Freeway Shooting


Now that’s more like it. The Los Angeles Kings finished their scoring opportunities, they finished their checks and they finished off the Anaheim Ducks 5 game winning streak. They chased away Anaheim starting goalie Jonas Hiller and Wayne Simmonds had one of the greatest games of his professional career with a goal and 2 fights that brought the entire Staples Center crowd to their feet. It’s like everything the Kings were trying to do in their losses to Detroit and San Jose was working tonight. And it had to work… since with Detroit wining its game… for few hours the Kings were in 9th place, out of the playoffs. So 2 fights for Simmonds, Dustin Brown and Ryan Carter go at it and Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry both get misconducts. Did I mention this game was a teeny bit physical?

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Kings 4, Ducks 0

I love Wayne Simmonds on the first line. It just fits right. He was a big hit on the first line earlier in the season and I just love having a guy on the first line with Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth who isn’t afraid to drop his gloves and fight. The Kings knew they hadn’t been playing to their potential during the first 3 games of this 7 game homestand and Wayne Simmonds came flying out of the gate to start.

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“You take Simmonds this shift.”
“No way, you do.”
“I’m not going up against him, you do it.”
“No effin’ way, bro.”

It always feels good to beat the Ducks. Maybe it’s because in 16 seasons the Ducks have been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice and in 42 seasons… the Kings have been once. But the NHL franchise in Anaheim will never be able to shake the stigma of being born from a Disney movie and tonight at Staples Center… there were a lot of classic cartoon characters in attendance.

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A Shrek jersey that some dude actually spent money on.

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Cartman from South Park showing his Kings pride.

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The cast of Jersey Shore.

Maybe it was just because it was Game 2 of the Subway Freeway-Face Off™… but the Kings Marketing Department really brought their A game tonight. They had the organ blaring the “Hillll-errrrr” chant right away after the first Kings goal… they cranked “Hey-Hey Goodbye” as Hiller was replaced by former starting goalie J.S. Giguere… and with a few minutes left in the 3rd period I saw something I’ve never seen before at a Los Angeles Kings game.

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The mascot, Bailey… dressed in a fat lady outfit… singing.

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The view from behind.

It was equally hysterical and scary. They were even playing opera for Bailey to sing along with. For years, the NHL has been trying to create a rivalry between these two Southern California teams. And to think all this time… the recipe for rivalry was simple… the Kings just had to be a good team. Because tonight was as much a rivalry game as I’ve ever seen between these two teams. Just ask the equipment managers after the melee that erupted once Bobby Ryan slammed Oscar Moller into the boards with 8 seconds left in the game.

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Really Bobby Ryan… Oscar Moller? That is who you make your big statement against?
You might have well taken on an Ice Girl.
The Kings are back on the ice Saturday afternoon against the Boston Bruins. Playing games against teams from the East Coast always sucks… because most of the fans at Staples are rooting for the opposing team. The Royal Half will be there and will be joined by 2 friends… who are, of course, rooting for Boston.
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.