TUFF’S 3 PERIODS – 9.2.13



Tuff3Periods

Welcome back, loyal #HashtagTeamTRH readers, to a brand-spanking new September edition of TUFF’S 3 PERIODS. Grab your morning Labor Day beer and pull up a chair, because we’re about to get weird. Oh, and one last thing before we get started:

Just wait and see, Colin. When our powers combine, there won’t be a single household in California where Tufficult isn’t uttered as a term of endearment, a swear-word replacement, a description for the finest things in life, or a synonym for completely stumbling over your words.

FIRST PERIOD – WILLIE-NILLIE

Recent reports from The Mayor himself indicate that our beloved veteran defenseman and sustainable fisherman Willie Mitchell will be at 100% in time for training camp. The immediate implications for our team include fewer pucks in our own net, as well as a 250% increase in the use of “, right?!” as a sentence suffix.

This is what we play for, right?!

Mitchell re-entering the lineup likely slots our D pairings as follows:

Doughty-Regehr
Mitchell-Voynov
Muzzin-Greene

Assuming that Willie is indeed at 100%, that second pairing is looking awfully dangerous. Only one guy on that line talks, but both have some serious skill. Beyond Mitchell’s obvious defensive ability, I’ve always thought his shot was really underrated. It’s hard and accurate, much like Coach Sutter’s demeanor. Still, many question marks remain. It’s been 15 months since Willie has played in an NHL game (for perspective, he also became the second Los Angeles King to ever lift the Stanley Cup after that game). At 36 years old, is Mitchell ready to step back into the furious pace of NHL hockey?

Don’t you dare question me.

I say he is. I mean, this is a two-time recipient of the Babe Pratt trophy we’re talking about, here. Willie is that rare breed of athlete who seems to be closing out his career stronger than he started it, and one more Cup might be incentive enough to wring a final campaign out of the knee he’s sacrificed for our team’s glory.

SECOND PERIOD – A DOCTOR/PATIENT RELATIONSHIP

Our second item today comes courtesy of an interesting blog post by Lindsey MacDonald, a resident physician and the girlfriend of Kings center Mike Richards. In the post, Lindsey interviews Mike about what it’s like to sustain a concussion:

Me: Describe the immediate feeling of a concussion. What are the symptoms you experience in the days following?

Mike: Usually nothing right away, then after a min or two I’ve gotten blurred vision out of 1 or both eyes. One of the times I forgot a part of the play and tried to describe it, but missed a part.

So, at one point Mike forgot part of the play, completely blacking out for a moment after getting his bell rung. As far as I’m concerned, that’s admirable considering a few times last year Jake Muzzin forgot the play while he was experiencing it, and as far as I’m aware he didn’t suffer any head trauma.

In the interest of full disclosure, Mike Richards is my favorite King. He’s got unbeatable hockey IQ, the kind of heart that is obviously captain-quality, and a salad that refuses to be tamed. Do you remember Game 5 of the WCF this last playoffs? Richards returns from yet another concussion to score the tying goal with less than 8 seconds remaining, leading me on the wildest rollercoaster of emotions all year: I went from adrenaline-infused joy, to alcohol-soaked tension in the first OT, to anger vomiting – all in under an hour.

Given all that Mike Richards has sacrificed for the team I love, it’s understandable that I wince every time he catches an elbow to his noodle, considering the Kings simply aren’t the same without his presence. Yet, every time he does withstand one of those shots to his head, I remind myself that things aren’t really that bad for Rick after all:

King Richards.

THIRD PERIOD – FRAT, FRAT, FRAT!

Matt Frattin, how far you’ve come from the icy, unforgiving tundra of Toronto. Welcome to LA, where you get to play volleyball with Jarret Stoll in the South Bay. That’s a pretty far cry from spending your summers hitting golf balls into a water hazard full of Dion Phaneuf’s tears. In this TRH-exclusive video of their volleyball match, you can see how well-rounded Stolly and Frattin are athletically – they can bump and set with the best of them.

Matt Frattin, courtesy of SEARS department stores

Considering Stoll and Frattin are likely to begin the year on the same line, I’m glad they’re establishing some chemistry before training camp starts.

OVERTIME – THE TUFFICULT TWEET TAKEDOWN

Finally, for our OT period of terrible tweet truculence, we have this gem courtesy of the LA Kings Ice Crew:

Yes, that’s right – someone got a tattoo of the Exorcist girl wearing an LA Kings jersey. Oh, don’t get me wrong: the actual Ice Girl is obviously beautiful, but this is the type of image that doesn’t translate well to body art. Not to mention the fact that if the tat’s owner starts to put on some pounds in a few years, this thing is going to look like a diagram straight out of a water birth instructional manual.

I can’t talk too much trash here, though. I’ve done that same pose with my hands and jersey… but I was about to piss myself in line for a toilet at Staples.

It looked way sexier when I did it.

-King Tufficult (@KingTufficult)

As a child, King Tufficult liked to hang out at Iceoplex to watch his dad’s summer skating group that included many gloriously mulleted individuals. Some of the people attached to those mullets played for the early 90′s LA Kings. It was destiny. Since then, King Tufficult is best known for extensively traveling in Europe during the Cup Finals and writing “The Post” after Game 6 of the 2014 WCF. If you're a glutton for punishment, you can follow King Tufficult on Twitter @KingTufficult.