Will The Power Play Slump Cost the Kings?

70 million in payroll and Dean Lombardi trusted Jamie Kompon, a guy who couldn’t put together an X and an O if he were playing Tic-Tac-Toe to run the power play. Bernie Nicholls was then called in to help. Jeff Carter came over to help.

And the power play still sucks.

The Kings aren’t going to lose because of goaltending. They aren’t going to lose because of defense. If they do wind up losing to the Blues it will be because Dean Lombardi failed to find, and hire, a power play “specialist.”.

I don’t know who that person is, but of all the people that have ever played hockey professionally, there has to be at least ONE person who knows how to cure the Kings power play woes.

One single man advantage could make the difference.

I’m tired of the “it’s up to the players” excuse. The players are told what to do by their coaches and more often than not, those players execute. When you’re executing something that sucks to begin with… well…

I know, I know, there’s always something for Barry to bitch about, right?

Okay, okay, let’s be a little positive. I’m still smiling more than a week after beating Vancouver. Isn’t it nice NOT to see those aliens in the post season? By the way. For all the Luongo moaning, Schneider only won ONE game.

I’m not nervous this series. This was the series I wanted all along before the Kings dropped two to San Jose. Vancouver depressed the shit out of me. Now, I’m comfortable. Now, I’m happy. Now, I see two solid teams battling each other, not taking (relative) cheap shots, playing hockey the way hockey should be played.

I’m looking forward for the first time since Patrick Roy was still playing to having a 2nd round at Staples Center.

The Kings had held off San Jose on the PK for a long time. Then they allowed 3 in one game (or was it 4?). The Blues aren’t NOT going to score on the power play either, so the Kings have to make sure THEY score on the PP as well and give us something to cheer about.

Rinne and Smith are starting to look human. Maybe Brian Elliott will come down to earth as well.

THE KIDS ARE HERE!
Andy Andreoff, Justin Azevedo, Marc-Andre Cliche, Rich Clune, Linden Vey, Andrew Campbell, Thomas Hickey, Patrick Mullen, Jake Muzzin, Martin Jones and Tyler Toffoli are all on the Taxi squad.

No Brandon Kozun, whom everyone wanted to be called up earlier in the year? Did he get hurt and I missed it?

FIGHTS COMING?
B.J. Crombeen desperately tried to bait Dwight King (who looks like he’s never thrown a punch in his life) into a scrap at the end of last game. Does Matt Greene take his place? You kind of DON’T want Greene off the ice for 5 minutes. Does Jordan Nolan finally get his post season cherry popped?

There’s a Warrant Out For Quick’s Arrest

It wasn’t just a robbery. It was a mugging, an assault with a deadly weapon. I’m gonna have to call those two detectives from “Law & Order.”

Jonathan Quick fucked ’em up.

The last two times the Kings faced the Blues in the playoffs… they were swept both times.

Quick wasn’t about to allow 9 straight.

Andy McDonald is going to toss and turn all night in his 1200 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.

B.J. Crombeen is going to have Tim Burton like nightmares where Johnny Depp is replaced by Jonathan Quick.

Maybe Quick was pissed off he wasn’t nominated for the Hart?

Maybe he watched Mike Smith last night and said, “This bitch ain’t got nothing on me.”

The Blues were outhustling, outhitting, outforechecking and planting their collective fat asses in front of the net. The Kings were taking perimeter shots. The Blues scored first had which was enough the way Elliott has been playing.

So far BBF is looking a lot smarter than Terry Murray. Putting “Pancakes” on a line with Carter and Richards was as brilliant as Adam Sandler in “Jack and Jill.”  Let’s hope he continues to stay hot during the playoffs. Let him nail down 20 points and then sucker the Islanders into playing him another 4 million a year for the next 2 seasons.

Slava Voynov’s name translated by Alta Vista: “Make You Forget Jack Johnson Fast”

Here’s Scott Nichol in darts, too:

Every year Dean Lombardi should threaten to trade Dustin Brown. He had 14 goals and 17 assists when Lombardi let it be known Brown was on the block. He then went out and had a hat trick against Chicago and in the last 21 games had 8 goals and 15 assists, then followed THAT up with 4 goals (2 shorties) and an assist against Vancouver.

I was inserting gigantic pins with extreme prejudice into my Jamie Kompon doll as the  Kings looked like Strat-O-Matic hockey players during their 4 6 minute 3rd period power plays, but once again BBF didn’t want to give up a shortie, so the Kompon doll doesn’t get tossed into the fire pit just yet.

Where’s all the hitting? Last series, every game was 50 hits to 40 hits. Tonight it was 26 Kings, 24 Blues.

Stoll was miserable in the faceoff circle winning just 5 of 16 but did lead the team with 5 hits AND most importantly, didn’t take a stupid penalty.

The Ancient Art of Asian Justice?
Revenge is a dish best served cold. The Japanese culture is big on waiting for the right moment to dish out revenge (I’m not the forgiving type. I’m very big on revenge), even if it takes years.

It took nearly 14 years but Dwight King began to even the score for what CorkSoaker Courtnall did to Jamie Storr. In an otherwise pretty clean game, it was nice to see one of their warriors NOT return to the game. It’s only a matter of time before Carlo Coliaccovo crumbles to pieces like a coffee cake.

Manchester Eliminated – Who Do You Call Up?

Clune?

Muzzin?

Hickey?

Hunter?

Cliche?

IMO Vey and Kozun would get killed by the big bad Blues. Let them wait.

Toffoli’s club was also eliminated. Should they call him up? Seems like throwing him into the pressure cooker doesn’t make much sense.

If I know Sutter (which I don’t) he won’t play ANY of these guys.

So?

Who do you call up and WHY?

I Would Like Some Questions Answered Please

Those of you dreaming about adding Zach Parise to the club next season… keep dreaming. With Jon Quick due for a BIG extension and the CBA uncertain, how can you afford FOUR players with near 7 million dollar salaries? You can’t. Signing Parise and trading one of the following is the only option (see: Smyth, Ryan)

Personally, Parise is a much better sniper than Carter. Carter does NOT have a NTC (it did NOT transfer over the CBJ when he was traded from PHI) and Lombardi could get back the 1st rounder and another player to a team desperate for offensive help.

How Much is Jonathan Quick Worth… And For How Long?

Mr. Softee? Thing of the past. 1.8 million a year? Thing of the past.

Congratulations are in order for Quick who was officially nominated for the Vezina.

But I can’t help but think back in time when N.Y. Yankees pitcher Sparky Lyle once went from Cy Young to Syonara.

Long term contracts for goalies have worked out about as well as a Charlie Sheen marriage. Just ask Cristobal Huet who is being paid to speak Swiss. Roberto Luongo’s honeymoon in Vancouver lasted as long as Longoria and Parker. Mark Andre Fleury and Ilya Bryzgalov couldn’t stop a snail on quaaludes much less a beachball.

Pecca Rinne and Henrik Lundqvist have certainly proven their worth, but if fast cars and pussy become a distraction, how do you move those contracts?

Miikka Kiprusoff hasn’t gotten out of the 1st round since losing in the finals. Niklas Backstrom has played exactly 11 playoff games in 5 seasons. Ryan Miller missed the playoffs for the 3rd time in 5 seasons. Or Cam Ward (recently). And how’s that Rick DiPietro contract working out?

I’m not saying Quick shouldn’t get paid. He should be well compensated. But for how much? And for how long? Will it cost the team a chance at signing Parise? (Yup) Is Jonathan Bernier really ready to take on Quick’s workload? Inexpensive veterans will have to fill the voids leftover from the departures of Penner and Stoll’s contracts in order to pay Quick. Hunter and Moreau worked out well this season, don’t you think?

3 years at 6-7 million? Is that fair? What DOES happen to Bernier? If he is dealt, who steps into the back-up role? What if he doesn’t even sign the extension before the season starts? Lose him for nothing? Distraction the entire season?

Does it make more sense to TRADE Quick while his value is at all all time high? (As much as we adore Bernie Nicholls, he never came close to scoring 70 again) Will he get BETTER?

The Kings don’t have a 1st, 2nd or 3rd round pick. Could Lombardi get a 1st and a 2nd from Tampa Bay for Bernier? Do you deal Quick to Edmonton for the right to draft Nail plus another of their delicious young forwards? Has Jonathan Quick been the beneficiary of the Kings defensive system? Or is he really that good? For the first time in the Kings history the Kings have drafted and developed a goaltender. This is a tough choice Lombardi has to make.

Your thoughts?

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CLIFFORD:

Three Words: Shut Him Down – I tweeted from my source he was NOT concussed. Hammond paints a much different story. Clifford should not only NOT come back, he should rest until September. It’s only been a just over a year since he was plastered by Sheldon Brookbank…

… which was a less than a month following his concussion at the hands of Ryan Reaves.

Adam Deadmarsh was never the same following his knockout at the hands of Ed Jovanovski

Kyle Clifford is only 21 years old.

Did The Kings Save Dean Lombardi’s Job?

I want to start this blog by stating I hated the Darryl Sutter hiring more than I hate eating kale. I thought it was a mistake at the time and as one reader pointed out, I even threatened to root for the Blues (of course, that’s when my friend was going to BUY them, but it fell through).

Truth be told, I bitched often this year about Lombardi’s decisions, but he asked for five years and I gave him this 6th. It was put up, or shut up. I had already typed up his pink slip.

The fact that Jamie Kompon still had a job baffled the shit out of me (still does), and the Kings didn’t bolster their offense until the trade deadline.

The Kings were pretty much a disaster. They weren’t hurt, they were still pretty much the same “core” but they had tuned out their coach the way you tune out your wife when she’s telling you about her day. If not for Jonathan Quick, the Kings would have the 5th pick in the draft and Lombardi would be scouting for Winnipeg.

Lombardi took a huge gamble this off season but finally acquired the 2nd line center he was looking for in Mike Richards. Most of us toasted that trade with tequila shots. It cost him party boy Wayne Simmonds. Most fans weren’t really sad to see him go, but Simmonds stepped up this season with the Flyers (how come players leaving the Kings seem to do this?) Young centerman Brayden Schenn, who was destined for POSSIBLE 4th line duties, had a pretty decent 1st campaign with the Flyers as well.

The guy that ALLEGEDLY got his dick stuck in another woman became expendable and unfortunately for Lombardi, the only place he wanted to go was Edmonton, despite Lombardi ALLEGEDLY having a better deal with Calgary (either way, the loser is golfing).

Michael Handzus left for San Jose who stupidly gave him a 2 year deal. He flopped more than a freshly caught salmon.

Lombardi didn’t replace the “net presence” and the “grit” was left up to 21 year old Kyle Clifford who resembled a human punching bag for most of the season while Rich Clune toiled in Manchester.

Many were happy Jeff Carter was reunited with his playboy friend from Philly and not many seemed to miss Jack Johnson and his -79 and penchant for turning the puck over at the blue line. (Doesn’t anyone else find it strange that with the horrible Blue Jackets, Johnson was +4?)

So was Lombardi right, or did he simply luck the fuck out?

The 1st round upset of the Canucks undoubtedly saved his job. I mean, would YOU have returned had the Kings been ousted in the 1st round for the 3rd consecutive season?

For right now, I’ll take my hat of to Dean Lombardi and simply say, “I was wrong.” That’s why he’s a GM and I’m a fat obnoxious hockey blogger.

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The Kings eliminating the Ca-Sucks too soon cost the Kings an extra 2-3 million in game 6 revenue, which I’m sure Uncle Phil is glad to lose… However, since the Kings are advancing, chances are the Kings will get to have 3 home games at around 3-4 million in additional revenue.

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I love the fact that “Boomer” Gordon on XM stuck to his guns and stated, “I’ve been against the Kings the whole season, I’m not gonna jump on the bandwagon now.”

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The Kings have lost 8 straight games in the playoffs to the Blues, and there’s always a chance, they could make it 12 in a row (Ah, there it is, good old Barry!).

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Of course… I’m missing the 1st game. Friday is Springsteen (10th row) and Saturday, another anniversary.

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Manchester taking a page from the Kings. Norfolk won 150 games in a row or some shit like that. In game 2 of their playoffs this past Saturday, a team without Loktionov, King or Nolan waxed the Admirals 5-2. Vey had 2, Kozun, Czarnik and Andreoff also had goals.

CLASSLESS CANUCKS
Ryan Kesler spent more time learning from his new coach Greg Louganis than he did scoring. ZERO goals, bitch.

And the refs favorite, Alex Burrows, showing Mike Richards how to snort cocaine? Well, Burrrows now has all the time in the world to do drugs and contemplate his flop in the first round as well.

DO IT FOR BOB
Bob Miller deserves to see the Kings win the cup. He’s been loyal, dedicated, been through endless rebuilds, and he’s never gotten to celebrate the way he should celebrate.

I want to see Bob Miller hoist the cup.

The Day After

I was in a state of euphoria all day. I even hugged the ugly mail lady. Like the geek that I am I wore my colors proudly today. It didn’t get me any free food or beer from bartenders. I had a smile all day today. I was even nice to the wife! I washed dishes, I mowed the lawn, I did laundry. It felt good to be a pussy all day. I didn’t care. The Kings were moving on to the 2nd round and there’s a chance, a good chance, the Kings could wind up in the Stanley Cup finals.

But now I’m torn.

I don’t want to look too far ahead (which is exactly what I’m doing), but the Rangers are my 2nd favorite team. On one hand, I don’t want to face them in the finals. On the other hand, they’ll beat the Flyers in order to get there. On the third Henrik Sedin alien hand, it would be nice if the Canadian teams were all ousted in the first round throwing a collective depression to our (mostly) obnoxious Northern neighbors.

Excuse me. I have to interrupt this blog while I daydream. I’ll be right back.

Kings/Boston? Too many Massachusetts asshole transplants to deal with

Kings/Flyers? Even worse than Massachusetts asshole is Filthadelphia asshole.

Kings/Rangers? I can’t have Brian Boyle beat us. It would just be too humiliating.

Kings/Washington? I can live with this. Ovechkin is in bed with the Russian mafia. Semin fights like a transvestite. Green can’t act.

Kings/New Jersey? Kovalchuk shunned us. Want them ousted by Florida badly.

Kings/Florida? Wouldn’t it be sweet revenge for Richards to concuss Bergenheim? Not only do I love this matchup but we could EASILY score tickets AND have sex on South Beach. “You’re from Hollywood?” Yes, please!

Kings/Ottawa? Crap. I love this matchup. But then again, if the Kings lose to them after the Ducks beat them, you might never, ever hear me whining and crying.

Okay, I’m back.

I know, I know, the Kings are 0-8 their last 8 playoff games against the Blues. Stop dreaming Barry. Go back to being a “realist.” Bitching and complaining has worked PERFECTLY so far.

Time for scotch and to watch highlights!

Can’t wait for…. when’s the fricken first game anyway?