Monday, February 28, 2011

Kings vs Red Wings: Are We Really A Play-off Team?

Tonight kicked off an important stretch of home games for the Kings, all against tough Western Conference rivals in higher spots than us in the rankings. With the play-off race tighter than ever, these games are critical. Wins are required. 

Things looked great in the first, with the Kings striking first on a Michal Handzus power play goal. Then Detroit scored a goal to match, followed by a second goal less than a minute later. After that, the wheels came off the Kings bus and the Red Wings kept their foot firmly on the gas.  The final painful result was a 7-4 loss.

I don't know what to make of it either, Greener....

Here's what happened:
  • Jon Quick had a rare AWFUL game.
  • The Red Wings kept the pace fast the entire game, and we just couldn't keep up.
  • Penalties killed us (especially the BS calls).  
  • They made incredible plays.  We were a disorganized mess.
  • Our power play still isn't powerful enough.
Last night's game showed why Detroit is #2 in the conference standings and we're fighting to stay in the bottom half of the top eight.  Frankly, last night's effort came from a team that didn't look ready for the play-offs, much less able to get out of the first round.  When does our new acquisition Mr. Penner arrive?

Other quick hits from the evening:
  • The Red Wings are one of those visit teams that flood my section with visiting fans. I'd like to shoot the disloyal season ticket holders that resell their seats, but I'm sure they're charging enough to pay for at least a quarter of the season. That still doesn't make it right.
  • I wish I remembered the name of last night's National Anthem singer so I could call her parents and tell her she is NOT invited back.  I know she's 13, but she spread that song out to the length of a full album.  You are NOT Whitney Houston honey,  Whitney isn't even Whitney any more.  Leave the vocal gymnastics and home and just sing the darn tune!
  • In honor of Black Heritage Night, Willie O'Ree dropped the ceremonial puck, accompanied by....rapper Master P? That's a head scratcher to be sure.
Yup, that's THE Willie O'Ree...right behind Dan Cleary's big melon.
  • On a cooler note, two of the original Tuskegee Airmen were in attendance as the military heroes of the game.
These are real heroes, folks.
So our reinforcements (see Dustin Penner) arrive tomorrow, just in time to take on another big division and conference opponent Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes.  Let's hope the Kings can truly forget this awful evening and get a fresh start in the next couple of games.  In the meantime....


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kings vs Avs: Saturday Matinee

It's been a while since the Kings played an afternoon game, which is a very good thing. Last season, we had an abysmal record on afternoon starts, including shocking losses to inferior teams. With the Western conference playoff race still tight, losses are the last thing we need.

It seems the Kings can't avoid shocks of some kind on Saturdays though. The surprises started early with news that the Washington Capitals picked up Marco Sturm off waivers. Couple that with a potentially season-ending shoulder injury to Kings prospect Andre Loktionov, the Kings were back to a gaping hole at left wing on the top line.   Luckily Coach Murray has plenty of practice shuffling lines, so Brad Richardson vaulted from 4th liner/scratch to top line left wing.    Kevin Westgarth filled the hole left by Richardson.

Luckily our opponents, the Colorado Avalanche, were decimated with injuries and out of playoff contention, so this game should have been an easy win.  Up until the third period it certainly looked that way, with the Kings riding a 3-0 lead on goals from Kopitar, Martinez and Doughty.  The biggest reason the score wasn't higher was the Kings continued inability to score on not one, but two, 5-on-3 power play chances.  Then late in the third, the Avalanche got their own chance with a two man advantage and promptly scored.

Don't look now folks, but the wheels are about to come off the bus.

Two more goals quickly followed, and all of a sudden this Kings were on the verge of throwing away an "easy" win.  Luckily the boys came to their senses in a hurry and held it together to secure a 4-3 win in regulation.

Some fun notes from the evening:
  • Congrats to Drew Doughty on his 10th goal of the season!  The milestone apparently triggered a sizeable bonus, which is enough to buy a really expensive car.  Or a house in the valley.  Or a Jarret Stoll-like wardrobe. 
Aww shucks...just doing my job....
  • Congrats also go out to Ryan Smyth on his 400th NHL assist!

  •  One of the Kings traditions I love is honoring a military "Hero of the Game."  This honoree made the most of his time on the jumbotron with a sweet proposal to his lady love!  They looked adorable and very happy.  Hockey brings the love!

  •  Finally, one of the more interesting experiences of the night was a close up look at one of the Avs trainers cleaning blood off David Koci's jersey after his fight with Kevin Westgarth.  No clue who the blood belonged to, but if you're looking for a game-used jersey WITH DNA included, look for this one on e-Bay.

Next up, the Kings take on the always challenging Detroit Red Wings at Staples Center at 7:30 on Monday.   This is the start of a week loaded with tough conference opponents, so remember to cheer LOUD!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Is This Why My Season Tickets Are More Expensive?

There is no denying that a beautiful package helps sell more product that a boring one.  So when my Kings season ticket renewal package arrived and I saw this, I got pretty excited.

Wait until you see what's behind the door....

It's nice being the meat in a Kopitar-Brown sandwich!
I can't lie -- seeing my name on the back of that jersey brought a huge smile to my face.  But then I started thinking -- exactly how much does something like this cost?  It's printed on both sides of heavy, glossy paper in color, with multiple folds.  The outside jacket can be mass produced because the piece personalized with my name is a one page insert, but that one page still has to be individually printed.   An ordinary color copy at Kinko's will set you back about a dollar, so a page like this would cost at least $5 because of the quality of the paper.

In the case of the Kings, they're printing thousands of these things, so they're getting a bulk discount and certainly not paying $1 per page.   But they are also paying a company to print, assemble and mail the whole thing for them, so the entire package still costs a nice chunk of change. 

Why does it matter what it costs?  Because everything that is part of the Kings costs of doing business means someone needs to pay for it.  And one way to recoup the cost of expenses is raising ticket prices.

So as much as I enjoy getting fun mail like this, if given the option to do everything electronically and NOT see an increase in my ticket prices, I'd choose that option.   Because at the end of the day, my decision to purchase season tickets is ultimately dictated by the product on the ice, not the one in my mailbox.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Money on the Board": Week 3 Results

Week three of The Queen's "Money on the Board" challenge saw the Kings tackle the second half of a franchise record 10-game road trip.  The action included 2 shoot-outs in 3 games, but sadly only 1 win for the Kings.  Luckily I'm donating based on goals, not wins, so let's have a look at how much the Kings helped me raise.

February 16th - Kings vs. Blue Jackets
This one was a barn burner that went right down to the wire.  Williams, Loktionov and Doughty scored goals in regulation, and Stoll added a tally in the shoot-out en route to a Kings win.

Final score - Kings 3, Blue Jackets 3
Final dollars = (Doughty x $10) + ((Williams + Loktionov + Stoll) x $1) = $13

February 17th - Kings vs.Rangers
Madison Square Garden may be the largest hockey stage in the United States, so the stakes were incredibly high in this game.  Raising them even higher was matching Jonathan Bernier against consistently talented Henrik Lundquist.  The Kings got off to a sharp start, then dipped in the second and fought back to tie it in regulation in the third. The highlight of the game had to be a rare Matt Greene goal!   Sadly, penalties turned the OT period in 3-on-3 play and King Henrik bested Bernier in the shoot-out.  Not the outcome we wanted overall, but a nail biter to the end.

Final score - Kings 3, Rangers 4
Final dollars = (Brown (2)) + (Greene (1)) x $1 = $3

February 19th - Kings vs. Islanders
Not gonna even mince words on this one -- the Kings were terrible.  Current Islander and former King Matt Moulson lit up his brother-in-law Jonathan Quick for 2 goals on the way to an Isles victory.  I'm sure the Kings were happy to get out of New York once this one ended.  Being shut out really sucks...

Final score - Kings 0, Islanders 3
Final dollars = $0

Kid, I'm trying to score goals....sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, ya know?

This week the Kings earned me $16.  Add that to last week's total of $40,  and now I'm up to $56 to donate to the Young Survival Coalition via Chicago Pucks Cancer!

The Kings have 4 more chances to help me earn some money before my final donation, so send all your goal scoring karma to your favorite King!  Let's light the lamp and puck cancer, people!


Monday, February 14, 2011

"Money on the Board": Week 2 Results

Week two of The Queen's "Money on the Board" challenge was a barn burner folks!  The current road trip is huge for the Kings in terms of play-off aspirations, and saying it's been fun to watch our team right now would be an understatement.  After a challenging week of games, there is more good news to report on the money front, so without further ado, here's the rundown and goal tallies and money totals for the week!

February 10th - Kings vs. Penguins
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping for much more out of this game.  Even with the Pens line-up hampered by key injuries to stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Kings couldn't get much done on the scoring front.  Jarret Stoll had the only tally of the game in regulation, and in overtime Kings goalie Jonathan Quick got owned by the Pens Jordan Staal for a 2-1 loss.

Final score - Kings 1, Pens 2
Final dollars =Stoll x $1 = $1

February 12th - Kings vs. Capitals
I had a lot of confidence in the Kings ability to beat the struggling Caps -- but that was before Terry Murray went crazy and changed all the lines.  When Caps star winger Alexander Ovechkin lit the lamp less than 2 minutes in, I was scared nothing positive was going to happen.  But the Kings fought back and earned 4 goals en route to a win!  The only disappointment for me was that at least 1 of the 4 didn't go to Drew Doughty.  Still, more money on the board, baby!

Final score - Kings 4, Caps 1
Final dollars = (Kopitar + Loktionov + Handzus + Stoll) x $1 = $4

February 13th - Kings vs. Flyers
Of all the games in our February schedule, this one scared me the most.  After a busy first period for Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty broke it open 17 seconds into the second period with his 17th goal of the season!  By the end of the game, Doughty had the lone tally, the Kings got a huge road win and I had a nice chunk of money on the board!

Final score - Kings 1, Flyers 0
Final dollars = Doughty (1) x $10 = $10

Winning is fun!

This week the Kings earned me $15.  Add that to last week's total of $25,  and now I'm up to $40 to donate to the Young Survival Coalition via Chicago Pucks Cancer!

I also have to give HUGE thanks to Jon Moncrief of The Examiner and Matt Reitz from View From My Seats for helping get the word out about what we're doing here at Kings Court.    If you don't already follow both these gentlemen, you're missing out on some very fine hockey coverage of the Kings as well as other teams around the league.   Links to their sites are also available on the Kings Court Facebook page or on this blog at the All The Kings Men page button just below our blog header.

Don't forget Kings fans -- YOU can still get involved!  Join the "Money on the Board" challenge yourself, then drop The Queen an e-mail at  I'd love to hear about YOUR pledge!

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Money on the Board": Week 1 Results

Last week I issued a challenge to my beloved Kings -- win games, get back in play-off contention and spend some of my hard earned money to help Chicago Pucks Cancer support the Young Survival Coalition.

I'm happy to report the boys heard me, and they came through!  Here's a summary of the week, the Kings goal tallies, and my "Money on the Board" pledge total to date.

Let's do this thing, Stolly!

February 1st - Kings vs. Wild
A tight checking game led to no Kings goals and a 1-0 loss in the shoot-out.  Not exactly the start I was hoping for....

Final dollars = $0

February 2nd - Kings vs. Oilers
Drew and the Kings power play finally broke loose and scored 2 goals!  From a money standpoint, things were a little bit in question when both goals initially credited to Drew were given to Ryan Smyth, which would have dropped my $20 donation to a paltry $2.  I committed to honoring both goals at "Drew rate" since I was so happy to see his shot get going, and the NHL changed the scoring the next day, proving I was right.  Jack Johnson also added a goal to the effort.

Final score - Kings 3, Oilers 1
Final dollars = Doughty @ $10 x 2 + Johnson @ $1 x 1 = $21

February 5nd - Kings vs. Flames
It took a lot of nail biting and another wild finish, but the Kings got their 2nd win in February in one of our most challenging buildings - The Saddledome!   Justin Williams was the hero of the night, netting the game winner in the 7th round of the shoot-out.

Final score - Kings 4, Flames 3
Final dollars = (Scuderi + Brown + Williams) x $1 + Williams x $1 = $4

So after one week of action, I've got $25 to donate to the Young Survival Coalition via Chicago Pucks Cancer!  Not a bad start, but I know my boys have more goals in them, and I'm excited to see what the coming week holds.  With the Kings scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers, we've got plenty of exciting hockey coming, so stay tuned!

If you've decided to join the "Money on the Board" challenge yourself, drop The Queen an e-mail at  I'd love to hear about YOUR pledge!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

It's no secret the Kings have a huge task in front of them in February.  We're currently 11th in the Western Conference standings, one point out the 8th position, but with a three game winning streak under our belt.  Still, with a tough schedule of road games in the next 3 weeks, climbing back into play-off contention isn't going to be easy.

But The Queen believes in her Kings.  I believe so much, I'm willing to put some money on it.

"Money on the Board" is a long standing tradition in hockey locker rooms as a way to get teammates motivated, especially for important wins.   Now it's time for Kings fans to get involved and put some money behind our belief in our team.

It's no secret to regular readers that The Queen is a HUGE Drew Doughty fan.  So on Sunday, I appeared on the CCPT Hockey Podcast and made a pledge to donate $10 for every goal Drew scores during the month of February.  If you doubt me, you can listen here.  It's on the record!

The best part about this deal is that if the Kings score, it strikes a blow to cancer too!  My pledge supports Chicago Pucks Cancer, an event is raising money for the Young Survival Coalition.  YSC is the premier international organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women and breast cancer. YSC works with survivors, caregivers and the medical, research, advocacy and legislative communities to increase the quality and quantity of life for women diagnosed with breast cancer ages 40 and under.

So you're probably asking what an event in Chicago has to do with the Kings?  Well, thanks to the creativity and passion of the Hockey Community, Chicago Pucks Cancer has expanded to include a Twitter "Money on the Board" (#MOTB) campaign as well, and fans of teams from across the league are chipping in to help out.  

The best summary of the pledges I've found so far is this post on Hockey Broad's blog.  As of January 28th, there were 86 pledges of support covering 24 teams and 57 players!  And that doesn't include my pledge -- OR YOURS!   

Here's all you need to do to get involved: 
1) E-mail your pledge to
2) Follow the Kings success and figure out our final donation.
3) Make your donation using the PayPal button on the Chicago Pucks Cancer website.

If you give, you can also qualify for some great prizes! Hockey Broad's post I already linked outlines how you qualify, and what online prizes are available.  But the only prize The Queen wants is seeing her Kings back in a play-off spot!

So to sweeten the pot just a little, I'm adding to my previous pledge.  In addition to $10 for every Drew Doughty goal, I'll donate $1 for every goal the Kings score in February!   I'll post an update on my pledge total every Monday, so follow along here, or on the Kings Court Facebook page or Twitter account.

Now it's time for YOU to put your money where your mouth is, Kings fans!  Make your own pledge!  Just make a donation!  If you can't donate, please re-post this blog and SPREAD THE WORD!  Together we can support the Kings AND tell cancer to get the puck out!