Bernie showed why he is not only one of the great hockey talents to come out of this organization but an enduring fan favorite during his speech in front of a sell out crowd.
I'm sure the Kings will have video up online later, but there were a couple of things that stuck out for me:
- He scored 70 goals. In one season. Can we bring this guy out of retirement?
- He's the one being honored, yet the first thing he does is recognize Bob Miller. That's class.
- He also said LA fans were the best crowds he ever played for, anywhere during his career. LA loves him back for saying that.
- By far my favorite Bernie quote of the night -- "Wayne Gretzky filled The Forum and I entertained it." You still are Bernie. You still are.
Tonight's Kings 2-1 loss unfolded like practically every other game in they have played in December. The first period was marked by lackluster effort, and that's being generous. Not a lot of feet moving, little to no intensity overall. Penalties started early and stuck around the rest of the game. The pace of play picked up in the second and the Kings got on the board. The power play still didn't contribute any offense. Desperation finally set in during the third period and we finished up chasing the game and falling short once again. Man is this getting old.
- Enormous props to Brad Richardson for delivering the one huge bright spot of the night (besides Bernie Nicholls himself) with his shorthanded goal. He earned a well deserved #2 Star of the Night. Maybe that will be enough to convince Terry Murray to leave him in the line-up.
- I guess Patrick O' Neal is trying to be a hard-nosed sports journalist, but he just comes across as a real ass sometimes. For example, his first question to Brad Richardson during the first intermission --"Why does this team take so many penalties?" Credit Richie for handling that one graciously. I would have taken the microphone and punched O'Neal's lights out.
- Jonathan Bernier had a solid outing in net and it was nice to see him get a start against a Western Conference team not from Nashville.
- It really doesn't matter if Mitchy picked the fight or not -- Steve Ott is still one of the lowest hockey life forms known to man.
- Mike Ribiero has an acting career in front of him when he's done playing hockey. If he keeps diving, he might need that back-up plan sooner than he thinks.
- There were about 25 Stars fans in the building tonight, and somehow I lucked out and had 3 of them sitting next to me.
Right now, the Kings make playing a game look hard and absolutely not fun to watch. Hopefully a nice nine day road trip will be the antidote to what ails this team.
GO KINGS GO!