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

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kings Gameday: Bright Spot

Los Angeles Kings (eep) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (16-19-8, 13th in East)

7:30 PST, no television^

Hey, Anze Kopitar made the All-Star team! Congratulations to Kopitar on the 1st of his many, many All-Star games. He is the only representative of the Kings which, let's face it, is entirely appropriate. I haven't written as much about Kopitar as I'd like* because I run the risk of making everyone sick, but he has been better than he was last year when you consider that every team is gunning for him. Good for him.

Also making the squad from California: Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Pronger, Evgeni Nabokov, and Joe Thornton. I encourage the All-Star coach (who the hell coaches these things again?) to put Getzlaf, Kopitar, and Stastny on a line. I guarantee three goals or your money back. (Give me money and I'll prove it.)

Not making the team: Pascal Leclaire. Instead, Manny Legace will join Nabokov and Luongo for the All-Star festivities. I know statistics like Goals Against Average and Save Percentage are flawed, but is better in both, plus he has played on a shittier team, plus he does all this with fake vampire teeth in his mouth. I'm not a Columbus blogger or anything, but that seems ridiculous to me.


The L.A. Times finally let Helene Elliot write about hockey again, and she came with guns blazing in this article about the state of the Kings. It's thesis is that it's time to bring up Purcell, Boyle, and Harrold and see what they can do since there's no way the Kings are making the playoffs. I agree with her because Purcell is 22, Boyle is 23 (although I'm not sure if he deserves a call-up), and Harrold is 24; they're all older than Anze Kopitar. If he can handle all this losing, I think they can as well.

I do take issue with one part of Elliot's article, however:

"...another broken promise from a club that vowed it would become a Stanley Cup contender under the salary-cap system but sabotaged itself with bad free-agent signings and timidity in the front office."

I don't understand why the Kings broke some "vow" because they have sucked the last two seasons. Were they supposed to say they would suck and wouldn't be competitive for a while? And how can you sabotage yourself with bad free-agent signings and timidity in the front office. It seems like a lack of timidity resulted in bad free-agent signings. And really, what free-agent signings have been bad? Brian Willsie was, but I'm not really ready to classify anyone else as such. Craig Conroy, Pavol Demitra, Tom Preissing, Ted Purcell, Joe Piskula... those all seem like pretty good signings to me. (I'm still withholding judgment on Michal Handzus.)

I don't know if I like this perception growing among Kings fans that we somehow deserve a competitive team because we've never won a championship. The team we're playing tonight has suffered as long and they're the capital of Ontario! I think we're in danger of becoming as insufferable as Red Sox fans if we're not careful, and I'd rather die than be a part of something like that.

Prediction: Kings win, 6-3. Kopitar celebrates his selection with a hat trick, while Frolov, Willsie, and Handzus also get in on the act.

^I thought we'd be able to access it through the Maple Leafs website, but I guess you have to be in Canada to use it. Looks like it's the radio tonight for us.

*If I had my way, every article would look like this:

Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar


PPP said...

Bah, that sucks that you can't access LeafsTV online.

Also, we have suffered much more so get in line for a championship!

Earl Sleek said...

Not to be a jerk or anything, but I kind of wish I could watch tonight's game (I'll be busy and don't trust Center Ice to come through, though--a double whammy).

Kings coming off a 7-0 loss; Toronto coming off a 5-0 loss. The game after two teams get embarrassed is usually very interesting to me, for some reason.

RudyKelly said...

When I came up with my prediction, I remembered that the last time the Kings got embarrassed, they came back with and destroyed an Eastern Conference team (Buffalo). That, coupled with the fact that teams don't know how to defend Anze Kopitar the first time they play him, led to me to predict a Kings' win. Plus, I can't watch it tonight, so of course they'll win easily.

SensFan said...

By the way... Toronto is NOT the capital of Canada!!! Capital of Ontario, sure, but NOT Canada!

Go Sens Go!

RudyKelly said...

Dammit, sorry. I can't believe I fucked that one up because I was thinking about that while I was writing the article. I fixed it and many apologies to Ottawa, who I am sure gets awfully tired of people making that mistake.

SensFan said...

No worries. But, as you suggested, we in Ottawa do get a little tired of that popular mistake. Just because Toronto THINKS they're the capital of the world, doesn't mean they are.

That being said, we take solace in the fact that we have a real hockey team ;-)

Earl Sleek said...

Hey, these comments have been enlightening! So basically Ottawa is our version of Sacramento. "I swear we're the capital--look it up!"

I remembered that the last time the Kings got embarrassed, they came back with and destroyed an Eastern Conference team (Buffalo).

Do the Kings even get embarrassed anymore? I mean, they lose enough that it can't be stunning, and really last game was the first time in years they've played poorly.

:) <- Future Coach with zero sense of reality

PPP said...

Just because Toronto is the economic centre of the country doesn't mean they are the capital of the country.


But it should be. Ottawa was only picked because it was more easily defended than Toronto (nee York).

Your Sacramento? Yes, that is a perfect example if Sacramento is also mind-numbingly boring.

RudyKelly said...

You've obviously never been to Sacramento. I can barely type "Sacramento" without falling asleep. You know what the biggest arena in Sacramento is called? The Cow Palace. That's Sacramento.

Doogie said...

Wow, I thought the Cow Palace was in San Jose. Didn't the Sharks play there for a few years before they built The Laptop?

RudyKelly said...

Son of a bitch, I'm fucking up everywhere today. Yeah, it's in San Francisco. An even better question: why the hell is there a "Cow Palace" in San Francisco?

spade-in-victorhell said...

rudy your getting spade-idus and sayin things without thinking...go throw down a shot of jack down your grill

Emily said...

The Cow Palace was originally built as a venue for showcasing livestock competitions, if I'm remembering right. I think it still does.

I actually lived in Sacramento for a little over two months. I could attest to how boring the place is, were it not for the fact that I spent most of that time drunk in an effort to survive the heat and tedium. I @#$%ing hate that place.

Bryan said...

Yeah don't ever become a Red Sox fan. Gotta stop myself from going on a I Hate Bill Simmons rant.

And where the hell is Sacramento anyway?

And can someone explain to me how Cammileri got 4th place among Western Conference forward votes?

Bryan said...

U still think the Kings have a shot at Ovechkin?

CKim said...

Sacramento is terrible, just terrible.

I'm torn about tonight since it's already happened twice this week where the Ducks beat a traveling team that comes to Staples the NEXT night and beats us. If it happens again tonight, that's 3 times in one week. Why not just go for the streak?

Sherry said...

Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar Kopitar

You have such a way with words, Rudy.

But it should be.

It should be? Do you know how many history textbooks and maps we'd have to change? The kids have a hard enough time naming all the provinces as it is :P

Michael said...

"Just because Toronto is the economic centre of the country doesn't mean they are the capital of the country."

Uh, that's now Calgary.

Anonymous said...

It almost pisses me off more when the kings destroy a team like this, because it proves they can win when they want to, but instead they prefer to be more inconsistent than my bowels. Granted, the leafs and the sabres play in the East and most east coast teams suck, but we could be a .500 team if we tried. I don't by that we're a young, fragile team excuse because so is Pittsburgh and Chicago

KMS2 said...

teams don't know how to defend Anze Kopitar the first time they play him

I'm listening to the game and apparently the Leafs are swarming him. And of course we score a bunch of goals when the game isn't televised.

I was glad Helene Elliot showed some fierceness in her article but I didn't really like anything she had to say.

CKim said...

(I'm still withholding judgment on Michal Handzus.)

Agreed, I am unimpressed.

But you were ALMOST there with your prediction. 5-2 to end the game. But had 50 shots against? That's just rediculous.

Doogie said...

Figures that this is the night that I sit LaBarbera and dress Backstrom in my fantasy league -- and actually have it not work out.

Fuck you, Los Angeles. And your Kings, too.

Alexander Dubcek said...

The Ottawa/Toronto mixup is reminiscent of the scene in Canadian Bacon when John Candy asks some Mountie what they've done with Rhea Pearlman's character, to which the Mountie says she's been taken to our nation's capital for a free mental health evaluation (socialized medicine was a lot scarier to Americans in the early 90s).

John Candy replies to his charges, "Come on, we're going to Toronto!"

The Mountie tries to correct him: "Uh, actually, the capital of Canada is Ottawa."

John Candy: "Yeah right! To Toronto!"

Patty (in Dallas) said...

Socialized medicine is still scary.