Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kings vs Senators: Ending on a High Note

For their last game before the All-Star break, the Kings had their work cut out for them playing against the Ottawa Senators. Although the Kings have fared pretty well against Eastern Conference opponents this season, the Senators came in to Staples Center boasting a recent 5-1 road record and a lot of big, skilled players. Beating that kind of team takes a solid effort from your best players, right?

No. Winning took exceptional efforts from some unlikely heroes.

The Kings third and fourth lines worked their asses off. Kevin Westgarth set up a great screen that contributed to Willie Mitchell's goal, the Kings first of the night. Trevor Lewis stunned the Senators and buried a penalty shot chance, scoring the first "McFlurry Minute" goal of the season. And Kyle Clifford -- The Big Red Dog -- stole the hearts of the Staples Center crowd, earning his first Gordie Howe hat trick.

There were other contributions as well. The defencemen did what we've come to expect them to do from the blue line. Colin Fraser was tough and determined. But the stars were silent. And yet the Kings won. It's a ending that could only happen in Hockeywood, the perfect big red bow tied to the end of the first half of the Kings roller coaster season.

A few more thoughts from The Queen:
  • Not sure where brownie was looking when Wiliams put a nice pass right between his skates early in the first period, but it wasn't at the puck. Guess that explains why the first line had a tough time putting any shots on net.
  • Nice to see The Big Red Dog get back to being scrappy. Zenon Konopka is a lot to handle and Cliffy held his own.
  • To the rude guy in the row behind me -- just because the Canadian National Anthem isn't YOUR anthem doesn't mean it's not "real." In my section, we respect everyone.
  • Patrick O'Neal must read tweets about him because he asked much better questions during his in-game interview with Colin Fraser.
  • I'm starting to think this team has been playing defense first hockey for so long they've forgotten how to do a power play. Anyone got a Power Play For Dummies book?
  • Can someone please explain how Stolly being charged by the Ottawa goalie is interference on Stoll?
  • It's a crime the 3 boys behind me didn't make the Dance Cam. They were jammin'!

There were lots of awesome Tweets to choose from during the game, but these definitely stood out!

Next, the Kings enjoy an extended break during the NHL All-Star game festivities. After one more home game on February 1st, they leave for a 6 game East Coast road trip. Until then, check out Jonathan Quick as he represents the Kings at the All-Star game in Ottawa on Sunday, January 29th.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kings vs Avalache: Slashing and Burning

The new year has been a roller coaster for the Kings. Winners on the road, yet losers at home. Spurts of brilliance offensively, yet plenty of 2 goal games lost by one goal. This team has had a Jekyll and Hyde reputation the past couple of seasons and just can't seem to shake it and find consistency.

Even though we're not at the All-Star break yet, the match-up with the Colorado Avalanche had HUGE playoff implications. The Kings were in 7th and the Avs right behind in 8th as the puck dropped. The Sharks also lost in regulation to the Canucks, giving the Kings a shot at sole possession of first place in the hotly contested Pacific Division.

Did they do it? Of course not. This IS the Kings. This team couldn't grab an opportunity if it slapped them in the face and started a fight.

After a back and forth first, the Kings lit the lamp first at the beginning on the second period. Good start, right? Then then Avalanche put their foot on the gas, controlled the tempo completely, and never looked back. The Kings spent the rest of the evening chasing the game. NOT GOOD. Sadly they never caught up with it and lost another 2-1 contest thanks to anemic scoring, lackluster effort, mental know, the usual stuff.

No one took the loss harder than Jonathan Quick, and rightfully so. It's his birthday, he gets no support from his team, and Dan Winnik comes along and clips him in the leg. I don't blame him for that slashing penalty. Not one bit.

If I celebrated my birthday like you did, I'd have that look on my face too.

The Queen's game commentary:
  • To the chick that sang the National Anthem (yes, I've already blocked out your name), not  everything should be embellished.
  • As hard as I try, I still keep slipping and yelling "GO RICHIE!" at Mike Richards. Sorry Brad Richardson.
  • To the idiots that ruined my video of Quick at the start of the 2nd period, I hope someone spit in your pizza. Ditto for the pain in the ass couple in my row that got up and down every 10 minutes during the game.
  • I love Colin Fraser. Plays his role well, few mistakes and a scrappy attitude. He's a Dean Lombardi style player.
  • When are they gonna put the Kiss Cam on two players? I'll bet Drew would kiss someones helmet.
  • Kudos to the people in front of me for not letting a guy in their row get up until play stopped. Gotta teach the newbies proper hockey etiquette.
  • I don't know what flavor of PennerCakes #25 ate for breakfast today, but this batch weighed him down.
  • It kills me to say it, but Loktionov was having a tough time out there. He's still not quite where he needs to be with the physical aspect of the game. Not totally his fault since he's being used as a checking center when that's not his role, but that's a conversation for another day.
  • Judging from the length of the in-game interviews he gets, none of the players like Patrick O'Neal.
  • Little kids on the dance cam are so much better than two fisted puck bunnies.
  • Someone explain how they can add guys to the ice cleaning crew, yet it takes LONGER to clear the ice than when it was only girls.

And finally, I'm adding a new feature to my game recap and sharing some of my favorite Tweets of the night. If you're not already on Twitter, THIS is why you need to join the party.

The Kings next chance to right the ship at home comes Monday against the red-hot Ottawa Senators. Let's hope we're up to the challenge.