Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kings vs. Avs: Buried By Penalties

Three games in four nights is a tough workload for any NHL team.  Playing back to back weekend games on the road makes it that much tougher. Losing both back to back games by ONE goal against two conference opponents in downright brutal.

I know Brownie. It sucks for us too.

Welcome to the Kings world.

Credit Colorado a ton for controlling the tempo of the game and wearing us out a little. Also credit them for showing why their power play is currently tops in the NHL. Blame the Kings for lack of defensive discipline and penalties that ultimately cost us the game.

Terry Murray talks often in post-game and post-practice interviews about "shot mentality." I think the discussion needs to shift to "finishing mentality." We shot plenty tonight, but just couldn't convert shots into goals. The Kings had 32 shots on goal. The Avalanche had 16. We scored 2 goals, but they scored 3. That must be NHL "new math." I hate it. Apparently Terry Murray needs to learn it.

The bottom line is it's a long season and we have time to tweak things. The basic pieces are in place, but not everyone is on the same page of music yet. The Kings will get there, but they can't be complacent and think they have all the time in the world to give things in gear. Conference points are critical and the entire month of November we face all Western Conference teams. Now is the time to start to separate from the pack -- or start to dig a hole. Let's hope we can do the former and not the latter.

Some other quick thoughts:
  • I know the Kings penalty kill is good, but you're playing with fire taking two undisciplined penalties in the first 3 minutes of the game against the #1 power play in the league. Neither guy that committed penalties (that would be Parse and Penner) needs to be doing extra damage to their reputations the way they're playing so far this season.  At least Parse redeemed himself 27 seconds after the Kings gave up their first goal. We weren't so lucky on penalty kill number 3. And who's penalty were we killing on THAT goal? Scott Parse AGAIN.
  • Give us a TWO MAN advantage in the second and we can score, right? Yes, FINALLY! But can we do it again when we DESPERATELY need to tie the game in the third and send it to OT? No.
  • Speaking of the that first Colorado goal, I know our power play needs work, but giving up shorthanded goals on it is not the improvement we're looking for, guys.
  • Parse is averaging a penalty a game right now. Terry Murray will forgive lackluster goal production, but he won't forgive lack of defensive discipline. There goes your ice time, Scooter. Enjoy the view from the press box.
  • I'm still puzzled over the way Jack Johnson disappears when Drew Doughty is playing. I've previously gone on record and said the blue line ain't big enough for both of them, and you KNOW who The Queen believes belongs. Feel free to revive that discussion now.
  • Words that scare the hell out of me -- "Justin Williams looks like he's favoring his right leg." Hopefully we don't get a "missed practice today, but may be a maintenance day" that turns into a dreaded lower or middle body injury. We already have one of those. At least Williams stayed on the ice through the entire game.
  • Speaking of middle body injuries, when is Gagne coming back? Looks like we need him.
Thankfully the Kings can get off the road for a few days, regroup and get a fresh start at home next Thursday against the red-hot Edmonton Oilers.  Be there and BE LOUD!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kings vs Coyotes: Bitten By The Dogs

If there's one thing you're going to hear me say consistently all season, it's "Don't count the Coyotes out." The Desert Dogs are the biggest pests in the Pacific (and possibly the Western Conference) and they proved it tonight, beating the Kings 3-2 in overtime.

Photo courtesy of Paul Gheduzzi
Damond Langkow got the game winner, but the real weapon for the Coyotes tonight was Radim Vrbata. Good things happened when he touched the puck (two goals plus the assist on Langkow's game winner) so the Kings need to pay more attention to him next time around.

On the Kings end, the big story in my mind was inability to capitalize on power play chances. Two chances just in the first period alone, and absolutely NO shots on goal during the first attempt. We even started OT with a power play and couldn't get it done. Only 1 shot on goal with a 4-3 advantage? Back to the PP drawing board.

A few other quick hits from The Queen:
  •  Drew Doughty was finally back in the line-up. The Kings faithful rejoiced. The heavens did not open and angels did not sing, but he made it through a whole game. Small victories.
  • Jack Johnson was a minus 3 tonight -- with his stick in the wrong spot when the Phoenix netted the game winner. It's only one game, and I'm not a Jack Johnson hater. But for all of you so excited about his hot start, let's remember he's not infallible.
  • My old boyfriend Patrick O'Sullivan was back in the Coyotes line-up. I should have pulled out my signed jersey and worn it during the game. It never helped the Kings win when he played for them anyway, so it probably had some Coyote killing abilities. I guess you ca blame this loss on me.
  • The Kopitar line did not play well overall tonight. What was different? Dustin Penner. Is it all his fault? Maybe not, but he's gonna take the blame.
  • Mike Richards can do no wrong. Absolutely nothing. I'm starting to think he'd be the perfect hockey player to clone.
  • No matter how bad things get, Jonathan Quick hangs tough. He kept us in that game for a long time. Sometimes the bounces just bite you, but Quick is still the man.
  • I don't care how few people were supposedly in the building in Glendale. I heard "Go Yotes Go" chanting while Daryl and Nick were talking on the radio broadcast. There ARE fans in Phoenix people -- they just come out in greater numbers on weekends.
  • NOT happy about another OT game, but if we had to lose at least we picked up a point. I would much prefer we learn to win in regulation.
  • I will pay someone to secretly disable the Coyotes goal horn. I'm serious.  
Luckily, the Kings don't have to wait long to redeem themselves from tonight's loss. They face the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow evening, so hopefully they can shake this one off quickly and move forward.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kings vs Devils: Be-Deviled Again

It isn't often that the Kings play an Eastern Conference team twice in one season, much less the same team twice in one month. Yet a mere 12 days after the Kings first game back on American soil, they got stuck facing off with those pests the New Jersey Devils once again.

The big controversy of the night was Terry Murray starting back-up Jonathan Bernier over red-hot Jonathan Quick. I totally understand our coach keeping his word, especially when it was given BEFORE Quick set a record for consecutive minutes without allowing a goal in the win against Dallas. But there had to be a part of Quick that wanted a chance to get back at Kovalchuk and the Devils for the shoot out loss he endured 2 weeks ago.

For his part, Bernier had an up and down game. He had a couple of close shaves in the first period, saved once by Mr. Goalpost and the second time by the referee. Then his luck ran out in the second, in part because the entire team lost steam in front of him. The first two goals were not completely Bernier's fault. In fact, you can probably blame goal number 2 on Kopitar. But goal number three? He wants that one back.

Maybe try looking UP next time....

Unfortunately the three goals the Kings gave up in the second period were all it took to seal the deal on a 3-0 loss, the first for the Kings at Staples Center this season. I suppose it had to happen sometime, but that doesn't make it easier to take. The fact that the Devils swept us this season also sucks.

At least my signed "Mystery Puck" was a Kopitar....

Here are a few other quick hits from tonight's effort, including some happy moments:
  • It was beautiful seeing Steve Raboin do the ceremonial puck drop in honor of his son Tanner, who passed away at the end of last season. If you haven't signed up to be a bone marrow donor yet and have questions, PLEASE let me know. I've registered myself and it's easy and painless. A simple cheek swab can save someones life. Just do it.
  • I spoke with Nichole Brown (yes, our Captain's better half) and she said the Love for Lokomotiv bracelet sales have raised $22,000 so far -- and that was BEFORE tonight's game. THANK YOU to all of you who supported this great cause.
  • The boys all taped their sticks purple in honor of Hockey Fights Cancer. All the ads along the boards were lavender as well, which was very cool. And Foxy and Bob Miller always look sharp in their Hockey Fights Cancer ties.
  • You know we're playing an East Coast opponent when a bunch of suits show up and sit in lower bowl. 
  • Devils fans that attend games at Staples Center ONLY root for Martin Brodeur, so it was nice he wasn't playing. I think I would have preferred he did.
  • Hearing Kovalchuk get booed just never gets old, even if it wasn't as loud last year.
  • It took us until the 2nd period to get a power play chance and it was just -- awful. Come to think of it, that whole period was just -- AWFUL.
  • Voynov makes some absolutely beautiful passes. I hate it when he makes one and the play gets broken so it's wasted.
  • One of my favorite moments tonight was watching Mike Richards do a belly slide half the length of the ice. I wasn't quick enough to catch the slide, but I caught the collateral damage.
  • Another sell out! YAY! No more home games until
That's right Kings fans. The boys are on the road until November 3rd, when they take on the Edmonton Oilers. Ah, the return of Ryan Smyth! THAT should be entertaining. Until then, let's hope for better fortunes on the road, starting Thursday in Dallas. Maybe we'll even see Drew Doughty back on the ice.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kings vs Stars: Quick Is THE Star of The Game!

Coming into last night's game, the Dallas Stars held the best record in the Pacific with a 6-1 start. Brad Richards was gone, but the Kings still had plenty to worry about with a lineup including Steve Ott, Loui Eriksson and Mike Ribiero. So in a way, this was the first real conference and division test for the Kings after facing mostly Eastern conference teams to start the season.

Dallas came at us with a hard and physical game and the Kings definitely didn't have control over possession like the last couple of games. But Jack Johnson was once again our savior (did I actually just write that?) and unloaded an absolute BOMB of a shot to give the Kings the 1-0 win in the 3rd period. IN REGULATION. IN FRONT OF ANOTHER SELL OUT CROWD! How can this possibly get better?

It gets better because of THIS GUY.

Jonathan Quick has been the Kings goal tending Jesus the last couple of seasons, but now that he has a legitimate team in front of him, he's approaching GOD status. He did not have an easy night in front of the Star by any means, yet he earned his 3rd straight shut out of the season, setting a franchise record and cementing his place in the hearts of every Kings fan who has watched his career blossom. When he was announced as the Number 1 Star of the Game, the applause was quite simply deafening -- and completely deserved.

With the win, the Kings improve their record to 5-1-1, good for 4th place in the Western Conference. Who's #1? Still the Dallas Stars. The West will be tight again this season and we've got work ahead of us. but the Kings are off to a banging start -- and all without Drew Doughty. It's only going to get better!

Here are a few other quick hits from The Queen's view of the game!

  • If this drum group is gonna be a regular pre-game thing, someone needs to get them better Kings gear to wear.
  • "Moves Like Jagger" was included in the Kings warm up music. Perhaps by special request from Quickie?
  • The special law enforcement jerseys the Kings warned up in looked AWESOME! There were only 3 on silent auction last night and the others are supposed to be available for bids online. I haven't seen anything on the Kings site as of this posting, but I'll pass along information when I get it.
  • The Robot puck drop was...interesting. I would love to know what Dustin Brown was thinking about that one!
  • Who remembers this day 2 years ago? I do! I couldn't talk for 2 days.
  • Putting a member of the visiting team on the "Bubble Cam" should happen at every game.
  • Mike Richards not only has skills -- he's a beast. We love him.
  • With about 7 minutes left, Penner had a great takeaway and drive to the net. We need THAT Dustin Penner to show up every game.
  • Congrats to Rob Scuderi. By the looks of his missus, they're having another baby this season!

The Kings next challenge is a second contest against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. It's the perfect occasion to avenge our overtime loss in Newark two weeks ago, so be prepared to BRING IT ON!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kings vs Yotes: Quick Leaves The Yotes Howling

While the Kings were playing back East last weekend, I made a trip to Phoenix to see the Coyotes take on the Winnipeg Jets. The trip was a favor to the boyfriend who is a Yotes fan. Yeah, I know. I'm working on him. But it also gave me a chance to scout the Coyotes, who have been perpetual pests for the Kings over the last handful of seasons no matter how good or bad either team has been.

The Coyotes played an uptempo but very controlled game against the Jets, and I spent most of the game thinking they're going to be tough competition for The Kings once again this season. I also noticed the Yotes mascot Howler gets a special intro on the Jumbotron during pre-game. Bailey needs to get his deal with the Kings renegotiated.

When it was finally time for the Kings and Coyotes to face each other for the the first time this season, I expected a hard battle. Au contraire, my friends! The Kings handled the challenge beautifully en route to a  2-0 win! Seriously, could this team be any better right now? Scoring coming from everywhere! Still perfect on the PK! Goaltending magic! OK, so maybe we still can tighten up in  a few area, and yes it's still early in the season (my new mantra) but there is a LOT to be happy about right now, Kings fans!

Here are The Queen's quick hits on the game:

  • The Coyotes motto this season is "Hockey The Hard Way." For the only team in the league still without an owner, it seems especially appropriate.
  • My first hockey boyfriend Patrick O'Sullivan plays for the Coyotes now-- sort of. He seems to be their favorite healthy scratch. I still think he's adorable. Hopefully they'll find a way to use him this season. I might even pull out my old O'Sullivan jersey once.
  • Shane Doan has been a King killer as long as I've been a Kings fan, but we kept him off the score sheet tonight. That's kind of a HUGE deal since his next goal will be his 300th NHL career tally. I'd prefer he score it against another team.
  • Westy had a HUGE night, and he needed it. Terry Murray as been clear that more playing time only comes with being better on the ice, and feeding The Big Red Dog and letting him bury a goal will get him more ice time.
  • Speaking of The Big Red Dog, is there anything more fun to watch than the smile on Cliffy's face when he scores? I think not.
  • The Coyotes howling goal horn is the most obnoxious thing on Earth, so it was nice NOT to hear at. At all. 
  • Jonathan Quick. 100 career wins. 16 shut-outs. Second shut-out of the season so far. Best save percentage IN THE NHL. Quickie now holds the Kings record as the goaltender who reached 100 wins the fastest. He became the first Kings goalie to turn in back-to-back shutouts since Mathieu Garon on April 1-3, 2006. He is BADASS.

The Kings are back home Saturday to take on the Dallas Stars. Be there and be LOUD! We're on a roll!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kings vs Blues: Home Opening Happines!

Home openers can be a tricky thing in Hockeywood. I've seen fantastic wins and terrible losses, with the latter ending in the entire team being booed as they left the ice. Thankfully this year the Kings got their happy ending playing at Staples Center for the first time this season, soundly defeating the St. Louis Blues 5-0. Hopefully this is an omen of things to come for the season.

When Ricky's happy, we're ALL happy.
Before the game, we had the Black Carpet (formerly known as the Purple Carpet) walk by the players. It was a lot of fun once again this year and totally worth taking a vacation day from work, even though MY King Mr. Doughty was a no show, as was Kevin Westgarth and his magical white Bronco. They showed up later on the Jumbo during player intros, so apparently only the starting line-up got to walk the carpet. But there were plenty of other memorable moments:
  • Dustin Penner was the first to arrive, which led to a lot of jokes about whether he was early for some extra time in the hot tub or getting a snack. 
  • Jack Johnson revved the engine a few extra times on his fire-engine red Ferrari as he pulled up. You know he's the favorite with the valets this season.
  • Jonathan Quick chopped off his hair. No more goalie porn moments when the lifts his lid to wet his head down. Damn.
  • Jonathan Bernier was determined not to spend more time walking the carpet than he had to, so he tried drafting behind Justin Williams, who was being followed by a pack of cameras and working the crowd as SLOWLY as humanly possible. Guess that didn't work so well.  No one keeps Willy from the cameras.
  • Matt Greene stormed the carpet with a look on his face like he was ready to kill someone. Hey, if intensity wins games, BRING IT Greener.
  • Slava Voynov looks much better with shorter hair. He also looks about 13 with it styled that way.
  • Mike Richards honestly looked afraid for his life. I guess he's not used to fans smiling at him.
But the fun didn't end at the Black Carpet. We actually got to see an AWESOME game! Some quick thoughts from The Queen on tonight's effort:
  • It's so wonderful to see 4 lines with an equal amount of energy -- sustained through the entire game! In particular, I loved the amount of speed on the Richardson/Lewis/Moreau line. Apparently old Chop still has some moves left in him.
  • Mike Richards has mad skills. That is all.
  • Simon Gagne healthy is a beautiful thing. He's a lot like Justin Williams that way. Maybe this will be the season nothing happens to either of them. Watching them pass to each other makes me happy. I think it makes them happy too.
  • Voynov fits right in. He's got speed, stick work offensively AND defensively and he reads plays well. I don't care who gets injured on D this season, we will be FINE as long as we can call this kid up.
  • I think we've started to find the power play.
  • Quickie did not have to work as hard as usual, but there were a couple of flurries when he made 3 or 4 tough stops in a row. If he's feeling any threat from Bernier taking his spot, he's using it to stay right where he belongs -- in the crease.
  • The fans ALL stood and cheered the entire final minute of the game. Every person in Staples Center. I almost cried.

There is just something different about this team this year, and I mean that in the best possible way. It's early in the season and I tried the whole game not to get too excited, but I also smiled bigger as every moment passed. This team is going to be something special. I can feel it. Can you feel it too?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Things That Will Be Different At This Year's Home Opener

Change can be good, right? At least I hope you think so, because things will look a little different at the Kings Home Opener tomorrow than in previous years. With less than 24 hours left until the puck drops, here's a look at what to expect at Staples Center tomorrow as the Kings take on the St. Louis Blues.
Black Is The New Purple

The famous player arrivals carpet is now black. It will probably look cool, but man will it be a bitch to keep clean. And whoever is wearing brown shoes will stick out like a sore thumb. Although if Matt Greene wears his white shoes that would be hilarious.

Pre-Game Food

Last year we got really awesome hockey themed cupcakes courtesy of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars!" This year we have a pizza eating contest sponsored by Pizza Hut. Unless those pizzas are in the shape of hockey sticks, I'm gonna be disappointed.


 The Queen's trademark purple sparkly nails are gone, replaced with these! Crackle polish rocks!

Missing Roster Cards

 Yeah, I know we didn't have them last season. And no, I still haven't gotten over it.

The New Guys
Richards, Gagne, Moreau, Hunter and Voynov (find photos) have never experienced the glorious noise of a packed house at Staples (and no, pre-season doesn't count). Let's rock their faces off, Kings fans!

This Guy

He's never watched the home opener from the press box before. Something tells me he won't like it even though the drinks are free...

Player arrivals start at 4 PM on the black carpet, so get to Staples early tomorrow. And most of all -- be prepared to be LOUD and PROUD!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Sending Mike Richards Love Via "Letters For Richie"

When your favorite player gets traded, you have a choice to make as a fan. One would be you can abandon the player now that he no longer plays for "your" team. But if you're a true and loyal fan of someone, another choice would be that your favorite player takes your heart with him and you go along for the ride wherever his career goes.  It's like relocating to a new city -- you take some old favorites with you, but you make new friends and acquaint yourself with a new landscape, or in this case a different team.

In the case of Mike Richards, he has some of the most loyal fans I've ever encountered. Two of them even took it upon themselves to make his transition to LA easier by letting "Richie" know just how much he was loved and will be missed in Philly, yet welcomed to Los Angeles. 

This is the story of "Letters for Richie," a collection of letters written by fans of the Flyers AND Kings to Mike Richards, posted in a scrapbook gifted to the man himself. The ladies behind this amazing outpouring of love are Jaime and Kate, longtime Flyers fans and "new" Kings fans because they love Mike Richards that much. I was so impressed by the project I wanted to know more, and Jaime and Kate were gracious enough to answer some questions and even provide pictures from the finished book!


How long have you ladies been hockey fans? How long have you been following the Flyers?
Jaime: I have been a Flyers Fan my whole life. My Dad would get tickets from his job and take my brothers and I to the games from time to time and I was hooked on hockey and the Flyers instantly! Now that I am older I am fortunate enough to be a season ticket holder. 

Kate: I have been a hockey fan since I was a kid, I remember my first game was an AHL game and I was so into the game that I would get mad whenever someone told me how much time was left in the game. I just love hockey as a whole.  As for how long I've been a Flyers fan, it is the same thing. When I was a kid the only team I wanted to know about was the Flyers. I loved how they played and everything about them and although I'm from New Jersey I knew I didn't wanna be a Devils fan.

How did you become such huge fans of Mike Richards?
Jaime: I became such a big fan of Mike Richards because he just plays the game right. During the lockout year our AHL team at the time was in the playoff race for the Calder Cup and Mike had just finished his season up in Kitchner and he was brought in to play with the Phantoms for the rest of the year and from the first time he stepped on the ice until we eventually won the Calder Cup that year you could tell he was going to be a great player. He skates hard, wins battles, wins face offs, he just plays his heart out and I appreciate players like that so that is what really endeared him to me.

Kate: I became such a big fan of Mike during the 2005 NHL lockout. After his season with Kitchner ended he was sent to the Phantoms to help them win the Calder cup and I remember watching him work his butt off his first shift on the ice. He averaged over a point a game in almost every game, and was one of the big reasons we got the cup. But his hard work and his ability to never quit on a play instantly made him my favorite. Now today he's a veteran in the NHL and I'm still a huge fan of him.

What was your favorite moment during Mike Richards' tenure with the Flyers?
Jaime: My favorite moment during Mike's tenure with the Flyers has to be the goal he scored against Montreal during our Cup run in 09-10. It was just the classic battle for the puck and beating Roman Hamlik, never giving up and eventually scoring the goal against Halak. Also, when he won the Calder Cup with our AHL team.

Kate: Everybody always says the goal versus the Habs in the ECF and while that was definitely an amazing goal, my favorite was his first playoff goal in the NHL versus the Caps. He worked extremely hard on the play that drew his penalty shot and on the penalty shot he just skated in and scored like it was no problem. The best part was his goal celebration though, he grabbed some ice and threw it in the air like it was confetti.

The news of the Richards trade came as a huge surprise to Kings fans. What was your reaction when you first heard about the trade, and how do you feel about it now?
Jaime: I was in complete shock to say the least! I had been following the trade deadline all day in work and I had just left work when my phone started getting flooded with text messages about the Flyers trading Jeff Carter and then Mike 5 minutes later. I remember thinking no this cant be true. I expected Carter to be traded since there were rumors all summer about him possibly being moved but never thought Mike would be gone too. Then I was just angry about the trade and honestly probably still am a little. But hockey is a business and trades happen and he is my favorite player no matter where he plays. 

Kate: Honestly, when I first heard about the trade I am embarrassed to admit it but I cried a little.  It’s hard watching your favorite hockey player get traded but its even harder when he's going across country. I was also in shock, I couldn't believe they traded him. I can honestly say I never thought they would trade him because he was such a big part of our team. Now today I am still nowhere near happy about the trade.  I think the Flyers will regret trading him for years to come. While I'm upset he's gone I wish him nothing but the best in LA. I feel like LA will give him more freedom to be himself and not have to worry about media and all the stuff he hated in Philly. So LA will be a good fit for him, he deserves to get away from all the bashing he got in Philly, plus he's totally going to kick butt in LA! :)

How did the idea for "Letters for Richie" come about? 
Jaime: It actually wasn't our idea. I follow a local blog about Philly sports on Twitter and he had a post about someone putting a book together called "Letters for Richie" that they would give to him when the Kings played the Devils in NJ. I thought what a cool idea and planned on writing a letter to send over. I let Kate (a fellow season ticket holder and Richie fan) know about the book, she thought it was cool and wanted to ask the person making the book a few questions. After she sent an e-mail over to the "Letters for Richie" e-mail address, she was told that the person was no longer going to make a book. So Kate asked if I wanted to help her make the book with her since the original creator gave us control of the e-mail account. I said sure but Kate really did all the work. She put the book together and I tried to get the word out so that we could get as many letters as possible. 

Kate: The person who originally had the idea backed out of doing it, I e-mailed them some questions and was told that they were no longer doing it so they offered to let me take over the project. I said yes and asked Jamie if she'd like to help with it and she said yeah. So we then started getting the word out and trying to get some letters. I love to scrapbook so I offered to put the book together and Jamie did the promoting. I loved doing this book though, at times it was hard but it was always fun. It was almost like a baby to us because we both worked so hard on it because we wanted it to be amazing and worth giving to him. In the end it came out great and we are very proud of it.  We really just wanted to give Richie the goodbye he deserved. It was right around the time he started tweeting about how he wanted to be remembered in Philly and he sounded really sad that he could be remembered negatively. So we thought that he should know some fans really did appreciate everything he did for the team.

What were some of the best letters you received? What did people write that surprised you?
Jaime: That is hard to say really. All of them were good in their own way. Most of the letters just thanked Mike for his time with the Flyers and wished him luck in LA. While others shared their favorite moments of Mike as a Flyer or their own personal experience with him at different team events. We also got a few from Kings fans (thanks to the help of Kings Court) welcoming Mike to LA which was nice. After reading through some of the letters, some of them were a few that I thought not sure if I would say something like that in my letter. But hey, that is what makes the book special, I guess.

Kate: I think the best letters were the ones where the person poured their heart in the letter and took the time to write up a nice letter that has meaning. Some people only wrote a sentence letter that said "Thank you" which was kind of disappointing because he deserves better. The letters that surprised me were the ones where girls would confess their love for him, it was like they actually thought he'd track them down and marry them all.


So now that you have the letters, what happens next with your project?
Jaime: We ended up receiving 44 letters total. Most of them from Flyers fans and about 7 letters from Kings fans. Kate and I though the best way to do the book would be to put each letter on its own page and add pictures throughout the book. Kate finished the book up this past week and we plan on giving it to Mike after the game in NJ on October 13th. 

Kate: Well the project is actually complete now but basically what we did was make a scrapbook type of thing with all the letters from fans in it. Each page has letters and some pictures of Mikes career so far. Now that its done though all that's left to do is give it to him on October 13th after the Kings vs Devils game in Newark.

Do you have plans to see Mike Richards in a Kings uniform any time soon?
Jaime: Definitely! I have tickets to see the Kings play on October 13th in NJ and I will see the Kings a few days later on October 15th here in Philly. I also will be coming out to LA in November to see the Kings play the Canucks. And hopefully going to catch the Kings play up in Long Island against the Islanders in February. It is hard with the Kings being a West Coast team but lucky that when they do come out East we are close enough to take day trips to see them play. 

Kate: Of course, I am going to see him in a Kings uniform as many times as possible. I'll be at the October 13th game vs the Devils (Which is where the book is being given to him). I'll also be at the Flyers vs Kings game and possibly the Islanders game and I'm working on a road trip to Columbus to see him vs the Blue Jackets.

And last but not least, if the Kings and Flyers end up in the Stanley Cup Finals, who will you root for? 
Jaime: Haha! I am actually kinda hoping for this to happen and honestly, of course I have to root and hope for my Philadelphia Flyers to win! But if the Kings were to beat us I would be disappointed but I would definitely be happy for Richie, Simon, Williams, Coach Murray and Stevens as well as Hexy! I mean after all the Kings are the Flyers of the West! 

Kate: I have been waiting for another Flyers parade for too long, way too long so I'd have to cheer for my Flyers of course. We have a bunch of players who are older and their time is running out on their chances to win the cup. The Kings are a young team and will have a bright future for years to come. So I'll cheer for my Flyers to win the cup and for it to be a hard fought series and for Mike and all the former Flyers to do well and lastly for the Kings to win the cup next year. :)


HUGE thanks to these wonderful ladies for sharing their project with the Kings faithful! I'll follow up with them to see what happened with the the album delivery -- Richie will be stunned. 

If you'd like to get to know these wonderful new Kings fans better, you can follow them on Twitter! Jaime is  jski521 and Kate is kate_penna.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kings vs. Devils: Back to The States

I have nothing personally against the fine hockey fans in Europe, but starting the season in Europe just felt weird. Hockey was not meant to be watched over breakfast, and with the exception of Anze Kopitar the Kings have no European players anymore. Granted, Mr. Anschutz has more money than God and I suppose if he's footing the bill his team can play wherever he wants them. Even so, it was so nice to finally have the Kings back in the good old USA for a REAL game today!

I wasn't able to join the Kings "official" watch party at Hooters due to my work schedule. As much as I would have preferred to watch the game with my fellow Kings fans -- not to mention Bailey and Jay Flats! -- I've never liked the job Hooters has done with previous parties and I wish the Kings could find another sponsor. But that's a whole blog topic for another day.

Instead, Nick and Daryl kept me entertained on the commute home. Things went so well for the Kings while I was in the car, maybe I should have just stayed there.

A 2-1 shoot-out loss isn't the way we need to be rolling to start the season. With the loss, the Kings record sits at 1-1-1. That's just too many ones. Two is the only number that matters. At least I didn't shell out a bunch of "ones" for overpriced food and beer...

Some other quick thoughts on the Kings US debut:

  • Congrats to Simon Gagne on his first goal as a King! Although I refuse to refer to him by any of his actual nicknames because Gags and Gaggy sound like conditions that need rehab. I prefer to call him "Your Hotness.

  • How much does Kopitar LOVE playing with wingers that have legit skills? I'm guessing A LOT.
  • I don't wish injuries on any player -- but somehow they're amusing when they happen to a goalie nicknamed "Fatty."
  • Hey Devils, a 39 year old starting goalie and 38 year old back up is NOT a formula for success. Offer us Zach Parise and we might be able to help you.
  • I know some of you hate the white jerseys, but damn do they look awesome coordinated with Quickie's new lid!
  • It looks like Doughty got tired of the Westgarth comparisons and found some scissors.
  • Kovalchuk played every other shift and still couldn't score in regulation. I hope the Devils play him into the ground. I'm happier every time I see him play that Deano kept a tight hold on the checkbook with that one. Although we won't talk about the shoot-out goal...
  • Dustin Penner did nothing in his regular season debut -- except give the Devils a power play for the start of overtime by taking a stupid charging penalty. Not exactly the turnaround we're looking for there, Pens.
  • Someone please tell me this team will learn to win in regulation sometime before February.