TRH RECAP 17: VANCRUMBLED

KINGS 5, CANUCKS 1

“TOP TITTY!!”, I gleefully shouted in a public place, earning confused looks from those around me and a bemused glare from Ms. Tufficult. The blue and green-clad Canuck fans, initially so daring in the frequency and severity of their anti-Kings taunts, now slinked toward the Staples Center exits, left with naught but obnoxious haircuts and a few loonies jingling in their pockets. Near me in Section 207, a guy who looked like an alcoholic French-Canadian version of F. Murray Abraham took the waning moments of the Kings’ 5-1 drubbing of the Canucks to spin out his impossibly long parting shots in his now hoarse, gravelly, French voice. “HAHA! Where’s your Sedin twins now, ya lily-livered whining buncha… ahhhh*gurgle*”

Vancouver Canucks v Los Angeles Kings

Yes, it was a crushing defeat the Kings put upon the hated Canucks last night, one that satisfyingly mirrored the carnival atmosphere outside Staples Center. On my way out of the building, the glitzy colored lights adorning the Ferris Wheel were a festive reflection of Kings fans’ mood, though its gondolas sat empty as the inside of Tom Sestito’s head. The Silly Slide towered amidst the tallest buildings at LA Live, offering a dizzying descent for those wanting to sample a firsthand experience of the Canucks’ dwindling Cup hopes. The empty potato sacks the children rode down the slide were a solemn reminder of Vancouver shopowners and how they were forced to clothe themselves following the 2011 riots. We paused to pay our respects with a booming, unified chant: “HEY VANCOUVER FANS — YOU SUCK!!”

NPR’s flagship program This American Life recently ran an awesome and hilarious show centered around the phenomenon that is the fiasco. What separates a mere mishap, an evening of unfortunate occurrences, from becoming a full-blown, out of control FIASCO? One of the ingredients of a delicious fiasco, Ira Glass noted, is the delicious bloodlust that an audience begins to develop as the fiasco intensifies. Suddenly, the audience feeds off of its own desire to watch the proceedings devolve into even more of a fevered clusterf*ck. In this case, the faithful at Staples weren’t satisfied with 3, 4, or 5 goals… we wanted MORE. We wanted to stick it to the overzealous Canuck fans in the worst way possible – their attempts at starting “Go Canucks Go” chants in every nook and cranny of our arena had worn more than thin – it was an affront to our territory! And so it was that our first goal buoyed the psychological edge now held by Kings fans, as Jordan Nolan put home a nifty pass from Linden Vey, the latter making a highlight-worthy move for his first NHL point. The crowd erupted – if our young guns were already getting on the board, we felt our chances were good to secure a win.

Before the period was over, Tyler Toffoli tipped in a Drew Doughty shot, Jonathan Quick had made some Vezina-level saves, and all was well. During the intermission, Canuck fans were less exuberant than usual, and I used my newfound trick of doing multiplication tables in my head while peeing in a divider-less urinal to assuage my insecuri-pee.

It was during the second period, though, that a good Kings start turned into a full-blown fiasco for our Pacific Coast rivals. About a minute after Dan Hamhands slapped a puck past Quickie, my man Mike Richards created some havoc in front of Luongo and added a tally of his own.

In the next 3 minutes, the Kings scored two more quick goals courtesy of Justin Williams and Toffoli again, and the fiasco was officially upon us. The crowd, sensing blood in the water, got bolder in their belligerence towards Canuck fans. There was a crackling energy in the air that continually built upon itself – suddenly, it wasn’t just good enough to chase Luongo, the crowd wanted Lack gone too, wanted Tortorella himself to step in and attempt some saves with his goblin thumb.

If I were affiliated with the Canucks, I’d want to change the channel too.

The Kings’ physicality and offensive outburst combined to create an electric atmosphere that made most of the remaining Vancouver fans too uncomfortable to witness the end of this beatdown. Sutter’s tongue was thrashing all over the place. I was peeing at will, unencumbered. This, THIS was the nectar of the hockey gods, that moment where your opponent is in the midst of a genuine fiasco, and you are there to feast on their tattered remains, connected to your basest instincts which instruct you to harpoon orcas on sight.

And of course… I’m not sure exactly who I’m most jealous of in this last tweet…

Tufficult out.

Stay bloodthirsty,

-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 has enjoyed such hobbies as: watching his lifelong favorite sports team achieve their first championship in history, being unable to pee at Staples Center if too many people are waiting for his urinal, and "contributing" to The Royal Half.If you're a glutton for punishment, you can follow King Tufficult on Twitter @KingTufficult.