Moving On Up

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today is the day!!! This is my final post here on A Queen Among Kings, but I'm in no way halting my writing of all things Los Angeles Kings hockey. This is actually the big change I mentioned a few weeks ago. As of you reading this post, I have moved over to SB Nation to manage the Kings blog there. I round out their NHL family of bloggers and hope everyone will move there with me to join the large hockey community that already exists.

Another fun announcement is that the name of my blog is changing too! I will be operating under Jewels From The Crown. I hope everyone follows the link over there and continues the discussion.

Thanks so much to everyone for visiting this site since its inception! I truly appreciate it! I'll definitely miss this blog, no doubt. But I hope you see you over at Jewels From The Crown!


Extra! Extra! The Kings Are Mortal!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

After watching the Los Angeles Kings throw everything at the Detroit Red Wings including the fixtures on the toilet on Thursday, it was hard to get up for the game against the St. Louis Blues last night. There was basically nothing the Kings could do to match the intensity and desperation they showed on Thursday, but I faithfully watched the second game wondering what was going to happen. Let's just say the number of hits to Blues' faces matched the number of shots on Jimmy Howard.

I can't remember the last time I was brought to tears from the result of a Kings game, but my mascara was definitely being smeared from under my eyes after Darren Helm spun away from Sean O'Donnell in the corner only to beat Jonathan Quick through the legs after a poke check loosened the puck from Helm's grip. The remaining 17 seconds had my hands occupying my eye space from the sheer output of effort and sustained attack from the Kings, which is usually the complete opposite in these games. I couldn't believe how quickly I was brought to my knees after Ryan Smyth had me running down the hall screaming with his power play goal late in the third period. I was expecting nothing other than overtime to come around after the tying goal. Maybe next time I shouldn't be so expectant of an outcome.

When one is given the task of following a great act with his or her own, the pressure to "bring it" is as heavy as an anvil on the chest of the performer. For the Kings, it's a rare occurrence to have an insane effort result in a loss knowing they will have to follow it up with a game against a team possessing a boring yet (arguably) similar style of play to their own. This was definitely the case against the Blues at the Staples Center on Saturday night. The slow start let me know it wasn't going to be anything like the Red Wings game a mere two days earlier. The biggest difference was the underwhelming performance of Quick. Perhaps the sheer number of games has caught up with this young pup, but the goals against were ugly and he was yanked after letting in four unsightly ones. Erik Ersberg stepped in with a little over 13 minutes to play, which was about the time where the Kings decided they wanted to try and win. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown notched a goal apiece, but it wasn't enough to get the tie and at least one point.

There are a few things from the game I wanted to mention because I found them fascinating. The first is that apparently the Blues have one of the highest penalty killing percentages in the league. Where did that come from? The other is the annoying fact that Raitis Ivanans doesn't fight. Sean O'Donnell and Matt Greene scuffled against Brad Winchester and BJ Crombeen, not respectively, while Ivanans did nothing. The roles of the aforementioned Kings players are obvious and need not be explained. Let's fix this picture, people.

The next game for the Kings will be tomorrow against the San Jose Sharks. I'm not sure the outcome here since I predicted the Kings would go 5-2 during this seven-game home stand and that they would split the two games with the Sharks. They're already two down and another loss wouldn't look very good to the misty-eyed Kings fans who were hoping this squad could actually make the post season.


Ringing In The New Year!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The new year festivities brought exciting news for Los Angeles Kings fans, a team that's back on the winning side! After a four-game losing streak, an eight-day hiatus, and the start of a new decade, the Kings find themselves in the middle of a three-game winning streak with the Detroit Red Wings coming into Staples Center on Thursday the 7th. There has been a ton of news for the Kings and I've been neglecting this space for a few days, but I'm back on the horse!

Here are some updates with a bit of my hundreds and thousands served up to you, the faithful reader:
  • Drew Doughty makes the Team Canada Olympic roster as the 7th defensemen in a pretty exciting announcement ceremony on TSN with Twitter all abuzz. There were plenty of skeptics with this final choice, but after last night's game against the San Jose Sharks, Stevie Yzerman is looking very dapper with this decision. Doughty notched 4 assists in the 6-2 romping of the Sharks in their own house, no less!
  • Three Kings were named to Team USA's Olympic roster; Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson, and Jonathan Quick. The presentation of this roster after the Winter Classic was pretty awesome. I was expecting Brown and Johnson to be announced, but to see Quick's name included sent a rush of happiness down my spine. Quick has had a great season so far and this inclusion into the Olympics proves his worth.
  • Much has been said of the Dion Phaneuf hit on Anze Kopitar on December 30th; it was dirty, it was clean, and Phaneuf is a douche. This last part is true. For my two cents, the play was dirty because he was no where near the puck when he hit Kopitar, the hit was clean in that his leprous limbs were tucked in and that Kopitar did not suffer a mortal wound, but the hit was also exceedingly, disgustingly, and horrifically excessive and has no business being doled out by anyone. Glad he was ejected from the game. That is all.
  • The Kings on the World Junior teams are rounding out nicely and getting some recognition of their own. The Gold Medal game is tonight between Canada and the US making me wish everyday that I had the NHL Network.
  • This Thursday's game will start a seven-game home stand where I'm hoping the Kings pull a 5-2 record. They'll probably split the two games against the Sharks, blowout either the St. Louis Blues or Anaheim Ducks, and get shelled by the Buffalo Sabres. The contest with the Boston Bruins will be intriguing enough with the battle of the Team USA goaltenders marketed against each other.
Lastly, go Kings!


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