42 replies

  1. If you supposed fans don’t believe, how can you expect the Kings to believe in themselves???? GO KINGS!

  2. We went on a 6 game winning streak and had we lost one of those in regulation we would be in 9th. Thats scary. Gotta keep on keeping on.

  3. It is way harder to climb over teams all the other teams as we did, which required the win streak, than it is to make up ground over just one or two teams after the inevitable loss. Because so many of the other teams below us play each other from now on, the points they need will almost certainly be spread around, while we have 4 games left against teams we are not directly competing with.

    In other words, the other teams play more “4 point games” than we do, from here on out. A loss to Edmo, for example, while tragic would not give points directly to out competitors. Meanwhile, all those other teams will probaly dilute the available points and, in a way, neutralize each other.

  4. I think 96 — not 94 — is the operative number of required points to make the playoffs.

    Which means we gotta win five of the last eight . . . or have an apportionment of wins and overtime losses that amounts to 10 points.

    But however this is calculated we must keep playing like our asses are on fire. I realize it’s emotionally overtaxing to skate out with a stiff, sixty-minute dick every game. But that’s where the season is at, now.

    EVERYONE is breathing down our back, nipping at our ass, and desperate to pass us by. Is there any upcoming game that we can look at objectively and tell ourselves we EXPECT to win?

    Like Patton says, “We can still lose this war.”

    • I thought you didn’t stick your Jack Johnson in number laced lips? What happened? Got lonely?

      • It’s cuz he likes poles. I mean polls.

      • I’ve stuck my Jack Johnson in raw liver — (and I never knew such happiness!) — so I don’t usually get lonely.

        The numbers decide who’s who and what’s what. I don’t mean anything so irrelevant and ephemeral as mere statistics. Dutch and X and Quisp can fuss over those. I refer, of course, to the numbers in the wins-losses-OT losses columns.

        That’s where the final drop of sperm will land. That’s where we’ll learn if we’re playoff-hard or just one more limp-dicked bum.

  5. This poll is fundamentally flawed. The correct response is, “I’m a little concerned because the race is SO tight, but I believe!”

    • That sounded like something a girl would say. Except for the SO tight part. That was hot.

      • “. . . the SO tight part. That was hot.”

        • awesome, a blues fan, thanks for the wake-up tune. I grew up in Chicago, we need to talk and drink blues sometime Tuan. I’m old enough, and my sister was “in that scene,” you might crap your pants over who I’ve seen live in bars. You from the midwest?

          • No. LA. born and bred.

            During my first visit to the midwest — Illinois — I expected to get hockey on every TV station. I thought I’d be awash in Hawks and Blues games.

            Not so.

            People out there didn’t give a shit about hockey. They were all incense-burning orgasmicrazy for high-school basketball.

          • Might have been the Jordan era that made everyone nuts about bullshitball, and much of Illinois is farmland, too, so everything below the city is basically still just uncivilized frontier.

            The Stanley Cup parade had an estimated crowd of 2 million people; that’s some pretty amazing support.

    • I’m with Meg. I’m still a little concerned, but confident.

  6. Kings are playing to their potential, Sutter has them playing a complete system, Quick is better and more consistent than years past. They should get in. Hockey is a game of inches, barring a run of bad luck its a no brainer. They are putting it together at the right time so GKG!

  7. I graphed this year how I was mentally dealing with my mood swings on the Kings playoff chances.

    A picture is worth a 1000 words on my mood swings on this topic.

  8. I feel that the odds for the Kings making the playoffs are about 90% given this graph
    that extrapolates quite well to the situation confronting the Kings in the next 8 games:

    Based on this graph, before Brown’s Hat trick and Carter’s arrival, the team was languishing about 40-50%.

  9. I think Colorado is going to get passed by with all the games at hand. Calgary will not make the cut despite Feaster guarantees. That leaves four teams fighting for three spots. If we continue to play as we are I think with take the division title. Most likely we may finish 7th or 8th. If PHO stumbles with the loss of doan and vrbata then 3rd or 7th seems reasonable. If we have more points than SJ before the final two games than we most likely knock them out of the playoffs as we have a history of splitting those two games.

    • The Ducks fucked us in both the home-and-homes to end last season.

      I’ll take a split gladly — unless, of course, we need all four points to make the playoffs.

  10. What say I?

    I say the NHL is a fundamentally unfair sport. The Sharks are going to get to play the Coyotes tomorrow without Shane Doan in the lineup, but by the time LA plays Phoenix, Doan will be back from suspension, if I’m not mistaken.

    Doan is a huge part of the Coyotes team, and this gives the Sharks a sizable unfair advantage not only over the Coyotes, but the Kings and Stars, because they are catching the Coyotes in the midst of a suspension.

    The idea was to punish the Coyotes, not give the Sharks an advantage at the expense of the Kings, as well. The Kings are being punished by this, too.

    You hate for things like that to change the outcome of the season, but when it’s this close, it will.

    I go back a ways with the Sharks, I know the team inside out which is why I write about them, but I just don’t like unfairness. This is just the latest example of how the NHL is unfair. Case in point, most west teams only have one game against the Penguins all year. If you played them earlier in the year, when they were missing Crosby, Staal, maybe even Letang, too, you had a great chance of beating them. You get the 2 points. If you play them now, your chances of winning are much lower. No 2 points.

    Think of all the times this happens in a season, all the injuries to so many teams, some teams seem to catch teams at the right time more than others, and it makes a huge difference to the outcome of the season. The season is likely going to come down to 2 points, and how does that get decided? If you’re lucky enough to catch the Coyotes without Shane Doan. If you catch teams taking nights off. The only Eastern teams the Sharks played twice this year were the Bruins, Capitals, and Lightning. I watched all those games. The Capitals did not show up at all to either game, and the Bruins were awful, too. The first game against the Bruins was during their awful stretch to start the season, and the latest one was the first game of Boston’s road trip, they looked jet-lagged and asleep.

    That’s four wins, 8 points, that were basically gimmes. The Lightning games, the first one the Lightning didnt show up, got blown out. They showed up the second one, but SJ still got a point.

    12 possible points against the three Eastern teams they played twice, they didn’t just get 11, they were basically given 11. Im telling you, the games were snoozers, these teams took games off against the Sharks.

    Stuff like that is happening all the time with these competing teams, you just don’t notice it unless you’re really paying attention. But it’s happened for all the teams, the problem is that it’s never perfectly even, in fact it’s often very uneven, and the teams that make the playoffs in the west out of this bunch may just be the luckiest ones, not because they earned it.

    I dont like that, I think its unfair, I think it’s a big problem when so much is on the line and it’s being decided by luck.

  11. Do I think the LA Kings will make the playoffs? Win the division?

    Well, I think they’re in trouble if they start reading the papers and believe their hype. They’ve won 6 games in a row, 6, that’s all, and they’re still just one loss away from 7-8th place, if not missing the playoffs. They just won 6, now they need to keep winning. If I had a concern it would be complacency, lack of experience. Guys like Doughty have been playing better recently, but…can we really trust he isn’t already celebrating and out partying? I think the Kings are playing the best hockey in the pacific division right now, and not by a fluke, either, but it’s all predicated on focus, confidence, work. If something goes bad, is this the type of team that won’t get discouraged and rebound? I’m not sure I trust Doughty’s mental makeup or a few others on the Kings compared to some of the other teams. But Sutter does have one thing going for him which is I think he understands they’ve accomplished nothing yet, and have to keep focused. But will the team listen?

    I do think the LA Kings will make the playoffs. They are playing good hockey. I underestimated Dwight King to an extent. I really like Nolan, when you talk about big guys who can skate and have skill, Jordan Nolan can skate. When people kept saying the same thing about Dwight King, I didn’t feel it was true, didn’t think he had much skill. But the more I watch him, he’s definitely not as good a skater or skilled as Nolan, but he’s a better skater than I thought, sort of in a sneaky, less obvious way. I’m not saying I’m changing my whole opinion that the Kings would be better off with a true 2nd line winger to play with Carter and Richards, but at the same time, Dwight King has played really well, not just contributing offense, but hopefully he can wear teams down with his size.

    Dean Lombardi and Daryl Sutter rarely seem to make smart decisions or even obvious ones, but if they were thinking the following, and I doubt they were, but if they were, then they deserve credit for it. And that is this. The Kings whole problem this season was that while they got better in finesse by adding Richards and Gagne, they didn’t get enough finesse in to make them a good finesse team, and they lost the soul of their grit and cycle in Simmonds, Smyth, etc, so they couldn’t be a good “size” team either.

    Adding Carter obviously helped on all fronts, size included, maybe besides the super physical aspect. But he brought in even more finesse, as well as finishing, he can certainly cycle.

    So then what we had is a much better finesse Kings team than last year, still minus the size, grit, and cycling they lost.

    So I’m wondering if maybe Dean Lombardi thought to himself, what if we had both? What if we were able to get back all the size and cycling we lost in the offseason, and add it on top of the new finesse and speed we have?

    And when you look at Jordan Nolan, he has a lot of similarities to Simmonds. I’m not sure he’s quite as physical or mean, but in terms of speed, size, puck control, protecting the puck, and cycling, he’s basically replaced the Simmonds of last year already. Simmonds took it to another level this year, but I think Nolan is really, really good.

    So Nolan = Simmonds, and you could say Dwight King is similar to Ryan Smyth. King isn’t as skilled as Smyth, or as experienced or tricky around the net, but he has some definite similarities.

    I doubt Dean Lombardi thought this all out. If he was smart enough he would have brought them up earlier. I mean honestly, Dwight King may have needed more seasoning to make up for his lack of explosive ability, but where was Jordan Nolan this whole time? I mean how do players like this just go unnoticed in the AHL? Are 6’3 power forwards with speed and hands and what appears to be honest work ethic just so easy to find no one pays attention to guys like Nolan in the AHL? Because I thought it was the opposite. I thought these were the hardest types of players to find.

    I always feel tentative hyping players that just came from the AHL, because you feel like, if he’s really as good as he looks to me, why was he in the AHL half the year? These players must not be as rare as I think. And I’m still perplexed about that and wondering if I’m overhyping Nolan, but I really like him. I think he’s much better than King, too, at least more talented. I mean this is a guy with speed, height, size, muscle, excellent hands, and work ethic. What’s missing? This is a top 6 forward in the NHL to my eye. Maybe he needs more experience, but the tools are there. And he was just sitting in the AHL? I really dont get it.

    I’d like to see Nolan get a lot more ice time. I think he does so much good for the team when he’s out there. His puck possession is so valuable. I’d be interested to see him with Kopitar if you dont want to break up the 2nd line.

    • Nolan’s got better hands and composure with the puck. He lays some monster hits, and can drop a lot of tough guys in a fight with his right-right-right-hahalolol-now-left-left-left-left-left-left move. I think he’s just a slightly more talented, possibly not as fast, undeveloped Wayne Simmonds. He will get noticeably better with more playing time, as he learns what he can and can’t do at the NHL level.

  12. Also, I want the Kings to re-sign Dustin Penner. And Im not really a fan.

    Even though he got the key goal against SJ, I thought he played a poor game before that. I never watched the replay of the Boyle goal to see if he was directly responsible, but he was definitely one of the players responsible. I dont feel at all comfortable with him out there while the Kings are protecting the lead.

    So Im not necessarily a Penner fan. I think he’s a good guy and personality wise I would like to see him go well, and if he really did work as hard over the summer as was being reported, I think that shouldn’t be ignored, I appreciate that. But he still hasn’t played too well this season.

    However, the Kings are thin on left wing, wing, period, and 6’5 power forwards with some offensive ability like Penner has do not grow on trees. I still there is potential there, and seeing as how the Kings gave up a lot to get this guy, I dont think it makes sense to just let him walk. So if I can get Penner to sign a 3 year, 6M contract, or 2 years for 4 million, I would look at doing that. If you can get him on a low cap hit, and get a couple years on the contract, the Kings might reap the benefits down the road. If he keeps working, gets in better shape, and finds a way to be effective in the new coach’s (please) system, you’re getting good value for that discount contract, and spending a 1st round pick to get him won’t be as much of a waste.

    Of course if there are better options in free agency, then you go for it, but there usually aren’t a lot of great value top 6 forwards available to the Kings in free agency.

    • I’m with you on the penner and stoll for that matter resigning, but I thinking you’re overpaying at 2M per year. One year at 1-1.5M tops for penner. One year deal for the same reason gagne and mitchell wanted a multi year deal. In his case he has something to prove.

    • 3Team, I really like your post(s) a lot. So many good points.
      Taking it post by post (No. 1) while I see your idea re: the effect that the bans have on other teams… hey, something has to happen. I mean it’s a paradox. You don’t issue the bans you’re screwed, you do, then someone else risks paying the price. I prefer what Shanahan does compared to Malkin taking a nasty cheap shot at Simmonds after the final buzzer and then Campbell says ‘naughty boy…. be nice now’.
      That said, consider that if I’m not mistaken, the Kings have won three consecutive games against Chicago where Chicago had a star out of the lineup. I think the first one on the road they didn’t have Kane (not positive, but seem to recall that), then the next two they were without Toews. So if the Kings met the Blackhawks in the playoffs, what would happen? Well that’s another story.

      Post No. 2. Thats interesting. At the end of the day Lombardi made the moves he made and deserves credit for that. I mean, it’s the result that counts. That said though, Bobby has commented numerous times on the blog that DL has failed to develop one… that would read as One top six forward in six years. A trade is a trade. But how many teams win the cup without developing their own? And Lombardi was fortunate to walk into a situation where he was provided with Brown and Kopitar. I tend to think that the moves for Nolan, King and the Carter trade happened because things were getting quite desperate and he certainly must have known that his job was gonna be on the line.
      Which goes to a point I’ve made numerous times, to the affect that his myopic focus on defense and then a certain type of player painted him into a corner and his moves were necessary to get out of that corner that he was responsible for to begin with.

      Post No. 3. You know, I saw Penner interviewed the other night during the game (brief interview) and I just couldn’t help liking the guy. Do I have concerns about his play, his work ethic, etc? Yes. But there was something rather endearing about him. Everything he’s gone thru this last year between personal difficulties and poor play. There may be another team out there that can see this and would be willing to give him one year at a higher price than the Kings. So who knows. But if Penner realizes that something good is happening in LA and would agree to a one year deal for less money, then it would probably be a good thing for him to stay. If he were to end this season with ten goals (still a ways to go yet), or even nine after everything that’s gone down, you’d have to know that he’d probably end up closer to twenty given another go next year.

      Nice food for thought that you provide.

  13. So the crazy Saturday playoff race begins right now. Hopefully Calgary can keep Dallas off our back. The key for the kings is just win! Can’t do anything about the other games.

  14. … If the Kings are, say, 4-4 the rest of the way, and miss the playoffs – the same people who lost their minds with celebration because the Kings spent a couple minutes or whatever in first place are going to be the ones who will be the angriest, the ones who will say the Kings suck, that they are a bunch of no-heart-having choke artists, etc. I can see all those posts now.

    And the thing is, if the Kings DO go 4-4 the rest of the way, that will mean that they would have gone 10-4 in their last 14, a winning percentage of over .700. It would mean that the Kings did the opposite of choking; that they were terrific down the stretch. But try telling most people that, if the Kings end up on the outside looking in – talk about a losing battle.

    • I’m not “one of THOSE people” as you like to describe them, but losing 4 games in a row at the end of the season to miss the playoffs woould be an entry in the example dictionary underneath choke.

      • but losing 4 games in a row at the end of the season to miss the playoffs woould be an entry in the example dictionary underneath choke.

        … Losing four in a row after winning TEN in a row would be choking??? Seriously?

      • Would it be OK if it wasn’t 4 in a row, but 4 losses just the same in 8 games? JT, I agree. If the Kings lose 4 in any combination, and miss the playoffs, many won’t even look at the Kings going 10-4 down the stretch as anything other than choking.

        Hopefully if we do lose 4, it’s still enough to get us in. OR just don’t lose 4.

    • Was thinking that it’s not the most solid of places perhaps to exist. In fact. They were in first (div) for exactly one full day. Now Dallas is back in first and the Kings if they lose tonight in reg would be tied for eighth if SJ beats Phnx in reg. So, I’m with you on that.

  15. Another way to look at this issue is if the Kings score only 3 goals per game for the last 8, that ought to do the trick. Given their new offensive orientation this is possible. If they revert to the old Kings then this will be very dicey to make it.
    Tonight they need some early goals to offset zero regular goals on Thursday. That is they need to get the goal train back on track.

  16. I’m curious about people’s opinions when it comes to who they’d prefer to win when it teams we are vying against for spots are playing against one another, such as the Flames/Stars. I can’t figure out if it would be better to have Dallas win and thereby help push Calgary further and further out of the picture, or if its good to have Calgary win and remain in the hunt and keep Dallas’s points total down. Having less teams jostling for position seems to relax me just a wee bit!

    • … If you’re into scoreboard watching, I would guess that you want the team with the better record to lose, unless that team has over 90 points and is virtually un-catchable anyway. So, in essence, from Phoenix on down, you want the team with the higher point total to lose.

      Being a Kings’ fan for a long time, I’m long accustomed to the Kings getting no help from other teams, so I’m too jaded to scoreboard-watch. Sorry I can’t help you more.

  17. I getcha, I getcha. That’s probably the most logical viewpoint. As I said though, when I see us fighting with five other teams for those 3 spots its stressful. It would be a lot easier to only have to keep an eye on one other team!

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