4 In A Row

It wasn’t pretty… but it was a win. And the game wasn’t even the shittest thing I watched all night… no, that honor went to those Buy.com commercials with Howie Mandel.

As in, “Up Yours, America.”

Kings 4, New York Islanders 3

I consider myself a pretty serious hockey fan. I’ve been following the Kings for 20 years, played the game for the same amount of time, I’m in 2 fantasy hockey leagues (first place in one of them!)… but I had no freakin’ idea who some of those guys skating for the New York Islanders were tonight. Hillen? Gervais? Okposo? Bailey? Luckily, I played NHL ’94 so I knew who Bill Guerin and Doug Weight were. I’ve always secretly liked the Islanders organization and I really hope to make it to a game at the Nassau Coliseum before they are forced the shut the place down. But tonight I discovered why I love the Islanders so much… they have a retirement banner for Billy Joel!

Best. Banner. Ever.

The Islanders are where the Kings were 3 years ago. I feel for their fans, especially Schultz over at Barry Melrose Rocks who seems to cheer as hard for the Islanders as I do for the Kings. So if the Islanders are the Kings of 3 years ago… then where are the Kings today?

Three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season… that’s where they are! Oh and the Kings are 2 points out of a playoff spot. 6-1 in their last 7 road games. 7-1-1 in their last 9 games. And they are the NHL’s highest scoring team in the 2nd period since January 20th. What that last stat means, I have no idea.

Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I haven’t experienced anything like this since… well since the end of the 2005-2006 season. It’s almost mid-February and we are spending our afternoons handicapping which Western Conference team we want to win that night over IM.

We aren’t dreading going to games or speeding through periods on Tivo. We are in a bonafide goddamn playoff race for the first time in what feels like forever. And man does it feel good. Who cares if every other team is in the race too?

So what happened tonight? Well, the Kings played horrible for the first 2 periods. But they got it together in the 3rd and dominated the Islanders like they should have all game. And I knew that if the Kings could get to a shootout, they would take home the extra point. But I had no idea that Jack Johnson would add to his legend with that sweet deke.

Say hi to your mom for me, McFly.

To say this road trip has been amazing would be an understatement. A record of 4-1, 8 out of 10 possible points, some props from East Coast hockey writers, AND they even got to ride the train from DC to Newark.

Welcome home Kings. Now get out there and beat Calgary on Thursday!

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.