Toronto Gets the Shaft


Elite NHL teams beat Bad NHL teams. That’s just the way it is. Sure, there is the “On Any Given Sunday” principle, wherein an inferior team can rise up to the occasion and beat a team that is far superior to itself. Any Elite NHL team the Kings beat over the last 3 years falls into this category. And Tuesday night in Toronto… the Los Angeles Kings played like an Elite NHL team. They beat a Bad NHL team. And you know the other mark of an Elite NHL team? They can win a game when their US Olympian goalie has a truly horrible game.

kontos tv

Yes, I’m that neurotic about missing a Kings game when it’s on Center Ice that I recorded both feeds.
And yes, I watch The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love.
Don’t act like you don’t.

 

Kings 5, Maple Leafs 3

I feel for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mainly because I’ve been through the rebuilding process the last few years with the Kings. And I can tell you Leaf fans, from watching the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup down the freeway, that Brian Burke is the right guy for the job. It’s just not going to happen in a year. Looking for a visual analogy from last nights game of how the Maple Leafs season has gone so far?

leaf stall 1

How cool! The Leafs arrive to ice level in a private elevator.
No wonder they are one of the NHL wealthiest franchises!

leaf stall 2

“Hey.. hey! Can you hold that door!”

leaf stall 3

“Man, I’m not even supposed to be here today!
I’m too old for this shit!”

leaf stall 4

Finally… the hostages are released.
In hindsight… they probably should have gone back down.

Now, I don’t get the chance to follow the Leafs that much from here on the West Coast. But I was pretty sure they were going through a youth movement.

leafs rebuild

Worst. Rebuilding. Ever.

The greatest thing about watching the Kings play in Canada is that since Fox Sports West HD won’t spend the money to send a crew to Canada… I get to watch the Kings play on Center Ice, Canadian broadcaster style. And last night, I learned the hometown of each referee and linesman and the play by play announcer actually commended Kings Coach Terry Murray for starting Ontario natives Wayne Simmonds, Brad Richardson and Drew Doughty on the first shift. OR… maybe Coach Murray was just putting his first line out there and cares as much about Ontario, Canada as he does Ontario, California.

drew scream

Drew Doughty.
Excited that he scored in front of friends and family?
Or excited about how much hometown trim he’s going to get after the game?

The only thing more rare than the Los Angeles Kings playing in Toronto (this is the Kings’ first visit to Toronto since December 2005!) was Ryan Smyth scoring from 10 feet out in front of the goal.

smyth 10 footer

“Told you I wasn’t 1-dimensional.”

After Ryan Smyth scored the 4th goal for the Kings, Brian Burke had to make the important decision on whether to continue figuring out which one of his players he’s going to trade or if he should do some homework for Team USA.

burkie

“Um.. yeah. There is no way I’m giving Quick a start.”
“Even against Latvia.”

The other amazing thing about watching a Canadian broadcast of my favorite NHL team based in Los Angeles are the great stats that the Canadians come up with. Ready for your mind to be blown?

OD crazy stat

Wow. Did you have any idea about this?

And there was even a Canadian celebrity up in the booth during the 2nd period. Well, a celebrity from kinda near Canada.

jairus byrd

Hey! It’s NFL superstar Jairus Byrd!
Don’t try to tell me the Buffalo Bills aren’t eventually moving to Toronto.
I guess it’s payback for the Jets and Nordiques.

So the Kings move into sole possession of 6th place in the Western Conference and are only 3 points out of 4th place. And 5 points out of the playoffs. How tight is the Western Conference going to be moving forward? Check out the recent winning ways of the top 6 teams.

win_streak

Yeah, it’s going to be a bit of dogfight.

For all the news and rumors from the Toronto Maple Leafs check out Pension Plan Puppets or BeLeaf Blog. The Kings head to Columbus Thursday for another game that they should win. If they want to keep pretending they are an Elite NHL team.

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.