Double Dose Of Fury

Like I needed any more.

Well kids, it’s that time again. Tomorrow morning we hop in our cars or make Southwest a bundle of money and travel to Las Vegas for a weekend of hockey and regret. So, not so different from a normal night at Staples, just with more flashing lights and fat people from Iowa. The last couple Frozen Furies have sucked. One because it didn’t happen and the other because I had just quit smoking and spent the weekend craving immolation.

For me, Frozen Fury is when the season begins. It’s the end of training camp, last chance for young hopefuls to state their case to earn the big bucks. The outcome of the game still may not matter, but the urgency in huge players is always a cut above the pond hockey that typically precedes it. I usually pay more attention to training camp than I have this year, but even then, my juices don’t really get flowing until Frozen Fury, and that’s not just because Vegas strippers are better than LA’s.

Today I began thinking about how this year could be very different from the Furies of the past.

Forget the fact that there are two games. Twice the chance for liver failure, twice as much money spent, twice the time wondering how the hell to get around and out of the MGM Grand. That is all expected and we are prepared. But this year there is going to likely be a very new and very caustic element to contend with – New York Ranger fans.

We all know The Gauntlet.

Forgot about the Surly sighting in that video at 12 seconds, next to Krusty the Clown’s bastard half brother. The Gauntlet is where, as far as anyone can tell, the chant “Hey ____ fans, you suck!” began. When heaped upon residents from the Rockies, it is met with smiles and laughs, maybe a few old digs about Cup wins thrown by the guy in the Sakic jersey, a dive from the shmuck rocking the Forsberg. The Gauntlet is a massing of Kings fans at their absolute drunkest and loudest.

This year the Gauntlet meets New Yorkers.

If anyone has been to a game at the Garden, or hell, simply walked around midtown, it won’t take long to figure out that Ranger fans will have quite a different reaction to braving the Gauntlet than the simpering Avalanche fans to which we have come accustomed. I don’t know how many New Yorkers will make the trip out from Vegas, but I’m sure it will be a few. What I do know is that the more of them that show up, the more apt the title “Fury” will become.

Screaming “Hey Avalanche fan, you suck!” into the face of a guy who has been living on thin air his whole life is like introducing a wolverine to your poodle. Yelling it at a Ranger fan is like throwing a pebble at a Pit Bull.

Should that stop you? Hell no, just know what you are getting into and don’t be surprised when a normal looking little guy smelling like sewer throws a punch your way and follows it up by puking a half chewed hot dog onto your jersey.

See you in Sin.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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13 replies

  1. Bobby, Jacob, have fun in Vegas! (And sorry for the length of this one, I just finished writing it and it went longer than I meant it too, but it was hard to give rationales for every line combination I proposed in a shorter length).

    To everyone: what do you think the Kings lineup should be opening night? Who should stay?

    Some ideas I’ve had:

    L1. Clifford – Kopitar – Williams
    L2. Richards – Carter – Toffoli
    L3. Brown – Stoll – Frattin
    L4. King – Pearson – Vey
    Extras: Nolan

    D1. Muzzin – Doughty
    D2. Mitchell – Voynov
    D3. Martinez – Greene
    Extras: Colin Miller, Forbort, Regehr (if we can’t trade him)

    L1 rationale- I believe, with the right compliment in the third spot, that two top players can make a line. I believe the top line can play basically 95% as good as before without Brown, just so long as Kopitar and Williams are given someone with size and skating they can cycle and puck-possess with, like Clifford. Basically, I believe Brown’s addition to the 3rd line will improve it much more than his absence from the 1st line will hurt it. While “one vs one,” Brown is obviously a better player than Clifford, I believe in this specific role, playing the compliment to Kopitar and Williams, that Clifford can do almost as well as Brown. Meanwhile, Brown’s skill set on the 3rd line will be a boon to Jarret Stoll, and the difference in speed and skill for a line that really lacks it (unlike the 1st line which already has an excess of it) will be night and day!

    L2 rationale- Mike Richards’ hockey sense and playmaking are still excellent, esp. on the PP, but his speed and strength seem to have declined with injuries and success, and as a result he’s really struggled at even strength winning the possession battle as a center ice man against bigger, faster centers. On the other hand, Jeff Carter’s two-way play has never been better, in part due to the fact he has all the size and speed Richards lacks, so my logic is, why not move the better two-way, even-strength player in Carter to the position that demands those talents most, and move Richards to the wing where he can just focus more on offense?

    It’s a difficult position because you always want speed on the wing, and Carter has that speed, plus Carter is the shooter and Richards is the passer, and you usually want the passer at center, plus Richards hasn’t played much wing… but, all I have to do is go back and watch the Richards get decimated in the playoffs last season against Joe Thornton, and I’m reminded again that there really isn’t any other choice. Who would you rather have in a 1-on-1 battle against 6’4 Joe Thornton, 5’11 Mike Richards, or 6’4 Jeff Carter?

    I put Toffoli at 2RW, not Frattin, because I think Toffoli is a little more skilled, but a little softer, too. I feel like Carter can carry his size-issues the same way he carries Richards’, except even more so at center, and the potentially greater offensive-ability of Toffoli fits that skilled 2nd line better. Frattin just seems like a perfect fit for a physical, two-way dominant 3rd line with Brown and Stoll. But those two can definitely be interchanged.

    L3 rationale- The Kings 3rd line didn’t score enough last season, but if they suit up a 3rd line like this for this season, that’s guaranteed to no longer be a problem. This just seems like a perfect speed-skill-forecheck-physicality-straight line 3rd line with one of the best two-way 3rd line centers in the NHL flanked by two top-six calibre goal scoring wingers who are both fast and physical. Perfect 3rd line.

    L4 rationale- I think Vey has more experience at center than Pearson, but Pearson’s skill set has “center” written all over it, similar to how Jamie Benn made the seamless transition from wing to center this season. I like having the physically bigger player as my 4th line center when possible, but talent matters most, not style, and Vey could also do it.

    As for Jordan Nolan as an extra, like King, he also has a nice power forward skill set, and I don’t want to give up on that or give it away for nothing when I still think he has untapped potential.

    King I kept on the team because even though he struggled last year, he has a 2nd line power forward skill set, and those are very rare. He’s also really underrated defensively, and if we replace too many of our big forwards with small skill guys, we might wake up three months from now wondering what happened to our identity and where the cycle game went. King really has the perfect skill set to be an effective 4th liner, and that’s really the floor of his potential. As for Vey and Pearson, they are the last two standing of all the AHL scorers who tried to make the Kings this year, and since I’m a believer in four scoring lines, I think they’ll make great additions to the 4th line. People tend to overlook the 4th line, but that’s 10 minutes of the game, approximately, every game. Are you just going to give up 10 minutes of every game and basically designate them as a “no goal zone”? Because when teams just put all their washed up forwards on that line, maybe with their extra defenseman who skates as a forward for that game and has no offensive skill, that’s what they’re doing.

    I don’t believe in that at all. This 4th line will actually give us goals, and with all four of our lines scoring regularly, opposing teams won’t know what hit them or where all the goals against them came from.

    D1 rationale- Doughty has looked okay playing with Regehr, but that’s because Doughty is so good. I believe Regehr’s lack of speed and skill holds Doughty back offensively. With Muzzin, we could have two offensive threats from our blue line on the top pair, and two skaters, which would improve breakouts from the defensive zone, and really improve the pace our whole team plays at with better skating and better passing, exactly what we need to get by teams like the Blackhawks. And I really think Doughty’s offense could explode with a partner like Muzzin who plays his style.

    D2 rationale- No rationale really needed for this one. Voynov’s ONLY weakness is his size and wingspan against lines like Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, who are so wide that Voynov can’t even reach the puck through their bodies with his shorter stick. Willie Mitchell, with his size, fantastic reach, and hockey sense equally great like Voynov’s, is the perfect compliment to Voynov’s weaknesses.

    D3 rationale- I haven’t always been a big Martinez fan back when he just seemed average and didn’t really look totally NHL ready, and his poor +/- in the playoffs last year was not encouraging. However, watching him skate lately, he just looks really fast, like having to recover from his injury may have even made him faster because of all the working out that can sometimes be involved with injury rehab. That’s just a guess, but the point is, he’s really flying. Looks like Scott Neidermayer out there in terms of skating. Now, where Neidermayer completely dominates him is the strength and balance and positioning that goes along with all of that. Martinez can still get knocked around, and his positional game is probably the reason he can look so good skating but still get stuck with a -3 at the end of the night. But I’m willing to let him work through that. I favor talent. I favor potential. Why go with Regehr, whose ceiling we already know isn’t very high? Martinez should at least start the season ahead of Regehr on the depth chart. If he can’t put things together and start playing consistent, low-mistake hockey, then you put Regehr back in because at least you know you can count on his veteran experience to not fuck up too badly too often.

    As for the extras, again, it’s potential. Well, for Colin Miller, I actually think he’s ready now. He looks like a bigger Voynov to me. So smooth skating and with better size and strength and balance than Alec Martinez. And Forbort is close to ready. He might not be ready mentally or in terms of fundamentals, but his skill set is so good, it overrules some of that. You live with some of his mistakes and “unready” aspects because physically he offers so much with his combination of top size and skating.

    Those are just a couple ideas I have. Honestly, with the forward group, at least the twelve I “dressed,” there is so much talent there that you can mix it up a million ways. As long as you get rid of Colin Fraser and make sure to play guys like Vey, you can really play anyone with anyone and I think I’d still love the lines. You might make one line weaker, but then another will be that much stronger. I mean just look at the 3rd line I created. The 2nd line is basically unchanged, still at full force, the 2nd line many of you have lobbied for with Toffoli, Richards, and Carter (I just changed the order). The 1st line still has its two biggest pieces, Kopitar and Williams, and I only removed one piece in Brown.

    So from the whole top six, I only removed piece, Brown, which is something Daryl Sutter himself has already done himself (so it’s not like I’m even going that far off the board), and just with that, with only taking one piece out of the top six, I was able to create a truly spectacular 3rd line. That just shows you the depth, so I think these lines will look great no matter what combination of those players you use on what lines (if the right 12 are dressed. If we’re stuck with Fraser and Carcillo, it’s another story).

    • LOL I totally forgot Trevor Lewis! Truly too many forwards! He would obviously have to replace one of the 4th liners I put.

    • This has distinctly little to do with drunken Ranger fans in Vegas.

      • I’m a transplant. I grew up on Long Island. Moved out here in 82. Right in the middle of the Islanders Dynasty. I had a Mike Bossy shirt my mom would have to tackle me and pull off my body to wash. My closest friends are transplants from Manhattan. I became a Kings fan on the first bandwagon with Gretzky. I still follow the Isles but I’m a Kings fan for sure. Going to games is such an important part of being a fan. I wouldn’t have been able to stay as interested cause i couldn’t go to games. The Kings have played the Islanders at Staples I think 3x since it opened. Headed to Vegas right now. I’ll be the guy wearing the Quick>Lundquist jersey. If I can move from a team with 4 cups in a row, that I cried about winning to the Kings. I think there’s still hope for the California Rangers fan. GKG \X/

      • Surly I didn’t get to go to Frozen Fury this year, but the Kings are playing there at the end of their training camp, so I figured the training camp discussion was still relevant on this blog. I apologize if that’s not the case. Since I’m not at Frozen Fury, there’s not much about the event, besides the Kings, that I can really comment about.

    • Why can’t you just leave your thoughts with yourself?

      Remember its a 24 man roster you are playing fantasy Sutter with.

      How much CAP does this give you? According to your math, you are still over the CAP.

      This is the roster as it stands right now. It might change, however you still need to wait until they make the final 24 players known in order to start building lines and also having a CAP compliant roster.

      23 DUSTIN BROWN “C” 6′ 0″ 207 NOV 4, 1984 28 ITHACA, NY, USA
      17 DANIEL CARCILLO 6′ 0″ 200 JAN 28, 1985 28 KING CITY, ON, CAN
      77 JEFF CARTER 6′ 4″ 212 JAN 1, 1985 28 LONDON, ON, CAN
      13 KYLE CLIFFORD 6′ 2″ 211 JAN 13, 1991 22 AYR, ON, CAN
      24 COLIN FRASER 6′ 1″ 190 JAN 28, 1985 28 SICAMOUS, BC, CAN
      21 MATT FRATTIN 6′ 0″ 205 JAN 3, 1988 25 EDMONTON, AB, CAN
      74 DWIGHT KING 6′ 4″ 230 JUL 5, 1989 24 MEADOW LAKE, SK, CAN
      11 ANZE KOPITAR “A” 6′ 3″ 224 AUG 24, 1987 26 JESENICE, SVN
      22 TREVOR LEWIS 6′ 1″ 198 JAN 8, 1987 26 SALT LAKE CITY, UT, USA
      71 JORDAN NOLAN 6′ 3″ 221 JUN 23, 1989 24 ST. CATHERINES, ON, CAN
      10 MIKE RICHARDS “A” 5′ 11″196 FEB 11, 1985 28 KENORA, ON, CAN
      28 JARRET STOLL 6′ 1″ 213 JUN 24, 1982 31 MELVILLE, SK, CAN
      73 TYLER TOFFOLI 6′ 1″ 196 APR 24, 1992 21 SCARBOROUGH, ON, CAN
      14 JUSTIN WILLIAMS 6′ 1″ 189 OCT 4, 1981 31 COBOURG, ON, CAN

      8 DREW DOUGHTY 6′ 1″ 213 DEC 8, 1989 23 LONDON, ON, CAN
      5 KEATON ELLERBY 6′ 5″ 220 NOV 5, 1988 24 STRATHMORE, AB, CAN
      2 MATT GREENE “A” 6′ 3″ 234 MAY 13, 1983 30 GRAND LEDGE, MI, USA
      27 ALEC MARTINEZ 6′ 1″ 209 JUL 26, 1987 26 ROCHESTER HILLS, MI, USA
      33 WILLIE MITCHELL 6′ 3″ 210 APR 23, 1977 36 PORT MCNEILL, BC, CAN
      6 JAKE MUZZIN 6′ 3″ 214 FEB 21, 1989 24 WOODSTOCK, ON, CAN
      44 ROBYN REGEHR 6′ 3″ 222 APR 19, 1980 33 RECIFE, BRA
      55 JEFF SCHULTZ 6′ 6″ 225 FEB 25, 1986 27 CALGARY, AB, CAN
      26 SLAVA VOYNOV 6′ 0″ 194 JAN 15, 1990 23 CHELYABINSK, RUS

      32 JONATHAN QUICK 6′ 1″ 220 JAN 21, 1986 27 MILFORD, CT, USA
      54 BEN SCRIVENS 6′ 2″ 193 SEP 11, 1986 27 SPRUCE GROVE, AB, CAN

      Forbort is in Manchester,
      Colin MIller is in Manchester,
      Vey might stay for a few games, but most likely headed back to Manchester
      Pearson might stay for a few games but still headed back to Manchester.
      Ellerby I think gets sent down, if not waived.

      Toffoli will not be playing LW so figure that one out in your hypothesis!

      Factor in a players waiver situation especially with players still in entry level mode which means they can go down to Manchester and not be subject to waivers if sent down or brought up.

      • OK I read through your comment now. You have a few other points that are incorrect. Sutts/Dean have already said that Toffoli could play LW. This is the problem, you have your facts, and then there’s reality. It’s like what Mayor did earlier this offseason. Because of all the FLAWS IN LOGIC that were spinning around in his head, he had created for himself a make-believe scenario, that he thought was real, where it would actually make sense to trade Justin Williams, one of our best forwards.

        Here is what Mayor believed. He boxed himself in with all these imaginary rules that weren’t actually reality, but that he believed, and no one could tell him any different. He believed:

        1. Toffoli HAD TO PLAY IN THE TOP-SIX THIS SEASON, because playing in the bottom-six would hurt his development too much.
        2. Toffoli HAD TO PLAY RIGHT WING, because flipping wings would hurt his development too much.

        Combined, Mayor got himself into a position believing that Toffoli could ONLY play in one of top-six RW roles, and that he HAD TO get one of those spots THIS YEAR otherwise his development would be ruined.

        But both top-six RW options were already filled! Oh no! Now what!!! Well, in Mayor’s insane mind, boxed in with all these imagined rules, it meant Justin Williams had to be traded. That was the only way to get Toffoli a top-six RW spot, which in Mayor’s mind, had become more important than anything, more important than the team as a whole, than logic.

        Do you understand? Months later, the Kings came out and said “Toffoli can play left wing. Toffoli can play in the bottom six (just like he did in the playoffs last season, Mayor you idiot). He could even start the year in Manchester.” Everything Mayor imagined, that had him ready to trade Justin Williams for christ’s sake, was untrue. Bullshit. Make believe.

        For example, Taylor Hall is switching from wing to center now. The Blackhawks are trying Brandon Saad at center. Those transitions, from wing to center, are much harder than wing-to-wing, and yet they’re trying that with their young players. Logan Couture switched all over the place. Many young forwards have. The Bruins didn’t even let Tyler Seguin really play at his normal position at all right from the start. This is what most young players have to do at the NHL level because there often isn’t a perfect spot open for them at their favorite position. But teams want to have all your best players in the lineup, even if they’re young, so you fit them in wherever you can. Most teams understand this. Most people understand this. This is the reality in the NHL. There was even a story out just a few days ago of an NHL player complaining about the “left wing” “right wing” distinctions and saying it’s not a big deal at all. This is reality.

        But you believe the opposite. You believe it so strongly, you were even confident enough in this belief to post it as a condescending “correction” to my comment, even though your assertion is actually the one that needs correcting, no offense. And that’s the problem we have here. I’m a creative person. I’m trying to come up with new ideas. I’m trying to weigh every possibility. You, you’re literally making up rules that aren’t true that STIFLE possibilities. No wonder we’re at odds. It would be one thing if I started penciling in Wayne Gretzky on our lines, and you felt the need to reality-check that one. But you’re actually taking things I’ve said that are possible, and trying to pretend they’re impossible, and you probably don’t even realize you’re doing this because it’s stemming from the fact you don’t like me. You don’t like me so, subconsciously, you are twisting your logic and your reality to fit a scenario where I can be wrong. But because I’m right, in order to create a reality where I’m wrong, you are creating a completely false reality.

        For example, as I’ve already mentioned, when it comes to my roster, Miller and Forbort would be in the AHL as call-ups, so my roster had 22 on it, not 24. You even literally counted the number of players wrong there just to be able to say I was wrong or that I messed up when, in fact, I didn’t. So no wonder you always disagree with me, when I write down a roster with 22 one-way contracts, and you count 24. That just shows you’re at the point where it doesn’t matter how obviously right I am about something, you will twist yourself as much as you need to in order to disagree with me, no matter how ridiculous an argument you need to write in order to do it.

    But I also could not get out of work on Friday so (Rant! Rant!) will have to miss the Rangers.
    I do agree that the New York fans I am sure will be a “little” more radical than the Avalanche fans.

    So yell extra loud for me on Friday and oh joy see you all on Saturday.

    Look for me I will have a Kings shirt one….ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    GO KINGS GO!!!

  3. My buddy and I were well received by Rangers fans in NY during the championship SCF series. We were getting “GO KINGS!” chants left and right in Manhattan before game 5, and although we were well aware why, (expecting us to take out the swamp trash), a lot of them had respect for our Kings seeming sincere through conversation. Even Mike Rupp’s aunt gave me a high five…but that was then. I hope you guys serve up a proper thrashing to “team Hank” fans, and when a fight breaks out, please have a camera ready. Be money.

  4. i hate you guys that get to go to the game. I do, however love that the game starts at 4:30 here so i’ll be out watchin’ it somewhere and since most clubs out here are open ’til 4am, i’ll have plenty of time to complete my transformation into the village idiot.
    don’t get too crazy out there, at least before the games. wouldn’t want any of you in the clink instead of at the game. and if you insist on defending yourselves against those n.y. rufians, get in a right hand for me

  5. You seem to think this is the old Rich Hammond Kings Insider.

    It’s not! Your opinion and your thesis on what you think the Kings should do belongs in the old Kings Insider.

    Take your delusional, mentally challenged imagination to one of those other blogs.

    You are a complete idiot! No, I take that back, you are a complete Moron and I hope that after repeated warnings they get rid of your shit.

    I don’t care what John Hoven thinks. He’s been making assumptions for years now, sometimes right, most times wrong.

    All John Hoven gets is some interviews from the people that make the decisions.

    Take your garbage to John Hoven and post away, I’m sure he’ll pat you on your back and tell you just how great of a hockey mind you have.

    I’ll take Gann Matsuda or Helen Elliot over Mayor John anyday.

    Sutter on Toffoli he will not be moved to LW.

    “Coach Darryl Sutter originally said he wanted right wing Tyler Toffoli to be prepared to play left wing this season in order to boost the team’s scoring from that side, but he appears to have had a change of heart.
    He might now leave Toffoli alone rather than complicate the gifted scorer’s thinking processes. “I don’t want to set Tyler back. That’s my thinking,” Sutter said Friday. “I’m not going to spend a lot of time. If he’s way better on the right than he is on the left, that’s the best chance. I’m really cautious about that one, because he’s never played it and he’s a good player. We’ll see. He’s done a lot with it this summer. Quite honestly I haven’t put a whole lot into that.” It’s unclear if this change will result in Toffoli not getting time in Los Angeles’ top-six group, so keep an eye on the team’s line combinations at training camp.
    Source: Los Angeles Times Sep 7 – 11:03 AM”

    Usually this means Helen Elliott who has covered the Kings for longer than John Hoven and is much more reliable. This is pretty much all Helen does, cover the Kings.

    Andy Andreoff is back in Manchester when Hoven thought he would be with the opening night roster.

    Derek Forbort will not play with the Kings this season. Rarely do the Kings have player who is a “PROJECT” just make the leap from a few games in Manchester after leaving college hockey to playing in the NHL. Maybe at the end of the season he gets a sniff, but it won’t happen.

    Colin Miller will not be playing with the Kings this season either. Have you been to see any of these kids play or do you just read about someone from another source?

    I watched these kids play, I was at Development Camp, I was at the Prospects Camps and some of the regular camp.

    John Hoven’ opinion is his own, and not that of the Kings.

    I don’t care fuckall about Taylor Hall or Logan Couture they aren’t Kings. You want to talk players that are not on the Kings roster, go to some other place.

    Wayne Gretzky hasn’t played in the NHL since 1999 and honestly has no reason to even be discussed in this group.

    Yes I disagree with you, but its not for the sake of just disagreement its because you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about half the time, and the I don’t appreciate having to deal with your endless babble about this that or the other.

    You want to tell everyone how smart you are, start your own blog, you are free to go off on every single thought that enters your mind, no rules, just you being you.

    In closing your post, this post has nothing to do with the topic of Frozen Fury. Once again you have decided to get on your fucking soap box and post endless, mindless psychobabble, being a fucking buzz kill.

    I rancor you!

    Surly and Scribe please banish fuckwit from ever making a comment in this group again..

  6. @modcoop: Color me confused, because I know you aren’t directing your comment to Jacob, right?

    Anyway, had the best time at FF (my first one) – lots of hockey… lots of other things I can’t mention because duh… it’s Vegas! Loved it, except when a certain person left the Blackjack table and screwed with the mojo… ;D


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