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

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Kings Gameday: Looking Back

LA Kings (6-3-1 in last 10) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (30-19-5, 1st in pussies out with high ankle sprains)

10:00 PST, FSN West (It's criminal to make the Kings play that early)

Near the beginning of the year, the degenerates over at Pensblog asked me to write a season preview for them. Naturally I did, because I’m a fool and will work for free. The resulting post was probably my favorite of the year (which you can tell because everyone in the comments either hated it or ignored it), so I thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at that post and see where I went wrong with the Kings this season. (Remember, I thought the Kings would finish in 8th this season. I’m stupid.) Open up the other post and read it side-by-side for full effect. What's that? You're not going through all that just to read a stupid joke hockey blog? Quit being lazy, you bastard!

#1 Young Forwards. I was pretty spot-on with this one (although I wasn't exactly going out on a limb). I predicted that Brown and O’Sullivan would break out this season, but I also said Mike Cammalleri was a good sleeper pick because he would average a point-a-game. Whoops! I’ll give myself this one.

The future... oh shit.

#2 Jack Johnson. I have to admit, I was completely wrong on Jack Johnson. I thought he’d run around hitting people and miss assignments, but surprisingly he’s been playing within himself. Sure, Bad Jack comes out every once in a while, but for the most part he's been very impressive. I was wrong on this one, but in a good way.

I don't care, I still like Handzus.

#3 New Additions. I’m not sure how to grade this one; I admitted that that Handzus was coming off an injury and curbed my prediction by saying, “If Handzus can come back from a knee injury…” but I expected him to be a little better than this. I think the free agent I’m personally disappointed in has been Tom Preissing. I just didn’t think he’d be our 5th defenseman this season. Maybe his worth shows up a little better when he’s on a winning team. The biggest fuck up I committed was not even mentioning that we signed Kyle Calder. I was wrong on this one.

He is still 4th on the team in scoring...

#4 Lubo. Whoops. I still don’t quite know what to think of Lubo’s season. He definitely hasn’t been the Lubo of old, but there are still little flashes of brilliance that make me think he’s just having a bad year. The Kings’ biggest priority in the off-season should be getting a solid defensive defenseman to pair with Lubo. And for God’s sake, let him shoot on the power play! I was wrong on Lubo… this season.

#5 Goaltending. This is another one where I was wrong in a good way. Cloutier got hurt early so we haven’t yet been subjected to him, while Labarbera has been good enough for the Kings this season. I was wrong on this one, although to be fair it was more just a joke one more than anything.

So overall I was wrong on Lubo, Cammalleri, and the impact of Handzus. I also didn't mention it, but Blake played much worse than I thought he would coming off the hip injury at the beginning of the season. Does that translate to 7 spots in the standings? No, but then again, I obviously had emotional interest in having the Kings make the playoffs. I don't know, though, I don't think I was off by that much. (I was probably off by the Roethlisberger thing more than anything else.) I think the Kings' recent play is much more indicative of their abilities than their play in December. Oh well, we’ve been playing well lately and I expect Labarbera will play this game too, setting Cloutier up to play against Columbus.


It'll be interesting to see how Crawford does the lines today. Brown's back, so one would assume he'd line up in his eternal spot alongside Kopitar, but Frolov had 5 points in the 2 games Brown missed in that very spot. I'd be interested to see what Brown could do lined up with Boyle and Cammalleri; last year he played great when Kopitar was out because he had the opportunity to carry the puck up the ice. Of course, I wouldn't mind seeing Frolov reunited with Cammy, so either way...


You should have made the "Y" and "U" yellow too, dipshit.

This is the first time the Kings are playing the Penguins this season, but I’m already really fucking sick of them. Jesus, how many times have they been on Versus this season? Why bother showing the vastly superior Western Conference when you can show a bunch of jackasses in yellow jerseys skate through living traffic cones for 60 minutes? Hopefully the Kings can get some exposure as they kick their Crosby-less asses in the teeth. (“Asses in the teeth?” “I don’t know, this guy should be fired.”) Oh, and just because I am a petty, petty man:

Anze Kopitar: 51 points

Jordan Staal: 18 points

Prediction: Kings win, 5-3. Goals by Brown (x2), Frolov, Preissing, and Johnson. The highlight on ESPN will consist of a brief showing of Malkin’s goal and then they’ll spend 45 minutes talking about Roger Clemens.


Pensblog Staff said...

hahahha good shit as usual Rudy.. you bastard

Earl Sleek said...

Anze Kopitar: 51 points
Jordan Staal: 18 points

This isn't even petty any more. Petty is like saying "26 points > 22 points" but this is obliteration.

Also, today being such an early game, I'm wondering whether it doesn't make sense just to say "fuck it" and start Cloutier. Later you can just blame the early start.

A&L Motors said...

malkin > kopitar

Anonymous said...

Nice job on your prediction haha.

LOLbarbera was a joker and malkin made beautiful explosions all over his face all day :)

Anonymous said...

We know you are a petty, petty man because you're comparing a player on a down year to a player on a good year. Why don't you throw Malkin into that comparison? Oh wait, because then your team would look worse? Oh, right.

pensblog degenerate said...

Just wondering...

You thought you MIGHT beat the Pens without that pussy Crosby. That's a contradiction in itself. Obviously, you fear the pussy.

Vastly superior Western Conference? Judging by that comment, the pot must be way stronger on the left coast, but that's about it.

RudyKelly said...

Sorry I didn't explain it better. You wouldn't know unless you read here a lot, but I wrote a post last year comparing Staal to Kopitar, saying that it was ridiculous that Staal got nominated for the Calder over Kopitar; I then caught some shit from Penguins fans, including one guy who wrote, "You'll come around once Jordo is playing a full year at second line and consistently ranking higher in the stat columns than his Slovenian friend from the West Coast." This year makes that comment hilarious.

I don't compare Malkin to Kopitar because I know he's been better this season and last, and I never said anything to the contrary.

Oh, and I won't even bother to explain why the West is better, other than to say: if you don't think the West is better this season, you're insane.

Anonymous said...

Okay lets say the west is the best.

Penguins are NOW 8-1 against western conference ;) mwahahah

Detroit is the only worthy western team

Pensblog FlyerHater said...

hahahahaha, nice prediction assclown. Jason LOLBarbera was damn good net too. I don't care what the stats say Staal>Kopitar and almost every GM in the league would agree with me.

This blog is a joke.

geezer said...

I liked your blogs and think you are actually pretty creative and funny. Judging from your predictions I think you should stick to the creative and funny part. Nice to see a stand up guy use the F word occasionally too. Hope the weather is better out there. My nipples froze into razors today. Good young team that will mature and improve but still need some goaltending propects.

Jack Johnson=Beast!

KMS2 said...

I definitely agree that Preissing has been a huge disappointment. Although in his fairness I had no idea what to expect from him when he was signed.

Wow, Pens fans really have their heads stuck Staal's ass. I completely understand loving the hell out of Malkin and Cindy, but Staal?????

RudyKelly said...

Well, I pick the Kings to win every game (unless they've REALLY been sucking). I use them more to make a final joke or tie them into the larger point of my post than actually try to predict who's going to win the game. And I appreciate what you wrote.

I was walking around in a shirt and shorts this afternoon. It was almost 80, I think. Lousy Southern California weather.

Earl Sleek said...

Yeah, Rudy. You're pretty much an idiot for not being able to predict a frickin' game score, like these Pittsburgh fortune-telling supergeniuses.


Alexander Dubcek said...

I don't care what the stats say Staal>Kopitar and almost every GM in the league would agree with me.

1. That's a highly dubious assessment. A lot of people around the game routinely refer to Kopitar as perhaps the best player no one (outside of Los Angeles) knows about. You don't hear quite the same praise around the game for Staal, and that's certainly not a product of him getting overshadowed by Messrs. Crosby and Malkin.

2. I would bet dollars to Tim Horton's that if a Staal-for-Kopitar straight-up swap were on the table, Ray Shero would drive to Los Angeles to pick up Kopitar, while Dean Lombardi would only make the deal if he decided he'd had enough of this business and wanted to ensure he'd never be GM of so much as a TimBits team ever again. And "almost every GM in the league would agree with me."

Staal may well prove to be a dependable top-six forward, a good two-way guy who ends up scoring more consistently and could log some top-line minutes if, say, the injury bug, bites both Crosby and Malkin.

But Kopitar is already establishing himself as a first-line center, is already logging close to a point per game, has already surpassed his goal total from his rookie season, and has only begun to scratch the surface of his proverbial "upside."

You view players like Staal as important cogs in championship-caliber teams, but you build franchises around players like Kopitar.

Almost every GM in the league would agree with that.