Kings Gameday – Kicking the Puppy

Dave Tippett, current Head Coach for the Dallas Stars was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings from 1999-2002. Or as I like to call it… the last time the Kings were in the playoffs. With Tippett as the coach responsible for the Power Play, the Kings were near the top at 20.68% in 2001-2002. With Tippett gone to the rival Stars… 14.69% in 2002-2003. I always wondered what the past few years would have been like with Dave Tippett as our head coach.

Dave Tippett and the Stars have started off slow this year and everyone has thoughts on what is wrong. Marty Turco is usually why I hate the Stars. There is no better feeling than screaming out TUR-CO after he’s given up a goal, usually after making an unnecessary stickhandle behind his net. But this season, I’ve been given a new reason to hate the Stars… Mr. Sean Avery.

Avery’s nickname is “Puppy”… a nickname he received courtesy of his new boss, Brett Hull, when they were teammates in Detroit. Avery marched into the Red Wings locker room during his first training camp and proclaimed “Don’t worry guys, the big dog is here.” 600+ goal scorer Brett Hull took one look at him and said “You’re not a big dog, you are a fuckin’ puppy.” And thus, Puppy was born.

Boy, good thing for the blur there, huh?

Avery played 4 rocky years in Los Angeles. If you really want to just how rocky it was… check out this great article in the LA Times today. (gulp! hockey article in the Times???) Avery is the type of player that you can’t stand… unless he’s playing on your team. He does the things no one else wants to do… he agitates, he gets in your face, he draws retaliation penalties… and eventually he wears out his welcome.

He is not hailing a cab here.

But tonight, I’ll be booing Sean Avery. Because that is what you are supposed to do. Sports are made for heroes AND for villains, and Sean Avery is the best villain the NHL has. Just as much as you want to root for your favorite players, you need to scream at your least favorite players. I mean, Sean Avery nearly is a supervillain with his ability to fly:


This is a big game for the Kings if they want to make something of this season. And even though it’s not included in my Half Season Ticket Holder Package… I’m going to the game with my agent. This is Hollywood after all.

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.