Clenched Tight

If the Dallas Stars lose a game, then the Gates of Hell known as the Western Conference finally fly open as the Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes would all clinch a playoff spot. For the Kings, this would be the first time they’ve been in the playoff in back-to-back years since 2002. How long ago was that?

Nickelback’s, “How You Remind Me” was the #1 hit. 

Well, at least they are Canadian, right?

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the number 1 movie in 2002. And I had totally forgot about the failed start-up hockey league that was formed out of it.

The Hobbits took it all that year, but the league really wanted the Rangers to win.

And making its television debut in 2002 was the reality hit, American Idol.

Which allowed Mike Fisher to be traded to the Predators so he could score 4 goals in 24 games.

So here we are in 2011 and with any combination of a Dallas Stars loss and a Los Angeles Kings win, the Kings will taste the sweet nectar of the post-season for the second straight year. And this time, to make it interesting, they are doing it without their 2 leading scorers!

Wayne, don’t worry. I got this. A lot of people don’t know…
but I scored 4 goals for the Green Bay Gamblers in 2002.” 

Matt Greene played for the Green Bay Gamblers?
That must have been a marketing departments wet dream.

Even after beating the Stars 3-1, the Los Angeles Kings technically haven’t scored on an NHL goaltender for 5 periods. I’m really diggin’ Coach Murray’s new strategy for scoring off the opponents defensemen.

That Goligoski trade really paid off here for the Kings.

Now I’m sure every single Kings fan will be rooting for the Anaheim Ducks to beat the Dallas Stars today. But just keep in mind that a victory by the Ducks puts them 1 point behind the Kings. I don’t know about you, but while the travel time to each game would be pleasant, I wouldn’t want to be the NHL franchise that plays the Ducks in the first round. Even after Doug Murray took a 5 mile jog at Lubomir Visnovsky. 

Battle of California has a great breakdown of how awesome the state was in March.

With a Stars loss today, all 3 California teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time ever. Meanwhile, it looks like Canada is only going to have 2 teams in the post-season. (3 if you count Buffalo.) Forget Winnipeg, I think it’s time the NHL seriously considers a different destination for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Bring back the Gulls!

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.