Playoff Preview Party: Game 1

I think it’s really cute how Los Angeles Kings fans across the board are predicting a 1st round upset over the San Jose Sharks. I mean you can’t blame them really… that’s what a fan does… they support their team with blind faith through thick and thin. But here’s my problem with predicting the Kings to beat the Sharks in the 1st round of the NHL Playoffs… if by some miracle they do win… you get to brag about what a soothsayer and hockey scout genius you are. If they lose, then you get to brag about how you believed in your team no matter what. It’s a win-win situation really. It takes a real fan to look at their team with realistic expectations… and predict that they are going to lose.  

Sharks in 4.  

The Sharks boast an impressive roster of offensive talent. Remember how everyone was making a big deal about how the Kings have 6 forwards with 20+ goals? (It’s really 5 if you don’t count Dustin Penner who showed up here with 21 and now has… 23). Well San Jose has 7 dudes with 20 goals.

And what do the Kings bring to the table for this 1st round battle? Justin Williams at 80%!  

That’s right, bitches!! Might even be 83% by 7pm tonight!!! Woo-hoo!

I’m pretty sure when Dean Lombardi sat down 5 years ago and laid out all the boxes he had to fill in order to rebuild this awful franchise he never imagined that his playoff hopes would hinge on whether or not to call up a 19 year old rookie. Lombardi was faced with the dilemma of losing a year off of Brayden Schenn’s entry level contract by bringing him up for a 4 game series with the Sharks. But instead he has sent him to a place where he can actually go deep in the playoffs… Manchester. The Kings burned the 1st year of Oscar Moller’s contract in 2008 by keeping him on the roster… and look how well that has turned out. There is no guarantee if Schenn will be a super stud or not. He showed some skills in the first 8 games of the season but nothing is a given in the NHL. Right, Lauri Tukonen?  

“Hey guys. I’m here to replace Kopitar. If he were playing in the AHL.”

The best part of this playoff series will be the hot California on California action that will pit a team from the Bay Area against a team from Los Angeles for the 1st time since 1969.  

A tv show about a dude in California that is addicted to sex?
I had no idea Jarret Stoll had sold his life rights.  

Of course there is a part of me that desperately hopes the Kings pull off the upset of the year. I’ve been a fan of this team too long to not have the ability to have some blind faith. But I’ve also been a fan of this team long enough to know the true meaning of disappointment. At the end of the day you have to look at it this way I guess… the Los Angeles Kings went 8 years without making the playoffs. Now they are there 2 years in a row… and not even as the 8th seed! It’s progress for sure.  


I don’t care if Williams is back.
We aren’t updating the shirt. 

If you haven’t ordered your 2011 Playoff Shirt… hurry up. You may not have long to wear it. I may not be able to watch live tonight, but feel free to chat it up in the comments. And away we go…  

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.