Jump On The Bandwagon

Remember on Saturday, how I mentioned that it would be 2 days before the MainStreamMedia and the Hockey BlogOsphere would be chiming in on the playoff chances of the Los Angeles Kings?
“Man, it is exciting to be a Kings fan right now. How long until the MainStreamMedia and the Hockey BlogOsphere start chatting up the possibility of the Kings grabbing that 8th spot. I give it 2 days.”

Well… it’s been 2 days. Let’s check in, shall we?

Starting with the BlogOsphere… 2 from PuckDaddy at Yahoo.

“Don’t look now but a recent 6-1 surge and 3-1 start to a five-game road trip has put young Los Angeles into the thick of the playoff chase.”PuckDaddy 2/7/09

And a feature about The Royal Half’s favorite 19 Year Old defenseman, 19 Year Old Drew Doughty.

“We’re a very good team that just underachieved in the first half of the season. We’re better than a lot of teams that are in the playoff race right now.”

They have been since Jan. 1, going 8-5-1 overall and 3-1 on a long road trip that ends on Long Island Tuesday night. Powered by two good offensive lines, solid goaltending from Jon Quick and a growing confidence from its young core, the Kings are three points out of the eighth seed.”

And here comes the MainStreamMedia:

The Hockey News – Kings of the Castle
“The Kings have more than enough hope for the future; what they need now is a playoff berth to accentuate the learning curve of the young players already driving the team.”

Scott Burnside at ESPN

“For our money, seeing the youthful Los Angeles Kings sneak in would probably be the biggest boon for the league. Having Los Angeles back in the playoff picture after a five-season absence would do wonders for the West Coast market (especially if Anaheim continues to flounder its way out of the playoffs). And it just might happen given the inability of any of the teams in the bottom half of the bracket to separate themselves from the pack.

The Kings have won three straight and six of seven, including wins over playoff-bound New Jersey, Washington and Chicago, and begin the week just three points out of eighth place.”

And the Kings have finally made the first page of the TSN Power Rankings. Number 14 with a bullet!
“The Kings have won six of seven behind the quality goaltending of rookie Jonathan Quick and a return to expected production levels from first-liners Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.”

And last, but certainly not least… 22 Year Old goaltender Jon Quick was selected as the NHL’s First Star this past week.
“Quick stopped 95 of 100 shots in posting three consecutive road victories, lifting the Kings (23-21-7, 53 points) within three points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. He stopped 29 shots in recording his third shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory at Ottawa Feb. 3, made 41 saves in a 5-4 victory at Washington Feb. 5 and concluded the week by making 25 stops in a 3-1 victory at New Jersey Feb. 7. The 23-year-old Milford, Conn. native improved his season record to 10-6-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 18 games. He ranks third among NHL rookie goaltenders in victories behind Steve Mason of Columbus (19) and Pekka Rinne of Nashville (14).”

It seems that Dean Lombardi’s Master Plan is all coming together.

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.