Saturday, February 28, 2009

Don't Worry, We're Not Breaking Up...

I've just having fun writing about other NHL issues besides the juggernaut that are the Los Angeles Kings. My latest is up over at the Cycle... just who the heck is Jay Bouwmeester anyway?

Detroit Rocked City

I'm still holding out hope for that 8th seed... especially when the Kings play 2 incredibly good teams close in back to back games, but Rudy Kelly over at the Battle of California said it better today than I could.

Kings 1, Detroit 2

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Playoff Dance

I think I've figured out the secret to the Los Angeles Kings success on the road this season. It seems that Bob Miller also hosts a disco ball dance party to get the players excited for the game.

Bob Miller's Dance Party USA.

Kings 0, Flyers 2

Well, the dance party didn't work last night in Philadelphia. Sure the Kings lost 2-0 (I mean, really 1-0 since there was an empty net goal with 1 sec left) but they played an incredibly strong game, both on offense and defense. Erik Ersberg was superb in goal... but sadly, so was Marty Biron. Sure, getting at least a point out of this game would have been ideal, but the team is still only 4 points out of that 8th seed. Now the problem is that the next game is in Detroit on Friday night. The Kings have played great in the last 2 games against tough opponents... but Detroit is THE toughest opponent. At least Baby Daddy Captain Dustin Brown will be back for Friday nights game. I didn't notice his absence so much in the Minnesota game, but last night I really felt like Brown's ability to finish plays with a goal was missed last night. The Kings had a lot of shots and scoring chances... but no one to finish them. And where has Patrick O'Sullivan been the last 2 games? I feel like the puck is falling off his stick left and right and he is not moving towards the net with a hunger to score.

And if you would have told me during training camp that 19 Year Old Wayne Simmonds would become one of my favorite players to watch on the Kings... I would have slapped you silly and thrown you out of my house. But last night, Simmonds was flying all over the ice.

No, really flying. It's levitation, bro.

Wayne Simmonds, Michal Handzus and Brad Richardson are one of the strongest 3rd lines this team has ever had. Sure, I don't want them out on the ice all the time because scoring is not their strength... but night after night, this line is providing energy, excellent forechecking and the occasional scoring chance. I can not wait to see the type of player Wayne Simmonds will be after a couple seasons.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Forgot to post this yesterday... but I ruminated over at Cycle Like the Sedins about the possible first round playoff matchups for the San Jose Sharks. Hmm... I wonder if the Kings were considered???

Act Like You've Been There Before

Act like you've been there before... it's one of my favorite sayings... especially when making fun of a friend. It basically means that when you get the phone number of that hot girl you've been after or you score a game winning touchdown... act like you've been there before. For example... last week Columbus Blue Jacket Jason Williams scores this shootout goal (the first one, although the 2nd goal is nice too):

Cool as a cucumber.

And then last night, to secure 2 points in a victory against the Minnesota Wild, 19 Year Old Drew Doughty does this:

I have a feeling if 19 Year Old Drew Doughty had been in the league for a few more seasons, he could have played off this goal as intentional. I mean, seriously, how is a guy that looks like this going to act like he's been there before?

Kings 2, Wild 1 (SO)

Is there anything more exciting in pro sports than a Jarret Stoll - Mikko Koivu faceoff battle? Those guys were going at it all night. 2 great points earned. 1 shitty point given up to the Minnesota Wild. 4 points out of a playoff spot.

Another huge game tonight, against the Philadelphia Flyers who are coming off a big win against the Washington Capitals yesterday. And since San Jose is the only other Western Conference team to play tonight, it would be prudent to win this game and pick up 2 points. No word on when Captain Brown may return, but hopefully he'll make a special appearance tonight.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Captain Action

Big news... No Dustin Brown tonight against the Wild. He'll be attending the birth of his 2nd child. When Rich Hammond first posted this today, I felt like something wasn't right.

This discussion
on tries to make sense of Dustin's sudden absence. After Kings fans spent time debating why the Captain would miss such an important game... one fan realized that Brown had told Rich Hammond last October that he had a baby due this April.

It's not even March yet. No one knows what is really going on, but it's easy to see why it would be important for Brown to miss this game and be with his wife. We easily forget that pro athletes, especially hockey players, are just like us regular people. And sometimes they have to deal with real life. Best wishes to Dustin and his family and I hope to see him back in the Kings lineup as soon as possible.

UPDATE: Please welcome to the Los Angeles Kings in 2029, Mason Brown.

And Away We Go!

Tuesday at the Minnesota Wild, a team who is battling for the 8th spot in the west. Wednesday in Philadelphia against the 4th best team in the Eastern Conference, the Flyers. And then Friday in Detroit against the Red Wings. Ah, screw it, let's include Sunday's game against the Blackhawks in Chicago. Ok, since we are going for it, the road trip ends a week from tonight in... Columbus.

5 games. 8 days. Yeah... I'd say this is a pretty important roadtrip. There is no 3 out of 5 on this roadtrip... it's all or nothing. I've been accused of blogger hyperbole before... mainly by the guy who sits next to me at Kings games... but this is truly a make it or break it trip for the Kings.

Ok, now I'm REALLY going to start playing.

Dr. James T. O'Brien, Chief of Bubbleology over at Battle of California, has been breaking down the Western Conference battle for 6th, 7th and 8th place... and he still includes the Kings this week as having a slight chance, although I think he is just throwing me a bone so I'll continue to write for his blog.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pre-Game Activity

I was a bit early to the Los Angeles Kings matinee game against the Phoenix Coyotes today, so I decided to spend a little time walking around the AEG owned and operated LA Live that I've heard so much about from the infomercials that play in between periods during the broadcasts of the AEG owned and operated Los Angeles Kings. What infomercial you ask?

Corporate Synergy at its finest.

I love the conversation between Matt Greene and Drew Doughty at the table while eating... it's almost as if the producer said "just talk about something... like when is the next practice for you guys.. just act natural." I have a feeling if these 3 get together for a beer, they ain't talking about practice on Thursday.

No, I'm pretty sure this is what they'd be talking about.

It's also funny to see good old Canadian Boys like Drew Doughty, Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll be AMAZED at the amount of beer and the way it is transported. These guys not only were drinking by the time they were 15, their parents probably worked at or drove trucks for the local Canadian beer companies.

But I figured if it's good enough for those 3 Kings, then I should check out LA Live myself. Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I had been wanting to eat at the new Lawry's Sandwich shop at LA Live... and since the Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy was stuck in traffic on the 101... I figured I'd grab a sandwich.

Try getting this inside Staples.

The beef brisket sandwich was quite good and the atmosphere was festive as all the Kings fans streamed by on their way to the arena.

After the sandwich, I noticed a big gathering in the LA Live Plaza, which is directly across from the Staples Center. Why of course... it was a huge Karate exhibition!

Fear does not exist in this dojo!

Heidi Androl was into it.

She's to the left of the guy in the red.

And 19 Year Old Drew Doughty was even there!

Okay, so that wasn't Drew Doughty. I mean seriously, what actual professional hockey player would be caught dead standing outside the Staples Center... 15 minutes before game time... watching a stupid Karate exhibition?

Oh, shit.

That's right, freshly suspended Denis Gauthier was checking out the action. Because he totally needs to learn a new way to attack opponents. And with him was the perpetual healthy scratch Tom Preissing. Who pretty much made this guys day:

Tom Preissing! I'm with Tom Preissing!

That's right... the one dude at the game wearing a Tom Preissing jersey ran into Tom Preissing outside the arena at a Karate exhibition! I will say that Tom was super friendly to this guy and ended up chatting with the fan and his kids for a good 10 minutes. However, no one approached Gauthier for fear of getting a hit to the head.

To end the exhibition, a master split 3 blocks of ice with his bare hands. Maybe this was to get the Kings fans excited for the smashing of the Coyotes on the ice???

A man confronts you, he is the enemy. An enemy deserves no mercy.

Well, it was game time and I headed in to Staples as Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy continued to crawl along on the 101. As I was walking in, I saw perhaps the sweetest thing I've ever seen...

The family that cheers Jon Quick together...
stays together.

So I sat down in my seat, cheered as the Kings skated out in their black 3rd jerseys... and then watched them completely shit the bed and get embarrassed by the Phoenix Coyotes in the middle of an incredibly tight playoff race.

Kings 3, Coyotes 6

Friday, February 20, 2009


The awesome Cycle Like the Sedins has asked me to weigh in on their "Best of the Decade" debate. My initial suggestion of Jason Allison, Ziggy Palffy, Adam Deadmarsh, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Drew Doughty as the All-Decade Team was shot down for some reason... but my new picks are up there now.

Check them out here at Cycle Like the Sedins. James is starting to put together the next great hockey blog and has asked me to be a regular contributor. So I'll be posting more general NHL observations over there... but no doubt those postings will still have the Kings Flavor that the Royal Half Reader has come to know and love. Enjoy!

Move On

It's the best team in the NHL... they have a record of 25-2-3 at home. What did you really expect? The Los Angeles Kings lost, and if this team is truly maturing... they will acknowledge it and move on to the next game.

WTF is a Fin Addict?

Kings 2, Sharks 4

Watching the telecasts of the Anaheim and San Jose games back to back really makes a hockey fan realize... just how terrible the Anaheim broadcasting team is. I enjoyed listening to the San Jose Sharks team and I was even more excited that Mr. Svenning from Mallrats is still working.

Stink palm.

I got rid of the Center Ice Package this season, so I've only seen the Kings broadcasts this year. And this was the first time I've watched a game on Comcast Sportsnet. I have to say... Comcast puts together a much better overall broadcast than Fox Sports Net. They even have the most cute and precious line-up graphics.

Collect and trade them all!

Really? They don't have O'Donnell in his Kings jersey?

Overall, the game was a complete wash. The Kings looked flat footed, with a few flashes of brilliance. Erik Ersberg was shaky at times, but strong at others. But when a team likes San Jose gets a 2 goal lead late in the game, it's as good as over. The best thing to come from the night was I learned that some San Jose players must be readers of this blog... cause someone is taking the "Bring Me the Head of Denis Gauthier" tag WAY too seriously.

Missed it by that much.

There will probably be a lot of outcry on the BlogOSphere about Gauthier's elbow on Patrick Marleau last night. I'm never one to defend Mr. Gauthier, but if Marleau wasn't bent over slightly, that would have been a clean check. Suspension worthy? Probably not... although Gauthier is a repeat offender.

And finally, Comcast Sportsnet unveiled their latest Intermission Hockey Game Show last night....

Sharks Fan... Kopitar Relative... or Bored?
You Make the Call!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Duck Soup

How much fun is it to be a Los Angeles King right now? Even renowned sourpuss Patrick O'Sullivan cracked a smile tonight.

Oh...So that's why he never smiles. Makes sense.

Kings 4, Freeway Faceoff Failures 3

What's going to be better? Making the playoffs or finishing ahead of the Anaheim Ducks? How about both? I'm glad the world-famous Freeway Faceoff is over so that I never have to listen to the NHL's worst play by play team again... until next season.

Yup. They still do this segment.

I think "Hays" was in a haze of his own today... even by Brian Hayward standards. Not only did he imply that Dustin Brown is a diver but he also was convinced that Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer ran over Kings goaltender Jon Quick... then Quick skated back to his crease... and then skated back behind the net to punch Niedermayer. He was convinced of it. Even his broadcast partner John "Rimming" Ahlers called him out as crazy.

It's always a treat to watch the Ducks broadcast against the Kings because you really do get the sense of how different it is down south.

Heidi Androl would never stoop this low.

And the fans are much, much classier in Orange County. That's why they make TV shows about them!

This Bordeaux goes excellent with my chicken strip.

Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller unveiled his brand new mask tonight at the game. Maybe he's planning on getting traded to Vancouver. In 1979.

Is this really happening? Exert for Eighth continues. 3 points out of the playoffs. Let's do it all over again Thursday night in San Jose.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Exert for Eighth!

In the tradition of The Freeway Faceoff... I present to you, the Royal Half reader and Kings fans... Exert for Eighth!!! The official branding of the 2009 Los Angeles Kings run for the 8th playoff seed.

Let's get it started Wednesday against the Ducks.

I'm Too Old for this Ship

I think when the Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I exchanged our tickets from a November game against the Stars for this mid-February games against the Thrashers... we had the hope that it would be a meaningful game for the playoff race. We did a similar exchange for a March games against the Phoenix Coyotes last season... only to not even bother going to that game because the Kings were so far out of any playoff race. But I think we had NO idea that this game against Atlanta would end up being a game like the one we witnessed last night. The very definition of a Barn Burner... The Kings were never dominate in this one like they were against Edmonton last Saturday. Tonight they were always having to fight back from 2, 3 goals down. During the 2nd intermission, Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I were talking about the thrill you get from following a pro sports team... the feeling that we experienced last Saturday when the Kings tied up the game against Edmonton with a few seconds left. There really is nothing like it to compare to in your normal life. If you do something successful at work... you don't scream and jump up and hug strangers like a fool. But tonight, when Anze Kopitar shoots a cannon into the opposing net with 5 seconds left... and the Kings salvage a point in one of the tightest playoff races in memory... it feels kinda like this:

How can you say this team is NOT going to make the playoffs?!?

Kings 6! Atlanta Thrashers 7!

As you might of heard, it was Armenian Heritage Night at Staples, celebrating the first game in LA by Atlanta Thrashers rookie Zac Bogosian. (Strange coincidence that they changed the scoring to give Bogosian a few extra assists, huh? A NHL-Armenian conspiracy is brewing!) The Kings did a similar event when Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Washington Capitals came to town, having a Russian Heritage Night celebration. Hands down... the Armenians are definitely the better fans when it comes to cheering at Kings games by former republics of the Soviet Union.

And they party... double fisted style!

It's a shame that former King and current Jew Mathieu Schneider was traded earlier in the day from Atlanta to Montreal. Because the Kings could have combined Armenian Heritage Night with a Jewish Heritage Night to create a night of hockey with the most delicious ethnic foods ever!

Give me another blintz! And more challah! And some shawarma from Zankou!

Unfortunately, there was no promotional tie in with Zankou at the game. Another missed opportunity from the Los Angeles Kings marketing department. Hopefully next time the Atlanta Thrashers come to town Zankou will be there at the game.

As for the hockey, well you don't like to see the Kings get points like this. You want the team to be dominate while getting and keeping a lead. The play in the first period was just plain sloppy... and it reminded Kings fans of our goaltending troubles from earlier in the season. Still... we kinda knew the Kings would come back. This team is on a mission. If it's not the playoffs... then it's as close as they can damn get. The team is maturing in front of us nightly... but the Kings could have really used those extra points in the last two games.

What does it all mean? Well, it means that the Kings must win this week with crazy important games against the Ducks on Wednesday and the Coyotes on Saturday. Oh and for fun... the team gets to play the NHL best San Jose Sharks on Thursday. I don't mind seeing the Kings struggle for points at home... if they play on the road like they did last week. Because the majority of the remaining games are on the road.

All in all... this crazy playoff ride on the USS Kings is worth every penny. Especially since, as my Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy likes to remind me daily, I had the Kings out of the playoffs a few weeks ago.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

High Five!

Because there is nothing like wearing your Team USA Chelios jersey to an Oilers-Kings matchup in Los Angeles.

Kings 2, Oilers 3, Chelios Jersey 4

Okay, so they didn't win. But they got an important point. And that sure felt like a playoff game (although it's been so long since I've been to one). Fights, huge checks and a last minute goal. It's funny how you'll go all season trying to avoid a high-five from the people who sit around you... and then Dustin Brown scores with 26 seconds left in the game and suddenly you are running around like a maniac look for open palms where ever you can find them. This my friends, is what happens to civilized hockey fans when their team is still in contention for a playoff spot in mid-February. The Kings pull out a point from this game last year at this time... and we are yelling at them for losing a lottery pick spot.

Come on, is there anything cuter than a girl wearing
an old school Gretzky jersey with iron-on numbers?

It was announced as a sellout and there were still some empty seats. But the crowd was into the game in a major way. In fact, as I was waiting for Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy outside, a scalper confided in me that he was having a hard time finding tickets to sell for this game. He then also went on to tell me that Kiprusoff stood on his head the other night and correctly stated the Kings record and number of points needed for a playoff spot. He finished by telling me that when the Kings are winning... it's good for business... and then he ran over to someone who was selling an extra PR level ticket. That is a man who knows the product that he is selling.

It had been over 2 weeks since we were last at a game. It felt great to be back. And this week will be a nice run for us Half Season Ticket Holders. We traded a game from November against the Stars for this Monday nights game against Atlanta, knowing full well that the team would be embroiled in a playoff race. Plus we have tickets for next Saturdays game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Let's just hope that the Kings remember how to win at home.

Leaving the Game

I'll take the point. But man, what a game!

At The Game...

Sellout crowd. Hope it's a good one.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A 1000 Words

Sometimes it just gets all summed up in one photo.

Kings 0, Miikka Kiprusoff 1

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Based upon a posting earlier today from Puck Daddy, I present the newest way to play along at home while you watch the Los Angeles Kings fight for the playoff....


just click and download!

Play along tonight and send me your bingo cards. You can email them to

Dead Tree Media

I still get the LA Times newspaper. I'm not sure why, as the paper has become a shadow of its former self. But in this day and age of blog and Twitter and RSS feeds... the need for daily reports written on dead trees is rapidly becoming outdated. But for some reason... I still subscribe. Maybe its because my parents always read the paper or maybe it's just because I like to envision myself as some curmudgeonly hold-out (I'm the only one of my friends to not be on the Facebook).

My subscription is coming up for the Times and I'm giving serious thoughts to not renewing. Anything worthy in it can be accessed online. And for the last 5 years... their hockey coverage has been horrendous. With the exception of NHL Hall of Famer Helene Elliott... whom the LA Times can never seem to figure out how to use properly. It seems that none of the LA Times Kings beat reporters have the same passion for the game or the Kings that Rich Hammond at the Daily News has. And that's why his blog has become gospel for most Kings fans searching for actual news (not rumor) on their team.

So why am I writing about this? Well imagine my surprise when I got the LA Times this morning and read the one Kings article... and actually enjoyed the writing.

"It wasn't the iconic image -- or importance -- of Marty McSorley's stick, but when the Kings surrendered two goals in the final 1:53 and lost at Montreal to begin their 11-day East Coast swing, their season appeared to be plummeting on a trajectory that was just as sharp as that infamous blade.

Already on the far fringes of the playoff race, the Kings still had visits to two of the NHL's hottest teams, Atlantic Division leader New Jersey and Southeast Division leader Washington, as part of their five-game trip.

"I guess you can say we had a choice," Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick said. "Every team loses games like that -- even Detroit, Boston and San Jose. It's how you respond."

The Kings' response has been loud and clear. Surprisingly, it wasn't a thud."

And to end the article:

"As for that disheartening loss in Montreal, Murray said he tried to emphasize the positive -- that his team had played nearly 59 minutes of terrific hockey in a real hockey environment.

Even if it wasn't the old Forum, Murray joked that the Bell Centre had imported all the ghosts. Thanks to these Kings, he could afford to laugh. This curve has turned out to be a learning one."

In terms of hockey journalism in the LA Times (that isn't Helene Elliott) this wasn't half bad! I checked the byline: Billy Witz.

Even Billy's Game Day report for the Kings game against Calgary tonight included this line:

"Former Kings left winger Michael Cammalleri, who was traded to Calgary on draft day, has 28 goals and 24 points. The deal allowed the Kings to take 18 year-old Colten Teubert with the 13th overall pick."

It's not often that you see draft pick Teubert name checked in a Game Day report.

The real surprise here? The email address at the end of the hockey coverage.

Yup, the LA Times' 2nd best hockey reporter doesn't even have a email address. Or one of those Wall Street Journal looking portraits.

A quick google search of Billy Witz shows that he was laid off by the Daily News in March of last year. And that he is incredibly well-respected amongst his peers. Check out this posting on

"As an alum of a competing paper, I can tell you -- as I was once told by an editor: "Everyone in here knows who Billy Witz is."

The editor meant that in a good way, in an admiring nod to Billy's work at the time as the Daily News' UCLA beat writer.

Taking note, I began watching for and reading Billy's stuff more closely, and, sure enough, I quickly became a fan of his work.

Then, once, when I was covering the L.A. Marathon -- no, I am not out there today -- I finally met Billy for the first (and only) time, and was pleased when he took note of me.

I had asked several persistent but legitimate questions of a race official regarding a possible news story involving the event.

After we were done with the post-race press conference, and the official had walked away, a bit harried, somewhat hurriedly, and clearly happy to get away, Billy turned to me, smiled, and said, "Great job. Way to not back down."

It was just a little act of acknowledgment, and, I thought, a not-so-random act of kindness that, really, he didn't have to impart. Many competing writers wouldn't have.

And, as I recalled again my editor's long-ago recognition of Billy, I was honored.

If you're on here, Billy, consider this my way of returning that small but meaningful compliment."

LA is a first place kind of town. If a team is winning, it gets the attention. If not (especially if the team hasn't made the playoffs over the past 6 years), LA could care less. And that extends to the local newspaper.

Maybe Billy Witz is just a freelance hire and not staff yet. Maybe the LA Times is trying him out. I'm sure the newspaper business is not a fun one to be in right now. Billy Witz has only been writing about hockey in the LA Times for the last few weeks. But it's a step in the right direction. Will it keep me from canceling my subscription? Probably not. But at least there is the possibility of Kings hockey actually being covered again by the local paper. Even if I get it in my RSS feeder.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

4 In A Row

It wasn't pretty... but it was a win. And the game wasn't even the shittest thing I watched all night... no, that honor went to those commercials with Howie Mandel.

As in, "Up Yours, America."

Kings 4, New York Islanders 3

I consider myself a pretty serious hockey fan. I've been following the Kings for 20 years, played the game for the same amount of time, I'm in 2 fantasy hockey leagues (first place in one of them!)... but I had no freakin' idea who some of those guys skating for the New York Islanders were tonight. Hillen? Gervais? Okposo? Bailey? Luckily, I played NHL '94 so I knew who Bill Guerin and Doug Weight were. I've always secretly liked the Islanders organization and I really hope to make it to a game at the Nassau Coliseum before they are forced the shut the place down. But tonight I discovered why I love the Islanders so much... they have a retirement banner for Billy Joel!

Best. Banner. Ever.

The Islanders are where the Kings were 3 years ago. I feel for their fans, especially Schultz over at Barry Melrose Rocks who seems to cheer as hard for the Islanders as I do for the Kings. So if the Islanders are the Kings of 3 years ago... then where are the Kings today?

Three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season... that's where they are! Oh and the Kings are 2 points out of a playoff spot. 6-1 in their last 7 road games. 7-1-1 in their last 9 games. And they are the NHL's highest scoring team in the 2nd period since January 20th. What that last stat means, I have no idea.

Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I haven't experienced anything like this since... well since the end of the 2005-2006 season. It's almost mid-February and we are spending our afternoons handicapping which Western Conference team we want to win that night over IM.

We aren't dreading going to games or speeding through periods on Tivo. We are in a bonafide goddamn playoff race for the first time in what feels like forever. And man does it feel good. Who cares if every other team is in the race too?

So what happened tonight? Well, the Kings played horrible for the first 2 periods. But they got it together in the 3rd and dominated the Islanders like they should have all game. And I knew that if the Kings could get to a shootout, they would take home the extra point. But I had no idea that Jack Johnson would add to his legend with that sweet deke.

Say hi to your mom for me, McFly.

To say this road trip has been amazing would be an understatement. A record of 4-1, 8 out of 10 possible points, some props from East Coast hockey writers, AND they even got to ride the train from DC to Newark.

Welcome home Kings. Now get out there and beat Calgary on Thursday!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jump On The Bandwagon

Remember on Saturday, how I mentioned that it would be 2 days before the MainStreamMedia and the Hockey BlogOsphere would be chiming in on the playoff chances of the Los Angeles Kings?
"Man, it is exciting to be a Kings fan right now. How long until the MainStreamMedia and the Hockey BlogOsphere start chatting up the possibility of the Kings grabbing that 8th spot. I give it 2 days."

Well... it's been 2 days. Let's check in, shall we?

Starting with the BlogOsphere... 2 from PuckDaddy at Yahoo.

"Don't look now but a recent 6-1 surge and 3-1 start to a five-game road trip has put young Los Angeles into the thick of the playoff chase." - PuckDaddy 2/7/09

And a feature about The Royal Half's favorite 19 Year Old defenseman, 19 Year Old Drew Doughty.

"We're a very good team that just underachieved in the first half of the season. We're better than a lot of teams that are in the playoff race right now."

They have been since Jan. 1, going 8-5-1 overall and 3-1 on a long road trip that ends on Long Island Tuesday night. Powered by two good offensive lines, solid goaltending from Jon Quick and a growing confidence from its young core, the Kings are three points out of the eighth seed."

And here comes the MainStreamMedia:

The Hockey News - Kings of the Castle
"The Kings have more than enough hope for the future; what they need now is a playoff berth to accentuate the learning curve of the young players already driving the team."

Scott Burnside at ESPN

"For our money, seeing the youthful Los Angeles Kings sneak in would probably be the biggest boon for the league. Having Los Angeles back in the playoff picture after a five-season absence would do wonders for the West Coast market (especially if Anaheim continues to flounder its way out of the playoffs). And it just might happen given the inability of any of the teams in the bottom half of the bracket to separate themselves from the pack.

The Kings have won three straight and six of seven, including wins over playoff-bound New Jersey, Washington and Chicago, and begin the week just three points out of eighth place."

And the Kings have finally made the first page of the TSN Power Rankings. Number 14 with a bullet!
"The Kings have won six of seven behind the quality goaltending of rookie Jonathan Quick and a return to expected production levels from first-liners Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown."

And last, but certainly not least... 22 Year Old goaltender Jon Quick was selected as the NHL's First Star this past week.
"Quick stopped 95 of 100 shots in posting three consecutive road victories, lifting the Kings (23-21-7, 53 points) within three points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. He stopped 29 shots in recording his third shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory at Ottawa Feb. 3, made 41 saves in a 5-4 victory at Washington Feb. 5 and concluded the week by making 25 stops in a 3-1 victory at New Jersey Feb. 7. The 23-year-old Milford, Conn. native improved his season record to 10-6-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 18 games. He ranks third among NHL rookie goaltenders in victories behind Steve Mason of Columbus (19) and Pekka Rinne of Nashville (14)."

It seems that Dean Lombardi's Master Plan is all coming together.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Um, I think this is for real.

Well, it wasn't a victory against the NHL's 4th best team like Thursday was... but the Los Angeles Kings will have to settle for a solid, dominating win against the NHL's 5th best team tonight, the New Jersey Devils. The Kings outplayed the NHL's hottest team and inched a bit closer to the dream of making the playoffs this season. There wasn't a flaw in tonights game... the Kings came out strong and continued to play that way. This roadtrip has been a great example of how pro athletes learn... the team gives up a lead in the 3rd period to Montreal and loses. They sneek by a really bad team in Ottawa 1-0. They play 2 incredible periods against one of the NHL's best in Washington and then barely hold on in a wild 3rd period. And then tonight, the Kings are in charge from the start of the game and they shut down the Devils in the 3rd.... Man, it is exciting to be a Kings fan right now. How long until the MainStreamMedia and the Hockey BlogOsphere start chatting up the possibility of the Kings grabbing that 8th spot. I give it 2 days.

Kings 3, the NHL's 5th Best Team 1

Damn, that feels good.

I know there is still a lot of hockey left. But this team is starting to feel like Edmonton Oilers of 2006. A team that hovers around .500 all season and then completely turns it on the last 2 months. I'm not saying the Kings have a chance to go all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals like the Oilers did as an 8th seed... I'm just saying this is the most perfect time for a team to get hot.

Last season, The New Jersey Devils moved into a brand new, state of the art rink in beautiful downtown Newark. Well, like most of Jersey... it seems like it's turned to shit within a year.

Seriously? This is the visiting locker room?

I've seen bigger locker rooms in kindergartens. And are you telling me the visiting professional hockey team shares the room with the Seton Hall Pirates?

I also know that after the lockout, the NHL has made the players more accessible for interviews and interactions with the fans. But this is ridiculous.

Apparently, it's not only the Super Bowl that is having porn spliced in.

Yeah, I'd call that Kings All-Access for sure. And the Kings also finally found the perfect spot in the organization for defensman Denis Gauthier...

I'm surprised that Gauthier didn't fall out of the booth
and give up a goal for the Devils in the 2nd.

But the best thing I saw all night? Why that was this teams' 21 year old Assistant Captain being the a team leader and the last player off the ice after a great victory.

Yeah, I'm glad he's around for the next 7 years.

6-1-1 in their last 8 games. They must destroy the New York Islanders on Tuesday who seem to be where the Kings were last year.... last place.