Frustration Nation

Miikka Kiprusoff is a goalie that you start 10 times in a row. Jason LaBarbera… he is not the kind of goalie you start 10 times in a row. Because now this has happened 7 times out of 10:

Kings 2, Visible, Light-Emitting Parts of a Fire, 3

The Kings are firing 30 shots a game at the last 2 All-Star goalies they have faced and don’t have a win to show for it. They fought back hard to tie this game and had a great wave of momentum on their side. And then Calgary scores quickly and the game is over.

18 year old Drew Doughty and 19 year old Oscar Moller are the only Kings playing with any confidence. Doughty truly gets better and better each game. But right now, the team is afraid to play in front of LaBarbera. When you don’t have confidence in your goalie, you try even harder to make the right plays and in the process, end up causing more harm than good.

I understand what Coach Murray is doing. Over the last 2 years, former coach and now TV broadcaster, Marc Crawford, juggled goalies left and right… falling in love with Dan Cloutier, playing young goalies who weren’t ready, pulling goalies during games to send messages. Coach Murray isn’t going to make that same mistake. He’s going to continue to ride LaBarbera as the #1, not because LaBarbera is the best choice, but because the Kings need stability in net. They can not have the rotating roster of goalies that has plagued the Kings for the last 20 years. All that said… how about giving Erik Ersberg a chance on Tuesday?

Staples Center is empty. You may pay for a seat, but you’ll really have your choice as to where you want to sit. This is easily the emptiest I’ve seen it for games in 7 years.

Things I Learned from Watching the Calgary Flames:
Much like the Canucks, they are not THAT much better than the Kings. Have I mentioned goaltending? Miikka Kiprusoff was amazing. Always in position.

Dion Phaneuf is a beast.

Jerome Iginla was not on his game tonight. I’ve seen him dominate games before and he was hardly visible… except when Dustin Brown was earning money for charity hitting him.

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.