Well, That Didn’t Take Long

Last night, me and my Half Season Ticket Holder buddy went to the Kings home opener at Staples. There have been a lot of changes to the Kings in the off-season, but none compare to the changes to the food selections. The Nachos Camachos have changed the most, as you now have the ability to “create-your-own” although they use the tiniest scooper I’ve ever seen to put the guacamole on top. I asked for a 2nd scoop and the worker had to check with her boss first to make sure it was alright. It was.

an artists rendition of the tiny scoop of guac

We’ve had seats in and around section 217 for the past 6 years, mostly in the last row. It’s great… no one sits behind you and you can stand up during the game if you’d like. The Kings shoot twice towards us and you really get a great sense of the entire game moving north to south. Sure, you have to look up at the scoreboard when the action is down in the other end but I’ve sat innseats all around the Staples Center and I like these the best. Plus we could watch the Dodger game by looking into the Suites above us.

Kings fans have a love/hate relationship with Rob Blake. They watched him grow as a rookie under the guidance of Larry Robinson, mature into a Captain after Gretzky was traded and then be trashed left and right as the Kings organization didn’t want to pay him for what he was at the time… the NHL’s best defenseman. So they shipped him off to Colorado so he could win the Stanley Cup with another team. And King fans booed him without mercy. When the Kings re-signed him 3 years ago, I was intrigued with the move, a chance for Rob to now be the mentor for the Kings young defense. But it didn’t work out that way. Blake was injured most of the time and when he was available to play, seemed more concerned about getting his morning surf time in than playing a vital role on the team. Late last season, the Kings asked him to waive his no-trade clause so he could be shipped to San Jose for a 1st round pick. He said no. He wanted to finish what he had started with the Kings rebuilding. Then, on July 1st, when the Kings hadn’t made an offer to re-sign him right away, Blake took the first 5 million tossed his way and headed up the coast… to San Jose. The same team he refused to be traded to. So the Kings paid him 12 million dollars to rehab over 2 years so he can now enjoy playing the game again.

You think Sarah Palin got booed at the Flyers game on Saturday? You ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen Blake in a Sharks jersey:

The Kings lost 1-0. They looked inspired at times and way over-matched at others. It seems like it’s going to be this way all year long. Drew Doughty had a nice move late in the game on the power play, pulling a nifty spin with the puck to avoid a winger at the point. But man, he looks like an 18 year old out there.

The best for last. Jack Johnson is out for at least 3 months with an upper body injury. This was supposed to be the year that Johnson really stepped up and learned the NHL game. He was supposed to be a leader on an already young and inexperienced defense… as a 21 year old. So what does Dean Lombardi do? He picks up Kyle Quincey off waivers from Detroit. He’s a promising young player, only 23, and got to hang out as the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup last year. The last waiver pick-up the Kings had from Detroit? Matt Ellis. Oh boy.

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.