TRH Gameday 28 – Minnesota Wild: Realigning & It Feels So Good


Game #28

LA Kings
(13-10-4, 15th in NHL)
vs
Minnesota Wild
(18-7-3, 1st (!) in NHL)

7:30pm, Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA

BEST PLAYER TO WEAR BOTH COLORS:

Matt Johnson was Captain of the Minnesota Wild?!?!

BEST OPPOSITION BLOGS:
Hockey Wilderness
The State of Hockey News
Wild Puck Banter

Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I have been talking about the NHL’s recent plans for realignment. How this impacts the Los Angeles Kings has been completely explored by Quisp but HSTHB and I have never been fans of the fact that some teams make the playoffs just by winning their division. So we here at TRH welcome the change to the 4 conferences and the top 4 teams in each making the playoffs. Of course, when your favorite hockey team has only made the playoffs twice in the last 8 seasons… it’s hard to complain about a lack of rivalries. But it’s exciting that the Kings have a better chance of facing more consistent teams in the playoffs… because all those Calgary and Edmonton playoff series in the late 80s/early 90s were so great. 

Anyone remember the “Deck The Midget” sign that hung from the GW Forum upper deck?

I got to thinking about this current LA Kings team and how they will fit into the new NHL. The Kings are in a tough conference where you have to assume that the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks will make the playoffs each season. That leaves space for 2 spots from 6 teams. The Phoenix Coyotes have made the playoffs the last 2 seasons, the Anaheim Ducks, despite their troubles this year, have made it 5 of the last 6. The Edmonton Oilers are slowly building a young, fast team, the Colorado Avalanche are in the midst of a re-build and the Calgary Flames are just plain awful. It’s going to be quite a battle in whatever this conference ends up being called. So with the way that the LA Kings are having trouble scoring this season, I’m suggesting a realignment that can really improve the Kings chances of making the playoffs each season. 

It just makes sense.

While others might think the NHL’s plan for realignment is best for the LA Kings, I beg to differ. With my version, by moving the Columbus Blue Jackets into the Kings conference, you are moving a team that has only scored 2 more goals than the Kings this season. So at the very least, the Kings can win a bunch of games in shootouts! And even though Winnipeg has scored 15 more goals than the Kings this season, they’ve given up 18 more… which is a great tradeoff. And by moving the AHL Binghamton Senators into the Kings conference… I have to think the Kings would be able to beat the 4th worst team in the AHL at least 4 out of 6 times a season, right? I’ve submitted this plan to the NHL and am waiting to hear back. 

NO.

I understand why LA Kings fans get frustrated when teams like the Minnesota Wild come into town. Here’s a team that hasn’t made the playoffs the last 3 seasons, they promote an unknown, minor league coach, make a couple trades and all of a sudden they are the best team in the league. Even though they aren’t all that different than the Los Angeles Kings. No wonder people are ready to fire Terry Murray.

Who wants to Fire Murray when you can Promote Penner! Dustin Penner slowly worked his way up the Kings lines Tuesday night in Anaheim… earning an assist on Slava Voynov’s goal and even spending some time with his old buddy Anze Kopitar on the top line. So for tonight against the Minnesota Wild, the rules are still simple. Just guess the exact time and period that Dustin Penner scores his 2nd goal of the season... and you win a free t-shirt from The Royal Half Gift Shoppe. You can put your predictions in the comments below or reply to me on Twitter with #PennerPoint. Good luck everyone.

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.