Up Yours Superbowl – Let’s Talk About L.A. Kings and Western Conference Hockey

Do you know what I hate about football? Everything. Every fucking thing about this sport.

It’s not just because I am a hockey fanatic. It’s because football is a fraud. You see, baseball at least calls itself America’s pastime. Baseball therefore has the integrity to admit it is designed for lazy fucks who sit around and get fatter on hotdogs and beer while watching grown men throw a ball around a field.

Football on the other hand tries to carry itself as some sort of gladiator sport. Gladiators who are covered from head to toe in defensive gear while exerting about 15 minutes of effort in three hours of time. As one of our readers once tweeted, football was a practical joke everyone was in on except for him.

Enough about 340 pound men with guts running into each other and falling down. Let’s talk about hockey.

Are you a little bit concerned about our Stanley Cup Champions? I will admit that I am. I can’t quite put my finger on it but something is seriously wrong with Mike Richards. I watched him more than any other player last night and he is making an effort to not make an effort. Watching him skate with the puck shows me a player who doesn’t want it. He seems distracted out there, as if he is between appointments and really can’t be bothered with this hockey thing at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Mike Richards. He was instrumental to our Stanley Cup run and championship. However, I think the off-season has hurt him more than any other player on the team.

Holy shit, does this team miss Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene?

It makes sense after all. Willie and Matt are a critical part of our penalty kill and shutdown defense. I’m not sure the Ducks score 3 of their goals last night if those two are in the lineup. While Jonathan Bernier had an abysmal game, he didn’t get much help from the defense either.

Willie has been cleared to play by the doctors which makes his absence even more unusual. Can’t imagine the doctors would clear him unless they truly believed he was fine. That means Mitchell, subjectively, believes he is not ready. What concerns me most is that Mitchell is not even skating. The whole circumstance behind Mitchell’s knee injury and the minimal facts that have come to light since then lead me to believe that there is something we are not being told.

Speaking of defense, Dean Lombardi must be putting in some serious hours trying to find a band-aid or longer-term solution to the two injuries. If Willie Mitchell’s injury is as serious as I think it is, despite what the doctors state, he may be out for most of the regular season. If he is, Dean Lombardi is, on a temporary basis, panicking. We are not exactly on our way to laying the Western Conference rivals to waste. At this pace, sneaking into the number eight spot isn’t a sure thing. We are behind the Blue Jackets…let that sink in…and second to last place in the conference.

The Kings have to improve and do so quickly. There are plenty of teams ahead of them that have gotten off to a fast start. Failing to make the playoffs would be the worst thing that could happen to this franchise after winning the Stanley Cup. It would kill the maturing process of the casual fans who are progressing toward diehard status and the bandwagon fans who jumped aboard last season.

I want our LA Kings to be the team who draws thousands of fans into every arena around the NHL at every road game. That requires more than one Stanley Cup. That requires consistency and elevation to elite status.

The amount of stroking the San Jose Sharks team get amuses me. It’s as if everyone has forgotten the Sharks’ m.o. How many times has this team had stellar regular seasons, looked like a contender and then skated over their clitoris when it mattered the most during the playoffs? I have been to the puppet show and seen the strings on the fish. Talk to me at the end of the season about these clowns.

This may be the last season the Anaheim Ducks have a chance to do anything of significance. With Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry as unrestricted free agents, common sense would dictate that one of them will walk. Add a Teemu Selanne exit (fucker really is amazing at 58), and the Ducks become questionable at forward. Sprinkle on an already shitty defense and you get a whole lot of…well, shit. On a related note, it’s amusing that Bruce Boudreau has essentially brought his Washington Capitals style of offense to the Ducks. It will be fun to see whether it results in the same degree of success, which is to say, no success at all.

There is nothing interesting about Dallas, Calgary, Columbus, Phoenix, Detroit and Nashville to discuss.

St. Louis on the other hand I like as the favorite in the West and the team I believe has the best chance to win the Cup if our L.A. Kings don’t get their act together. The fact we swept them in the playoffs must have stung. That type of ass kicking leaves scars – the kind you don’t forget and work hard to not repeat.

Wouldn’t it be great if the Vancouver Canucks franchise just died…simply out of principal. Side note, Corey Perry is a Canuck before the start of next season. You heard it here first.

Chicago. Whatever. It won’t last.

The Edmonton Oilers are fun to watch. What will also be fun to watch is a new crop of their players who the Oilers have groomed for longevity asking for trades…you see the sun rise and sun set, you learn the trust it.

You mean signing players to a gazillion freaking dollars in the offseason doesn’t guarantee success? If there is any justice, Craig Leipold will never win a Cup as an owner of the North Stars…yes, they are still the North Stars to me.

Last night, a friend of mine came to the game. He is a Wisconsin boy and grew up as a North Stars fan. He plays hockey and knows the game well. When he came to California and before he and I met, he became a Ducks fan (as a second team, behind Minnesota), pretty much due to geography and living in Orange County. Since he and I met years ago, I have steadily worked on him. First, attending Kings games. Then, he gets a Kings jersey. Next, he watches the road games on TV and I see him wearing a Kings hat on a regular basis. An escalating interest. In the last two seasons, the transition has been steady and positive. The brainwashing positive influence has worked well.

Last night, at the Kings vs. Ducks game, he wore a Kings jersey and proudly so. I bought him a ring.

I am a good friend.

The transition is complete.

I have done the Lord’s work.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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23 replies

  1. Nice post, really solid, and football can go fuck itself (not sure how that would work).

    -“Are you a little bit concerned about our Stanley Cup Champions?” Yes, increasingly, but I’m not panicking yet. My mark is the February 17th game @ Chicago…if we don’t have 6/10 pts available between now and then I’ll start worrying in a much more serious fashion.

    -“Something is seriously wrong with Mike Richards.” I’m torn between wondering if much of this is his assignments or if he really is sucking this badly. He does seem distracted…I’m really hoping he didn’t impregnate someone over the summer.

    -“Holy shit, does this team miss Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene?” BIG TIME!

  2. I too am worried. Well, I was worried last season and look what happened. If anyone can get this team playing hard it will be Sutter (the guy you hated when he arrived). I hope his message still radiates with the players. Fucking horrible without Mitchell and Greene.

  3. I would’ve accepted this bullshit from the Kings before the cup but now? It’s a hard pill to swallow. Enough with the deep thoughts, what’s wrong with hot dogs and beer?

  4. For the Super Bowl today I’m rooting for New York to beat Orlando by two strokes. The rout is on.

  5. Richards worries me the most. The man has won a championship at every level of hockey. I think he has checked out.

  6. Good job on your recruiting Bobby :)
    My Hockey party while quite fun sure did not have the game I wanted or expected..and no amount of Moscow Mules softened the outcome.
    As I tried to wake up and get ready for work today I put on My TV’s social Apps..and was looking at the standings. Yikes!
    Been so focused on the Kings trying to get going..
    It looks even worse when you see that the other teams have managed to get it together…
    My friend(the idiotic duck fan) texted me this am to say his shins were sore from the kicks he received with each suck goal. And I put the hex on his horse wagers today..I do what I can.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  7. The La Kings’s drive to keep on fighting will not allow this team to miss the playoffs. This Kings will improve and bring back memories of last season very soon. LET’S GO KINGS!!

  8. I’m not worried about the Kings. I’ve followed hockey (avid fan , watch games every night) for over 40 years and there is no reason to panic after 7 games. I’ve lived thru this before in 94 and the Flyers started 3-7 and ended up winning their division. This is a good team and they will win their share of ames. Great for the Sharks to start off this well but they can’t ride the wave fo over 40 more games, they’ll come down to earth.
    Richards is fine, I’ve watched every game he’s played since the AHL. He is a slow starter and it sometimes takes him a couple of weeks to get his game going. And not sure what you watched last night but he isn’t playing like a ‘player who doesn’t want it’ . Did that play he made behind the Ducks net at the start of the 2nd where he hustled, checked, stole the puck and almost scored look like a ‘player who doesn’t want it: ??? Did that puck he stole shorthanded and go in trying to score look like a player who doesn’t want it??? His only problem is no training camp . Five days does not replicate what 3 weeks gives you, and you can’t get in practice what you get in the course of a game. If you’ve seen every game, then you’ve seen that he’s gotten better each game. He had a good game last night, his work on the point helped those 2 PP goals go in. He skated hard, and had good PK time. His problem is with (and he said so pre Coyotes game) his timing is off. Without training camp and preseason games , I didn’t expect him to hafe his game legs , timing ,etc, until the 8 game mark or so. Sutter putting Gagne (who had a good game last night) back on his line is a good thing.
    How come Kopitar escaped your wrath? He took 2 costly penalties last night that lead to goals and went shotless again. he didn’t have a good game and that knee brace has nothing to do with his decision making process. Four goals should have been enough to win. If Quick didn’t have a bad start, if the 4th line didn’t crap out , they might have won this. But they didn’t, and it wasn’t because of Richards or the offense.
    The Flyers (and other teams) ahve players going thru the same thing. Montreal has a better record than the Rangers. Does that make them a Cup favorite? No…it’s only been two weeks.
    Agree on the Blues and Taresenko is that piece of high offense that they didn’t have last year. The only problem with them is that Hitch wears a team down after a couple of years. But they are fun to watch.
    I get that most of you don’t know Richards because he’s not a home grown player that you’ve seen start each year. He’ll get better every game on the road trip, and those goals will come as will the key asists to Carter and Gagne and the PP units.

    • Thanks Deirdre. That’s mildly reassuring. What concerns me and probably Bobby is the fact that this is very much how the team looked much of last year. The offense was weak so much of last year in the same thing is evident now. It’s a good reason to be concerned – and the team missing Greene and Mitchell is also huge, just as Bobby pointed out.
      I agree that the team missing the playoffs would prove to be a huge setback for them and the franchise.

    • Diedre is very sharp Bobby and Richards has been her guy for a Looog time..the AHL..wow..need to be careful when you(we) pick on him. Being Real could take each player and be critical…
      think we get used to seeing a few players having a bad game and other players having a good game in same as to keep the team balanced. With our problem finding the net..the ever frustrating PP and last night a poor showing by the D we all can call out someone we were not happy with…
      GO KINGS GO!!!

    • Love you, D. The fact he is a slow starter is something I didn’t know. There is something to be said about seeing the guy live this season and he is off. Since I have seen Richards at a very high level (playoffs last season), I know how great he can be (the guy’s hockey sense is something special) and it’s not there…yet.

      Regarding Kopitar, he has had lapses but, overall, I haven’t seen an issue with him especially when considering he just came back from a knee injury. Kopi has played pretty well.

      On an unrelated note, Carter is on fire. If his linemates were better, Carter may have 5 + goals right now. He has a knack for getting open.

  9. You forgot to mention how in football players only play for about 10-15 seconds, then take almost 40 seconds off before running another play, then if the defense does their job they only do that three times then have a 5 minute plus break.

    What really scares me about the Kings this year is I have no idea how to fix them. Last season it was obvious, add a sniper so that we could score, and get rid of JMFJ so he stops killing us in our own zone. This year, the only “fix” I can see is to the blue-line, but there are no right-handed defensive defensemen out there to pickup for Greene, and as for Mitchell unless we know for sure he’ll be out for the year, you stick with optimism that he’ll be back and Alec/Wiskey can fill the void.

    San Jose crackes me up, everyone wrote them off before the year, now everyone is on their nuts. You make a good point about Anaheim, Phoenix, and Dallas. Basically, if we can get in and make a little noise in the playoffs this year, our future as a dynasty still looks very bright. Also, on that note you forget that we have a game in hand on almost the entire West. We beat Columbus on Tuesday, then we are 1 point out of being tied for 6th.

    If Harbinger Capital continues its bounceback, the Phil Falcone will be the majority owner of Minnesota within the next three years. Great to hear about one less Ducks fan; but it is fucking ridiculous that a former Ducks fan can get a ring but I can’t because I live on the East Coast, and apparently the Team LA store and the Kings have no clue the internet exists. Seriously, you have a chance to grow your fanbase in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Gretzky trade; and instead they act like they don’t care about anyone outside of Southern California.

  10. I guess there will be extra shootings and murder today as Baltimore celebrates and gangs take to the streets.

    I watched the last 0:1:50 of the game. When the game ended it wasn’t at all enthralling or boisterous as when the Kings won. It was just like ho-hum, we did it, whoopee. Really, really gay.

  11. Agree with everything you said. Football is a sport which reflects the mindset of the average fat dumb American who at the core of their belief system are slogans like “freedom isn’t free” while they sit with their fucking mush brains waiting 15mins for other fat fucks to move the ball 5 yards through the opposing pile of fat fucks. “Who’s your congressman? I dunno but I know everything about the ravens offense!!” Touchdown bitch!! America fuck yeah!!

    Richards what happened to this guy?? Is he on the sauce?? Is he getting a hand job before each game?? This is a guy who when we got him was the embodiment of hard work and will power. Not a big player but a guy with a compete level off the charts that made shit happen because he out worked his opponents. Don’t know where that guy went.

    On the defensive side, Mitchell and Green are sorely missed around the net and Mitchell just as much at the blue line. I’m pulling for muzzin but the kid is getting backed up and burned constantly. The Sucks were getting way to much freedom in front of our net last night and it didn’t help that Bernier looked like Swiss cheese. That kid isn’t gonna cut it. He hasnt improved at all in the last year +. He’s too stiff, realies solely on his technique and when that fails doesn’t have the athleticism to bail him out. If something happens to quick we are fucked.

  12. Are you a little bit concerned about our Stanley Cup Champions?

    … Nope. There are 41 games left to go.

    Speaking of defense, Dean Lombardi must be putting in some serious hours trying to find a band-aid or longer-term solution to the two injuries.

    … The Kings’ team defense is still one of the best in the entire NHL. That the Ducks had a fluky night against them on the PP last night means little to me. Five-on-five, and short-handed, I’ll go to war with my team’s defense against any other team’s, any day.

    The Kings’ offense isn’t what it was during the wonderful run last season, but it wasn’t really THAT good to begin with. It’s OK, it’s enough to get the job done, and it will improve over time. The PP wasn’t going to stay the worst in the league forever, and it isn’t anymore. It’ll continue to improve.

    What’s killing the Kings this season is their goaltending, plain and simple, and I don’t know if I should be surprised that this is left out of your analysis of the team, or not. Part of the problem is Sutter’s inability or unwillingness to handle goaltenders properly. Most of the problem is Quick and Bernier’s utter failure to keep the puck out of their net for any consistent length of time.

    I want our LA Kings to be the team who draws thousands of fans into every arena around the NHL at every road game. That requires more than one Stanley Cup. That requires consistency and elevation to elite status.

    … Yep. That’s all that is left. Be a consistent, elite team. Other teams are circling the dates on their calendars when they meet the Kings, and that’s a tremendous challenge. It’s much harder to win it all again than it is to win it all the first time. It’s going to take everything this group has just to get back to the second round of the playoffs. Is this team up to it? We’ll see.

    • Dutch, it scares the living hell out me that I agree with you on something…Quick has been ordinary at best so far.

      Last year he exhibited MUCH better rebound control. This year, the puck is coming off him hard, fast and into dangerous places. He needs to be able to soften and “place” those rebounds like he has in the past.

      And, he really misses Mitchell and Greene’s ability to sweep it away when this happens.

  13. 7 games. That’s all thats happened. DL is not in panic mode, and has dragged his feet on making any major trades to fill any major holes due to any major injuries every year since he got here. Hell! DL didn’t even sell the farm on many occasions and sat through horrific losing streaks. I don’t see him changing his principles any time soon. He will wait patiently for at least 15 to 20 games to properly gage the teams potential. Only way he makes any major deals is if another team is looking to offload talent, and for at least 1/2 the season (at the very least) because right now, every team in the ldague believes they have a shot at making the playoffs. They are not going to tend to the Kings needs and ruin their own chances at making the playoffs just to be nice.

    • Well said Dominick. Another thing too is that when you look around the league, there are so many teams dealing with injury issues. Especially Philly. Vancouver is w/o Kesler, etc. The problem for the Kings though is that the injuries are on defense… and to two of their most stabilizing dmen.
      Very well observed about the difficulty of making a trade. No one wants to give up even a remote equivalent of Greene or Mitchell. They may just have to stay the course for the moment and hope that Mitchell comes back sooner rather than later and that Muzzin improves his spacing and defensive play in front of the net.


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