Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Family Affair

Now that's more like it! This was one of the best games I've seen in person this season and if the Los Angeles Kings can continue to play at this level until Ryan Smyth comes back... then the team will be alright. Sure, the Chicago Blackhawks played the day before and were at the end of a long road trip... but for this game... the Kings were playing Coach Murray style hockey. Jon Quick has now had a couple consistent games in a row and then this guy is picking up the slack for Anze Kopitar.

They call me Wayne for a reason, bitches!

Kings 2, Blackhawks 1

Everyone has been talking such great things about the Chicago Blackhawks... and how they are the best team in the West right now after crushing San Jose 7-2. But coming into this game the Blackhawks only had 2 more wins than the Kings. (Yes, yes, I know the Blackhawks have played 2 less games... details, details) There were quite a few fans representing Chicago at the game tonight but they were much less vocal than any group of fans that have come into the Staples Center this season.

Wow, Arnason had 20 goals as rookie.
Now he's in the KHL.

At least Kings fans don't make such irresponsible choices with their $300 personalized jerseys.

Dude... too soon.

After spending Thanksgiving playing with my niece and nephew, I think I finally understand the Kings' difficulty with Alexander Frolov. He is the square peg... and Coach Murray is trying to fit him into the triangle, the circle and the rectangle... and Coach Murray doesn't really seem to have a square for him to fit into.

A rare glimpse inside the Kings coaches room.

I really like the way Michal Handzus, Wayne Simmonds and Scott Parse are playing together. If Smyth was back on the 1st line... Kings fans would be praising Wayne Simmonds great secondary scoring instead of the primary scoring he's been doing for the team. Jarret Stoll and Dustin Brown are basically soulmates out there... and it pains me to say it... because I hated him so much last year... but at this point, I'd rather see Brad Richardson skate with those 2 instead of Teddy Purcell. Purcell is so non-existent out there right now and casual fans in the crowd are starting to scream "do something Purcell!" more and more. There has been a lot of talk lately about Matt Moulson's explosion on the Long Island scene... and how the Kings may have given up on him too early. I don't think anyone is really ready to give up on Purcell... but how much longer are Dean Lombardi and Coach Murray going to wait for this guy to do something?

"How cool are those new Jesse James clothes, man!"

Tonight was the special unveiling of the Jesse James line of Kings Specific Lifestyle clothing. Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I checked them out during the intermission... and we were not impressed. Besides the obvious douchery of the designs... the clothes themselves felt cheap and the printing of the logos was pretty poor quality. Oh and Kings Marketing Department... if you are trying to get me to buy some new clothing line... covering up the Ice Crew isn't the best way to get your point across.

I liked it better when they were half naked.

But the Kings Marketing department did update the much beloved Cartman from South Park cartoon that has him trash talking the opposing team. Cartman loves the 3rd jersey!

I got a call that a couple of our friends were at the game as well, and they invited us to come sit with them in Section 105. Being the dedicated fans that we are... we decided to sit with them during the 2nd period... since the Kings were shooting at that end. The seats were actually really nice.

As the period went on, Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy noticed that we were only a few rows back from a major celebrity!

Kopitar family in the house!

That's correct... the gentleman on the far right is Matjaz Kopitar... father of the 3rd best scorer in the NHL. I'm sure it must be great for a father to watch their son play hockey... but it must be even cooler when it's one of the best players in the NHL who is in the first year of his 7 year, 6 million dollar per contract. I'm not sure if that was Anze's little brother next to his dad, but I wonder if Keith Gretzky wore a Gretzky jersey to Edmonton Oiler home games?

Ryan Smyth skated today, a day ahead of schedule. The Kings are very smart in not trying to rush him back. It doesn't seem like the Kings are making any call-ups from Manchester right now... but I have to imagine that Teddy Purcell's time on the any of the first 4 lines is very limited.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vote For Royal

The good folks over at the NHL Arena are running some sort of Blog Contest for all the NHL Teams. And yours truly has been included with the initial 12 teams.... 12? 12?!?... there are 12 Los Angeles Kings blogs??!?! That means there is 1 blog for every forward that plays for the Kings. Yikes, the internet is stupid.

This is the image that comes up when you Google Image Search for "LA Kings Blogger."

So you obviously come to The Royal Half for a reason. You are either personal friends with me... or... you come here thinking that it's Battle of California. So let's take a stand, Friends of Royal Half and cast a vote for me against all the other Kings sites that don't have hockey dick jokes and humorous screencaps! (Except for Life in Hockeywood, Kings Kool-Aid, Mayors Manor and My Views from Section 310... those guys are cool.)

You can go here to vote: Kings Blog Off - Round 1

You have to register for your vote to count, so if you could spend 5 minutes doing it... I would forever be your internet friend and I promise to continue my hard-hitting journalism of all things Los Angeles Kings! Like these:

All hail the internet... AND GO KINGS GO!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blame Canada

There's no better way to celebrate the great holiday of Thanksgiving than to watch the Los Angeles Kings battle against 2 teams on the road in Canada! The Canadians hate the freedom that we provide for them and they throw it back in our face by not celebrating Thanksgiving. So these 2 games weren't just about getting crucial points in the Western Conference... no... these games were about freedom!

Canada may not have Thanksgiving but they have cool hockey graphics.

Kings 3, Oilers 1

A solid effort overall by the Kings in Game 1 of their back to back Canadian Thanksgiving Road Trip. Now, I know that the Edmonton Oilers have really embraced the retro-1980's look this season... but this is just getting ridiculous. Look what they had playing goal for them tonight...

Oh.... not DeLorean? I see now....

If I hadn't already known that the Oilers were participating in a mustache growing event for charity... I might have thought that they had a team of pedophiles... or even worse... hipsters!

God, I'm so glad no one on the Kings looks as lame as these guys!

Kings fans... lock up your children.

Maybe Patrick O'Sullivan was right... the Canadian Press does care more about hockey than they do in LA. The Edmonton broadcast of this game featured an "in-depth" profile of the teeth problems that 19-Year-Old Drew Doughty had this season. And they took it to a level I've never seen Rich Hammond go.

Feed me, Seymour.

Los Angeles Kings 19 year old uber-rookie Andrei Loktionov made his NHL debut in this game centering a line between Dustin Brown and fellow Russian Alexander Frolov.

Loktionov is one of the very promising rookies in the Kings system and his debut, although sudden, was one that many Kings fans were looking forward to. So how'd it turn out?

Awesome! That's how it went!

So with memories of the 2003-2004 season in the back of Kings fans heads... this team is now facing an injury crisis. So what do you do when 3 of your starters and the 1 rookie that was supposed to replace them are all out? You get all "Dean Lombardi Crafty"... that's what you do!

Welcome to the Bigs!

Did you even know there was such a thing as a one game contract? No, of course you didn't... but Dean Lombardi did. So Dean had 2009 #1 Draft Pick Brayden Schenn suit up for the Kings last night versus the Vancouver Canucks. Schenn made it through the whole game with his shoulder intact but the Kings had another now-patented 3rd Period Meltdown© and lost 4-1.

So what are the Kings to do next? With Smyth still out for another few weeks (it may be longer... Smyth didn't travel on this trip and I have a feeling this injury might be worse than the Kings are letting on) and Stoll out and Scuderi out and our prospects terrified of getting called up for fear of their arms being ripped out of the sockets... Dean Lombardi has to make a trade soon, right? Right?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Patio Furniture

So here we are... 3 days after the Los Angeles Kings meltdown against the Calgary Flames and now with 2 new players in the Kings lineup. Jarret Stoll and Rob Scuderi will be on the sidelines tonight with young pups Andrei Loktionov (19!) and Brandon Segal (26) making their Kings debut tonight in Edmonton. I'm not going to pretend like I know anything about these guys... and don't believe any blogger that says they do. They are just lying to you.

This is our 2nd line center??

Brandon Segal... only half a jew.
Don't believe me? There is a forum on the web for everything!

The real story tonight in Edmonton is the complete disappearance of former King Patrick O'Sullivan. I was a big fan of Patrick during his time in Los Angeles... even feeling like he was stolen from the Minnesota Wild by Dean Lombardi during the 2006 NHL Draft. He always had the potential to be electric as a player... but he never was consistent. When Anze Kopitar signed his 7 year deal last season with the Kings the 1st line of Kopitar, O'Sullivan and Dustin Brown were to be together until at least the 2010-2011 season. And many Kings fans rejoiced in the idea of the second coming of the Triple Crown Line. And when the Kings traded him to Edmonton last season as part of the Justin Williams deal... many people, including myself, were left scratching their heads.

Now, 24 games into the new season... it's obvious that Kopitar would have never succeeded with Brown and O'Sullivan as his linemates. Sure, it was sexy to think the 3 young King studs would be together forever as a line... but Kopitar needed the speed and smart play of Justin Williams and the crafty veteran know-how of Ryan Smyth to become the player he has this season. Anze would not be leading the league in scoring with the enigmatic play of O'Sullivan on his wing.

O'Sullivan with his one smile as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

Patrick has 6 goals in 43 games with the Oilers while Justin Williams has 6 in 31 games as a King. But the difference they've made to their teams couldn't be more opposite. Williams is an anchor on the 1st line while Sully is centering the Oilers 4th line. Edmonton has been spinning its wheels all season... and this roadtrip to Canada with the Kings #1 Left Wing, #2 Center and #4 Defensman all injured... has the potential to not be a pretty one for the Kings.

And then there were the comments. During an interview with TSN... O'Sullivan said the following about the team that had traded for him and gave him the opportunity to play on the 1st line:

What’s been the most surprising thing playing for a Canadian team?

O’SULLIVAN: It’s definitely different coming from L.A. where nobody cared and after the game we’d have two people in the room waiting to talk to us. I didn’t know what to expect when I was traded and I didn’t know how I was going to like it. But to me, I think it’s great. You want to play somewhere where hockey is important. It’s everything and more that I thought it would be. The games are sold out and it’s a fun building to play in. Outside of the weather, it’s a great city. In my opinion if you want to live somewhere warm, you can do it when you’re done playing.”

Fine. Whatever. Honestly, with the exception of the Kings employee Rich Hammond... none of the mainstream media in Los Angeles really cares all that much about ice hockey. But that doesn't mean the fans who cheered for O'Sullivan's feel the same way.

So now he is an Oiler and their blogs can write about how frustrated they are with him. And the Oilers do have some awesome bloggers. Check out The Copper and Blue and Low On Oil for the tough, working class perspective of Edmonton fans. For hockey dick jokes and HD screencaps... keep your dial set right here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Flaming Hot

At 11:46pm on Friday night I received this email from Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy:

"were you thinking we had a game tomorrow like I was?"

We had traded our October 25th game against the Columbus Blue Jackets for a later game against the Calgary Flames. Naturally, we had assumed that Calgary game was Saturday's 1pm game and had been preparing for it most of the week. Luckily, Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy actually took the time to look at the ticket and realized that it wasn't for this particular home game against the Calgary Flames but rather the one in 2 weeks. So thankfully, we were spared having to view the Los Angeles Kings suck in person. Until at least next Saturday.

Of course Quick couldn't make that save... look at all the traffic in front of him.

I don't want to talk about this game. The Kings played horribly and fell apart in the 3rd period. So luckily, The Los Angeles Kings' broadcast on Fox Sports West provided me with the only thing I like more than watching ice hockey in HD.... hot chicks in bikinis!

Power = Passion = Bikinis on the Beach

In a rather "R" rated broadcast of Los Angeles Kings hockey, throughout the entire game, the behind-the-scenes video for the Making of the LA Kings Ice Crew Calendar was promoted. And for one night, sideline reporter Patrick O'Neal was the luckiest man in show business.

I had a dream like this once, but Patrick O'Neal was nowhere to be found in it.

The most bizarre moment of the night was during the interview featured above with Debbie. Patrick O'Neal said pretty much out of nowhere "your parents must be so thrilled." Debbie answered the question with a smile, but you could tell she really wanted to say "what the hell is that supposed to mean?" It was almost the same look Justin Williams shot Patrick earlier in the night.

"Why don't you get out there and try to play without Smyth. See how you do."

In between the 2nd and 3rd period, they unveiled the behind the scenes video. And of course, the most exciting Kings ice girl of them all was leading the charge.

The video you are about to see is almost as sexy as Alexander Frolov shopping for clothes.

This video was originally broadcast on KingsVision, which is the Kings online video library. And as the readers of this blog know... most of the videos you see on the internet... look like this.

Perfect for the whole family to get together and watch. Let's not forget... this was an 1pm afternoon game. This footage wasn't airing after 9pm. But the Kings are risk takers... I mean, we are talking about an organization that released this photo on its officially sanctioned Twitter feed a few hours before this game even started.

Kings girl who just fell off a mechanical bull...
or freeze frame from a David Lynch film?
You decide.

The only thing hotter than that photo?

This one.

The girl on the right is also featured on the mat of the mechanical bull. Her name is Carrlyn and her father Frank, was an NHL defenseman. I'm surprised Coach Murray hasn't tried her at left wing yet.

The Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew Calendar... a great holiday gift and a great way to distract passionate Kings fans from remembering that their team is not playing so well right now.

Lost 3 of the last 5 what now?

Okay I promised I wouldn't talk about hockey so instead I'll talk about how much I love corporate America. Why do I love corporate America? Because of stuff like this.

This Los Angeles Kings broadcast is sponsored by DirecTV.

A few minutes later, check out the logo below the Kings one...

No! This Los Angeles Kings broadcast is sponsored by Time Warner Cable!

Nice move, Fox Sports West ad sales team... getting both DirecTV and Time Warner Cable to buy some space on a Kings game. Has anyone thought about getting someone from ad sales on that first line left wing? They seem to know how to get it done.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lifestyle Choice

Wow. This one kinda almost needs no words. So here goes a picture:

That's right... your favorite television motorcycle douchebag is bringing his unique fashion sense directly to the checkbooks of Los Angeles Kings Fans. Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy brought this to my attention early this afternoon... and the news hit us harder than Ryan Smyth being out for a month. This new venture is described as "Kings-specific lifestyle clothing."

That ain't no lifestyle I want to be a part of.

It looks like Christian Audigier took a shit on the NHL catalog. And what exactly is a "Kings-specific lifestyle?" Does this lifestyle include spending 1000 plus dollars a year on season seats only to miss the playoffs for 7 straight years? Does my Kings lifestyle include trading deadline acquisitions that don't score any goals in the 11 games they play for the Kings? If anything, the Kings lifestyle... is the lifestyle of a loser. What sort of lifestyle would have you buy the jersey of your favorite player only to watch him leave the Kings the next season?

This jersey is a gateway to a lifestyle you don't wanna know about.

As Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy always says... "Lifestyle specific clothing is also known as clothing (specifically too expensive for your lifestyle)." Me and Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy aren't "jersey guys." We wear at the most a Kings hat to each of our games. And you know what? We don't feel like any less of a passionate Kings fan. I have a handful of Kings t-shirts and sweatshirts and they are mainly worn for lounging around the house. Not for my Kings-specific lifestyle of hitting da clubs up at night.

Go Kings Go!

I don't want to completely bad mouth Jesse James and his ridiculous line of clothing. After all, he's a pretty dedicated Kings fan himself and having a celebrity with as big a following as he has (however misguided) be this involved with Kings marketing can only be a positive for the franchise. But maybe the Kings could have considered a few alternative designers that might appeal to a different type of Kings fan. Like the very popular Isaac Mizrahi?

Or maybe even uber-housewares designer Jonathan Adler?

Now this is a Kings lifestyle that this hockey-loving design-snob can get behind!

And everyone knows that First Ladies are always a source of inspiration in terms of fashion for the American public.

Yes we can. Make the playoffs.

I don't mean to say that all of Jesse James' new line is crap. One is actually kind of cool.

Ok, I'll admit it. I'd buy this.

But the rest of the clothes? Well look for yourself.

What the hell does "Little Stick, Big Goal" even mean?
It's like a reject from the Big Johnson pile.

Yes, that does say "Pucker Up"
Even James O'Brien, the NHL's Official Pun Commissioner would hate this.

So even though the Kings got rid of their old black and white jerseys some 10 years ago, we are once again back to where we once were as franchise... looking like a bunch of Raider fans. But maybe this new line of Kings-specific lifestyle clothing is a new chapter in the long history of failure by the Los Angeles Kings. Maybe, just maybe the new Kings lifestyle... is one of a winner?