There Are New Kings in Town

Statement… made. Sure Evgeni Malkin was out injured and Marc-Andre Fleury was doing his best Marty Turco impression. But tonight, the Los Angeles Kings out hustled, out played and due to a 4-goal 3rd period… out scored the defending NHL Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. NHL on the Fly introduced the highlights of tonights game by saying “The NHL’s best face off as Crosby’s Penguins take on Kopitar’s Kings.” During the Kings Talk post-game show, radio play by play announcer Nick Nickson read off the top 3 teams in the NHL… then laughed out loud as he announced the 4th place overall Kings. With a culture of losing that goes back nearly 40 years… what is a loyal Kings fan to do with these 2009-2010 Los Angeles Kings? Enjoy the fucking ride… that’s what!

Kings 5, Stanley Cup Champions 2

Kop-i-tar? No, never heard of him, why?

The Kings owned this game from the first 27 seconds until the end. But with the Kings down 2-1 at the start of the 3rd period… it felt like a game from the Kings of last season… a Kings team that would out-shoot opponents by 15 shots and dominate the game… but finish without a victory. Well this years’ Kings showed what is different from last season with their 4 goal explosion in the 3rd period. They finished off the Penguins… and they finished them off strong. The Staples Center was buzzing tonight… a sold out crowd and the absolute feeling that we were watching 2 of the best teams in the NHL playing in front of us.

I’m coming for you, Crosby.

This team is firing on all cylinders right now. And because of that… I really find myself at a loss for words. You see… my whole shtick on this blog is that the Kings suck. The whole point is that me and Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy are the lovable losers who sit in the back row of 217 and make fun of how bad the Kings are.

An artists’ rendering of ChrisKontos and Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy.

We are used to ending the game shaking our heads at each other… saying “lame” or “ugh… the worst.” We aren’t used to having a completely dominate, winning team to root for each night. I mean at tonights game we just noticed that there are red goal lights all around the perimeter of the arena, just above the wrap-around scoreboard. Have those been there all season? Who knows! We’ve been too busy paying attention to the awesome team on the ice to notice. I mean, really… what are 2 guys who have had Half Season Tickets since the last time the Kings made the playoffs supposed to do when this is on the front page of NHL.com???

Get it? Dethroned. Because they are Kings.

I guess we just sit back and watch. And we hope that in 4 weeks, when it’s December, that this team is still playing nearly as well as it has in the last 8 games. Remember when Kings fans were freaking out about Jon Quick’s rough start? Well, he now has a 2.08 goals-against average and .913 save percentage over the last 8 games, the same 8 games that the Kings are 6-0-2 in. Remember when people questioned (not me, just RudyKelly) what gas Ryan Smyth had left in his tank… or if Justin Williams was really worth giving up Patrick O’Sullivan for? Well, The Greatest Line Ever of Kopitar, Smyth and Williams now has 48 points in 11 games. My head is going to explode.

Can you believe how fucking good we are?
I know, we totally rock!
Hey guys, it’s me Erik! Think I’ll ever play again?

Pittsburgh fans are great. They really are. I hate when the Kings play Eastern Conference teams because it’s always some jerk off from Boston or New York sitting next to you. But when Pittsburgh comes to town… it attracts hard-working, knowledgeable fans to the Staples Center. And they always have awesome jerseys… like this lady sitting next to us that drove 8 hours to the game tonight.

Or this guy… who was busy star-gazing over the Keamy, the dude who killed Ben’s daughter on Lost. But at least he was star-gazing while rocking an awesome Barrasso jersey.

Tonight, we were joined by a friend of mine that loves the Penguins. (The last time this friend and I had watched a hockey game together it was in the strangest of places.) And he didn’t rub it in our face after every Pens goal… he didn’t make a big deal when the Kings took over… he just enjoyed watching two great hockey teams play. As we exited the Staples Center he said to us… “it’s not like the Penguins aren’t going to make the playoffs.” And as we stood on a street corner with Pens fans, decked out in Penguin wear, a car drove by and said “Screw Pittsburgh!” When I repeated what the car had screamed out… one of the Pens fans looked at me and said “I couldn’t hear him because our Stanley Cup rings are clogging my ears.” I smiled at the dude and had the horrible pangs of jealousy fill my body. Goddamn I hope I can use that line one day.

WHY KINGS FANS RULE:
Because someone did this tonight in the urinals near the Team LA Store.

You rule, Los Angeles Kings fans… you rule.

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.