Weekend Warriors

Well, that’s not exactly how I would have liked to seen these 2 weekend games play out… but in the end, the Kings have a chance to end this 5 game roadtrip 3-2. Considering the way the Kings played Friday night against the Atlanta Thrashers… finishing this road trip above .500 would be enough to make any Kings fans scream.

Eh… after the 2nd period you may not be as excited to see this game.

Atlanta Thrashers 7, Los Angeles Kings 0

Even after the 2nd period… when it was “only” 4-0 Thrashers… two thoughts came to mind… one was “even though they are down 4-0 how is it possible that the Kings are kinda dominating this game?” and secondly… “what the hell is this goalies name?”

Seems like a long way to go just for “Andre.”

The Kings lost this game. Badly. But it’s not often that you see a team lose 7-0 and outshoot the opposing team 38-21. It’s enough to make Kings fans want to give the team a stink-eye.

I’m coming for you Jack Johnson.

The Kings just weren’t prepared for this game. Maybe they were frightened by playing more hockey in the deep south… you see things at these games that you just don’t see elsewhere in the league.

Or maybe they were just spooked by this leftover Halloween decoration.

And with another poor game played by Jon Quick… it gets more and more awkward in the Kings locker room.

“That’s cool guys, I’ll just wait here till you are all changed.”

Is it just me or did Rich Hammond get some serious “hockey correspondent” training since the last time he appeared on the air with Jim Fox? Because Hammond was rocking it during this segment. I totally feel that within 3 years Rich Hammond will be known as “Hammy” and is going to be on ESPN, VS or whatever major cable operator is broadcasting the NHL. (Animal Planet) As Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy pointed out… Hammond does much better with Fox than he did with Bob Miller. But that’s only because Jim Fox knows what a “blog” is.

Good Evening, I’m Rich Hammond and this is the latest in your Kopitar news.

So you get smashed 7-0 to a team you probably should have been able to beat. Your goalie was pulled after 3 goals, has looked shaky the last few games and also had a talking to by the coach and assistant GM. In pro sports you are always given the luxury of having the next game to redeem yourself. Or to at least save face.

Kings 2, NHL Referee’s 1

The controversy in question.

I’ve been watching the NHL a long time… and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen something like that. As a Kings fan… I’ll take the extra point earned with a shootout victory… but if I’m a Tampa Bay Lightning fan… I’m pissed!

OMG! I can’t believe they waved that goal off!
Here comes the ref…don’t look, don’t look, don’t look!
Dude, there is no way I’ll keep a straight face on the next shift!

The best part of this play (besides the fact that it took a victory away from the team that deserved it) was Jon Quick’s…. um… quick response to the fact that he knew it wasn’t a goal. From LAKings Insider

(on the goalie interference in overtime…)
QUICK: “There was a play in the first that was pretty similar. The ref told me that if that went in, it wouldn’t have been a goal. It was worth a shot to give him my piece of mind there in overtime. It ended up working out.”

So the… um… quick thinking of Jon Quick earned an extra point for the Kings. And lets not just praise Quick’s brain in this game… he played quite well against a much improved Lightning team. That Steve Stamkos sure looks like the real deal to me. In fact, the only thing the Kings didn’t seem prepared for was the Lightning sideline reporter.

Whit Watson! With all your hockey news and notes!
(Said in ole timey fashioned reporters voice)

With his creepy, piercing blue eyes staring at me the whole game… this was the first time in a long while where I said “why couldn’t they just have a cute female sideline reporter do this interview instead of grown up Chucky?” Whit Watson seems to be quite the regional celebrity and even has his own blog!

I’m glad the artists name is on this…
because I want to let him know
it looks nothing like Whit.

Besides the distraction of Whit Watson… I was really pleased with the overall broadcast from Fox Sports Florida. The quality of the HD was some of the best I’ve seen from a road game and they did a great job with informative graphics that will make Kings fans happy.

I’m totally not getting tired of this.

In fact, the only strange thing about the Lightning broadcast on Fox Sports Florida was the stunt casting they did by bringing in Ray Liotta to coach their special teams.

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be an assistant coach.

Oh man! An Adam Oates spotting! I love that players I watched growing up are now assistant coaches on teams like Tampa Bay. It’s almost as cool as when the favorite players on your team act out scenes from your favorite movies! Is it just me or is Michal Handzus doing his best Harrison Ford here?

Hanz Solo.

So the Kings are barely scraping their way out of the Southeast Division (thank god we don’t have to face the Capitals) and they end their 5 game journey to the south tonight in Sunrise, Florida against the Florida Panthers. The Panthers are the 3rd worst team in the East. I hardly knew anyone on the Florida roster when they still had Jay Bouwmeester… let alone now. Pretty much the only name I know on their roster is the former King, Steve Reinprecht. And that’s what scares me about this game tonight. Enough to make me scream.

As always, check out the insightful LitterBoxCats for all things Panther related. (at least to Ice Hockey and Panthers.)

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.