Fast forward 12 months and the Kings kicked off their residency at Staples Center in much better fashion, beating the Atlanta Thrashers 3-1 in regulation.
Things got off to a chippy start and the Kings were down 1-0 at the end of the second period, but perseverance and experience paid off, thanks in large part to the hard-working Ryan Smyth and a rock solid performance in goal by #1 Star of the Night Jonathan Quick.
Here are some other observations I had from the game and game related festivities:
- Hockey themed cupcakes rule.
- The fact that a bunch of solar energy nerds got a bigger portion of LA Live than the Kings still bugs me.
- The sight of Kevin Westgarth exiting a Ford Bronco just emphasizes why the dude is so cool.
- I had a brief Hendrix air guitar moment watching Slash play the National Anthem.
- The Kings brass had better lock down Wayne Simmonds. He got the biggest applause of the night during player introductions -- HANDS DOWN.
- Brayden Schenn is the real deal, people. Brian Burke hates us even more now than he did when we drafted the kid.
- I am all for Terry Murray changing lines to get the best offensive production, but I hope he gives Lotkionov more time with Kopitar. I really think that could be magic.
- Drew Doughty has spent so much time in the box so far this season, he's started putting his hands in the air immediately after her makes contact with anyone. I think the refs are being paid off by the "Mike Green for Norris Trophy" committee. Drew isn't having any of it, people.
- Brent Sopel's hair is still as greasy as I remember.
- Dustin Byfuglien is HUGE. Just...HUGE.
- He was only with the Kings a small portion of last season, but I kinda miss Freddie Modin.
- It was nice to see the Kings honor the sizable Armenian community here in LA since Thrashers' Zach Bogosian is the only Armenian player in the NHL. It's also good the players from the Armenian National Hockey Team in attendance have very broad shoulders -- that's a lot of letters on the back of a jersey.
- And finally....the fact that roster cards are gone SUCKS! This will require a separate blog.
GO KINGS GO!