Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Treat

Brent Sopel or Bruce Wayne?...You Be The Judge
Although his time with the Kings was short-lived, Brent Sopel quickly became a fan-favorite amongst hockey fans in Los Angeles....OK...who am I kidding.  Nobody liked Dave Taylor's last ditch effort to save his job by trading former first-round picks Denis Grebeshkov and Jeff Tambellini to the Isles for an injured Sopel and Mark Parrish.
But Halloween is this weekend and who wouldn't want to see an NHL defenseman dressed as Batman and babble on for a couple minutes.  He actually writes a blog too that I stumbled upon (Life of a Hockey Widow).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For All You Canes Fans...

Eric Staal
Eric Staal
I shot a couple pictures of the Canes during warmups.  Managed to get a few shots of former Kings Joe Corvo, Tom Kostopolous, and my favorite Patriiiick OOOOOO' Sullivan (Sorry, Tim Gleason fans).  Check them all out on my Flickr page.

The Blindside

Drew Doughty
Doughty Should Take All The Time He Needs
The 2010-11 NHL season has gotten off to quite a controversial start.  We've seen seven suspensions and six fines thrown out in the first three weeks of the season.  The Kings have found themselves right in the middle of a couple controversial hits over the past week.  Let's take a look at both of them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

2010-11 NHL Rookie Class

The NHL Post-Lockout has given alot of young players the opportunity to make an immediate impact.  I found a couple Youtube videos featuring the best of the this year's and last year's rookie classes.  Pretty impressive stuff...

Friday, October 15, 2010

What Happened?!?!

This news may have flown under the radar for most Kings fans but for me this is a crime.  An absolute shame.  The Manchester Monarchs for some odd reason decided to change their jerseys for the 2010-11 season.  I got my first glance of these new sweaters in NHL 11 but thought EA Sports just didn't get the design in for some reason.  Once the AHL season began; the new jerseys were unveiled on the ice.  The Monarchs went from having one of the cleanest looking jerseys in the AHL to having one of the ugliest.  I'm glad I got my Trevor Lewis gamer.  Remember?

They use to look like this...
And now they look like this...
If it ain't broke...don't fix it!

Opening Night Recap

2010-11 Los Angeles Kings
You Know It's Opening Night When All 20 Kings Are Standing On The Blue Line For The National Anthem
The hockey season doesn't officially start for me until the home opener.  It's always fun to get reacquainted with the Kings equipment managers and training staff.  I didn't get there early enough for all the pregame fun outside of Staples Center but Chris Kontos over at The Royal Half did.  Kings won 3-1.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Opening Weekend Recap

Kopi's Ready For Halloween (PHOTO: ESPN)
  • Kings score two goals this weekend and manage a split.  Can't really complain about that.
  • The Kings throwback jerseys on Saturday were awesome.  Jonathan Quick's pads and mask were great too.  I like his throwback mask more than his current one.  I was really hoping to see some names but the Kings didn't permanently add names to the back of their Road uniforms until the NHL required them for the 1977 season.
  • Kopitar wasn't seriously injured from an unintentional high-stick in the corner from Manny Malhotra that led to Kopi receiving 15 stitches on the outside; four on the inside, and the loss of a fake tooth. 
  • Brayden Schenn looks like he belongs and should grab that open slot on the second-line any day now.  Kyle Clifford seems to have lost all that aggression that earned him this opportunity.  He may be on his way to Barrie before the week is over.
  • Jarett Stoll dominated the faceoff circle with ease this weekend: 9-11 v. Vancouver & 11-13 v. Calgary.  Good for 83%.  
  • Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier both looked solid in net.  Their contrasting goaltending styles are entertaining to compare.  Quick relies on his athleticism while Bernier is so positionally sound that he makes difficult saves look easy.  Some will question Calgary's second-goal scored by...Craig Conroy...but I'm willing to guess that Drewiske screened and tipped that shot past Bernier.  Besides, Bernier kept the Kings in the game on a number of occasions like this one...

  • The Kings 4-on-3 power play at the end of OT on Saturday was downright ugly.  I'll give credit to the unit for keeping the puck in Vancouver's zone for the entire PP but watching Kopitar pass up open shooting lanes and instead defer to Stoll for one-times off the side boards and watch him miss the net three consecutive times was beyond frustrating.  Sheldon Souray anyone?
  • Raitis Ivanans was unable to answer the bell on Sunday for Calgary after getting his own bell rung on Opening Night versus Edmonton's Steve MacIntyreBut in true Terry Murray fashion; he skated a fourth-line of Schenn-Clifford-Westgarth. And in true Ivanans-form;  Westgarth proceeded to take two minor penalties for hooking and interference.  FYI Coach: Tim Jackman isn't scaring anybody on the Kings.
  • Andrei Loktionov sitting in the press box.  Either play him or get him back to Manchester.  Please Dean...Don't let Coach give him the Oscar Moller-treatment.
  • My buddy picked up Alexei Ponikarovsky in our fantasy league auction draft for $9.  I don't think I saw Poni or Simmer play in Calgary last night.  I picked up Alexander Frolov for  $18.  I'm going to go out on a limb right now and say we both overpaid.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Prediction Time!

My 2010-11 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings
With the season starting tomorrow; it's prediction time... 

The Capitals and Devils are head and shoulders above the rest.  The Penguins added some nice pieces to their blueline but forcing Sidney Crosby to spend another season playing with Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz on his wings should be against league policy.  If Philly can acquire a proven goaltender like Tim Thomas or Tomas Vokoun; they should be recognized as legit contenders as well.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Frozen Fury XIII: Kings 3, Avs 2

FF XIII: No Pacquiao-Mayweather But We Got Clifford-Wilson
Got back from Frozen Fury XIII earlier today.  It was my fourth consecutive Frozen Fury weekend.  Never gets old.  Check out Chris Kontos's writeup on his first-ever F.F. experience at The Royal Half for the complete experience.  I'll just get to my impressions of the game.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thomas Hickey Back To The 'A'

Thomas Hickey
Thomas Hickey: This Season's P.K. Subban!
Hammer reports that the Kings have sent Thomas Hickey back to Manchester.  I'm not against this move considering Hickey only played in 19 games last season in Manchester; he needs to be able to show he can stay healthy for a full-season in the AHL before he gets killed in the NHL.  I'm just not very confident in the Kings other options.  With Matt Greene expected to miss at least the first month of the season; Terry Murray will have to choose a bottom-pairing from the likes of Davis Drewiske, Peter Harrold, and Jake Muzzin.  Sheldon Souray? 

Best-case scenario: Drewiske finds his game pre-last season's injury, Harrold plays like Mike Weaver, and Muzzin plays like Randy Jones? 
Worst-case scenario: Drewiske doesn't find his game, Harrold plays like Harrold, and Muzzin plays like an over-aged junior player with 14 games of AHL experience making the jump to the NHL.

I'm thinking it falls somewhere in-between.

Matt Moulson Hits Primetime

I was watching 30 Rock last night and I spot Paul Giamatti in a guest-spot wearing a Tavares Isles Jersey.  And then out of nowhere...well just watch the video.  It's the only video on youtube I could find.

Matt's got a Twitter: 30 Rock tonight there's a new character on the show who's an Isles fan...chirps me...all in good fun