L.A. Kings Rookies, Wookie, Talent and Tequila
One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, four… and I think that is around the time I lost count.
While this morning was basically this…
…last night proved to be a blast and the 6-1 facial the L.A. Kings young guns left on Anaheim’s brow will hopefully leave some emotional scars.
The rookie game brought into perspective where some of the young talent is in each of their respective development. Take what you read (and what you saw if you were there) with a grain of salt. It was one game after all.
Linden Vey: I could not take my eyes off him. He is silk. The head’s up hockey sense and the softest hands of all of the rookies that I watched. Vey is not big. He is not going to kick your butt. But if you don’t watch your gap control, pinch at the wrong time or give him room, he will put a pass on a teammate’s stick that you will swear went right through you. In fact, that is pretty much what he did a few times last night. I shared with a fellow die-hard the reason Tanner Pearson looked so good was because Linden Vey was making him as such. I dig this kid and the future is bright enough to wear shades. Will he make the team? Don’t think so. Too early and his “fit” isn’t on the fourth line unless Darryl Sutter (pbuh) takes the “all four lines play the same way” mantra to another level.
Andy Andreoff: I have not made my man crush on Andreoff a secret. I have had it since I saw him in camp last season. He is the prototypical big, bruising but smart forward that general managers and coaches salivate over. He has an intelligent edge to him. Andreoff is not reckless. He picks his spots. His timing on chirps and rough stuff comes at the right times (sans the weak cross check call on him). Yet, he can skate, makes smart puck decisions and, as if I needed more reasons to love him, scores goals too. He had two last night. The first was a snipe that Ducks’ goalie Fredrik Andersen, judging by his reaction, didn’t see until the puck passed him. Truth be told, the shot beat me and I was right behind the goalie. I never saw the release. I want Andreoff at center in place of Colin Fraser. Stat.
J.F. Berube: Solid. A couple of rebound issues (nothing to be concerned about) here or there but put a good defense in front of Berube and you will get respectable results. If it wasn’t for JF, I am not sure we get out of the first without being down a goal or two. He is still a little rough around the edges, I wasn’t crazy about a few of his decisions when challenging the shooter or staying back but his composure with traffic around him and post to post movements tells me he has good back-up potential. It will be interesting to see where Berube will end up.
Tanner Pearson: Pearson may be one of those players who, after making the big club, you look back and say, “did he really have 25 goals?” I am not sold on him yet, like others are. It’s a wait and see for me although the fact he is a left winger definitely boosts his odds of opportunity knocking with the big club. He did have two goals.
Valentin Zykov: There is serious skill to this kid. He made some stick handles and strides down low that got a “whoa” out of me more than once. The only thing holding him back right now is lack of experience. Will we look back 3 seasons from now and ask, “how the hell did he slip so far down in the draft?” Maybe.
Scott Sabourin: He is not a rookie. He is a wookie. You should have seen the arms on this kid. And fists too. He is just a mean motor scooter that wants to hit and hurt opposing players. I mention him here because after about the 5th straight and cross he landed on…whoever the scrub was in a Ducks’ jersey that was stupid enough to rattle Sabourin’s cage…you wondered if Manchester has a potential fan favorite.
Derek Forbort: He is not ready. At least one season, maybe two unless he makes big strides (pun intended)
Nic Deslauriers: Lots of talent. Worry about his defensive hockey sense. Think Jack Johnson-ish. Maybe we move him to left wing, eh? Ha.
Were you there? If not, you missed out…just as I will be missing out on hockey fest today. Never got into these get-together events. Maybe if they had free drinks, especially Tequila shots…
Words actually spoke by Anaheim Ducks fans during game (I am not making these up):
First Period, after a big check along the boards
Guy’s girlfriend: “why did he [referring to L.A. Kings player] hit him right there? That’s not fair.”
Guy: “They hit each other in hockey.”
Girlfriend: “But the Ducks player wasn’t looking!”
While the Kings are killing a penalty
Ducks fan 1: “Why didn’t the referee blow the whistle?”
Ducks fan 2: “What?”
Ducks fan 1: “The Kings guy iced it.”
Ducks fan 2: “Oh yeah. That was weird.”
After Andreoff’s first goal
Kings Fans: “Let’s go Kings!” clap clap, clapclapclap
Repeat 3-4 times
Ducks Fans: “Let’s go Ducks!” clap clap, clapclapclap
More Kings fans
More Ducks fans
Female Ducks fan one row in front and to the left: “I wish everyone would stop yelling.”