Boyz II Men

I hate it when Detroit comes to town. I don’t hate Detroit because of the 1 great playoff series the Kings had with them in the last 10 years. No… I hate Detroit because every time they come to town, their fans come to the Staples Center in droves, outnumbering the Kings fans 3:1. Growing up a native Los Angeles Sports Fan, Half Season or not, is difficult… due to the fact that Los Angeles is a commuter city, and every single hockey fan that has moved out here from Detroit, Chicago, New York and Boston loves to come and root against the Kings. But the Red Wings fans… they are the worst. And they can be… because their team is so good.

Kings 3, Lord Masters of the NHL, 4 (Shootout)

The West Coast Family

This was a tough one. To be honest, I hadn’t really noticed Denis Gauthier one way or the other since the start of the season. That usually is a good thing. It means a stay at home defenseman is doing his job. But tonight, Gauthier picked the wrong way to get himself noticed by Kings fans.

This was the game that you saw Coach Murray’s team putting it all together. In years past, the Red Wings have come into this building and walked all over the Kings. But tonight, the Young Gun Kings not only kept up with the fast pace of the Wings… at times, they surpassed them.

Oscar Moller had a great power play goal. 18 Year Old Drew Doughty made 2 amazing defensive plays, both that involved him diving to poke away the puck (although I think he was just showing off on the 2nd one). Doughty was also out there to start the Overtime, 3 on 3. That’s confidence from a coach.

The Kings moved the puck around on the power play and looked strong on the penalty kill against the most impressive offense I’ve ever seen. Every time Detroit had the puck, it seemed like they had the ability to score. The 2 big mistakes the team made… taking 2 penalties to get that 5 on 3 in the 2nd period… and of course…. Gauthier’s pass up the middle with less than 2 minutes left in the game.

I didn’t Tivo the game, so here is a Flyers-era representation
of how Gauthier looked after that pass

Here is a Flyers-era representation of what Kings Fans
hope happens to Gauthier after that pass.

You are not going to beat Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Hossa in a shootout. You’re just not. I don’t care how solid of a game Jason LaBarbera had. When the PA announced that shootout lineup, my Half Season Ticket Holder buddy and I just laughed. It’s like an All-Star skills competition.

But the Kings got a point tonight. They did something that 7 other teams in the NHL have failed to do against the Red Wings. And I think that is pretty cool.

Things I Learned From Watching the Detroit Red Wings:
Pavel Datsyuk can be insignificant the whole game and still be a threat to score.

Marian Hossa flies out on the ice.

Brian Rafalski has a great last name to make fun of.

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.