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…

Bonus Coverage:

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.”

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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9 replies

  1. Good article and thanks for the insight on the young kids. Wish I could of seen it live but I live like 4 1/2 hours from anaheim. I hope you are right about andreoff and vey!

  2. I was right there against the glass, tanners break away was beautiful I watched him put it 5 hole. Bobkov couldn’t keep those legs closed

    • Uhhh if that is what you saw, I can’t argue, but Pearson didn’t go 5 hole, he lost the puck and it slid underneath Bobkov.

      Its a nice thought, but he lost control of the puck and Bobkov was also moving like Pearson still had the puck.

      That is what you call “puck luck”.

      I played goalie for 30 years, and that tends to happen, the shooter makes a move, and the puck gets missed, but at the same time the goalie can’t just stop, his movement creates that opening.

      During the shootout after that game, it seemed like the Russians were going tweeners on Bobkov, but its pretty clear, he had that area closed off.

      A goal is a goal, but I think Pearson just had some good ol puck luck, kind of like goal #6 with that great bounce off the glass/spans-ion.

  3. I was there siting four rows up behind the Kings net (2 of 3 periods). I had a great time and if you have a chance to take in the game on Monday I highly suggest you do.

    My comments are strictly on “who I noticed” and not who has the most skill or upside. I found it rather difficult keeping track of who was who because all their numbers were foreign to me. Sitting that close to the ice makes it difficult as well to see who was making the right reads and who was struggling. Much easier to do when your sitting in the Die-Hard section.

    I was particularly interested in observing our top line of Pearson-Vey-Taffoli, as well as, Kitsyn, Zykov and Andreoff.

    As mentioned by Scribe, Vey was the motor who set things in motion. The top line was virtually invisible for a first period and much of the second. Vey was the most impressive with his puck skills and skating. Beyond his natural talent, I was not impressed with Pearson as a whole. Doesn’t mean, he’s not good and won’t be one of the first call-ups…I was expecting a little more. He’s lacking that certain edge, that take notice of me, attitude. Ya, I know he scored two goals, but there’s something missing. There’s also a reason why Scribe didn’t mention Tofolli. His mind was somewhere else, I literally yelled, “you’re the pro out there Toffoli” after he lost two puck battle he should have won. We know has has mad skill, his “battle” mentality just wasn’t there last night.

    Zykov, is just a baby and at times looked a little lost, but man does this kid look like he can develop into something special around the net. With some ice time and a little experience with the big boys he’ll become a staple in our future with his tenacity and stick skills in close. I can’t tell just yet if he has top line potential, but top six without question.

    Kitsyn….blah! Looks pretty when he skates but hardly noticed him at all and I was staring at him!

    Andreoff, is the young man I noticed the most. Perfect description by Scribe. He was up in everyone’s business and everyone took notice. He did so with an edge but with better discipline. Again, I was sitting 4 rows up behind the Kings net so I saw every scrum and chirp and he took it to the edge every time without passing the line. This kid “gets” it. He understands his role perfectly. Easily Stoll’s replacement in a few years. I didn’t notice his offensive skill because I was watching other people but he definitely has the King’s culture of attitude. I really like this kid…a lot.

    Besides Andreoff, the two players that caught my eye, was Weal and Miller. Weal is tiny but boy can he skate. Even my daughter said,,” that 60 guy sure does some fancy skating and cool stuff with the puck,” without me saying a word to her. That’s the same effect he had on me. Who the fuck is Miller? I had no idea who he was, hell, I had never even heard of him before. He reminded me of Scuderi, in the fact, he did nothing fancy, but was everywhere I looked. I swear to you, he played the entire game. Of course, I;m just kidding, but it sure seemed that way.

    Again, my comments are not based on obvious skill and potential, but rather who caught my eye for the evening. Take it for what it’s worth.

    Shit, sorry for the book.

    • Weals was buzzing all around, almost looked like the only guy out there who could dance and dart around the ice, and be a very elusive type of player.

      After reading the earlier possible line combo’s from Mayor Manor, I was kind of sad that I saw Kozun in a suit sitting in the 2nd deck, where he looked like he had some family there thinking he was playing also.

      Weal is bigger than Kozun but I am not sure if either of them will have a spot with the Kings. I would love to see them get some game time when the regular pre-season starts, because I think there are some smaller players, especially skilled forwards who might be able to contribute among the trees.

      I am really considering going tomorrow night because it looks like Andreoff and Zahn have some unfinished business, and I mean Andreoff beating Zahn like a pinata till he bursts.

      Collin Miller needs to put on some muscle, but he is poised, which is why he wears the “C” for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL. Because of his size and also the fact he could use another year in the OHL, Miller will most likely be sent back for his 3rd season, but after this season, he might start his pro career in Manchester or Ontario once the OHL season finishes, and if Manchester or Ontario make the playoffs.

      Knowing these guys might only be here for a short period of time before they are reassigned to their junior teams, that might not happen tomorrow night.

  4. Hehe. I went. It was awesome. Nothing like chirping the shit out of a bunch of Ducks fans. Aftrr the third failed two man advantage. I was in heaven. Smiling like a mental patient just non stop talking shit. Just all loud” its official you guys suck for a long time to come”.”I mean, this cant make you feel good about thd future””Hey at least you guys won the shootout” With hockey right around the corner that whett my appetite perfectly for the season. I actually overheard a Duck fan say ” man we gotta score on these double power plays.”

  5. Ya bounces were crazy all night. I didn’t see one shot off the boards that didnt have some sort of odd bounce. The doors where the zambonis come in bad a big gap in the glass. I heard a Ducks fan in front of me say “man I wish we could have scored on one of those double power plays”.

  6. Game was fantastic. Instead of the tequila shots, we could have asked for a fruitier drink or something with an umbrella? We were in the OC and probably would fit in perfectly. I think “Sleep it off” Scribe has a nice ring to it. Talk to you in LA amigo


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