Combined Podcast!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Seeing as how the weekend was spent in Las Vegas for Frozen Fury XI, Marie, Cat, and I decided to combine the Kings World Podcast and the I'm Not a Puck Bunny Podcast into one. This entire episode was recorded in Vegas during and after the game. We hope you enjoy the pure insanity of the episode because we had a blast recording, watching the game, and experiencing what the Frozen Fury is all about.

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

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

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Frozen Fury XI

I am back in lovely So Cal, and I can't be happier. This isn't to say that the Frozen Fury game wasn't absolutely incredible; no, Vegas was just hot as hell and I'm over walking to destinations that are too far away.

I think having a game held in Vegas is an incredibly unique experience. Other preseason games have been held all over North America and Europe, but I'd be shocked if they could match the energy levels that occupy the bowels of the MGM Grand. The whole setting and experience is so unique that you can’t help but be completely enthralled by the sheer number of psychotic drunks roaming the casino floor and the along the walkway to the arena. Vegas does to a person what no other preseason game can do, which is basically to think it’s okay to do anything you want except run around completely naked. The thought of complete freedom is too overwhelming for some, but for the sane of us, we can do nothing but laugh and high five those lunatics. Bottom line: as long as those lunatics are wearing Kings jerseys, I’m safe.

On Friday evening, my friends and I happened to come upon the Luc Robitaille Poker Tournament, which he holds every year before Saturday’s game. We saw many tables filled with Kings, Aves, and civilians. The most notable were Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Ian Laperriere and (of course) Luc Robitaille. But the highlight of that experience was getting a picture taken with Tony Granato. He was so nice and even gave the camera a genuine smile. After dinner, my friends and I made our way back to the tables to check out who was still around, but I only saw Robitaille among the players who were all from the Aves. I concluded that this meant that the Kings just weren't very good at poker. Anyway, I wished I knew the Aves by face because it would have been prime to get some photo ops, but I got over that quickly.

Walking into the arena


Eagerly anticipating the start of the game


Bailey gearing up the arena while the boys hit the ice


National Anthem


Westgarth as he takes out an Aves player in his second fight


The first period of the game held the same fate as the first preseason game; there were 3 fights and 4 total goals scored. But instead of the Kings being up 3-1 like in the first game, the teams both notched two goals. The first goal of the game was scored by Matt Moulson on a pass of perfection by Kopi.

Vladimir Dravecky had the sweetest set up in front of the net. I seem to have completely forgotten who fed him the pass, but all he had to do was push it past Andrew Raycroft to get the Kings up on the scoreboard. Just like in first preseason game, the two goals Jason Labarbera gave up were both shortside and over the glove. They happened so fast that I couldn’t tell if he was out of position or if he just didn’t get his glove up in time. It should be noted that there is no jumbo tron in that arena, so if you missed something, you weren’t going to have the luxury of an instant replay. All I remember is experiencing the sickening drop of my stomach when I saw the puck sneak over Barbs’ shoulder… twice.

It felt like the Aves dominated more of the neutral zone during the first half of the game. The Kings struggled to get going out of their zone whenever the Aves were forechecking; that, combined with the fact that one of the defensive pairings was Drew Doughty and Thomas Hickey. I was definitely waiting for that one defensive breakdown to result in a goal against, but the two kids held their own and eventually were able to get their passes to stick a bit better out of the zone. This doesn’t detract from the fact that all of the Kings passes seemed to bounce over sticks and such that it was a bit embarrassing. These lapses wasted time, but the Kings finally figured out how to take over the neutral zone halfway through the game so that more time was spent in the offensive zone.


Thomas Hickey!


Drew Doughty, Jarret Stoll, Matt Moulson


Last year at Frozen Fury X was when the Kings unveiled Bailey. The backstory is that he was a lion from the MGM Grand who the Kings were going to essentially adopt, so this year Bailey was basically returning to his place of birth. I thought it would have been cute for the Kings to do something concerning that for the kiddies, drunks, and new fans in the crowd. Instead, they unveiled Air Bailey, which was the funniest thing I’ve seen in recent months. Whoever was the nutjob in the suit milked the crowd and ice time for all it was worth. One hilarious moment was during the 2nd intermission. Watch him here and in this little clip I took.


video


The third period started with Erik Ersberg in relief for Barbs. It was nice seeing him out on the ice again even though he DID let in one goal. But Kopi gave us hope when he netted the type of goal that would make even the men in the crowd throw their boxers on the ice. It was a sick wrister from the slot area through a touch of traffic. It went top shelf over Raycroft’s right shoulder, far side, and the arena went absolutely bonkers. There were definitely two goals during the game that should have been Kings goals, but they were disallowed much to the utter disgust of all the drunken fans in the crowd. In my biased yet objective opinion, if the refs did what they were supposed to do, the Kings wouldn’t have lost in the shootout; alas, the Aves tied it up and we headed into overtime. The OT frame passed with just a few stressful moments and the shootout arrived, whereupon, Marie and I predicted the shooters to be Kopi, Brownie, and Moulson. The last Frozen Fury shootout saw the top two and Michael Cammalleri. I figured this time around to be similar, but Terry Murray had a different idea. He went with Oscar Moller, Jarret Stoll, and Derek Armstrong. Okay, I understand Moller, but I was very hesitant on Stoll being out there. I was even MORE hesitant on seeing Army grab up the last spot. I knew he wasn’t going to score and I’m wondering why he was given the opportunity. If anything, it should have gone to another young kid, but I guess it’s better to give Army a chance now since he’s not going to be in the shootout during the regular season. So the Kings lost with the only goal of the shootout coming from TJ Hensick against Ersberg.

The walk out of the arena was a sobering experience, but it was nothing to cry over seeing as how we were still in Vegas. All-in-all, I thought the Kings organization and players did a great job with yet another stint in Vegas.

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Way Too Excited

Friday, September 26, 2008


Here we are. Frozen Fury XI is on our doorstep and I can't even believe it!! When I bought the tickets in the early part of summer, the event seemed like it'd take forever and a year to arrive. But now that it's here... I'm not looking forward to the drive.

So far the Kings have not lost a preseason game, which I'm hoping is the case after this weekend ends. I'm not sure what the lineup will be for Saturday's game, but here is what they were for the game against Colorado on Wednesday.

Moulson-Kopitar-Brown
Handzus-Armstrong-Purcell
Simmonds-Stoll-Richardson
Calder-Boyle-Ivanans

At the TSC yesterday I was able to see this top line run drills, and I'm pretty confident in saying that if Alexander Frolov were out for the start of the season (which he looks to be), I would not mind Matt Moulson hanging out with the top pairing. I'm very curious about how Michal Handzus and Derek Armstrong handled being on the 2nd line, which is how I feel about that 3rd line as well. That is such a mish-mash of players with Wayne Simmonds as the only Junior player, Jarret Stoll as the 20-something faceoff dude, and Brad Richardson... yeah, no idea. The 4th line is not wholly unfamiliar to me. This could very possibly be the 4th line during the season. But guys like Matt Ellis and (ugh) John Zeiler will try and work their ways onto the roster.

I'm pretty positive that this will not be the lineup for Saturday. I'm just way too jazzed (does anyone still say that?) about the entire weekend that I'm not too worried at this point. Since I won't have internet access in Vegas, I won't know much until the puck drops, which also means I won't be providing periodic updates. Instead, look for a long post with pictures galore (hopefully) upon my return.

Let's commence with the madness!!!

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Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.11: Starting Up With The Preseason

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Marie and I decide to try something a bit different this week; we actually met up in person to record an episode! The evening flows a bit more freely as we update the listeners on the past week while spending the majority of the time discussing the first preseason game at the Staples Center against the Phoenix Coyotes. We reveal who we have our eye on from those who will end up on the roster. You can venture a guess, but listening may be your best bet.

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

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

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Preseason - Kings 6, Coyotes 4

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tonight marked the official first day of the preseason with a victory against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Kings were able to subdue the desert dogs, but in reality, that was only on the scoreboard. The Kings had the game in the bag at the end when it was 5 to 4 at which time the Yotes pulled their goalie and the Kings scored an empty-netter. The game was, in actuality, closer than the score made it out to be.

I took in my first game as an official season ticket holder, and I must say, it was quite odd. I had never experienced a preseason game before and really didn't know what to expect. I was glad to have Marie by my side taking AJ's seat for the game. AJ was otherwise occupied with her duel piano training with Eddie Izzard somewhere in the midwest. I have no clue; you'll have to ask her about that.

Attendance was predictably sparse and the usual arena commentator was unavailable for whatever reason. Perhaps he wanted to duel it out with some pianos as well, but his replacement was... subpar, for lack of trying to be nice. The evening continued with a questionable rendition of the National Anthem by a typical twig-like blonde and then the puck finally dropped. As the opening shift commenced, I reminded Marie (read: out loud to myself) that this was just a preseason game and that there was no reason to get stressed or angry. Thus, I did not commence my frustrated ranting as I have done in the past when plays were handled in a sloppy fashion or if passes were missed.

Since the roster was split between Staples Center and the game in Kansas City against St. Louis, the Kings in LA had plenty of young talent manning the points and corners. There was plenty to take notice of:

  • Oscar Moller is a speedy sniper and I feel like he could be another Daniel Briere. There's definitely a presence about him on the ice, but I'd like to see a bit more weight on his frame so that he can actually withstand any hits aimed his way.
  • Richard Clune is better than John Zeiler. When Marie asked who I would rather keep, I said Clune without batting an eyelash. My reasoning? Clune can dish out the hits, break up plays, and is willing to throwdown with anyone. Zeiler, on the other hand, can't skate, lays down crappy hits, and doesn't drop the gloves.
  • Thomas Hickey definitely has promise but needs to get some weight on those bones. What is he, 150-nothing? I don't see him making the roster based on the fact that he wouldn't be able to crack the top 4 and his development would suffer in that regard. Back to Seattle, my friend.
  • Brian Boyle was looking quite soft. It actually surprised me at how timid he was being in the corners when going to get the puck. He was knocked down a couple of times with apparent ease. I'm not too worried though, once he gets it in his head that it's okay to play with an agressive edge, he'll be fine.
  • Viatcheslav Voinov. Wow, he needs a LOT of work if he's going to see any real playing time on this roster. But every time either Marie or I started to get tense when watching Voinov fumble around on the ice, I'd say out loud, "He's just a kid... it's okay..."
The big instance that stuck in my mind was how physical the Coyotes were playing. I don't remember any game against them last season being this physical. I think the 3 fights in the first period was a bit excessive, but, man, Raitis Ivanans gave Phoenix's Adam Keefe the business end of his fists about 59 times in once skirmish. I couldn't believe how much action the penalty boxes were seeing just in the first period.

I really don't want to criticize the quality of hockey on display tonight since it was the first game of the preseason, but the amount of broken plays by both squads cause undo strain on my nerves. There was a lot of north/south movement, but not because those were the systems being employed; rather, there were just so many turnovers and missed passes that plays seemed to appear out of thin air from whomever retrieved the puck.

Phoenix swapped out their goalie at the midpoint of the game. The Kings waited until the third period to give Jason LaBarbera some relief in the form of Danny Taylor. I must admit, Barbs let in some soft goals. Kyle Turris got one right on the doorstep, and it was so predictable that the play seemed like it happened in slow motion. There was another goal like that against Barbs but really, what the hell was Matt Greene doing? Talk about being out of position. Instead of being in front of the net protecting, he was picking daisies in the trapezoid. I have no idea what that was about. But, once again, this is just the first game of the season and it can only get better.

Go Kings!

[Update] The Kings have reassigned three (3) players and released one from a tryout agreement.

Byan Cameron
Matt Fillier
Geordie Wudrick

Olivier Legault
(respectively)

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I Love Getting Mail

Friday, September 19, 2008

Especially when my season tickets are waiting for me!

My booklet! With Dustin Brown on the cover!

The Kings were very cute to "personalize" Dustin Brown in this picture for me. It looks pretty awesome, but I had to bust out my Photoshop skills to blur the Kings' Photoshop job.


Huh, look at that. Patrick O'Sullivan's all over this booklet. Hmm!


Greener: My ticket looks cooler than yours will!


Moose: What is that spaceship-looking thing?

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"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 27

Thursday, September 18, 2008

In this episode I am joined by Elise from 18,568 Reasons Why. We get caught up with how the Kings have been spending their past month and how the Wild have revamped almost their entire roster during this offseason. I definitely don’t forget to mention the Kings on the Price is Right and Elise expresses her feelings towards Marian Gaborik and his situation.


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

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

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Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.10

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In the 10th episode, Marie and I look at what the Kings have been up to leading into the new season. There have been some developments concerning the rookies and some Kings players. We also note the many pictures floating around the interwebs related to the Kings (i.e. The Price is Right). We round it out with the usual shoutouts and exit. Enjoy!

Our apologies for how Marie was sounding in the episode. She was using a different computer since she is currently moving and her computer is still packed away.


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

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

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You're Just Another Older Lover Undercover...

Friday, September 12, 2008

I heart Jason Mraz

This weekend the rookie camp starts for the Kings and if I were in town, you'd know I'd be providing a tidbit and some pictures at the minimum. Alas, I've decided to get in some non-hockey fun times before the preseason starts. I will be here instead of here this weekend.


[Update: Pictures!!!]

He's so beautiful

My love

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Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.9

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This week Marie and I hunker down and record an episode since it's been two weeks since the last show. We talk about the latest updates, which include Jarret Stoll's new contract, and the Breakfast With The GM we attended on Saturday. Order doesn't seem to be had in 1.9, but we manage to last through the recording, give our shoutouts, and peace out. Enjoy!


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

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

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Interview Notes

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On Monday, September 8th, Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty published an article with this view on what Dean Lombardi and Co. have been up to lately. He included quotes from various Kings fans with yours truly included. Just as a forewarning to the readers: My quotes are outdated since I participated in this interview in early July. So it's been two months since the interview, which has given me some time to think and reflect upon how I feel about what direction the Kings organization is continually moving toward. The tone of my quotes in the article appear critical, which is due to the fact that I gave them shortly after Lubomir Visnovsky was traded to Edmonton and Rob Blake signed in San Jose. So it's understandable why the tone of what I said seems a bit angry and annoyed.

My thinking now? I think Lombardi is on the perfect track; he has his plan set in place and it is looking great. The only downfall is that we won't be able to sign all of these great players that we have amassed since Lombardi's taken over the reigns. It will be very interesting to see which players he moves and for what in the next couple of years.

I wanted to post up the whole interview that I did for Frozen Royalty here, but my answers are so outdated that I may update my responses and do a sort of "two months later" spread.

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Hockey On The Weekend

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On Friday night I had a guest spot on the Puck Podcast where I wanted to discuss the Kings and the salary cap floor. I thought I had done a pretty good job conveying what my thoughts were, but I was a bit disappointed in the final product. My portion was edited down to where maybe half of what I said was cut out (if not more). I guess I'm not too bummed seeing as how Marie and I will be able to discuss it in depth as much as we want when we record on Tuesday evening for the next episode of the Kings World Podcast.

Speaking of, our next episode will be available for you all on Wednesday the 10th where we'll talk in depth about the Breakfast with the GM that was held on Saturday morning at the Toyota Sports Center.

Link for you: The Calgary Sun has an article on Michael Cammalleri. So he's excited to go to a place where there's "an established Italian community?" What's up, Cammy? The Mexicans of LA weren't doing it for ya?

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Year-In-Review – 32 – Derek Armstrong

Thursday, September 4, 2008

(lakings.com)God, I love those jerseys

Here we are on the last player review, thank god! I hope everyone has enjoyed them because they took me awhile to do. I’m pretty sure (like 99%) that I won’t be doing a series of this depth next summer, but I’m glad I took on the challenge this first time around. If anything, I might tackle the reviews in a more sweeping fashion instead of individually. But that’s many months in the future, so we shall see what my mood is like then. If you’re still reading these, you deserve some kudos for sticking with me as I trudged through the entire roster. Even though I DID miss one or two players, I believe I can give myself a nice pat on the butt for sticking with this plan. It definitely made the summer move along at a faster clip than I thought.

(AP)
Typical

On to Derek Armstrong. On the ice he was essentially a filler; he was the second line center eventually in on a permanent basis because Michal Handzus was unable to play in that projected position. Off the ice Army was one of the most approachable players on the team. At the end of the season he received an award for his community service efforts as voted on by the media. I believe that’s a testament to his character, which definitely gave him some exposure off the ice. On the ice was a bit different; he played in 77 games and had 8 goals and 27 assists for 35 total points. After a couple of months of tallying virtually no points, I stopped looking toward him for that type of contribution even though he was part of the top 6 forwards. I wasn’t too concerned about that since there were plenty of players who were helping to put the puck in the net. And really, it’s the Kings; what were you expecting? I think I even remember the game where he scored his first goal of the season. Was it one of the games in Colorado? I think it was, but I’m not going to go back and find out. Just take my word for it.

Even though he lacked an official leadership role, I saw his various actions after whistles as showing good leadership for the young players. Next season he will be one of the few remaining veterans on the roster and I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see him wearing one of the "A's." I’m not saying that he will; I’m just saying that I wouldn’t be surprised. He has one more year left on his contract where he will make $1.6 million and then will become a UFA at season's end. Most likely he'll be sent on his merry way to search for greener pastures since he'll basically be ancient at 36 years of age (at the end of the season) when compared to the rest of the baby-faced roster.

I have nothing more to say. I’m going outside.

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Year-In-Review – 31 – Brian Boyle

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brian Boyle was one of three Manchester boys who made a showing in his limited time with the Kings. He stands 6’7” and will be a force to reckon with once he plays a full year with the Kings, which will definitely be next season. While in Manchester he played in 70 games getting 31 goals and 31 assists for 62 points. While up with the Kings he played in 8 total games getting 4 goals and 1 assist, and he also ended at a +4. Similarly to Matt Moulson and Teddy Purcell, his NHL debut was on the road, which caused his debut at Staples to be one to look forward to. I was definitely standing at the glass with Marie for that game, and when we saw Boyle in that dark jersey, the first thought in my head was, "Oh my god, Boyle’s HUGE!!!" He didn’t disappoint by scoring a goal in that game.

My height when I'm standing on a platform? Nice.

One of the many things that stands out during his time in LA is during one PK situation Marc Crawford sent him out just to take the faceoff. That was it; all he had to do was win the faceoff and then get back on the bench, which he did successfully. That small occurrence of finding out that a specialty of Boyle was winning faceoffs put a smile on my face and a reassurance in my mind that we'd have someone next season who the coach could go to with confidence.

After his all-too-short stint with the kings, he was sent back to the Monarchs to continue his studly season. One issue that had been repeated in different Kings' circles was that even though he was extremely large in stature he was a little soft on the ice. This is attributable to the fact that fighting is not permitted in NCAA play so that Boyle was not able to hone that skill even though his size could have easily allowed for the pounding of any opposition. I don't want him to become a jackass, not at all. Rather, he just needs to learn how to carry that air about him that deters opposing players from taking any liberties with him. This is also not to say that fighting should be his role, that's far from my thinking. I'd like him to continue learning in his center position and be an effective player on the bottom lines so that in the 09-10 season or beyond he can maybe set up shop on the 2nd line.

(AP)
Look how wee Phaneuf is!

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