Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Quarter Final Round: Predictions and Keys To The Series

The Kings continue their quest for The Stanley Cup tonight in St. Louis and after a first round filled with doubts, I'm 1000% on the Kings bandwagon moving forward. This is a winnable series for the Kings, although it won't be an easy road by any means. We got lucky to dispose of the Vancouver Canucks in 5 games, largely because they made some key mistakes in their game plan. The Blues won't make those same errors, so we've got to have our proverbial shit together on this one.

Here are my keys for a Kings win in this round:

1) Stick with the game plan
Part of the reason the Kings were successful against Vancouver was because they maintained their composure, had a lot of patience and didn't get frustrated. They will need that much patience and then some with the Blues, who play a defensive, grind-it-out style similar to the Kings. This series will be a war of attrition and it's going to take the full 7 games.

2) Steal a road win early
The Blues had one of the NHL's best home records during the regular season. Luckily the Kings have played well on the road through the season AND in the first round of the playoffs. Hitting the Blues at home will shake their confidence and it will give the Kings some momentum to bring back to the home crowd at Staples Center.

3) Scoring opportunities from all four lines
Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock is big on match-ups, so if the Kings can find a way to get scoring chances coming from anywhere and everywhere, Hitch will keep guessing how to counter the offensive. It's time for our best players to be our best players and Kopitar, Carter, Richards and Williams all have an opportunity to step up and do more. I know it's a tall order given the Kings regular season history, we but we can't depend on Jarret Stoll to be clutch every series. And God knows I won't count on Penner to do it.

4) Rest when you can get it
This will be a LONG series and it's going to take a lot of energy. We have an Olympic caliber sleeper on this team named Jonathan Quick. Hopefully he'll be giving sleep clinics on off days.

 5) The X-Factor: Daryl Sutter
Plenty of pundits are saying Dustin Penner is the X-factor for this series, but for me there is no bigger reason for the Kings playoff success than the man behind the bench. I have never seen this team as prepared and focused as it's been with Sutter at the helm. He is proof positive that there is a HUGE difference between leading and managing. Leaders motivate. Managers are technicians that move pieces around the board. Terry Murray was a great manager. Daryl Sutter is a leader.

The Kings are prepared. They are focused. They are ready. They LIVE for this. Only one question remains -- are YOU ready, Kings fans?


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Playoff Lessons Learned

When you venture into uncharted territory, you're bound to make mistakes. In my time as a Kings fan, we've never been here, so I had my doubts whether it would ever happen. Nothing in the regular season gave me a conclusive reason to believe it would. So I made a choice to try and be smart, hedge my bets and be "realistic" about our chances in the first round, thinking that being "right" about the outcome was what mattered in the end.

Turns out I was wrong -- in so many ways. And it's time to pay the piper and admit just how wrong I was.

Thirteen days ago I tried to use logic, recent history and a season's worth of in person observation at Staples Center to predict the Kings playoff future. In the real world, that's what we do as human beings. We look for facts, statistics, guideposts and mile markers -- anything we think will guide us to the right decision. What I forgot is that the playoffs have a magical third dimension where the normal rules of the world don't always work and the unexpected becomes routine. In the playoffs, role players rise up to becomes heroes, emotion reigns over logic and unshakable belief trumps pure skill.

The Kings believed and that belief was rewarded.

My mistake was not believing enough. Sitting at the watch party Sunday night, chewing my nails and holding my breath, I still doubted the Kings could do it. And when they proved me wrong, when that room erupted and I screamed and hugged people I knew and some I didn't, I learned the most important lesson of my life as a hockey fan -- it feels great to let go and just BELIEVE.

We all make mistakes, but our true measure as human beings is learning from them and not making the same mistake twice. Whether I'm right or wrong, I will never doubt this team again. Because win, lose or draw, it's far more rewarding to be a believer than a doubter.

They say the fourth win is the hardest to get. It's also the sweetest. Even when you predict the wrong outcome.

I learned a few other things during this playoff series as well.
  • Important moments in Kings history are dictated by numerology. Three seasons ago, the Kings went to the playoffs for the first time in 8 years led by a Norris Trophy candidate wearing the number 8. Two years later, the Kings advance to the second round for the first time in 11 years because of a goal scored by jersey 28. When the Kings last advanced beyond the first round in 2001, the series winning goal was scored by another 28 -- Adam Deadmarsh. (Do you have chills yet? I do.)
  • Straight up hard nosed hockey is a lot more fun to watch than a bunch of between the whistles gamesmanship. It also helps you win. I think the Vancouver Canucks know that now.
  • Winning at home is awesome, but stealing a series in the other team's barn almost feels better.
  • It was a pleasure watching Drew Doughty grow up in this series. He is still young, and he still has room to develop, but he's a gamer.  His set up for Brad Richardson's goal to tie the game was worth every bit of the money he made this season. It was a clutch moment and the Kings would not have won without it. And seeing him smile and skate away from a scrap was beautiful icing on the cake, even if it spawned temporary meme insanity on the web.
  • NOT trading Dustin Brown was the smartest move Dean Lombardi will ever make as a GM.

  • Quicker > Ginger
  • Barney's Beanery s'mores have magical powers. No sooner did they arrive at our table during the third period then Brad Richardson scored to tie the game.
  • Bob Miller and Jim Fox are CRITICAL to the kings success. The only game we lost in the first round is the one they DIDN'T call.
  • "S" words in hockey are cursed. Don't even think about saying the word "Sweep" to me, or writing it on a sign, or bringing a broom to the rink. Ever again.
  • Bailey in a speedo is...naked and furry.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Game 4 By The Numbers

Eye black for the perfect game face: $5

Official playoff t-shirt from Team LA store: $25.99
Lower bowl playoff ticket: $90.50

"Lucky dinner" combo of Wetzel's Butter & Salt pretzel and a frozen margarita: $15.25

Projected dive count from Ryan Kessler based on Games 1-3: 2.5

Projected number of celebrity sightings: 5
Number of times the guy sitting behind me will probably say "Aw, come on Doughty!" and I'll want to punch him: 25
Number of Kings fans who HONESTLY knew this would happen ALL ALONG: 0
Percentage of Kings fans waiting for "The other shoe to drop": 50%
Number of frayed nerve endings per Kings fan in attendance: All of them
Chance the Kings will finish this series in 4 games: I'm superstitious. Not even going there.... 


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Things That AREN'T Fun About The Playoffs

The playoffs are generally a fantastic time as a hockey fan. After a long season suffering through the inevitable ups and downs of your team's season, you finally have reason to celebrate! But like many things in life, you have to take the good with the bad, and there are some really annoying things you have to put with during the playoffs.

I was reminded of my favorite playoff pet peeves on Sunday and thought it might be fun to share. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • Season ticket holders that sell their seats to opposing team fans -- especially ones that look like THIS.

  • Silly games with kiddie castle themes at "Fan Fest" outside the arena. Didn't the Kings swear off cartoonish castles early in the season?

  • Long lines at the beer tent. A thirsty hockey fan is an angry hockey fan. This is how riots begin.

  • Fans that wear jerseys that don't belong to either team playing. Kudos to you for being a hockey fan and all, but get with the program. If you don't root for one of the teams playing, wear street clothes.

  • Mob scene in the Team LA store. I still don't have my playoff t-shirt and I'm kind of bitter about it.
  • The Lakers. And the Clippers. And anything else that requires flooring to be placed over the ice surface more than 24 hours prior to puck drop. We've got enough to worry about without dealing with jacked up ice!
  • Idiots that don't know not to come into my row while the puck is in play.
  • Opposing team fans that climb on the Gretzky Statue.  And if I see a Canuck fan even THINK about dressing him in different colors, I'm getting the red jackets after you.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Kings Round One Playoffs: I Didn't See This Coming!

When I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I'm secure enough to admit it. And boy have I been wrong about the Kings so far in this playoff series.

Most Kings fans, myself included, would have been happy steal ONE win in Vancouver. Grabbing two was the stuff of dreams. After dropping two games at home, no one expected the Vancouver Canucks to come in to Staples Center and just roll over. Their goal would be to turn the tables and do the same thing to the Kings on their own home ice.

On the Kings side of the equation, Staples Center has not been a guaranteed advantage during the regular season. The playoffs haven't been much better in recent memory, so there was no question Game 3 would be critical to proving the first two wins weren't some kind of fluke. Is this Kings team for real? Really for real?

Tonight proved the wisdom of taking one game at a time and not getting too enamored with your own success. The Kings, quite frankly, were NOT good tonight. They spent way too much time in their own zone, took some early penalties and generally had problems sustaining puck possession. The Canucks continued to bring plenty of physicality, and while the Kings didn't lose their composure they had to spend more time and energy than they probably wanted defending themselves.

Alex Burrows is now public enemy number one. Going after Kopitar was shameful.

But successful playoff teams find a way to win in spite of those challenges, and the Kings found a way. Six minutes into the third period, Dustin Brown -- arguably playing the best hockey of his career this season -- did the grunt work in front of the net and scored on a rebound to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. That and 41 stops from a rock solid Jonathan Quick was all it would take to secure the win and put the Kings ahead 3-0 in the series.

Other thoughts from The Queen:

  • Hearing Tim Leiweke's voice talking to a guy behind me and saying, "Hey, have you met Mr. Anschutz?" and turning around to see THE MAN himself was REALLY cool. 
  • The pre-game show was interesting. The fire was neat, although it felt a little New Jersey Devils to me, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I also thought it was odd pulling out an American flag given the majority of our players are Canadian. Why can't the NHL find a way to get rid of the US team vs Canadian team thing? Let's come up with one NHL flag and maybe  everyone will be happy.
  • Will Farrell is sexy and he knows it. So is David Beckham.

  • Yes, Canada really hates the Canucks that much.
  • To everyone that brought a Canucks diving team sign tonight, The Royal Half loves you.

  • It's always fun to chat in Starbucks after the game with a Canucks fan that opens the conversation with "Didn't Dan Cloutier play for you guys too?"
  • Kyle Clifford's playoff beard has a Twitter. My life is now complete.
  • Tanner, thanks for being here in spirit. The playoffs wouldn't be the same without you.

Wednesday is going to be absolutely HUGE! If you can make it to the game, do whatever it takes. This year feels different -- in a VERY good way. The Kings just might make some history and you'll want to be there.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Evolution Of Drew Doughty

If you weren't hanging around the Internet yesterday, you might have missed Drew Doughty's smiling face. Then again, chances are he caught up with you somehow, because Drew Doughty was literally EVERYWHERE I looked online yesterday -- more precisely a Drew Doughty meme spawned by this photo from Getty Images.

Yeah, it's entertaining to photoshop Drew's smiling mug in hilarious -- and not so funny --- ways but that's not the real reason this photo is such a big deal. This image is more important because it captures the new face of the Los Angeles Kings under pressure -- loose, focused on playing their game and undeterred by between the whistles nonsense the Canucks have been using to try to gain momentum in this playoff series.

This photo is important because Drew Doughty, like the rest of the Kings, hasn't always handled pressure this well. Remember him in the Kings-Canucks 2010 first round series? Here's a little refresher.


You get the picture.

Much as been made of Drew Doughty's drop off in performance the past two seasons, especially compared to his stellar 2009-2010 season which ended with a Norris Trophy nomination. The numbers don't lie, and from purely a statistical point of view Doughty still has plenty of work to do to develop from a mass of raw talent into the complete defensive tour de force many believe he can become. 

It's great to see the mental part of that evolution is already happening. I know the stats will be coming soon -- delivered with that signature smile.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kings vs Canucks: Second Chances?

It's been a long and bumpy road for the Kings this season, yet they managed to squeak into the playoffs for the third season in a row and tonight they begin their postseason journey against the Vancouver Canucks. I've spent a lot of time the past few days informally discussing what I think will happen in the post season, but I decided it was time to pull the trigger and commit to a prediction. For better or worse, here goes. If I'm right, I'll give myself a little pat on the back for knowing a thing or two about this team. If I'm wrong, feel free to rub my nose in it.

I have to preface what I'm about to write by saying I love the Kings (sometimes to unhealthy levels) and want nothing more than to see them raise the Stanley Cup. I think anyone who has watched this team all season knows this a not Cup team yet, but I'm betting most of you still hold out hope for the Kings to take that most desired "next step" by getting past the first round and going deeper into the playoffs.

I don't think it's the Kings year to do THAT either.

Before I explain why, let me get one thing out of the way. This is NOT about the Canucks. I am not afraid of the Canucks and neither are the Kings. Yes, they've won the President's Trophy two years running and you have to be a pretty damn good team to do that. But the Canucks are not invincible -- they are beatable. The Kings have proved that during the regular season. 

The Kings have also proved time and time again during the season that they have a talent for beating themselves. Most importantly, they still haven't shown the discipline to play 60 consistent minutes of hockey. And they have difficulty closing the deal when an opportunity presents itself -- like the last two games of the regular season against the San Jose Sharks. I know it's a commonly held belief that the regular season doesn't mean anything as long as you make it in to the playoffs, but I respectfully disagree with that notion. The regular season is the time to build the habits to make a team successful. If those habits become ingrained enough during the season, they have a better chance of being executed in the playoffs as well.

So why are habits so important? Because of pressure. Under pressure, even people who can normally execute a task correctly see a reduction in their ability to do so when pressure is applied. This is the case whether your job is playing hockey or hand crafting widgets. The fact that the Kings haven't developed more consistent habits -- most notably in scoring at critical moments -- will be the factor that keeps them from getting into the second round REGARDLESS OF WHO THE OPPONENT IS.

When the Kings and Canucks last met in 2010, it was the first time in 8 long years the Kings had even been to the playoffs. Two seasons later, the Kings have a stronger roster and more playoff experience -- but some of the same old emotional demons. It will be a hard fought series and the Kings will give everything they have. In the end, it just won't be quite enough. That's a habit this team has to break to get to the next level.

Canucks in 6.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Jonathan Quick Cleans Up -- And Gives Back

Jonathan Quick's stellar play in goal for the Kings made him a pretty popular guy this season. When team awards were announced during Fan Appreciation Day (the Kings final home game on April 5th), he was not only lauded by his teammates, the media but the Kings fans as well.

Quick's teammates voted him Most Inspirational Player ("Ace Bailey Memorial Award"). The media named him Most Valuable Player ("Bill Libby Memorial Award"). He was also the clear fan favorite, which earned him a special "Most Popular Player" award from the Kings Booster Club.

If you've stopped by the Kings Booster Club table near section 102 at any point during the season, you've seen a little clear plastic box with a sign asking you to vote for your favorite King. Based on those votes, the Booster Club presents the Most Popular Player award. And if you've ever wondered, the Most Popular Player award isn't just recognition in name only -- it actually has it's own trophy.

But the Booster Club does something even more cool than just give out a trophy to the winner -- they throw in some cash too. They also use the money collected from "Puck for a Buck" sales during the season to make a donation to the players charity, which in Jonathan Quick's case is the 326 Foundation.

Exactly what is the 326 Foundation? It was started by Quick and his brother-in-law Matt Moulson, former King and current member of the New York Islanders. Back in February, prior to the Kings-Islanders game at Nassau Coliseum, the Kings website ran a great article about Quick and Moulson's unique combination of friendship and family ties, where I learned more about the 326 Foundation.
"A combination of Jonathan’s number 32 and Matt’s number 26, The 326 Foundation’s mission is to assist the Kings Care Foundation and the Islanders Children’s Foundation, benefiting non-profit organizations in Los Angeles and New York respectively. For every one of Jonathan’s wins, the Quicks donate $500 to the foundation, and the Moulson’s do the same for each one of Matt’s goals."

Then I found an article in a Kings game program from February 16th that gave some more information on exactly where the money goes. Quick's foundation basically contributes money to charities through the Kings Care Foundation, specifically to organizations like Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the Make a Wish Foundation, LA Unified School District's Beyond the Bell programs and other local causes. As of January 17th, Quick's 20 wins and 6 shut outs had already amassed a $10,000 donation.

Congrats to Jonathan Quick on doing great things not only on the ice, but off it. Kudos to the Kings Booster Club for supporting his efforts. And for you fans -- keep buying those "Puck for a Buck" chances. Your dollar makes a difference!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

KBPP Preview: Kings vs Sharks - Part 2

Rivalries are part of the fun of sports, whether amateur or professional. When you participate in sports, you accept there will be good-natured trash talk as well as physical battle with your opponent. You learn to win humbly and accept defeat gracefully. That's what good sportsmanship is about, and MOST teams -- like the Kings -- honor that idea.

But not all of them.

What Ryane Clowe and the Sharks pulled Thursday night was a disgrace to themselves and the sport of hockey AND it was completely unfair to the Kings. And their transgressions have gone unpunished as well -- at least until now.

Tonight, we exact our vengeance. Tonight, we take what is ours. Tonight, WE MAKE THEM PAY.

This is the final Kings Blogger Prediction Panel entry of the regular season and I must give a HUGE thanks to Matt Murray of Life In Hockeywood for coming up with this idea. I believe I speak for all the bloggers in saying it's been a blast and we can't wait to do it again next season.

Of course, some of us will be predicting into the playoffs, and our final seeds hang on the accuracy of our guesses tonight. Placement be damned, I have faith in my Kings and my prognostication reflects that fact. But what do the rest of the Kings bloggers think? Here's your last look of the season.


The Royal Half from The Royal Half
  • Score: Kings 4, Sharks 3 (SO)
  • Reason:  Because it's the Cup. Or at least time for the 1st round.
  • Record:19-12

Jon Gillette from Rink Royalty 
  • Score: Kings 4, Sharks 2
  • Reason: Someone from the Sharks actually scores a goal from the bench.
  • Record: 17-14

Meg Jarrell from Kings Court
(That's me so you don't need no stinking link --- you're already here!)
  • Score: Kings 3, Sharks 2
  • Reason: The Sharks are comfortable back in their Tank, but the Kings are on a mission to avenge Thursday's loss and finish the race for the division title for once and for all! Plan to see Ryane Clowe's stick headed where the sun doesn't shine! GO KINGS GO!
  • Record: 17-14

Hipcheck from LA Kings Road Talk Radio
  • Score: Kings 5, Sharks 2
  • Reason: Kings offense continues to pour it on and Quick brings his  A game. A fight filled affair ends with 20 Ryan Clowe stick references and 10 references to the NHL rulebook. For the record, my show will broadcast immediately following the game and anyone who wants to call in and talk about the game you all have the green light. Go Kings.
  • Record: 15-16

Paul Armbruster from Kings Daily News (formerly Wavesinair from Deep Inside the Kings@deepinsidekings)
  • Score: Kings 3, Sharks 2, shootout
  • Reason: I have a bad feeling the Kings aren't going to get the job done. Their window was the last game and they didn't do it. That said, I'm picking the Kings because I'm sure as shit not taking the sharks the last game of the season!
  • Record: 18-13

Matt Murray from Life In Hockeywood

  • Score:  Sharks 3, Kings 1
  • Reason: The road to the Pacific crown goes through San Jose, as it has from 2007-08. The Kings will need to slay the Sharks in their own home waters if they hope to claim their first division crown in 21 years. But I think San Jose still has more experience in games like this, but the Kings will put up a fighter's chance. My guess is the Kings will score first but give up two goals late in the game. Hey, the Kings are in the playoffs, so it ain't so bad.
  • Record: 18-13

Got a prediction of your own? Leave it in the comments and see how you stack up against the KBPP!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

KBPP Preview: Kings vs Sharks

When the Kings and Sharks last met at Staples Center in March, both teams were outside the playoff picture looking in. Amazing what a difference a couple of weeks can make in a crowded Western Conference. Tonight, the Kings look to not only clinch a playoff spot but secure their place at the top of the Pacific Division -- and gain playoff home ice in the process.

"Wonder Kings powers -- ACTIVATE!"

Will the Kings continue their smooth sailing ways? Or will the Sharks send some rough waters into the Pacific once again? Let's see what your favorite Kings bloggers are predicting will happen.


The Royal Half from The Royal Half
  • Score: Sharks 2, Kings 1 (SO)
  • Reason: Because by getting 1 point the Kings can both exhilarate and disappoint at the same time!
  • Record: 18-12

Jon Gillette from Rink Royalty 
  • Score: Kings 4, Sharks 2
  • Reason:  That's right mofo's! We're taking this bitch!
  • Record: 17-13

Meg Jarrell from Kings Court
(That's me so you don't need no stinking link --- you're already here!)
  • Score: Kings 3, Sharks 1
  • Reason: The Kings only need a point and nothing is going to stop them from getting it. Especially a little San Jose Shark.
  • Record: 17-13

Hipcheck from LA Kings Road Talk Radio
  • Score: Kings 3, Sharks 2
  • Reason: Kings refuse to lose and get goals from each of the top 3 lines with Clifford, Kopi, and King lighting the lamp. And there was much rejoicing.....
  • Record: 15-15

Paul Armbruster from Kings Daily News (formerly Wavesinair from Deep Inside the Kings@deepinsidekings)
  • Score: Kings 4, Sharks 3
  • Reason: My god, what a game tonight! I have no idea how to call this one. It transcends all the other predictions we’ve done so far. In effect, it is a possible history-making ‘changing of the guard’ game. Will it be a tight, nervous defensive battle? Will it open up in to a goal-scoring frenzy? The 4 games so far have been split with the Kings winning the high scoring games and the Sharks winning the defensive battles. Tonight? Hmm… Kings win a 6-goal game and make the statement we have all been waiting for. Tonight, we make history.
  • Record: 18-12

Matt Murray from Life In Hockeywood

  • Score: Sharks 2, Kings 1
  • Reason: The Kings are riding a high, thanks to Jonathan Quick's 10th shutout. But Drew Doughty didn't help matters when he was quoted by that the team "We definitely want to do whatever we can to knock them out of the playoff picture." Drew, I love you, but you just gave them locker room fodder. He will learn tonight it's not wise to provoke a hungry Shark.
  • Record: 17-13

Got a prediction of your own? Leave it in the comments and see how you stack up against the KBPP!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Black Ice: Thumbs Up Or Down?

If you're like most hockey fans, you're always on the lookout for cool new gear to represent your team in style. I don't stop by the Team LA store at every Kings home game, but I pop in from time to time just to see what new merchandise they've added to the current collection.

I had seen the NHL "Black Ice" jerseys in a catalog mailer before and frankly wasn't all that impressed. But my stop by the team store Monday at the game was my first "up close and personal" experience with this version of the Kings jersey and I was intrigued enough to take a closer look.

The front, honestly, doesn't impress me all that much.

There just isn't enough contrast between the black background of the shield and the "LA" lettering, at least for me. The back, on the other hand, is a big winner in my opinion.

The black number with the white outline looks AWESOME. If they had done the "LA" on the front shield outlined the same way, this jersey would be a slam dunk for me. But given that the Team LA store is having a 50% off sale tomorrow in honor of Fan Appreciation Day, I just might have to add one to my jersey collection anyway....

So what do YOU think, Kings fans? Is a "Black Ice" jersey on your shopping list?


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kings vs. Oilers: Kings of the Shut Out

Ask anyone who has watched the Kings all season long which player has meant the most in keeping this team in the mix for the playoffs and you'll get the same answer without hesitation -- Jonathan Quick. So it's really no surprise that Quick was incredible once again when it mattered, notching his 10th shut out of the season against the Edmonton Oilers -- and setting a new team record. More importantly, he helped the Kings secure two more huge points en route to their third playoff berth in the past three seasons.

Quick = Goalie God

For the first two periods, it didn't look like those points would be a foregone conclusion. As Anze Kopitar said in a pre-game interview, you don't want to get into a foot race with the Oilers because they can hurt you, and both teams did a lot of running up and down the ice for 40 minutes. Rookie defenceman Slava Voynov finally broke the stalemate early in the third period to get the Kings on the board first.

But as pretty as Voynov's goal was, it was no match for the absolute beauty that followed. That second goal by Dwight Kings was hockey porn at its best! Mike Richards delivered the perfect cross ice chip pass and King read it flawlessly and buried it. It may be my favorite goal of the entire season and it was enough to put away the win for the Kings.

Well done, Savior #1!

Other thoughts from The Queen:

  • Our PP has suddenly gone back back to powerless. Martinez, Clifford and King don't know what to do on the power play -- at least not together. When is Jeff Carter coming back?
Rick looks so sad without you Carts....
  • Speaking of Kyle Clifford, can someone explain THIS to me?

  • Congrats to Colten Teubert. Watching him in training camp as a Kings prospect, I swore he'd never play a game in the NHL and he proved me wrong. Being an emergency call up on a young team helps.

  • Jonathan Quick PLAYS big in net, but Devan Dubnyk IS big. The crossbar comes up to his waist, folks. That's a large goaltending animal right there.

  • Dustin Penner cruising out by the blue line and Jarret Stoll parked in front of the net. Which one of these things doesn't belong?
  • Drew Doughty spent a lot of time defending Ryan Smyth. You could almost see him thinking, "You're not gonna dangle me again, a^*%#*hole." 
  • Stay sexy, Justin Williams. Just because you can.

  • Season ticket holders doing "This or That" videos? Not as fun as players. Are you SURE we've gone through the whole roster? 
  • Congrats to Kings fan Don Burkholder who has seen over 1,000 Kings games and never missed a playoff game. Now THAT is a Kings fan!

The Kings next challenge is the San Jose Sharks. It may sound petty, but NOTHING would make me happier than winning the next two games and eliminating the Sharks from playoff contention. But above all else, I want a win to secure a playoff spot. I'll be biting my nails in 116 if you want to come by and say hello!


Monday, April 2, 2012

KBPP Preview: Kings vs. OIlers

And then there were three. Three games until the regular season ends. Three chances to win and guarantee a spot at the top of the Pacific Division. Three periods tonight to get two more critical points towards a third playoff berth in 3 seasons.

Can the Kings keep their spot at the top of the Pacific? Or do we need to worry about slipping without Jeff Carter in the lineup? Let's see what your favorite Kings bloggers have to say.


The Royal Half from The Royal Half
  • Score: Kings 3, Oilers 2
  • Reason: Jeff Carter scores 3 goals Roy Hobbs style before his leg falls off and he's done forever.
  • Record: 17-12

Jon Gillette from Rink Royalty 
  • Score: Kings 4, Oilers 2
  • Reason: The Kings will win the division! The reward for this accomplishment; a first round date with the Hawks who have playoff experience on their side but a team the Kings have played well against this season.
  • Record: 16-13

Meg Jarrell from Kings Court
(That's me so you don't need no stinking link --- you're already here!)
  • Score:  Kings 3, Oilers 1
  • Reason: The Kings only have two home games left, losses aren't an option and the Oilers will be on their second game on back to back nights. We got this!
  • Record: 16-13

Hipcheck from LA Kings Road Talk Radio
  • Score: Kings 4 Oilers 1
  • Reason: Kings refuse to lose and put another 4 spot on the board.
  • Record: 14-15

Paul Armbruster from Kings News Daily (aka Wavesinair from Deep Inside the Kings@deepinsidekings)
  • Score: Kings 5, Oilers 2
  • Reason: The Oilers might not have any quit in them, but when Ryan Whitney said after the last game, ‘It was like they had seven guys out there,’ I have to believe Edmonton yelled a collective ‘Uncle’ for the Kings this season. Time for another whoopin.
  • Record: 17-12

Matt Murray from Life In Hockeywood

  • Score: Kings 2, Oilers No score
  • Reason: Quick is rested and is sure to be on top of his game. The Oilers don't figure to put a lot of rubber on net, thanks to the Kings' defensive play. I'm guessing of the three games remaining, tonight's game would be Quick's best shot for the thumb. (If you don't follow, don't worry about it. Nothing to see here. No jinxing here. Nope.)
  • Record: 16-13

Got a prediction of your own? Leave it in the comments and see how you stack up against the KBPP!