Not So Lucky


Today was bobblehead day for Luc Robitaille as the Los Angeles Kings celebrated his selection to the NHL Hall of Fame… a month after the Hall of Fame ceremony. Obviously Luc going into the Hall of Fame is a big deal for Kings fans as he is the first Kings-drafted player from my generation to make it into the Hall as a King. (Sorry Marcel Dionne and Wayne Gretzky!) But for some reason… I haven’t been able to get that excited about it. I’ve always liked and respected Luc Robitaille for his dedication to the Kings and his 9th round “rags to riches” story… but he’s never been one of my favorite players. I’ve never had the same excitement for him that I had for Gretzky or Adam Deadmarsh or Anze Kopitar or well… Chris Kontos. But my most fond memory of Luc was the start of the 1992-1993 NHL season… better known as the only time the Los Angeles Kings went to the Stanley Cup.

1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Sigh.
Many people forget that Wayne Gretzky was injured to start the 1992-1993 season. (Due to a lame check from behind by Gary Suter during the 1991 Canada Cup) So rookie coach Barry Melrose handed over the captainship of the team to Luc and basically said… keep us afloat till Wayne gets back. Luc did just that and ended up having a one of the greatest NHL seasons for a left winger with 63 goals and 125 points. I couldn’t find the video online, but I’ll never forget that moment in the Kings locker room after the Game 7 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs where Luc is arm and arm with Dave Taylor and screaming “we’re going to the damn finals!”

The Kings went all out today at the game, featuring Robitaille merchandise where ever you could see.

And much like that great ceremony in Montreal last night, the Los Angeles Kings also invited back old, retired NHL’ers who once played with Luc in Los Angeles.

Darryl Sydor is still in the NHL?!? WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?
Over the past few years, us Kings fans have been witness to Luc’s last game ceremony, then his jersey retirement ceremony and now today, his Hall of Fame selection ceremony…. and to be honest… I’m kinda over it. But Luc kept this one short and sweet.

The greatest thing he said today was to Kings Captain Dustin Brown… Luc said he hopes the next time they have one of these things it’s when Brown is lifting the cup. That would be the best move as Kings’ President of Business Operations that Luc could ever make.

Someday. Someday.
Oh right, there was a game today too. The St. Louis Blues are in town and as any Kings fan knows… when teams from the mid-west and east coast come into Staples… so do their LA-based fans.

Yeah, St. Louis doesn’t have the kind of fan base in LA that a Pittsburgh or Detroit might have.
These were really the only Blues fans I saw all night.

Kings 4, St. Louis Blues 5

The Kings got a point today. That’s all you can really say about this game. I don’t blame Jon Quick for most of those goals against and he did make some spectacular saves throughout the game. That line of Wayne Simmonds, Michal Handzus and Scott Parse is on fire… and every time they are on the ice you get the feeling they might score. Thankfully they are scoring… because no one else seems to be.

“Guys… they may call us the 3rd line… but we know we are the 1st.”

GM Dean Lombardi really is a genius. I can’t believe he traded a 3rd round draft pick during the 2008 draft for one of the hottest scorers in the league.

It’s Brad Richard-SON? Oh, my bad.
Sure, he may not be having quite the season Brad Richards is having in Dallas, but Brad Richardson now has 4 points in 3 games. Maybe its been the great play of Brad Richardson that finally convinced the Kings to start selling Dean Lombardi merchandise at the Team LA store.
I like it. But it would be better as a t-shirt.
There is no reason to panic after losing this game in a shootout. But the reason to be concerned is the play of Anze Kopitar. Sure, he’s had assists the last 2 games, but he is being overshadowed by Wayne Simmonds and Brad Richardson for christsakes. And some renowned bloggers are even suggesting it might be time to sit him for your fantasy team until he breaks out of this slump. Anze Kopitar is the player that drives this team and I don’t care when Ryan Smyth is coming back… it’s time for Kopitar to take the wheel.

The wheel of the team, Anze!. Not of the Parking Spot shuttle.

Calgary on Monday at home, Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I will be there. Is it just me or does it feel like the Kings are playing every day?


 

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.