TRH Playoff Gameday 1 – St. Louis Blues: To Hull And Back


Game #1

LA KINGS
40-27-15
95 pts, 8th in Western Conference, 13th in NHL
vs
ST. LOUIS BLUES
49-22-11
109 pts, 2nd in Western Conference, 3rd in NHL

Kings Won Regular Season Series 3-1

4:30pm, Scottrade Center
St. Louis, MO
NBC SN 

BEST PLAYER TO WEAR BOTH COLORS:

I mean… does Gretzky look ridiculous in that jersey or what?

BEST OPPOSITION BLOGS:
St. Louis Game Time
Thrashing the Blues

BEST APPEARANCE BY ST. LOUIS IN A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE:


       

ARE THE LA KINGS IN THE NEXT ROUND?
NO!

Much like our counterparts over at St. Louis Game Time… I’ve had a hard time finding enough hate to put towards the St. Louis Blues in their 2nd Round matchup with the Los Angeles Kings. I mean… let’s be honest here… these franchises are very similar. Both teams are lovable losers who haven’t won anything of any substance during their 44 seasons in the NHL. So just when I think “Hey, you know what… these Blues aren’t half bad”… I remember this.


     

Fuck you, St. Louis.
No… not because you traded for Wayne Gretzky…
but because you got Wayne Gretzky for Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, Craig Johnson, Matt Zultek and Peter Hogan.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ROYAL HALF ROUND 2 GAME 1 PREVIEW!!!

Brett Hull scored 936 points as a member of the St. Louis Blues from 1987 until 1998. Wayne Gretzky scored 918 points as a member of the Los Angeles Kings from 1988 until 1996. And during their time in their respective cities in the prime of their careers, Wayne Gretzky led his team to 1st place in their division once… and Brett Hull never did. So for roughly 8 overlapping years in St. Louis and in Los Angeles, two of the greatest NHL players of all-time… didn’t win shit.

While 3 of the 4 teams in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals have actually won Stanley Cups everyone is focused on the 4 teams in the Western Semi-Finals… each of which have never won the Cup. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Los Angeles Kings are the only team out of the 4 to have actually won a single game in a Stanley Cup Final.

But god damn what a 1 game it was.

But enough about the past. The horrible, horrible past. Or at least the long-ago past. Since 2004, the LA Kings have been in the playoffs 3 times, the St. Louis Blues 2. These are two very evenly matched hockey teams, from stellar goaltending to low-scoring forwards to grizzled veteran leaders. So what is the one factor that will decide which of these two teams will advance past the 2nd Round for the 1st time since… well 11 years for the Blues and 19 years for the Kings? Their celebrity fans, that’s what!!!

“Hey, Tom… whoever’s team wins the series gets my wife for the night.”

“Jon… I don’t get it. What’s in it for you?”

“I usually bang my co-stars. It’d be something different for a night.”

“Deal.”

CELEBRITY FANS

Man, Hooch got fat.

Even though he’s been recently spotted attending games at Staples Center, Tom Hanks has actually been a long-time fan of the Los Angeles Kings. 

Look over there, it’s Sean Young.
I want to say hi, but I guess I’ll just see her at the next A-List party soon.

I remember seeing Tom Hanks at the Great Western Forum in the early 90s when everyone wanted to be in the Wayne Gretzky business. And I mean EVERYONE.

But Tom’s love of the Kings didn’t just extend to the West Coast.

And he’s such passionate hockey fan Hanks even once made a movie about Marc-Andre Fleury’s fivehole.

Meanwhile, Jon Hamm is a lying-liar who lies about how long he’s been a St. Louis Blues fan. And honestly… I think he just wears vintage St. Louis Blues gear so he can look like a hipster.

Besides… Jon Hamm is one of us now. It’s time you drop that Midwestern accent so you can get better roles.

But there is one area in which Jon Hamm has excelled when it comes to the St. Louis Blues.

Being the inspiration for the Blues NHL Guardian.

Or maybe it was this guy.

Look, stats don’t lie:

Tom Hanks: 2 Oscars, 4 Emmys, 4 Golden Globes, 5 People’s Choice Awards.
Jon Hamm: 1 Golden Globe.

“Perron-Backes-Oshie.”

“Williams-Kopitar-Brown.”

“What are you boys talking about? Everyone knows the best line comes from Gucci!”

ADVANTAGE: KINGS

COACHES

Sure, having the ultimate celebrity fan cheering for you always leads a team to victory. But let’s talk a little bit about the real reason these teams are in the 2nd Round… the Head Coaches.

Yes, I know Hitchcock has a Cup… but it would be the Blues’ first!

Darryl Sutter and Ken Hitchcock’s trip to the 2nd Round of the Stanley Cup Finals has been a rather similar one. Hired just over a month apart from each other, these coaches have been around the block before having coached 29 seasons between them in the NHL. They may not have been the most popular choices when they were hired by their respective clubs but Hitchcock led the Blues to a 43-15-11 record while Darryl Sutter went 25-13-11. Not bad for a couple of old dogs, huh?

Get it?

And besides their success in turning both of these struggling teams around… Sutter and Hitchcock are similar in a lot of other ways.

Don’t let his weight fool ya… Hitchcock is definitely the neat one.

So honestly… I don’t care who matches up better. Because not only are the Los Angeles Kings in the 2nd Round of the NHL Playoffs… but I get to stare at these guys for the next 4 games (at least).

I feel like I already won.

ADVANTAGE: THE ROYAL HALF

Besides… it could be worse for both of these teams, right?

Right.

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.