Wow, I Can't Believe The Kings Lost..,

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What an unbelievable end to that game against the Canadians! I have to head out right now, but I'll return later to do a recap for you guys. Gotta play in my own hockey game right now, but first, I have to hit up the Banana Republic for their big sale!


68% In The Faceoff Circle: Kings 5, Blackhawks 2

Friday, January 30, 2009

Watching Chicago play on TV and in looking at their place in the standings, you get the sense that they're this "team on the rise" (thanks MSM); but when they get to Staples Center, something happens and they forget what it's like to play hockey. For this reason, I went to Staples with a bit of confidence that the Kings could come out with a win. Not too surprisingly, they dominated the Hawks in a 5 to 2 victory last night and now the Kings are on a modest three-game winning streak, but this could completely fall apart on this upcoming road trip that begins in Montreal on Saturday.

Jarret Stoll continues to impress by winning 15 faceoffs and only losing two (88%). Derek Armstrong has also been strong here and in this game he won 5 and lost one. I've been pretty happy with Army with every game he's played in this season, and he didn't disappoint in this game either. Actually, come to think of it, I wasn't really disappointed with anyone's play; although, there was one player who made very noticable errors, but I let them slide due to the rest of the team's play. The kid I'm talking about was Jack Johnson; basically, he is totally awesome but (at the same time) really rusty right now. Granted, this was his third or fourth game back and you can tell he'll need a couple more games to get back into it. The errors he made were pretty painful in that he just couldn't connect the blade to the puck in key situations and subsequently lost the momentum of the shift. The whifs and missed passes were hilariously bad, but it's not like I'm chastising him or anything. His spin-o-rama move at the beginning of the game was momentous, and I'm not mad in any way. Side note: it was a bit odd when we didn't see Drew Doughty out for every other shift; Jack had 22:49 of TOI but Doughty still had 22:04. I definitely appreciated the sheer potential this D core will get to.

One gripe that I had was concerning the three stars at the end of the game. I would like to know how in the world the media thought Brian Campbell deserved the 3rd star of the game. The only thing I remember him doing all game was making error after error after error. At one point, he slipped on the wet ice and I looked at Marie and asked her how much the Blackhawks just paid him to fall right there. I don't think he deserved the third star and that's that.

I don't have anymore time to write more. This'll have to do until Saturday's game! Hasta!


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.25

Monday, January 26, 2009

The All-Star weekend gives Marie and me a minimal number of games to talk about, but we more than make up for it with thoughts and gripes with the actual All-Star festivities and such. Nothing too deep, just initial reactions to what was shown to the viewers. Dustin Brown is a centerpiece of this portion since he was the lone Kings representative. We touch on plenty of topics and throw a question to the listeners. Please listen and give us your thoughts!

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.


All-Star Dustin Brown!!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Aaaand We're Back: Kings 5, Wild 2

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Kings break their 4-game losing streak with a win over the Minnesota Wild. The Wild were on the back end of playing three games in four nights and the Kings were rested up. You could say the latter had the advantage, but at this point, I'll take it without any misgivings. In looking back at the last game against the Dallas Stars, the Kings actually played better in regulation compared to the previous three contests. They fought all the way to the end and ended with a loss in the shootout, but this mindset was carried over to tonight's game where they won decisively over a tired Wild squad.

I basically thought everything looked good in this game:

  • Jack Johnson played 17:44 and is slowly getting back into the groove of things. He looks strong and is making the simple plays, which is completely fine. After being out for so long, I don't want him trying anything fancy this early into his return. I'm still unsure who he could be paired with, and am really not interested in trying to guess. I'll let Terry Murray make that decision for me.
  • All the other defensemen played a substantial number of minutes with the least being logged by Peter Harrold at 15:30. With JJ back in the lineup, Denis Gauthier and Tom Preissing look to be the healthy scratches with Harrold getting reduced minutes. I'm fine with this except that I'd want Tommy P back in the lineup before Gauts has another shot. With JJ being a physical presense, do we really need Gauts? We're lacking offense! Get Tommy P back; that is, when one of the top 6 can't play.
  • All the top flight forwards picked up goals for themselves and I was very happy with the effort by these guys. Side note: Kyle Calder is not considered a "top flight forward" in my previous sentence.
  • Role player and in the lineup until Oscar Moller returns, Derek Armstrong, always seems to contribute a great deal whenever he IS in the lineup. He notched another goal tonight and I've been very satisfied with his play. When he played in nearly every game last season, I thought he was just another mediocre player, but now that he's playing reduced minutes, he's making each one count and, thus, standing out much more. Whoda thunk??
The scariest part of the game was when Raitis Ivanans and Derek Boogaard dropped their gloves in the third period. This just showed me how incredibly large Boogaard really is. When someone can make Ivanans looks small, I'd make sure to keep my distance. Jim Fox basically said he wasn't sure who won the fight. C'mon, Jim, you really don't know? It's not everyday when you see Ivanans have fists land on his dome that many times. Sad face.

Speaking of sad face, I'm patiently waiting for little Moller to get his butt back in the lineup. Seeing Kevin Westgarth out there for less than five total minutes, was... interesting. He's basically a miniature-Ivanans, only figuratively of course. I was unimpressed with Westgarth's numbers last season and his play during summer training, so I'm not holding my breath for him to start racking up any sort of numbers. In the mean time, he'll be a mini-Bam Bam.

The Kings get a respectable 32 shots on the Wild netminders while only letting 27 get on Jonathan Quick. (By the way, Jonathan Bernier was looking mighty fine on the bench.) Quick looked solid positionally and had a fast glove-hand tonight. He's penciled in to start against the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow, and after this game, I'd be surprised to see Bernier in net. The next Kings game after tomorrow is on the 29th against the Chicago Blackhawks, and if Erik Ersberg isn't back by then, maybe (just maybe), we'll see Bernier. Personally, I'd rather have Ersberg back before that game and have Bernier return to Manchester so he can get as many games as he can under his belt at the AHL level. If he's gonna be the Number 1 for years to come, he needs to be great at all other levels of play. Nothing new here, just the simple truth.

So the Kings start a quick back-to-back on the road with a solid win and I can end the day on a happy note. FINALLY.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.24

Sunday, January 18, 2009

After a missing a week, Marie and I are back with another episode. The Kings have gone 1-4-1 in the last two weeks with not much else to show for it, and we try to not be as bleak as reality proves. There isn’t too much fluff in this one but there are a few tidbits in there, so check it out!

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.


JMFJ In The Shootout?: Stars, 3, Kings 2 (SO)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wait a second, wait a second, wait a second.

Jack Johnson in the shootout? Yes, your eyes did not decieve you. After Alexander Frolov and Dustin Brown both failed to score on their chances, I half expected to see Drew Doughty standing at center ice for the last opportunity after logging 27:06 of TOI and making offensive rushes all over the place. But Jack Johnson? After Raitis Ivanans, he's the last guy I would have given the shot to. That seemed like a Marc Crawford move and I figured the Kings weren't going to get more than a point. I mean Jack's good, obviously, but up against Marty Turco with the game on the line? Apparently Turco has the second worst save percentage in the entire NHL, but still... I definitely would have chosen someone else.

Overall, I wasn't too disappointed with this showing because it was 10 times better than the game against the Red Wings a couple of nights ago. That game was a certified nightmare. The Kings got shut out in ugly fashion on home ice and I couldn't wait to just get home. After a long day of work and then not really being excited to go to Staples Center, I was done with the day as a whole. The Kings were toast at the first puck drop, and I'm so glad today's game was a complete turnaround. At the same time, I really thought they were going to be able to grab up two more points. The Stars haven't exactly been gang busters and the Kings have been needing that bounce back win.

The best part about this game was the goal scored by Frolov in the last 30 seconds of regulation to take it into overtime. The Stars came out in the third period and stood up to the Kings, tied the game, and then got the go-ahead. They could have easily gotten discouraged and started sinking, but effort and drive got the Kings back on the board. Overtime wasn't too thrilling and Erik Ersberg was being his solid, usual self. The shootout was a bit ...err, wasn't too thrilling either actually, and when Jack picked up the puck at the blueline, I basically wasn't expecting anything. I think of the goal actually went in, I'd be in utter shock.

Even with this current string of losses, I don't feel like the Kings are out of the playoff picture just yet and the season is in the latter half of January! Comical, I know, but I gotta look on the positive side of everything for this season. At this point last year, the Kings were horrendous and it was everything they could do to just keep their heads above the water. This season doesn't have them looking like a high school hockey team right at the start of games. Granted the last three contests have been a little... poor, they carry that mentality like they could actually take back control from any team and get a win. Because of this turnaround, I'm not pulling out my hair at every loss, shitty pass, and missed shot. I'm watching the team grow together and am just trying to figure out the line combos in every game. Speaking of line combinations, the defensive pairings were crazy with Jack back in the lineup. It looked like everyone was paired with everyone else at least once, so it'll be interesting to see how this pans out in the next couple of games.


Egads! Tampa 3, Kings 1

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good god, what a sorry excuse for a hockey game. Not only did the Kings not look good, they made Tampa look decent.

Pardon? Could you please repeat that?

Yes, Tampa didn't look like a horrible pile of fecal matter. They were actually breaking up passes and shutting the Kings down at their blueline; yet, at the same time, it wasn't like Tampa was tearing it up either. One thing I can say though, it's been interesting to see the Kings play against more east coast teams this season because watching them go up against all these different styles of play is actually telling. To start, Tampa's style isn't exactly... great, obviously, but they clashed severely with the Kings in those terms. I've noticed that the Kings sort of adapt their style of play to what the other team brings in any evening so that they don't really have their own distinctive style from the other 29 teams in the league. The best example I can give is the Philadelphia Flyers, uptempo and in your face every game.

I bring this up because last night was one of the few games where the Kings didn't not adapt to the opposition and tried to play their own game, which failed miserably. Tampa seemed to be moving east/west and the Kings were struggling to stay north/south. Both teams weren't really getting anywhere and the game was pretty boring for the first period. Cue a couple of random goals and Erik Ersberg was pulled. Two goals on four shots, yikes. Vincent Lecavalier's goal was... ridiculously sweet; the media had given him the first star of the game, but I honestly thought Mike Smith stood out more overall than Vinny. Making 29 saves behind a cruddy team isn't too shabby, but it was completely frustrating for the home crowd.

Tampa's EvgenyArtyukhin got his goal of the game, but he also gets the lame-ass award. This guy takes out Drew Doughty along the boards and when Sean O'Donnell tries to engage him, he just skates away. How freaking annoying. Nothing pisses me off more than someone who doesn't defend his own actions. Don't think you're trying to be the bigger person by walking away from the situation; you started it, so deal with it. In the end, Doughty doesn't return for the second half of the game and the other Dmen pick up his minutes.

I'm wondering what it's going to take for the Kings to put together a decent string of games. They're currently sucking ass and it's not going to get any easier on Thursday when they play the Detroit Red Wings. I don't have any answers.


SNAFU Part II: Devils 5, Kings 1

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Last night the Kings faced the New Jersey Devils and it wasn't pretty. The Devils soundly routed the Kings to a five to one victory in front of a "sell out crowd" at Staples Center. Three out of the five Devil goals were on the PP, which completely killed anything the Kings were trying to generate. The seven shorthanded instances were killer and the whole game was going down, down, down the toilet. In the end, the Kings had more shots on, which killed me because Kevin Weeks is not that great of a goalie. I don't know what you would call his style, but it's definitely not a pretty one.

Jonathan Quick, he let in five goals on 28 shots and I'm pretty sure Erik Ersberg will be starting in net on Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightening. I'm also hoping that Derek Armstrong will be in the lineup for that game in lieu of John Zeiler. I feel like there's a roster spot that's wasted when Zeiler is in; at least Army brings something to the table like leadership on and off the ice and the occasional goal. The one positive that sticks out in my mind is Brian Boyle. With every game he's slowly getting more physical and more imposing. I know management wanted him to get his game going by using his massive body more to his advantage, and I think he's understand how exactly to do that. He had four resounding hits during the game and his skating has definitely gotten stronger. Go Boyle.

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Same thing as a heart attack

Instead of talking about the game too much because it was kind of shitty, I'm going to talk about the insane couple sitting next to me. They had obviously arrived in their seats sans friends who were somewhere else in the arena. As Chris from KingsCast pointed out, it was like listening to people talk in a movie theater. I know what you're thinking, it's an arena with thousands and thousands of people there hooting and hollering, how can you hear two people? Well, let me illustrate. First off, the guy was getting toasted and started to wonder outloud how much advertising cost for the insides of the boards. Silly me had engaged him further into the thought process with the girl getting into as well; which brings me to: Second, the girl with him was incessent. She obviously knew the game and about the Kings more than the guy, but the sheer noise coming out of her mouth was like fingernails over a chalkboard. Also when this is the case, there is really no reason to be screaming bloody murder directly into my ear. Good god, woman.

Anyway, I could have done without the game in my memory bank, but it happened and the Kings have to just move along. The game against the Devils last season was poor as was this game; I hope next year brings about a better result for my boys. As Kings marketing has put it, the next game pits Steven Stamkos against Drew Doughty, and at this point in the season, I think Doughty has the upper hand.


Ahead of Dallas! Kings 4, Ducks 3

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Anaheim Ducks were in Staples Center, the arena was "sold out," and the hecklers were heckling. These games against the Ducks are always questionable; usually one team has a bad game and the other pounces on all the loose pucks and blatant opportunities. Other times the teams actually seesaw in terms of their momentum from period to period, which was the makeup of this game. The Kings scored the first three goals of the game on five shots (I think it was). Bobby Ryan stepped up and scored a hat trick, but Alexander Frolov shut them down by scoring the game winner off a rebound in front of the net. The Kings are two points richer by beating the Ducks 4-3 and I was satisfied with their efforts.

Anze Kopitar was back on his game notching the third goal of the game and looking so much better than he did in the game against the Philadelphia Flyers. In that game, Greener put it best when he said that Kopi looked hungover. He had nothing in the tank last week, but tonight he looked like his usual self and scored his much-needed 11th goal of the season. Before that goal, Wayne Simmonds started off the second period with a goal only 37 seconds in! Needless to say, we were all shocked and I was feeling pretty good about this new line of Kopi, Simmonds, and Frolov. I'm not sure if any of the lines tonight will remain for the next game, but perhaps this line will see more shifts in the future.

The penalty box was kept annoyingly warm by the bodies coming and going through the game. The Kings took seven penalties and Ryan scored one of his three right after the Kings had killed a 5-on-3. Not only was that frustrating, but it was compounded by the fact the Ducks had only taken three penalties of their own! The roles were reversed here and I did not like that feeling of constantly having to kill off penalties when the Kings REALLY needed to come out with a win. Halfway through the game, it was announced that the Dallas Stars had lost to the Detroit Red Wings and that the Phoenix Coyotes had won their game against the Tampa Bay Lightening. So this meant that if the Kings lost, they'd stay 5th in the Pacific Division. But they were able to pull out the win, thanks to my favorite Russian who got assists from two of my favorites, Teddy Purcell and Kyle Quincey.

Speaking of Purcell, I mentioned before that I was glad he was now getting consistent time on the second unit of the PP. He seemed to have a bit of spark when he actually had the room to operate and get plays going. Because of this, I guess I just assumed that the number of minutes he would log would rise, but it appears that I was a bit preemptive in my thinking because he only had 13:51 of TOI tonight. Bah.

The goaltending was interesting as well. Jean-Sebastian Giguere let in two goals on three shots and was promptly replaced by Jonas Hiller who was basically just plain better than Giguere. I guess I'm not too surprised; the young almost always replace the old and feeble, right? Jonathan Quick did pretty well this game but made some egregious errors at times. Some were rookie mistakes, yes, but he didn't seem as aware as he has been. Hopefully he'll get his head in the right place soon. The Kings faceoff against the New Jersey Devils next and I'm pretty happy knowing that if Quick isn't back on it by Saturday, that the Kings have a reliable goalie on the bench who is patiently waiting his turn.


C'mon Really?: Ducks 3, Kings 1

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This Freeway Faceoff BS has got to go. I'm sick of the Ducks. Period. It seems like every game starts out and the Kings are playing at the same level as the Ducks, but as the game nears its ending, the Kings just can't finish it out. The Ducks score the go-ahead goal halfway through the third period and the Kings spend the rest of the game trying to generate the necessary offense. But the unfortunate thing is that the offense has been struggling as of late; so where's the scoring gonna come from?

Good question.

I have no idea. Dustin Brown has stalled a bit; Anze Kopitar is a little dry in that department. Alexander Frolov is the Kings leading scorer and he's on the checking line! What do they have to do here? Once again, I have no idea. The only area the Kings really dominated was in the faceoff circle going 59%. Kopi did well by winning 13 of 19. But the more important stat of SHOTS ON is not happening. Only 18? I'm not sure what else to say; the game was a bit on the boring side with lots of free-flowing movement and without too many whistles.

This was Erik Ersberg's first game back in net after recovering from a slight groin injury. He looked like his old self, which is exactly what I was hoping for. He was setting himself solidly in front of pucks and moving well in the paint. At the same time, there were some rebounds that were getting away from him, but all-in-all, not too bad. The two goals against him were both on the PP and the defenders were looking a bit off around Ersberg. Since all three goals up to the game's end were on the PP, I was hoping the penalty that Brad Festerling took near the end of the game would help get the Kings energy levels back to normal and maybe they'd be able to tie the game up. Alas, the Ducks penalty killers were looking good and the Kings were going no where except back to their zone to retrieve the puck.

As a whole, I am unimpressed with this showing by the Kings and I hope Thursday's game where the Ducks are the visiting team proves to be better. Perhaps two points to help move the Kings up the standings, maybe?


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.23

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Marie and I ring in the new year with another episode for you. The previous week was skipped due to the celebration of the Christmas and New Year holidays. Things are back to normal; the game reviews are their usual selves but the previews offer some analysis and insight on players of other teams. The new year brings hope since the Kings aren’t out of the playoff hunt just yet!

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.


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