Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Historical Reflection: What if there were a BoC back in the day?

You know, pretty much since the outset of this blog, there has been a pretty steady stream of taunts directed towards the L.A. Kings, and why not? The 2-year pattern we’ve observed involves the Kings missing the playoffs, the Sharks choking on a round 2 series lead, and the (Mighty) Ducks either losing in the conference finals or winning it all.

But amazingly enough, things were not always so—there was a time not that long ago where things were drastically different. To see what I’m talking about, take a look below at the Western Conference standings back on December 31st, 2005 (back when teams were ranked by standings points, then wins):

Rk

TeamGPW – L – OPtsGF – GA

1

Detroit

38

26 – 9 – 3

55

144 – 100

2

Los Angeles

41

25 – 14 – 2

52

141 – 121

3

Calgary

39

23 – 12 – 4

50

103 – 97

4

Nashville

36

24 – 9 – 3

51

114 – 102

5

Dallas

37

24 – 12 – 1

49

121 – 99

6

Edmonton

40

22 – 14 – 4

48

130 – 125

7

Vancouver

38

21 – 12 – 5

47

128 – 117

8

Colorado

40

20 – 17 – 3

43

148 – 134

9

Phoenix

40

20 – 18 – 2

42

116 – 116

10

Minnesota

39

18 – 17 – 4

40

110 – 95

11

Anaheim

38

17 – 15 – 6

40

107 – 103

12

San Jose

37

16 – 16 – 5

37

113 – 114

13

Chicago

37

13 – 20 – 4

30

99 – 130

14

Columbus

39

12 – 26 – 1

25

79 – 138

15

St. Louis

36

9 – 22 – 5

23

95 – 140


That’s right. The Kings, second in the western conference, sticking out their tongues at the lowly Ducks and Sharks, who at that point were fighting to stay out of the Pacific basement. Can you imagine the fun-loving posts that Kings bloggers would be writing back then? (And really, this was not that long ago—the Kings were atop the BoC standings through March 19, 2006, less than two months before this blog's first post.)

It’s pretty astounding how much the tables have turned since then. In regular season games in 2006 and 2007, the Kings have gone a combined 44-62-17 (.427), getting outscored 325 – 425. Meanwhile, the Sharks have gone 79-37-11 (.665), outscoring opponents 408 – 318, and the Ducks have gone 74-32-20 (.667), outscoring opponents 398 – 317. Plus the Sharks have won 2 playoff series and the Ducks have won 6.

So I don’t know—part of me wants to apologize to the Kings bloggers—back then, there wasn’t a BoC blog forum for them to properly taunt us Sharks/Ducks fans. Then again, if they had, how much shit would they be eating right about now?

But I guess the real lesson here is one of caution: in this state of California especially, tables can turn awfully fast. Literally, in the span of a few months, bottom-feeders can become cup contenders, and division leaders can see their golden era get quickly flushed down the toilet.

Looking for a new logo, Los Angeles?

8 comments:

RudyKelly said...

Yeah, we came out strong, Frolov, Conroy and Demitra were the best line in hockey, LaBarbera was defensive player of the month in December... and then it all kind of fell apart. LaBarbera had to leave because his wife was undergoing chemo (I think, I'm not sure if that's true or if I just read that on some rumor site), and he wasn't the same the rest of the year. Then we traded Grebeshkov and Tambellini for Sopel and Mark Parrish. Just thinking about it makes me... is it a sign of a heart attack when your arm goes numb?

Earl Sleek said...

I'm not sure if that's true or if I just read that on some rumor site

I like how these two options are mutually exclusive. :)

BTW, I don't really know what my real objective was in this post, other than to reflect on a not-too-distant past. I think the lesson is not to gloat too much, but then I end the post with a picture of a bank-shot toilet. Go figure.

dbushik said...

The Labarbera stuff has mostly been floated as rumor because no one wants to get into personal details, but I think it can be taken as fairly accurate that his girlfriend (not wife, and who actually he is no longer with) had some form of nearly fatal medical problem and that lead to him pretty much being incapacitated for all but the last couple games of the season.

I think the closest thing to firm comfirmation has been both DL and Foxy mentioning it in passing when talking about Lab and his chances at actually playing solid this year. As in, "he was inconsistant, but there was a reason", and mentioning the medical issue of the partner vaugely.

The recent troubles the Kings have endured are surely part of a long tradition, but over the past decade or so, say since Taylor took over, the root cause of trading away the future for no appreciable return has been addressed. So at least at this point we can see there is a goal that is being worked toward, and progress being made.

Yeah Taylor definately had the team treading water and not making much progress after a couple of years, but that is a wierd situation. He had a lot of constraints put on him by ownership to keep salary down.

I kind of think one of the reasons he took the job in DAL at the same time the Kings were ready to basically promote him (according to Hammond) was being uncomfortable being under Lombardi, who ownership has pretty much given free reign. Gotta be tough seeing a guy given such freedom and being able to get better results in the job he once held when he was handcuffed and hampered from getting those same results.

The Tambellini and Grebeshkov deal is a mixed bag. Clearly it was a desperate move. Parrish walks and Sopel come sin injured also. But it was clear that the team had plenty of looks at Grebeshkov and had decided he was a flop, so you can't really say he was a loss. He's on his second team after being traded even and not making the line-up so far. Tambellini had some value, but he too has not blossomed in NYI. Sopel was a solid defender when healthy, and if Parrish had been re-signed, maybe it isn't such a bust of a deal.

KMS2 said...

The Kings, second in the western conference, sticking out their tongues at the lowly Ducks and Sharks

That's what I was doing to my boss. Karma's a bitch.

Don't worry, Earl, your time in the shitter will come soon enough.

Earl Sleek said...

Aw, kms2, let it out. Taunt me like it's 2005.

Bryan said...

Speaking of rumors involving the Kings that season, I heard that Taylor was offered Thornton before SJ in exchange for Brown and Gleason but he liked Brown so much and because the team was first in the division didn't make the deal. Not sure how true that is but if so, yikes.

RudyKelly said...

2005:

I don't know why you Ducks' fans thought Selanne would help you, he clearly doesn't have anything left in the tank. And Joe Thornton won't help the Sharks at all, especially since he's playing with Steve Chechu or whatever his name is. I think the Kings will be winning the Battle of California for years to come!

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