First Blood


Kopitar’s Goal As Called in his native Slovenia!
(thanks to nayefj over at hockeybuzz for the find)
Must have been the CBC feed as I don’t remember seeing Lombardi and Hextall’s reactions on NBC
It’s 7:27am – how long before Hammond pinches this and puts it on INSIDER?

How many THOUGHTS went through your mind? It’s pretty amazing just how many thoughts actually DO go through your mind in the time it took for Anze to gather in the puck, skate in, deke, and then score. Here were mine:

– He’s got the puck

– breakaway

– please fucking score

– OOH!

– PLEASE!

 SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRREEEEEEEE!!!

I mean, that’s 6 thoughts my brain encountered in the matter of 2.45 seconds.

You?

Am I a pussy if I cry after every win?

How the hell did the Florida Panthers take the Devils to 7 games?

The Kings were rustier than Tow Mater as none of their passes connected early, but once the nerves settled the Kings forecheck took over and didn’t allow the Devils to establish theirs.

The Devils seems to have wide open dudes in the middle of the ice and they were all named David Clarkson who thankfully continued to shoot as accurately as Shaquille O’Neal

The Kings big bodies outmuscled the smaller Devils defenseman and the result was a Jordan Nolan takeaway and a perfect pass to Colin Fraser for his first post season goal, ever. I almost missed it because of the stupid Jim Fox/Hammond “chat”.

New Jersey took 14 minutes to register its first shot in the 2nd period and of COURSE a strange bounce of Voynov’s shoulder would be the only goal New Jersey scored. Please, God, let that be the ONLY weird happening for the Kings this series. I beg you. I won’t masturbate for a week, I promise.

The Devils must have had electrodes strapped to their balls between periods as they absolutely dominated the 3rd period. Drew Doughty had a spectacular game and even though he was robbed by a certain future hall of famer, his ANTICIPATION of passes to the middle was stellar and he looked like he deserves about 5,698,879 of that 7 million.

Overtime was a tums/pepto/xanax/projectile vomit/more pepto/more vomiting period as the team in red came out smoking like a Bob Marley joint. Quick and the defense kept the Devils from celebrating like Richard Simmonds at a boys under 18 weight lifting contest.

Hey! Guess what? Jarret Stoll took his obligatory stupid penalty! He’s forgiven. He won 9 of 10 in the circle.

Hey! Guess what? Jamie Kompon’s power play didn’t work again! That;s 1 for 63 5 on 4 for those keeping score.

Jordan Nolan and the 4th line were like weird beasts from the “Twilight” movies.

How long before Peter Harrold is hit so hard his spleen winds up in Ronkonkoma?

I ask again… how does this defense beat the Kings?

Sure the Kings were sloppier than a drunk Russian whore, so they had better step up for game 2!

Fayne missed a wide open net. Anyone named Stevens or Niedermeyer or anyone else not named Fayne puts that one in for the game winner.

Dainius Dubrus had 8 hits. All of them on Carter it seemed.

9-0 on the road (11-0 if you count last year). I’m at a loss for words. They’ll need at LEAST one more road win

Let’s not get TOO excited.

They lost to the Flyers in game 1 – then SWEPT them

They lost to the Rangers in game 1 – then won 4 out of the last 5

FOR SALE?

In a NY Post “Exclusive” they claim the Kings are for sale.

Okay, lets make one thing PERFECTLY CLEAR – The Kings WITHOUT Staples Center is like owning Facebook stock.

BERNIER ON THE MOVE! OF COURSE!

ESPN’S Craig Custance says BERNIER IS GONE!

CAN THE NHL BE EVEN BIGGER PUSSIES?
They easily fine coaches $50,000 for mouthing off, but when players say things like “I know the referees wear the same colors as the Kings, I just didn’t know they played for them” and receive not even a $2,500 fine… Or the classless Coyotes could talk major shit to the Kings on the handshake line and NOTHING is done about it… Fucking Pussy Colin Campbell. HERE’S THE STORY

How About Just a Teeny Tiny Thank You to Dave Taylor

Granted, he’s the man who picked Lauri Tukonen and of course one of the biggest blunders in Kings history (Brian Boyle AND Jeff Tambellini instead of the next pick, Corey Perry), but Lombardi has had his share as well (Teubert, Hickey).

I know the man is employed by the Blues  and it’s a crying shame he’s not able to enjoy any of this. The man gave everything to the Kings organ-eye-zation and they plumb kicked him to the curb like an empty soda can.

Dave Taylor deserves some credit for what’s about to take place tonight:

2005 – Drafted Anze Kopitar at #11 – Many can claim that Anze “fell” to Taylor because nobody wanted to take a chance on the first Slovenian player, but had Taylor PASSED on Kopitar and taken Marek Zagrapan or Sasha Pokulok, we would have strapped Taylor to the horse and buggy and dragged him through Duluth.

2005 – With the 72nd pick in the draft, Taylor selected Jonathan Quick, who was taken after the following goaltenders:
32nd –  Tyler Plante – Florida – 0 NHL games
38th – Jeff Frazee – New Jersey – 0 NHL games
41st – Andrej Pavelec – Atlanta – 187 NHL games
59th – Pier-Olivier Pelletier – 0 NHL games
65th – Kristofer Westblom – 0 NHL games

What the hell did Taylor know that everyone else didn’t? (I’ll get to ask him Friday as I’m supposed to watch the game with him. I’ll also ask why he took T.J. Fast at #60 when he could have had Kristopher Letang at #62.)

2004 – Dustin Brown at #13 – Projected to be a top 10, Dustin’s “hockey sense” kept him back as the Rangers opted instead for Hugh Jessiman. Right there is the difference between the Rangers playing in the Stanley Cup instead of New Jersey. Could you imagine Brown on the Rangers? (FYI, Jeff Carter was taken just two spots ahead of Brown and of course, everyone passed on the top 10 pick Zach Parise, who went #17 to New Jersey)

Granted this wasn’t Taylors shining moment (anyone remember “time out!”) and Taylor selected Boyle and Tambellini.

2000 – Taylor drafts Lubomir Visnovsky with the 118th pick. Lubo is later traded by Dean Lombardi to Edmonton for Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll.

And he DID draft Aki Berg (#3) instead of Shane Doan (#7) or Jarome Iginla (#11) but hey, you can’t win them all, right?

PICK IT UP, BOYS!
Jeff Carter had a hat trick in one game. But how about the other 13 games? One lousy goal?

For all of he power play time Alec Martinez is getting (3:31 apg), he should have a helluva lot more than ONE point in 14 games.

Dwight King has 5 goals and ZERO assists. I’m not complaining, I’m just pointing out a stat!

Dustin Brown has 67 hits. Justin Williams????? 4

Jack Johnson Drew Doughty has 18 giveaways. Martinez? 5

Colin Fraser, 35.6% in the faceoff circle. Anyone gonna miss him next year?

Trevor Lewis has shot the puck 30 times with just 1 goal (3.3%). At least that’s not as bad as Marek Zdlicky’s 2.6%

PANCAKES? 
Penner leads the Kings with 26 penalty minutes?

SOMEBODY’S GONNA WIN
Carter and Richards lost in 2009-10, Stoll and Greene lost in 2005-06. But Danius Zubrus lost with the 1996-97 (and Terry Murray coached) Flyers and Anton Volchenkov lost against the Ducks.

Twenty-Twenty-Twenty-Four Hours To Go…

“Mike Richards would run you over with his car to win a Stanley Cup. He’d visit you in the hospital after.” – Pete DeBoer

As several of my readers pointed out, the 2002-03 “Mighty” Ducks of Anaheim swept Detroit, had 7 days off before playing Dallas, whom they dispatched in 6 games, then they swept Minnesota.

They went 12-2

They had 10 days off before playing the Devils in the SC finals.

Too weird, right? Like “Twilight Zone” weird? Like Johnny Depp in any Tim Burton movie weird?

The Devils would be tired from the West coast travel, right?

They won the cup in 7.

I’m a big believer in history repeating itself, but I certainly hope this is one time that “Groundhog Day” disappears faster than my Facebook stock investment.

It also helps the Kings don’t have to face the likes of Scott Stevens.

The power play and Marty Brodeur are the keys to the series. He’s not losing 4 games in a row. Not Brodeur. Neither is Jon Quick. This is going to be a nail biting, finger chomping, smash your TV with a bat, series.

Am I worried the Kings come home down 0-2? Of course. Do I think the Kings have a better team? Of course. Have I been a Kings fan for so long, I expect something weird to happen where I’ll wind up crying like Ryan Smyth when he was traded from the Oilers? Of course.

Parise-Zajac-Zubrus VS Brown-Kopitar-Williams
Ponikarovsky-Henrique-Kovalchuk VS Penner-Richards-Carter
Elias-Josefson-Clarkson VS King-Stoll-Lewis
Carter-Gionta-Bernier VS Nolan-Fraser-Richardson

My stomach is in knots.

WHEN the Kings win, nothing else will matter. Not Obama, not save the earth, not the world is falling apart, just pure happiness.

But much like the Canucks series, I’m not getting cocky. I’m gonna be jumpy. I’m gonna be nervous. My fuse is gonna be short. I’m gonna yell at the kids a lot. I’m gonna drink a lot. I’m gonna pace and pace and pace. I’m gonna ignore my wife often. I will lock myself in my office. I will overanalyze everything. I will bitch and complain about the officials.

I wanna be sedated.

A Little Help Here Tech Geeks?

I have the 3 series clinching playoff games on my DVR

I want to transfer them to DVD

I have a Panasonic DVD recording device

Research tells me there’s no such thing as a HDMI from DVR to DVD-R

I was told to hook up the old school RCA yellow red and white cables

The note pops up on the screen: YOUR TV OR ITS CABLE ARE NOT HD.

It records in shitty analog

Any way to make a nice clean HD copy from the DVR to a DVD recording device or my Mac?

Much appreciate any help.

Matt

The Maturity of Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown plays on the edge. Dustin Brown plays hard. Dustin Brown plays dirty. Dustin Brown pisses people off.

You most likely wouldn’t have said that about the Kings Captain at the start of the season or even halfway during the season. Yes, Brown has always been in the top 3 each year in hits, but if one more Kings fan had to listen to his post game whining about, “looking in the mirror” and “we have to play harder” they would have gladly pulled a “Fargo” and put him in the wood chipper.

Most Kings fans thought Brown was not a good choice as Captain. He was too young. He was too quiet. He didn’t take command of the locker room. Players didn’t respect him. He wasn’t a “leader.” He wasn’t vocal. He said “organ-eye-zation” instead of “organ-izz-ation.” He wasn’t doing anything to motivate his troops.

Then something happened.

Dean Lombardi floated the idea he could be traded.

Suddenly, Dustin Brown matured. He woke the hell up. Maybe his wife didn’t like the idea of uprooting their 3 young kids. Or playing in Columbus. Or Canada. Maybe she likes the beach instead of the east coast.

Whatever it was, Dustin Brown looked in the mirror and became a new man.

He hit like George Forman. He stomped like Ndamukong Suh. Suddenly he was as pissed of as Howard Beale (for those of you old enough to understand THAT reference), and he was scoring a hat trick. He led by example and the rest of the team fed off of his emotion.

Dustin Brown is the Conn Smythe winner in these playoffs. Not Quick, not Penner, not King. Dustin Brown.

“EXPERIENCE”
Justin Williams, Dustin Penner and Colin Fraser have their names on the cup. Jarret Stoll, and Matt Greene went to game 7 against Williams.

The Devils have Marty Brodeur, Patrick Elias and Peter Sykora with etchings and Anton Volchenkov who came close.

I still would like to know how you let a guy like Peter Harrold beat you.

$ CHA-CHING $
How much money did that game winning overtime conference clinching goal net Dustin Penner?

Brian Burke is desperate for his team to get bigger and there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll stupidly overpay to grab him. Maybe he has to outbid Ottawa, but Penner just went from being a bigger flop than “John Carter” and only getting a million bucks a year to guaranteeing himself another 2 year 8 million dollar contract

How do the Kings replace his size? That’ll be up to Dwight King and Kyle Clifford next season.

STOLL’S WORTH
He also has a series clinching goal. He’s been stellar in the faceoff circle. He’s battled for pucks in the corners. He’s killed penalties. He’s done everything but score during the regular season.

Is Loktionov ready to step in? I’ll be mildly surprised if he’s still a King on or before draft day. (What is “mildly surprised” for BigMouthBarry? The same as finding out that Thai hooker had a penis?)

What about Moller and Holloway?

I think these playoffs have shown there‘s no room on the Kings (or the league) for small forwards (unless you’re name is Zach Parise). Especially one coached by Sutter. This also doesn’t bode well for the likes of Linden Vey, Justin Azevedo and Brandon Kozun. Did any of these boys make the “taxi” squad?

TRAVEL BENEFITS KINGS
The Kings are used to traveling – They started the year in Europe and made two other trips back east.

The Devils made ONE trip to the West and that was in October. The only team they beat… was the Kings. They lost their other 2 games.

By the 3rd period of game 4 and especially game 6 (if there is one), the Devils should wear out. Should being the operative word. Its not easy to travel, period. But the Kings certainly have the advantage here.

PLEASE KOMPON AND NICHOLLS, I BEG YOU – I’M ON MY KNEES
Read this book. Read any book. Watch a pee-wee game. Strat-o-matic hockey. Anything.

Take away the two 5 on 3 goals the Kings had against the Coyotes and they were 0 for 25. VS the Blues? 1 for 21. That’s 1 out of 46. Vs Vancouver, working backwards. Game 5? 0 for 3 (1 out of 49). Game 4? 0 for 3 (1 out of 52) Game 3? 0 for 8 (1 out of 60) they missed their last power play opportunity against the Canucks in game two bringing the grand total of 5 on 4 power play to….

ONE POWER PLAY GOAL IN SIXTY ONE CHANCES!!!
Do odds dictate the Kings should score at least 2 or 3 during the series or are the Kings going to go down in history as the single most futile power play team in the history of the NHL?

I’m an Emotional Basket Case

I picked up my Conference Champions hat today – Later in the day while walking through Gelsons, I spotted another fan wearing a Kings hat – All we said to each other was “yeeeahhhh.”

I was 30 years old the last time the Kings played in the Stanley Cup. I was still a handsome young man. At the height of my career. Strapping, cocky, confident. Now I’m just a fat fuck hoping, just once in my lifetime, the team I’ve been rooting for since 1988 will finally hoist the cup.

I feel confident.

That scares me.

Those who have read me on LGK and HockeyBuzz and now here know damn well what a passionate fan I have been over the years. I’ve worn my heart on my sleeve. I pull no punches. I rant, I react, I speak my mind and have spent years and years bitching and complaining about one thing or another. It’s high time it comes to an end.

I cried when Jarret Stoll ended the miserable Canucks season. It was a beautiful feeling. That we had just beaten the best team in hockey gave me confidence that this team could very well win the Stanley Cup. I wrote here and told everyone and anyone who would listen that the Blues lacked experience to get past the Kings. It also helped Halak was injured.

I also knew the Coyotes wouldn’t get past the Kings. They too lacked the experience the Kings have had in the past two injury filled post seasons.

The ghost of Jon Moncrief has me emotional as well. I miss that son of a bitch and really miss our endless conversations about hockey. He would have told me Darryl Sutter was a perfect hire and I would have told him he was full of shit. He loved the Devils and loved the Kings and it saddens me that he’s not here to experience this.

19 years.

I’m so trying to remain calm. I’m so praying the Kings can maintain their road warrior status. I’m so praying the Kings aren’t coming home down 0-2. Even at 40, that old goaltender may have one more left in him… I’m hoping not.

I’m excited. I can’t even think about work. I’m blowing off my wife’s birthday on Friday. If she wants to divorce me over it, so be it.

I’ve even debated going back to NJ for game 5 or (heaven forbid) game 7 (meaning the Kings would have LOST 3 games, and that just seems damn near impossible at this point), but the truth is, I want to celebrate with you, downtown, at a watch party. To party on Figueroa all night with strangers who share the same passion. I’ve been to game 7 (Edmonton Vs Carolina) and it was a once in a lifetime experience. I don’t want to be in New Jersey. I want to be here with all of you!

One game at a time.

Bring on The Devils

I made the right choice – Ilya Kovalchuk

How I would love to stick those words right up Kovalchuk’s ass.

Didn’t Ryan Smyth say the same thing? FORE!

Do you think Paul Holmgren is saying the same thing as well? FORE!

The Devils forecheck vs the Kings forecheck.

The Devils speed vs the Kings beef.

Adam Oates stellar power play vs Jamie Kompon’s absolutely inept one.

The veteran Brodeur vs kid Quick.

How do the Kings look at Peter Harrold and say, “yeah, that guy is gonna beat us.”

Ponikorovsky? Seriously?

Would any of their top four defenseman be in the Kings top 4?

Their passes are crisp. The Kings last 2 games have left something to be desired when it comes to tape-to-tape passing.

Please don’t let Willie Mitchell suffer an injury. Please. (this is for the late great Jon Moncrief whom I’m convinced had something to do with this matchup from upstairs)

We lost to the Devils 2-1 in the shootout.

We lost 3-0 to the devils in regulation

That was with Terry Murray

I like the fact that the Devils blew 3-0 and 2-0 leads in consecutive games.

I like the fact that we don’t have to endure asshole Rangers fans at Staples Center

I like the fact that tickets to New Jersey games are 1/10th that of tickets to Madison Square Garden

How many were hoping when Travis Zajac went off the ice holding his wrist that it was shattered like Kim Kardashian’s marriage.

I really like the fact that if Kyle Clifford gets in the lineup he doesn’t have to worry about getting his face pounded in by the likes of Brandon Prust or Mike Rupp.

Adam Henrique scares me.

Martin Brodeur has more points then Fraser, Richardson, Clifford and Nolan COMBINED!

Can Kovalchuk and Parise contain Kopitar? I guess that’s like asking if you stand a chance with Kate Upton.

Mark Fayne? Seriously?

Andy Greene? Seriously?

Remember when Steve Bernier was “soft as a grape?”

How the hell is Bryce Salvador a +10?

Ilya Kovalchuk has 7 goals, 5 of them on the power play. He hasn’t met John Stevens yet. I imagine Jarret Stoll will be draped all over him like whores are to Charlie Sheen.

Zajac and Zubrus are winning 55% of their faceoffs. Ugh.

Have I told you how much I would love to apologize to jamie Kompon, but I just can’t. Not yet anyway.

How come Luc hasn’t called to ask me to dance?