Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hips Thoughts-The Thanksgiving Edition

Always nice to see a win around Thanksgiving. My memory but hazy and eclectic at best but it seems like the Kings generally lose around the holidays so this win was refreshing. For the record-I put Eggnog in my oatmeal as well as my coffee this morning. Would have probably thrown some baileys and rum as well if not for the fact I have to drive in a little bit.

Some Thoughts-

Labarbara played well enough to get the Win, but I wouldn't by any means call its performance that inspires confidence. Especially in the waning moments there were a few chances that really should had been goals for the Oilers. On that same note...

Losing to the Kings must be feel like rock bottom for Oil fans. They've lost 5 of their last 6 games with 4 of those losses coming at Home. The people over at are probably on suicide watch.

I probably wasn't the only one who thought Ray Ferraro does great color commentary. He said some very complimentary things about the Kings and called out some gaffes by Kings players as well. Ferraro has a bright career ahead of him in this field IMO as that was probably one of the most well balanced color commentaries I've heard. Funny as well commenting on Ales Hemsky how Ferraro could praise and criticize in the same sentence. Props to RayFer though-the Kings probably should have never have gotten rid of him all those years ago but once again thats a pretty long list.

Back to the Goalies- I'm not yet going to give a grade on Terry Murray's line combos but his system of focusing and concentrating all energy on limiting shots against is one of brilliance simply based on the talents of our goalies. Its quite simple-if you're not sure about your goalies ability to stop a shot you damn well better minimize those shots against. Its like having a NFL QB who cant throw and makes bad decisions so the Coach via defualt decides to run the ball 95% of the time.

Some more player thoughts....

Kopitar looks like he is starting to turn it on. Is there nothing more amazing then seeing a guy score by hitting the puck out of mid-air?

Sully- Was it me or did it look like there were a couple of shifts with Kopitar and Sully but no Brown. Crazy thing was it looked like it worked. Maybe putting those two together and putting Brown on another line might give a more balanced attack?

Brown-Held off the score sheet but his one on one moves are amazing. When the Kings can get some other legitimate scorers so opposing teams cant key in on him he will should have a couple of 40 goal seasons IMO.

Doughty was once again amazing. 1 assist and +1 he looks like a veteran out there at 18 years old. His confidence nad patience with the puck is amazing. Cant imagine what he'll be like at 22 or 23. Just for comparison sake-Doughty has 7pts and is +6 at 18 years old; Jay Bouwmeester has 10 pts is a -6 and is 24 years old with 6 full NHL seasons under his belt. For the record, Boumeester's rookie year he finished -29.

Richardson- I thought he played well, he had a nice combo of speed yet looked to work hard and finish his checks. There is no reason IMO he shouldn't be playing over Zeiler or Ivanans.

All in all it was a good win over a struggling team. I'm happy to be back at .5oo and doing a bit more research we're currently 9th in the standings 1 pt behind Nashville and 1 pt behind Columbus. Still very early in the season but being we're picked by many to come in Last not sure anyone should complain.

Have a great thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Post Game Thoughts-the Avs Edition

Going to keep this short and sweet as Ive got cinnamon rolls in the oven.

Basically this was a game the Kings should have lost. Let's face it they looked terrible. As many times as they had opportunity to clear the puck out of the zone and failed to do so I amazed they walked away with a point. This is a game they certainly would have lost last season. I guess it can be considered progress when you are at least getting points in game you should be losing outright.

The Zeiler Incident- What I find funny about this was the fact the Ref was not going to call a penalty at all until the ensuing scrum and then throws Zeiler out of the game. If it was indeed a major penalty-why was it not called at the time it actually happened? For those with center ice there was a similar play earlier during the Hawks/Leafs game with Ben Eager. You never like to see anyone hurt but short of it happening to Ryan Smythe, Adam Foote is not a bad choice. That said-I always felt come crunch time I would rather have Adam Foote then the guy who used to wear #4 for us.

Doughty is still a prodigy in spite of his -1 on the night. From the "GO Figure" dept Matt Greene was a +2.

Ersberg certainly didn't have his best game though I wont blame his as most of the team as a whole wasn't playing the smart hockey they need to play in order to win games.He is still clearly better then LaBarbara but the GAA is starting to rise and Sv% is starting to dip for what its worth.

Dustin Brown is getting better and better. His one on one moves are impressive for sure and looks like he gets more and more confidence every game. Kopitar looks like he's stepping it up a bit as well. When we can finally land a bonafide 2nd line Center(or a bonafide 2nd line for that matter) it is going to be very tough for teams to key in on our top line. Not saying our current crew sucks-but upgrades in this area will be key to future success.

With this Shoot Out win, the Avs have now won 8 Shoot Outs in a row. They certainly looked confident for sure.

I still like Lappy, His face looks like its been sandblasted and then used as a Dart Board but he does what a good character guy does-more importantly he does it consistently. Ive got a tons of respect for him-is there a harder role in the NHL that the role Lappy plays?

I am not going to got hating on the New Jerseys. They are what they are-the Fashion Show idea is one that should never be brought back and if not for Flaming Wild Wing would go down as one of the worst all time promos.

Anyhow my rolls are done, and Im drinking Coffee with Baileys and still need to check my fantasy football lineups so that's it for now. Piece Out!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kings Preview-Games of the night 11/22

Well what can I say but I am really looking forward to tonight's game and get a glimpse of the new 3rd jersey. I loved the old days of the black and silver chevron although I may be in the minority. As for the Game itself, Ryan Smythe should still pay for last years spearing of LaBarbara. On that same note, I still hate the Avs. Hope we can keep the shots against down once again and maybe keep the physicality flowing.

Other Games Tonight...
Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars -Almost 40 FMs between the two teams and the Ducks, as much as it pains me to say it, are always a must watch. Dallas is without Brendan Morrow for the year, what factor that plays as far as fights go I am not sure. Ducks fought 3 times in the 1st period against the Blues last night so their already warmed up and ready to go. My Long Shot Prediction here says Avery and Perry will go as will Barch and May/Parros.

Phoenix Coyotes at Philadelphia Flyers -Inter-conference game for what its worth but the teams do have over 30 combined FMs. Truth be told it looks to be a bit on the lean side for fights tonight. I probably wouldn't have even mentioned this game on a night with better match ups but here we are.

Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens- Statistically I wouldn't normally have posted this game either but there is some heavy bloggin' going on that says Laraque is going to challenge Milan Lucic. Lucic is one of my favorite players in the Eastern Conference and a great draft pick. We'll have to see what happens here. If I'm not mistaken this will be the HNIC broadcast. On a side note-do you think Canadian players give it an extra push when they know the game is a HNIC broadcast? Kind of like playing in the NFL with the marquee game being played on Monday Night. Just some speculation there and if anyone has some thoughts shoot em to me.

I remember back in the mid-90s when 3rd jersey first reared their ugly head....I dont think there is any fan here who fondly remembers these as "the good old days."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kings/Caps Recap and 11/21 Matchups

Back at the .500 mark and oh what a feeling! For you fans of other NHL teams reading this you have to understand that after years of being perpetually kicked in the nuts by this franchise us Kings fans have to take pride in the little things and get our kicks where we can.

Game Thoughts

I cant say any better then Dustin Brown did at the post game interview that when the Kings play with energy and stick to their game plan they can beat anyone. To play the Devils Advocate though I cant only help think what might have been had the Caps not played the not before and had a full squad. Ovechkin is a monster. And while I thought his hit on Brown was cheap I guess the gods of hockey Karma prevailed. At this point as well I don't think we need to be talking about Brown's ability to take a hit as he was absolutely leveled. Wish I could post a clip...I'll try and get one later.

Yet another game the Kings held their opponent to under 24 shots. With Ersberg in net and provided we get consistent scoring there is no reason that if that stat holds the Kings could be in the playoff hunt. On that same Ersberg related note- 1.96GAA and .909SV%.

Player Thoughts-

Doughty-The great players tend to make things look easy and seem to get breaks other players dont. His shot and his play overall is a great example of this. If it were Denis Gauthier taking the same exact shot the puck would have hit Ovechkins stick, landed perfectly flat on Ovechkins blade and allowed him to move up ice ending up in an outnumbered attack. But with Doughty-hits Ovechkin's stick and changed trajectory just enough to miss the Goalies Glove hand by an inch or so. Doughty finished the game at +2 and is now a +8 on the season and on pace for a 13 goal 31 point season.
The Ray Bourque comparisons continue to scream. The +8 is amazing as well in that it's not like Doughty is being spotted situational ice time or getting cherry picked spots. When your 18 year old Rookie can stop Ovechkin on a one on one speaks volumes. Granted he got beat by Ovechkin once as well but at the same time did force Ovechkin to a bad angle. Cant say enough about this kid. He's a future Superstar.

Zeiler- Call me crazy but I thought that line played very well. Zeiler does exactly what you want your 4th line winger to do-he brings tons on energy and tried to finish consistently. I noticed as well that his ability to cycle the puck game Ivanans a couple of chances to throw his weight around as well.

Boyle-While I think Boyle is being misused on this line getting him in the lineup and finding a role to contribute day to day isn't the worst thing that could happen. He has quietly created a couple of scoring chances for himself the last couple of games as well.

Simmonds- I like the kid but I cant help but think Armstrong's veteran Savvy would be better served in Simmonds role and getting quality ice time in Manchester will be a great thing for Simmonds development in the long run. Remember Manny Malholtra? He probably could have been a much higher caliber NHL player had he been able to cut his teeth at the AHL level as opposed to being thrown to the wolves.

Brad Richardson- I don't know what is going on behind the scenes but when Zeiler gets bumped in front of the line ahead of you is never a good thing. I'd like to see Richardson get a chance but for whatever reason it aint happening. Maybe he doesn't bust his ass in practice? Maybe he's an ahole? I do not know but once again he has managed to lose his spot to Moller(no shame in that), Simmonds(moderate shame), and Zeiler(great profound shame in that). Reminds me a bit of Pavel Rosa years ago who scored in almost every NHL game he played in but was a routine scratch. When 3 coaches all say the same thing about work ethic what else can you think but there must be an issue with work ethic?

Finally, was it me or did the broadcast almost seem like a Washington Caps telecast? They certainly went out of their way to feature a lot more Caps related stories then when other teams. It was cool to see and I am not complaining just something I found a bit unusual. On a similar note-getting inter conference play again is refreshing. I wasn't at the game but watching on TV seemed like there was a bit of a different vibe. And not that I am picking on Bettmann but who decided that fans wanted to see more conference and divisional games? I am glad they went back to what worked but think this could have been a game that we would have been playing the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Games of the Night

Looks like it could be a slow night so truth be told I will probably be watching Kung Fu Panda with my 5 year old and Tropic Thunder once he goes to bed. A couple of matches with some promise though.

Philadelphia Flyers at Buffalo Sabres- 26 combined FMs. Looks like Flyers Heavy Riley Cote is injured so that really minimizes odds for a scrap.

Anaheim Ducks at St. Louis Blues -For Rough and Tumble hockey the Ducks are always a must watch. Cam Janssen is always willing to go as well so this probably will be the best bet for the night.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

11/20 Games of the Night

Before I get to the picks I have to say the Kings better show up and give %110 tonight for if they don't they will be looking at a serious beating. The Caps showed tons of talent and energy against the Ducks and if they bring that same game tonight I wouldn't be surprised if they hang at least 4 or 5 goals against us. Hope I am wrong and I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Some great Games tonight.....

Chicago@Dallas- Game of the night IMO. I'll bet a nice black cashmere sweater and a matching European grade high quality leather coat that Avery and Ott will be mixing it up while Burrish and Eager will more the oblige them with a hard cold clinched fist of a response. This one should be good. The Odds of Jonathen Toews having back to back fights are about as good as me having back to back fights in the NHL.

Calgary@Colorado- The second part of a home and home with both teams combined for 36 FMs on the year. Lappy fought with Nystrom in the last game and the Flames threw 51 shots on goal. Best Case here is the Flames jump out to a big lead early and Colorado resorts to cheap attempts of thuggery. Both of tonight's matchups have a ton of promise.

And one of my daily posts just wouldn't be complete without me posting some kind of picture so here is one from the "where are they now file."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

11/19 Games of the Day

Only 3 games tonight. Before I get to them though I have to pat myself on the back and hopefully wont suffer a sprained shoulder because of it but the Hawks/Yotes game was very entertaining. Anytime you can get non-fighters picking up majors you've got a winning recipe for a successful game. Jokinen decided to scrap with Fraser and Jonathen Toews picked up his first NHL fighting major going after Hanzal. Hanzal gets the win but props to Toews for going after him.

Tonights Games

Vancouver @ NY Rangers- 35 combined FMs on the year. Inter-conference game be damned this should be a good hard hitting game.

Caps @ Ducks- Washington only has a puny 6 fights on the year so that's nothing to write home about but the Ducks can always be counted on for playing a rough and tumble style. Let's hope the Ducks try and go after Ovechkin physically, that may set off some fireworks but even if it doesn't a hard hitting, physical game will help the Kings when they play the caps tomorrow.....or at least in theory as the Kings can lose to any team on any given day no matter what the circumstance.

Buffalo @ Boston- I will be honest I have no clue what happens here. Neither team is leading in PIMS and I dont think there is any history between the two. My gut feel says it will be a snoozer but you never know. Am I the only one who misses Adam Mair?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday Nov 18th

3 Pretty good matchups tonight; before I get to it though I really made the call on the Sharks/Preds game last night. 3 or 4 good scraps and maybe the most entertaining game of the year from a fight fans perspective. Some real good matchups tonight as well that should pair nicely with the weekly dinner of Taco Tuesday 99 cent tacos served here locally. Only question there is do I go with Rubios Fish tacos or the Shredded Beef tacos at Jalapenos?

The Matchups-
Edmonton Oilers at Columbus Blue Jackets- 32 fighting majors between these two teams. Not sure if there is a history but the numbers point to some action.

Chicago Blackhawks at Phoenix Coyotes- 31 fights combined here. Man its great to see the Hawks fielding a tough team. The NHL just doesn't seem right without the Hawks fighting. On the Yotes side how can you not like Dan Carcillo? On that same note, I wonder whatever became of Dirk Graham?

Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames- Should be some good action here as well. Hope the flames suit up Andre Roy and it will almost be a lock for a scrap in this one. Maybe even a chance to see Iginla throw down. Prust leads the league in fighting majors. For the Avs, poor Lappy can always be counted on for the middleweights and the Cody Brothers are always active. I am having a hard time posting clips here but if I could this would be the perfect spot to post the clip of Tony Granato hitting Neil Wilkenson over the head with his stick. Ahhh the good ole days. a bad way.

Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning- Yeah they're interstate rivals but their also the most boring teams in the league and between have as many fights as Brandon Prust. If the Kings and Ducks game from the other night didn't have much emotion then this game will be played with all of the intensity of a preseason inter-squad baseball game. Anyhow.....3 great match ups tonight for sure.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kings Recap- Games for 11/17

Hard to win when you don't score. 1 Goal in 2 games is not going to get it done no matter how well your goalie is playing. Ersberg still the only bright spot. What has happened to Kopitar this season?

Games for Monday

Game of the Night

San Jose Sharks at Nashville Predators- Statistically there are some other games that may look better on paper but this is just a gut feel.

Vancouver plays the Isles but the Isles dont have a lot of spunk and while the Nucks can lay the smack down I dont see it happening here with the inter conference matchup.

Edmonton Oilers at Detroit Red Wings- I think there will be a better chance of seeing fighting majors handed out during tonights NFL game between Cleveland and Buffalo then in this match up.

I guess the dont call them monday's for nothing....Lets pick tonights theme song.

Boomtown Rats-I dont like mondays


Carpenters-Rainy Days and Mondays

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Preds Recap and Games of the Day

I do not have enough time to do a full recap but here are some quick thoughts.

Sometimes in sports there are games that you are just not going to win in spite of everything. In this case- Preds goalie Dan Ellis really stole the show. He has been red hot the last 3 or so games it and it showed. The Kings peppered him with the goals in the first and got turned away every time.

On that same note you can't really blame Ersberg as all of the Preds goals were about as honest as it gets. He really had no chance on any of those shots at all. Once again while you can recap some specific players or a specific play that can swing a game one way or the other this was really simply a case of the Kings coming up against a hot goalie.

If there is one bone to pick-seemed like shots from the points were all high and off target-the one Kings goal that scored was kept on the ice and on target. Whats with all the high shots from the Dmen?

Lets hope we can regroup and get at least a point from tonight's game but quite frankly I'm a bit dubious. One thing that may help is Ducks lost Francois Beauchemin for the season with a severe knee injury. That is certainly going to hurt their D Corp.

Some Games to Watch-

Montreal Canadiens at St. Louis Blues-On paper this looks like it may have some potential but the inter-conference rivalry factor may offset the numbers.

Atlanta Thrashers at Philadelphia Flyers- Call it a hunch.

Kings at Ducks- Kings have been quiet on the fight front and this rivalry should bring out the worst from both teams. Parros vs Ivanans is almost a lock and Im sure Brad May is going to try and start something. I really envy the Ducks team toughness.
Will be interesting to see who the Kings start in goal as well. Lots of sub-plots in this one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I finally decided to get a bit organized and create a couple of different blogs for each of my hobbies and figured that the Hockey addiction should probably come first so here we are. The main thing I'm going to focus on here is doing the recaps of all of the LA Kings games, maybe even the occasional Ducks game(time permitting make of that what you will) and posting daily picks on NHL games of the day. Hopefully I can make this a spot you can come to everyday to get a bit of a Kings fix and help guide the casual NHL fan as to which games are must watch's versus those games that have the potential grade of "can do better" or "make better use of your time with a good book."

That said here are my picks for Tonight's Games.

Game of the Night
Colorado vs Edmonton-Teams have a combined 30 fighting majors on the year and its going to be the 2nd half of Hockey Night in Canada. You cant top that! Zack Stortini has a lot of fights but he is no fighter as much as he hugs and cuddles. Look for him and Lappy to go...Maybe the Lock of the Night. Edmonton also just acquired Jessie Boulerice so he may be looking to make some noise. Colordado's 4th line with the Cody's are always fun to watch as well so this looks like a Dandy.

Games with Potential
Philadelphia @ Montreal
Dallas @ Phoenix

Gut feel Game
Boston @ NY Rangers- Lucic destroyed Komisarek the other night and the Bruins haven't felt this big and bad in years. Orr and Voros love to throw their weight and at home probably wont take much to get something started.

Kings vs Preds- Great chance of something happening here. If the Pred's play like they did against the Ducks last night there is a great shot to have some action. On that same note if Dustin Brown throws one of his text book big hits there could be fireworks. Ivanans hasn't fought in a while so there is a great chance of him and Nashville's palooka Tarnasky throwing down. Look for O'Donnell or Matt Greene to go after Tootoo if he starts running people.

Ottawa @ NY Islanders- Sens are without the always entertaining Ruutu due to suspension and the Islanders are the worst team in the NHL-if not in the standings at least as far as entertaining hockey goes. There are some teams that outright suck but at least can provide something on the entertainment scale-the Isles aren't one of them.

Look for my Kings vs Nashville recap tomorrow and I look forward to getting this thing started. If anyone has any suggestions on ways to make the blog better or any ideas at all please feel free. On that same note since Im not exactly Johnny Internet Blogger guy if someone wants to give me some tips on Google Adsense or other traffic generating ideas please email me or post as a comment.