We Are All Kings

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Game 5 was a freaking roller coaster. One of the worst 1st periods I’ve ever seen the Kings play. Then a major comeback in the 2nd. Only to be crushed in the 3rd. My poor heart.

The last time I witnessed the handshake line, the Kings swept the Blues. We were on the losing end this time around, but it is still the best damn tradition in professional sports.

‘Till next season, boys 🙋

Go Kings Go!

Two

It was 1996.
Dolly the sheep was successfully cloned.
Mad Cow Disease hit Britain.
I started watching hockey.

I turned on the TV one day and hockey happened to be on. Normally I would have changed the channel, but for some reason I felt compelled to keep watching.

It was Kings vs. Avalanche. The game was fast-paced. The scoring went back and forth. The Kings won in OT! I was hooked!

And though the Kings didn’t make the playoffs that year, I became a fan. Two months later, I watched the Avs raise the Cup and wondered when I would see the Kings do so. Little did I know that it would take 16 years and a revolving door of goaltenders…

Hrudey
Dafoe
Storr
Fiset
Chabot
Legace
Potvin
Passmore
Huet
Cechmanek
Garon
Labarbera
Cloutier
Burke
Brust
Aubin
Ersberg

Quick

The highlight of those years, a memory that I often replayed in my head, was when Adam Deadmarsh eliminated the Red Wings in OT.

It was that memory that I recalled after Jarret Stoll scored the OT goal against the Canucks in 2012. Instead of losing Game 7 of the next round, the Kings went on to win the Stanley freakin’ Cup! In historic fashion no less!

Two seasons later, the Kings are champs again, making even more history this time around!

Two championships.
My team.
The Kings.

Is this real life?

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Yes. Yes it is.

As Expected

First this:

Then this:

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Is it 1993 or 2012? I’m not sure.

But the worst FAIL of all?

Yup, Anze Kopidor, Brad Doty and the rest of the LA Kings have done a great job putting the ball in the net and are one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals!

Hm…

Being a resident of LA, I’m used to hockey getting the short end of the stick by the local media because, let’s face it, LA is first and foremost a basketball/baseball town. It’s just embarrassing that these gaffes have become internet sensations, further perpetuating the perception that LA doesn’t know or care about hockey. I can attest that this is not true, at least not in regards to the fan base.

Tears

Break out the brooms, it’s a SWEEP!

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Bye, bye Blues! Jamie Storr has been avenged.

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It’s hard to describe the wave of emotion that came over me with 3 minutes remaining in the game. The atmosphere inside Staples Center was electric. I stood with my fellow Kings fans, waving our rally towels, cheering like it was 1993. When Brownie scored the empty net goal with 26 seconds to go, I broke down and tears started streaming down my face. It’s normal to cry in public right?

It’s Been A While

Who thought the Kings were going to eliminate the Canucks in 5 games? Not me!

Who thought Penner and Stolly would get GWGs? Not me!

It’s not that I’m not a die hard fan. I’m a cautious and guarded fan. Memories from the past 16 years have haunted me, made me numb and redefined the word, hope.

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Great atmosphere @ LA Live for Game 3

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When I arrived to watch Game 3 at Staples, I was excited yet nervous. The Kings were up 2-0 in the series! Why would that make me nervous? Oh right, because just the year before, I was at Staples Center watching the Kings blow a 4-0 lead to lose Game 3 in OT. Yup, it ain’t easy being an LA Kings fan.

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Light it up!!

The Canucks dominating the first two periods did nothing to calm my nerves, even though at that point, it was still a scoreless game. I called it early on that it would be a 1-0 game and I was right; Brownie scored in the 3rd and Quick came through with a shutout.

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After the game, fans gathered outside Staples and chanted “sweep”. To be honest, I didn’t know how to feel about being up 3-0 in a series. This was the first time that the Kings have ever been ahead 3-0, like EVER. I wasn’t emotionally prepared to deal with the situation. When Game 4 came around, I couldn’t bring myself to watch and I used work as an excuse to avoid it. Too much pressure for the Kings? Pshh, too much pressure for me!

So the Kings weren’t able to close the series out in Game 4 and I’m actually glad for this because the Kings needed to be brought down to reality. TOO MUCH confidence is not necessarily a good thing. And besides, eliminating the Canucks in Vancouver is SO. MUCH. SWEETER. #revenge

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IT FEELS DAMN GOOD

Now that we’re moving on to the 2nd round FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2001, I think the most important takeaway for the Kings is that there will be games in which they will battle hard and statistically should win, but don’t (ie. Game 4). As in Game 5, I hope the Kings do not get discouraged and focus on the game at hand. One game at a time, boys.

4 down. 12 to go. GO KINGS GO!

LA Kings Women’s Workshop

So I’ve always wanted to learn to play hockey. It’s on THE list.

Having watched hockey since I was in junior high, I can say that I understand the game fairly well, but actually playing the game, as I’ve recently learned, is completely different. Let’s just say, from now on, I’ll think twice about yelling obscenities at the TV (or at Staples) when players turn the puck over, fall, fan on a shot or shoot the puck high and wide.

I was on FB this past Valentine’s Day and saw this flyer from the LA Kings:

And I thought to myself… even though I won’t know anyone there and I’ve only ice skated twice in my entire life, why the hell not?

When I met the other girls at the gear fitting, I was relieved to find out that 95% did not have any hockey experience. The fitting was enlightening because I had no idea how much shit ice hockey players had to put on. I also had no idea how anything was supposed to fit, but Hillary and Ashley from the LA Kings Org and the guys at Hockey Tron were very helpful. I left with a hockey bag stuffed with a full set of gear: caged helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, shin guards, hockey pants and socks, gloves, skates, jersey with my last name and random #, stick, green tape/green laces/green blade cover/jill strap (additional $).

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It wouldn’t be me without the green! 😀

Having only ice skated twice in my life, I’m actually not too bad at going forward. I can generate some speed and more importantly, not wobble or fall. My problem is stopping. I don’t have to crash into the boards or anything in order to stop, I just slow down and ease my way into stopping. I do think that this workshop has gotten me to a point where I can almost do a full hockey stop. Almost.

The first two sessions of the workshop were held at the LA Kings Valley Ice Center. We worked on skating and puck handling basics. My favorite drills were Superman/Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman with a twist. SO FUN! BTW, falling on the ice wasn’t so bad because of all the gear we had on.

“Oh, that’s not bad.” Yea, thanks, guys. 😛

Our third practice was at STAPLES CENTER. This experience alone was well worth the cost of the workshop.

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As expected, Staples Center ice > LA Kings Valley Ice Center ice

The final session was the official “Game Day”. Family and friends were invited to watch 😀

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People outside the hockey world who think couple minute shifts are easy just have no idea. I was seriously gassed after every shift. GASSED. Legs could not move anymore!

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Do you see the huge smile on my face in this blurry picture?

I am SO glad I took part in this workshop. It was such a blast and I learned a lot in a short matter of time! To continue my progression and also in preparation for the LA Kings Women’s Intermediate Workshop in the summer, I’m considering taking an adult learn to play hockey class at the Toyota Sports Center (I work 5 minutes away). SO. EXCITED.

Special thanks to Daryl Evans and Hillary Hodding!

Progress Report

Some stats going into the All-Star break.

Against teams currently above .500…
– The Kings are 20-11-9
– In 15 out of 40 games (37.5%), they’ve scored 2+ goals
– GFA = 2.275
– GAA = 2.1

Against teams currently below .500
– The Kings are 4-5-1
– In 2 out of 10 games (20%), they’ve scored 2+ goals
– GFA = 1.6
– GAA = 2.2

sportclubstats.com currently gives the Kings a 68.7% chance of making the playoffs. bleh.

Big Money

No, really! I want to be the highest paid King!

I know some Kings fans let out a collective groan when the salary arbitrator granted Shea Weber a one year, $7.5M award on Wednesday. What does this mean for the on-going Doughty negotiations? Not much, in my opinion.

[Continue reading here]

Another Run

And with win against the Coyotes, we’re in the playoffs!!!!!! 2 years in a row since 01-02!!!! Oh my gahhhhhhh~!

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I think there’s a good chance of the Kings making it to the 2nd round as long as they’re a 4th or 5th seed. I don’t particularly want the Kings to play against the Canucks or Sharks in the first round. Just sayin’. I don’t want a repeat of last year or Monday night’s game.

Duh. Winning.

No, not really.

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I didn’t train at all for the LA Kings 5K, which is exactly why I am hurting all over right now. Most of you are smart enough not to follow my example, but just to be clear… I WAS STUPID. I SHOULD HAVE TRAINED.

Anyway, for not being prepared and for this being my first 5k, I think I did OK. I finished in about 28 minutes, which averages to 9 min pace. Obviously, I wasn’t even close to winning the race, but I know that with the right training, I can definitely improve my time for my next 5k.

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That’s Henry crossing the finish line. He really didn’t want to run, but I made him 🙂

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Why hello, Luongo. So nice of you to show up at an LA Kings event.

This little kid was just a taste of what I would see later that afternoon at the Kings vs Canucks game: A sea of fucking blue jerseys. Where the hell did all these Canucks fans come from???? I’d say that Staples was filled with 70/30 Canucks! Bullshit.

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View from 209, 7, 7-8

You know what else was bullshit? The officiating. Bad calls on both sides. But the non-call that led to D. Sedin goal pissed me off the most, obviously, since it was the game winning goal. The Kings really couldn’t recover from that, especially Doughty, who just completely went bat shit crazy and got a stupid diving penalty. Good thing the Canucks PP was just as horrible as the Kings PP or else the final score would have been a lot different.

It was a physical game right from the start. Both teams were playing like they had tiger blood and Adonis DNA. Well… except for H. Sedin, who pouted like a little baby after a high stick from Doughty. Look Henrik, suck it up until you’ve had a few pucks to the face like your brother and your old friend Willie Mitchell. They kept replaying this bit on the jumbotron, in slow motion! I totally wish I took a picture. Damnit.

A Little Bit Of A Slump

[Source: Harry How, Getty Images]

Of late, it has not been a happy time for “Coon n’ Friends”. After a nice 6-0 winning streak, the Kings have gone 1-6 in their past 7 games, with the only win coming from a shootout against Boston. Yes, of course I’m really disappointed, but no, the sky is not falling! Every team goes through tough periods. You can’t expect any team to win all 82 games; that’s just ridiculous! I really hate reading all the message boards after a loss because everybody jumps on the “trade ______” bandwagon. However, I do agree that there are issues that we need to take care of:

– Our PP is seriously horrendous. Even with a man advantage, we have difficulty with puck possession in the offensive zone. When we do keep the puck in, our plays are so damn predictable, it’s no wonder every team seems to be able to shut us down on the PP.
– What’s up with all the turnovers?! One person comes to mind when I think turnovers and that is JJ. When JJ is on his game, he’s great. When he’s not, his mistakes usually lead to goals for the other team. But let’s be fair, JJ is not single-handedly bringing down the Kings.
– TM doesn’t want to break up the 2nd line, which is understandable given that they have been the dominant scoring line since the regular season started. However, the Smyth-Stoll-Williams line has been less and less effective in the last few games (the line hasn’t scored since the Boston game), perhaps due to the fact that the other teams are adjusting their focus to neutralize our “hot” line. It’s time for TM to consider shaking up this line – what do we have to lose?

Bad Luck

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Los Angeles Kings

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The first game I attended this season turned out to be the Kings’ first loss at home. Talk about being bad luck 😦

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I purchased my premier seating tickets through: livingsocial.com. At Staples Center, premier seating is basically the section between the 100s and the 300s – the 200s surround both nets. Food and drink service (as in you order and they serve you – you still have to pay) is included in the premier section so you literally can stay in your seat all night long, unless you have to go to the bathroom of course. I actually prefer the premier seats to the 100s because you have a more elevated view of the entire ice rink while still being close enough so that you can clearly see the players and the puck. Although it’s exciting to be so close, if you’re too far down in the 100s, it’s hard to see what is going on if it’s not happening right in front of you. The downside is that the price for a single ticket game in the premiers is usually more expensive than the 100s (other than center ice), so if you go for the 100s, I suggest you choose from row 15+.

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Did you notice that Staples Center was packed? The Kings are back and I could not be more proud 🙂

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We love LA! ♥

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Fair Isle

New York Islanders @ Los Angeles Kings

[Source: AP, Mark Terrill]

Ok, ok so despite a fairly decent start, losing the last 9 games doesn’t exactly make the New York Islanders a benchmark team, but I’ll take the two points, thank you very much. The game actually turned out to be much more exciting to watch than I expected!

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Star Gazing

Dallas Stars @ Los Angeles Kings

[Source: AP – Mark Terrill]

After finding out that Poni and Willie would be out for 4-6 weeks due to injuries that resulted from last Saturday’s game against the Preds, I was a little worried to say the least. Why? Willie is a HUGE part of our PK efficiency, having logged the most PK minutes thus far. Poni is a big body that we depend on for the shutdown line (Poni-Zues-Simmer). Despite these set backs, I thought the Kings dealt with the situation well.

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How Sweet It Is

NHL.com pun headlines make me laugh.

But seriously, JW and his sweet ass goals. DAMN, they’re so beautiful to watch.

… and what about this one against NJD?

Extra points for JW since he scored against Kovalchump’s line.

PS. Happy 26th birthday Brownie!!! ♥

On The Road

Ten games into the season and the Kings are #1 in the league (7-3-0)! Am I surprised? Yes, and no. I’m surprised because Doughty has been out for the past 5 games and Kopi’s performance has been lackluster. I’m not surprised because the Kings have great D (although it was missing for a couple of games) and Quick has been solid.

The Kings just finished up a 5 game road series (3-2-0) and now they’re about to begin a 5 game home series. First up? The Devils and Kovalchump. I would LOVE to see the Kings shut them out and for Poni to get a hat-trick. I really do have high hopes for Poni – hopefully he doesn’t let me down!!

I’m glad we’re playing at home for the next two weeks. It’s hard for me to catch games that start at 5:00PM or 5:30PM since I’m still slaving away at work. And I can’t catch the replay since I’m knocked out by then. Yea, #firstworldproblems.

[Source: AP]

And So It Begins…

Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks

The 2010-2011 season opener ended with the Kings spoiling the Canucks’ 40th anniversary with a 2-1 victory in shootout. It always feels good to win the first game of the season, but to me, this was more than just the first game, this was an opportunity for a little bit of revenge against the team that booted us out of the playoffs last year.

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Predictions

As sad as I am that my Kings were knocked out in the first round, I’m still watching the rest of the playoffs! And let’s face it folks, whoever thought the Kings would win the Cup this year is seriously delusional; I just expected them to advance into the second round. But fear not, the way the Kings have played this year signifies a long, long period of playoff runs in the future, perhaps even a Cup. We shall see 🙂

I should have posted my predictions for round 2, but they were wrong anyway, so let’s see how far off I am for round 3 and the finals…

Conference Finals:
Sharks will win game 4 by 1 goal in regulation play. Blackhawks will win the series on the road in game 5.

Habs vs. Flyers: Flyers advance in 7 games

Stanley Cup Finals:
Blackhawks vs Flyers: Blackhawks win cup in 6 games.

Black and Purple

The playoffs have begun. It’s SOOO exciting for me especially since the Kings have not qualified for the playoffs since losing first round to the Avs during the 2001-2002 season.

Old picture from 2006?

The first two games vs. Vancouver have ended in OT, which is totally not good for my anxiety!!

I’m planning to buy tickets for the 2nd round! YES, THEY WILL MAKE IT. KINGS IN SIX!