 24

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bethany joins me this week to talk about hockey during the summer. The episode is short and sweet since the summer has been.... so busy. She dishes on the Columbus Blue Jackets while I give the two quick updates on the Kings. We open the show talking about Nikita Filatov and where he is exactly in terms of contracts and such, and then we finish the show with the usual shoutouts and info for the listeners.

We're changing up the way we record, so it's still in its experimental stages. Please don't mind the editing where it sounds like I dominate the episode.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at

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 – 18 – Teddy Purcell

Teddy Purcell was one of the Manchester Boys who made it to the Kings roster a couple of times last season. I can’t actually remember how many times he was recalled because it seemed players were getting recalled and reassigned everyday around the third quarter of the season. The short and sweet version is that Purcell is a tall, lanky badass who won the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award for the AHL’s most outstanding rookie of the 07-08 season. His call ups to the Kings were a terrible tease by the management because our future looked too good to send back down to Manchester. But send him back, they did, and while Kings fans are salivating at the thought of all those prospects everyone is name dropping, they seem to have forgotten just how awesome Purcell was last season.

With the Kings he played in 10 games getting 1 goal, 2 assists for 3 points, ended at a +2, and had no PIM. The moment he stepped out onto the ice in a Kings jersey, he has impressed. He’s got some skills with the puck and definitely showed LA why he was the AHL’s badass rookie of the year. I’m still amazed that he went undrafted and that the Kings actually got him! I know this review is for only this past year, but it’s difficult to look only at this year when I know his potential is sky high. One thing I noticed was that Purcell got the majority, if not all, of his ice time at even strength with the Kings. I’m wondering if he played on specialty teams while in Manchester because I thought that he deserved some time there with the Kings because he was doing really well at even strength. I really don’t see any downside to his being on the Kings roster. He is more than ready to be in LA next season and I absolutely cannot wait.

While with Manchester he played in 67 games accumulating 25 goals and 58 assists for a whopping 83 points; he ended even in the plus/minus column and had 34 PIM. He went to the AHL All-Star Classic where he was able to display his awesomeness on an even bigger scale. He recorded a hat trick AND got the game-winner in the shootout, which eventually led to him being named the game’s MVP. In the Calder Cup playoffs, he played in 4 games getting 0 goals, 3 assists for 3 points. Interestingly, he ended at a -9, but thinking back on it, the Monarchs were full of rookies and they were playing the best team in the AHL (Providence Bruins) in that first and only round. And, hey, it’s the Kings; having a horrible +/- is normal.

This Newfoundland boy is going to be on the roster next year and I have a feeling that he’s going to be on the right wing of the 2nd line. It’s hard to see him NOT being in the top six forwards. His skill level is too high to be placed any lower than that. This actually presents an interesting phenomenon that I don’t think I’ve seen before on a line; this is with Jarret Stoll taking the 2nd line center position. Alexander Frolov, Stoll, and Purcell are all right-handed shots. And really, that’s going be the hottest line in the NHL. Hands down. I’m gonna have to make sure my panties don’t fall off when they hit the ice.

Good god....


Year-In-Review – 17 – Scott Thornton

Monday, July 21, 2008

Scott Thornton was a veteran forward who wore an “A” on his sweater last season, and while I’m sure he had some influence off the ice for the younger players, I wished that he had more of an on-ice role. He played in 47 games getting 5 goals, 3 assists for 8 points, ended up at a +1, and had 39 PIM. Even though his numbers don't reflect it, I felt that he was a player who came to play every night whenever he was in the lineup. He played in just a couple less games than Brian Willsie, but I can remember more of his shifts. There’s a certain presence that one can have while out on the ice and I felt that Thornton was one of those types of players. In saying that, I definitely felt bad for him whenever I saw that he was a "healthy scratch."


I always wondered what type of leadership role he was having over the younger players when he was a constant scratch. I remembered thinking many times, "How much influence can he have if he’s not out on the ice on a regular basis?" According to Ron Hextall at the Kings Roundtable, we, as fans, have to remember that just because Thornton was a healthy scratch didn’t mean that he wasn’t suffering from some sort of nagging injury. At the same time, when he was scratched, we had to go without his grittiness on whatever line Crawford threw him out on. I’m not saying that he was an elite player whose role was on the top line, but there was a sort of undeniable extra spark whenever he was in the lineup. He definitely threw down a few times and held his own as an older player. I recall he was INSENSED when the Kings were playing Chicago and Dustin Byfuglien grabbed Lubo to have a go. I remember Jim Fox saying he thought that Byfuglien realized he didn’t grab a fighter so that they were instead just grappling with each other. But as someone who is able to win his fair share of fights, Thornton wanted nothing more than to rip Byfuglien’s head clean off .

Not Byfuglien, but he's about to get wacked.

I believed he made noticeable difference whenever he was out there and he definitely deserved more ice time, but to think that he was too injured to take any extra ice time he could have been given is really unfortunate. When it was announced that the Kings’ last game of the season would possibly be the last of Thornton’s career, I was pretty bummed. That last game is customarily Fan Appreciation Day where the players give selected fans the jerseys off their backs. When it was Thornton’s turn, the person receiving his jersey was actually his wife. I thought it was definitely fitting that the Kings brought her out for this occasion. She had been with him since he was playing in Juniors and for her to be there at the end was a classy move by the organization.

To Scott, I had hoped your last season in the NHL could have ended better, but thanks for your efforts on every shift. I hope I’m not alone in saying that I wished you could have been healthier to take more shifts because we needed it.


His retiring from the game and departure from the Kings leaves us with another hole in the lineup. I can’t even really pinpoint which position Thornton played with whichever line because of Crawford, but I will say with certainty that someone in his early 20s will be taking his place.


It’s 75 Degrees Outside And I’m Inside

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Going into the weekend, there have been plenty of updates from the Kings camp that I have been keeping up with in my podcasts, but I realized that I should probably type something out for your viewing pleasure.
  • I realize that I haven’t written anything about Rob Blake signing his one-year deal with San Jose, but I have addressed this in Kings World Podcast episode 1.5 and in the I’m Not a Puck Bunny Podcast episode 22. I didn’t ignore it by any means; it was just too devastating for me to write anything the moment it happened because he’s obviously more than just a hockey player to me. Please look for a question-and-answer I did for Gann Matsuda when he comes out with a piece on Lombardi…
  • The Kings have re-signed four RFAs: Matt Moulson, Erik Ersberg, Gabe Gauthier, and Joe Piskula.
    • The most important out of these four was Moulson. I couldn’t imagine the Kings releasing him into free agency waters. He made a good showing in his 22 games with the Kings last year and it just seemed natural for him to be re-signed.
    • Ersberg was going to take the Kings to arbitration because he apparently wanted to re-sign with a one-way contract so that he’d get the same amount coming to him if he was playing in Los Angeles or Manchester. That was the word on the street before he re-signed for $700,000. I guess whatever was going on was patched up and we all moved along.
    • The re-signing of Gabe Gauthier seems to make sense because he had a good presence in Manchester in terms of leadership last season.
    • I... have nothing to say about Joe Piskula.
  • Terry Murray was hired as the Kings new head coach. From his background as a coach, his affiliation with the Philadelphia Flyers, and his coaching philosophy, he seems like he’ll fit in well with this rag-tag bunch of young bucks. Before I was pretty indifferent about who the new coach would be after Craig Hartsburg was taken off the market, but now I’m getting excited for the start of the season with knowing that there is a competent coach behind the bench. He will be employed by the Kings for three years and will be paid $2.65 million. Apparently bloggers aren't supposed to quote from the Associated Press, so you can read about his history here.
  • Christmas in July!!! The NHL 08-09 schedule was released today and I have spent some time perusing the schedule and taking note of specific games.
    • First and foremost, I’ve concluded that the scheduling committee must hate me. We all know that my favorite player is now on my most hated team, and apparently the scheduling committee knows this too since the Kings’ home opener and closer are against the Sharks. I couldn’t even call that irony; that’s just straight up cruel. The first year I’m able to afford season tickets I have to watch a hostile crowd spew its venom onto the player that I hold most dear to my heart. My friend that I’m getting season tickets with, AJ, has promised to buy me the biggest beer available for those games against the Sharks. We’ll see if that’s able to stop the tears from flowing…
    • I guess I also have to point out the the Kings are opening their season on the road as well. They're obviously not going to London again to play against the Ducks at the O2 Arena. No, they're playing the Sharks... at the Tank. *sigh*
    • If I had to choose just one game that I’m most excited for it’s on Thursday, November 20th against the Washington Capitals. I’m sure the buzz in Los Angeles for Alexander Ovechkin’s arrival won’t be as big as when he goes into Canada, but this game will definitely be a huge draw for Kings fans. To see a superstar in Staples Center will definitely fill the seats. Personally, as much as I’m looking forward to seeing AO on the ice, I’m almost as excited to see Sergei Fedorov as well. He was always someone I liked watching as a kid, so I’m definitely looking forward to this game. Fer sure.
    • Saturday, November 1st will be interesting. Michael Cammalleri makes his Staples Center debut in a Flames jersey and I’ll definitely be looking at who his linemates are. I can't actually predict what the reaction will be when he touches the puck. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was silence, which one might equate to indifference, but I wouldn’t see that as the case either.
    • Another game to note will be on Friday, December 5th against the Edmonton Oilers. This will be Lubomir Visnovsky’s first game back at Staples and I hope the fans give him the warmest welcome possible. We miss you, Lubo!
    • Saturday, January 3rd will be another fun one for me. The Philadelphia Flyers will be in town and I’ll get to see Daniel Briere (who I heart) and Marty Biron. There are some teams where I just can’t explain why I like them, and the Flyers are one of those teams. I think Briere being on the roster also adds to why I like them.
    • The Kings have two 5-game roadtrips and one 6-game roadtrip in the second half of the season and all three are within a 2-month span. The two 5-game roadtrips bookend February while the 6-gamer occupies the latter half of March. Two teams that traveled to the west coast last season were the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadians. This coming season, the Kings are going to their houses. I'm bummed we won't see those two teams at Staples, but no worries, they'll be on TV, right FSN?...
  • The longest home stance is for 7 games. It starts on Monday, October 27th against the Red Wings (…yay…) and ends on Tuesday, November 11th against the Stars (…yay for Sean Avery…).
    • There are 14 Saturday games AT Staples. 8 start at either 7PM or 7:30PM, which means that 6 of them will start at 1PM.
    • After being confused with Cat for a couple of minutes, we figured out that neither the Kings nor the Stars were playing on Thanksgiving. Duh, right?
    • The down time between Christmas and the New Year has three games going on, so Kings fans won't be too bored.
    • Last year the Kings played the Chicago Blackhawks on New Year's Day, but this year, Kings fans will be ringing in the new year with just Winter Classic II.
    • The longest period without any Kings games is from Thursday, January 22nd to Wednesday, January 28th.
    • Last year the last game of the season was held on the same weekend as the San Diego Crew Classic. I was definitely bummed about that because being away gave the season an anti-climactic feel to it, personally. But this year the schedule will be going a week longer so I'll be able to better gauge which event I want to go to, the SDCC or a game against the Coyotes...
    • April has 6 games and only 3 are against Pacific Division rivals. Thank god.
    • There are 15 occurrences of back-to-back games.
      • 9 - Both games are away
      • 5 - One home and one away
      • 1 - Both home games
    • I think that's all for now. Oh, the Frozen Fury is going to ROCK.


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 23

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cat joins me this week and we start right away with the worst trade rumor to ever hit the internet (in my eyes). Kopi will not be leaving LA, thank you very much. We then discuss Sean Avery going to Dallas. We give our respective updates for our teams, give our shoutouts, and then sign off.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at

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.


Don't Be Stupid

If ANYONE thinks Dean Lombardi is stupid enough to trade away Anze Kopitar for ANYONE, he needs to stick his head into a dirty toilet.

I hate rumors and I'm really wondering where this particular one got started. This really has got to be the most asinine rumor. The Ottawa Sun is reporting something is brewing, but, honestly, I can't believe people are considering this. In a three-way trade the Chicago Blackhawks would send G Nikolai Khabibulin and D Cam Barker/D Brent Seabrook to the Senators, the Sens would send G Martin Gerber and D Andrej Meszaros to the Kings, and the Kings would send Kopi to Chicago. WHAT?!?! This would be a mistake of gigantic proportions. How do those two guys equal Kopi? How does that equate to being a positive for the Kings? Why would Lombardi trade away our top line center and future extraordinaire for two minor players from the Sens?

Can't see this happening? BECAUSE IT WON'T. EVER.

This rumor probably started because either Brian Murray or Dale Tallon inquired about Kopi just to see what Lombardi would say. I'm sure they were met with, "Hell fuckin' no." If Lombardi wanted all of Los Angeles to drive him out of the city with stakes and pitchforks, this is what he would do: trade away Kopi, Dustin Brown, Patrick O'Sullivan, Alexander Frolov, Jonathan Bernier, Jack Johnson, and Drew Doughty for picks in 2009, 2011, and 2012. Do you see that happening? I didn't think so. So, to whomever started this rumor, please run headfirst into the nearest wall.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.5

Monday, July 14, 2008

In this episode Marie and I discuss the happenings from the past two weeks, which include the lone trade the Kings made since July 1st, Rob Blake's signing with San Jose, Sean Avery's return to the Pacific Division, and why Ted Nolan would NOT work in Los Angeles. I then let the listeners know how the prospects have been doing in their camp that is still currently going on. We end by attempting to figure out where the holes in the lineups are... turns out, there's still a lot of uncertainty...

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.


Prospects Camp - Halfway Done

Since I took some more quick notes on Sunday at the prospects camp, I might as well post them up. I tried to look at some of the guys that I didn’t on Saturday. I’ll do another write up this coming Saturday to round out the camp and I’ll include some more pictures.

Andrei Loktionov – He was one of the first ones I noticed. I thought he wasn’t going to be able to make it out because of his visa issues, but I guess that was squared away. This morning, one of the drills they worked on was with two forwards and one defender. On one of his turns, he looked like he completely lost control of his limbs and his legs were all over the place. I think he fell twice in a five second span of time. But I’ll just chock it up to this being his second day on the ice here and trying to get acclimated.

Viatcheslav Voinov – I thought he was okay on Sunday, but there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement. He has short, choppy strides and he missed some passes here and there, but that was just his second day on the ice, so I’ll cut him some slack. I haven’t yet seen his nasty side, which apparently is there, so we shall see how he grows this week.

Garrett Roe – I looked at him more on Sunday than on Saturday. I noticed that he’s really quick out of the corners. He was able to get to full speed from a dead stop faster than I thought he could. He shortens his strides and is actually more efficient that way. I also noticed that he was up against Colten Teubert a lot and Teubert isn’t one to back down, even if his opposition is only 5’8”.

Jonathan Quick – His movements weren’t as sharp or fast as Jonathan Bernier’s were/are, but that’s not surprising to me. His stick-handling skills around the back of the net were decent, but his passes out weren’t as hard as I thought they could be. The pucks seemed to be pushed out from the trapezoid rather than passed with urgency. I always think those drills are important because the players are practicing active communication between the defenders and the goaltender. The amount of verbal communication is miniscule, but the two seconds it takes to convey their individual desires is attributable to how fast the subsequent break out is. If you watch Bernier do this drill you can see that his head is on a constant swivel on his two defenders and his passes are done with the right amount of urgency. I just didn’t see that with Quick and ESPECIALLY not with Jeff Zatkoff.

Robert Czarnik – I’m actually noticing him more than I thought I would. I like his frame; he doesn’t have too much weight on his 6-foot frame. But he still looks solid and makes quick stops and is also pretty sharp on his turnarounds. He really doesn’t waste strides like some people… *cough* Zeiler! *cough*.

Geordie Wudrick – I definitely like this kid. He’s got an endless amount of enthusiasm it seems, which I think helps in his explosiveness on his turnarounds. After Sunday’s session was over, he was one of the last guys on the ice just playing around and messing around with lifting the pucks in the air. He was picking them up on his stick and tossing them up for Justin Azevedo to try to slap into the net. I don’t think they were able to get one successfully, but it was nice to watch these guys to that.

All-in-all, I liked what I saw on Sunday. The second group (Gold) will be out on the ice for this week, so we’ll see how they do. I’m bummed to see the first group (Purple) leave; mainly because I can now recognize them by the numbers they were given. Now I have to learn a whole new group of numbers. Annoying, but I’ll get over it.

Good work this week, Purple Group!


Prospects Camp - Week 1

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Due to something called "work," I haven't been able to get out to the rink to check out the prospects for as long as I'd like. But I have been able to get out there a couple of times and was out there this morning, with my new camera in tow. I had been reluctant to take any serious notes since we're essentially looking at an unfinished product with these prospects feeling each other out and getting back into the groove of being out on the ice for 2-a-days.

Since I had the time today, I took a few notes. They're not extensive by any means, but here they are:

Jonathan Bernier - He has been one of the few that has easily impressed me with his work between the pipes. He's so calm and doesn't make many overly panicked movements. His lateral movement across the goal line and around the top of the crease is impressive. He knows exactly how much push he needs in order to get from one post to the top of the crease down to the other pipe. The control of his legs is really something worth taking note of.

I thought he engaged in good, clear communication with his defenders. For example, after one drill was finished, he called a defender back to him and it looked like they hashed out what Bernier needed from him in that situation. That type of communication is definitely a quality in a player that I like seeing. There was one drill that was a breakout drill starting with the goalie going around behind the net and either passing the puck out to a defenseman or leaving it behind the net. I thought Bernier's puck-handling abilities were controlled enough. I don't remember ever looking at that specific skill so I can't really gauge his improvement in that area. All in all, Bernier has continued to impress even though he let in some pucks here and there. Although, I'd attribute that to the skills of the forwards.

The plain white helmet is a little creepy...

Jeff Zatkoff - In the drill that I just mentioned, I was definitely not impressed with anything Zatkoff was doing behind the net. The way he was holding his stick made him look uncomfortable while he was behind the net. Sometimes he wouldn't even be able to control the puck, which you could attribute to being a bouncing puck, but still...

Drew Doughty - What can I say about this kid; he's just impressive to watch. His skating is so smooth that he looks like he's floating over the top of the ice. His positional play makes me just shake my head because it just looks so easy for him. If anyone has any doubts as to why he was picked 2nd overall, please go to the camp Sunday or Monday and watch him skate. Plain and simple, we struck gold with this kid.


Justin Azevedo - He definitely looked to have more confidence out there today than at the beginning of the week. His face didn't show the frustrations that were present a few days ago, which I'll take as a good sign. But I still couldn't ignore the fact that he was still getting easily pushed around while on the puck. Perhaps he could stay a little more steady around the corners if he hit the gym this summer while focusing on his core. His center of gravity is already lower than everyone else's but it doesn't really help when you get cross checked on the side of the head. I think if he was 3 or 4 inches taller, that cross check he got from another prospect would have been on his shoulder instead. I wasn't too impressed at the beginning of this week, but he has shown progress and I just have to keep reminding myself that these are raw prospects.

New short stack

Geordie Wudrick - If you don't yet know, this is the kid that talks a mile a minute in interviews that make them absolutely hilarious to watch. He definitely has some sweet skills but I think his excitement with getting the puck makes him kind of go all over the place. Saying that, I thought the speed with which he got his shots off was decent. He also had quick feet while staying smooth around corners.

Colten Teubert - Besides Bernier, Teubert has been the big stand out for me. I can already recognize his skating/movement style, which is very in-your-face. He hasn't been letting down in any of the drills I've seen him do and he's got that steely look on his face that tells you he means business as he's plastering you to the glass. I can already see him becoming a favorite of mine, and I'm sure he's forcing management to take notice of him. He's only 18 and would have to go back to Juniors if he didn't make it onto the Kings roster for next season. In any case, I'm very excited to see how he does at training camp. As a side note: he has a presence about him where I'd be perfectly okay with ripping all his clothes off.

Umm, yes please.

Oscar Moller - This kid is pretty easy to recognize out there. Just look for the shorter kid that can hold his own against the guys that are over six feet tall. The way he's built at 5'11" reminds me a bit of how Lubo skates, nimble with efficient strides. He's got a quick release and is also adorable in the face.

Martin Nolet - This is a defenseman out of the college ranks. The only reason I really noticed him was because he got hit square in the mouth with a puck on Friday and was wearing a full face shield/cage today. I felt bad for the guy, definitely, but I'll give him some props since he definitely held his own out on the ice.

Nolet in the mask and Moller with the puck

Garrett Roe - Didn't really pay too much attention to him, but I noticed that he was a speedy little guy who fought for every puck.

Viatcheslav Voinov - After getting his visa taken care of, he was out on the ice today. For some reason, his movements kept making me think he was a forward. I don't know why, but I had to make an effort to remember that he was a defenseman. After just one day, I can only say that I hope he stays through next week in order to get some practice time in with the other prospects. The other Russian prospect, Andrei Loktionov is still in Russia dealing with visa issues apparently.

There have been 4 German kids that have joined the Kings prospects in this camp; Florian Busch, Frank Hordler, Alexander Weiss, and Andre Rankel. The one that I've noticed the most out of these four is Busch. During any type of one-on-one drills, he definitely utilized his quick shot toward the goal. I thought he also had good maneuvering skills while handling the puck.
German kids

Since today was the first day of seeing the second group of guys that are going to be here all next week, I didn't really take any notes on them. I will say the early standout is Wayne Simmonds and that he's in desperate need of some protein shakes. 6'1" at 162 pounds = lanky as hell.


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 22

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

This week I am joined by Finny where we discuss how the Ducks and the Kings have been doing. Finny looks at the Entry Draft, I talk about some Kings updates, and then we delve into Free Agency. The big topics that are discussed are how Rob Blake ended up in San Jose on a one-year contract, how utterly atrocious the new Iowa Chops' logo is, and the Brian Burke and Kevin Lowe spat. Enjoy!

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at

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 – 16 – Lauri Tukonen

Monday, July 7, 2008

One thing that really bothers me about Lauri Tukonen is that he has the same first name as Christian Bale's character in Little Women. You know, with the weird facial hair and the mad crush on Winona Ryder but then later has to love the youngest sister, Meg, in order to stay somehow connected with this estrogen-dominated family. Those crazy kids.

Christian Bale = HOT

Lauri Tukonen = NOT

So sad.

He looks confused here. It's probably because he is.

Anyway, if you don't recognize this kid's name, that's okay, I wouldn't expect you to remember him. He had the most non-memorable game probably in his career this year. He was recalled for one game, probably because management decided, "What the heck, we're doing so terribly right now, why not bring up a young 'un and make him feel like crap." Done and done. In a terrible game against the Coyotes, the team played terribly, vis a vis, Tukonen sucked balls. It's amazing just how much the Coyotes owned the Kings this year. Simply amazing.

Anyway, Tukonen recorded one shot on net and then he was sent back to Manchester. Hope you had fun in LA this year! All two days...

I shouldn't laugh at the foreign kid.

Because this is a review for just this past season, I realized that I had nearly nothing to write about this kid. But while I was looking through Getty Images, I realized that he had so few pictures that all of his mug shots were up on the one and only page for him. So I saved them and complied them all into one convenient image for you all. I don't think I've laughed more while compiling a quick collection. Maybe it was because it was kind of a Tukonen; Through The Years that made it utterly hilarious. I'm sure it's just the way each individual picture was taken, but he looks like he's shrinking as the years go by. Also, his hair is getting more and more emo. Someone should help this kid out.


Year-In-Review – 15 – Brian Willsie

Saturday, July 5, 2008

As we move along with the Reviews for the forwards, I'm not ignoring what has been going on for the past couple of days. I'm doing the exact opposite in fact; I can't stop thinking about what has occurred and it really just has been a sad and disappointing past couple of days for me. But celebrating among family and friends on the 4th had been a good getaway for me. That being said, we're going to move along with the reviews. I really hope that I can get all of these done before the summer is over actually.

To reiterate my first Review on the forwards, I'll be writing these alphabetically and in reverse order. So we move along to Brian Willsie.

I think out of all of the players on the roster, he's the one that did almost nothing on every shift. There's not one thing I can remember that he really contributed to the games he was playing in because, as with every fringe player, he was scratched for a good number of games. Hilariously enough, when I looked at the Kings website for Willsie's stats, he wasn't even on the list!

If you take a close look, even Lauri Tukonen was on this list by playing ONE GAME!!! HAHAH!!!! I guess the web programmer feels the same way about Willsie as I do. So, thank you, web programmer, for providing me with a good round of laughs. I had to venture over to Yahoo sports to check out what he posted for last season. So he played in 53 games and got 4 goals, 8 assists for 12 points, and ended at a -8. 53 games?? Really? I can't even remember how any of his goals looked. I'm really trying... but I got nothing...

The one thing that I CAN remember, and the one thing that I will always associate with Brian Willsie was that faithful day on Wednesday, March 26th, 2008. This was the game in which the Kings took the Ducks to the 6th round in the shootout near the end of the season. After the 1-1 game went into OT, I was already envisioning who I wanted to see out on the ice for the shootout. My top three were Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, and Patrick O'Sullivan. At that point in time, I was sick of seeing Michael Cammalleri in the top 3 with Sully having to come in the 4th round to win the game. Well, my wish had been granted, Sully was the 3rd shooter. But then Cammy was the 4th, and Alexander Frolov was the 5th. I had not expected the shootout to extend this far and had no clue who Crawford was going to send out onto the ice. IMAGINE MY SHOCK WHEN BRIAN WILLSIE HOPPED OVER THE BENCH. After 65 minutes of hockey, he had only played 5:54 spread over 8 shifts. He had absolutely no business being out on the ice at that point in time. Who would I have chosen next?

Lubomir Visnovsky.

Rob Blake.

Derek Armstrong.

Hell, Kevin Dallman.

Per Assistant GM, Ron Hextall, Willsie was in the top 3 shooters while with the Washington Capitals. Who knew! But how much is that weighed against how he was doing during the prior 65 minutes? According to Crawford's gut feeling, none. The only other fact about Willsie that I will remember is that he was Alexander Ovechkin's roommate when AO was a rookie.

I just tried to look at to see what he was making last year on his 1-year contract signed last summer. Wouldn't you know it, he's not on this page either! He seems to be disappearing a la Nowhere Man style. Odd.



Thursday, July 3, 2008

Rob Blake going to my most hated team for one year?

Tell me I’m dreaming.

This has got to be some sick fucking joke.

Fuck you, you motherfuckers.


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 21

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

This week on the show, I had Steph (No Pun Intended) join me. She gives updates on her Red Wings letting us know how the Entry Draft worked for her team, where the Cup has been so far, and let us in on some funny stories always associated with the Cup. We then delve into the Free Agency talk to see how our teams fared. We end with the usual shoutouts and then sign off. Enjoy!

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at

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.


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