Yes We Can… Almost!

In the immortal words of Kanye West…. Rinkside View doesn’t care about the neutral zone.

This was my first experience watching a Los Angeles Kings game with Rinkside View. Other critics have weighed in before and maybe it’s because I wasn’t watching it in HD (I know, I know… I’m working on it) but as a crazy hockey fanatic, I was not impressed. To me, it seemed more in line with what companies like Home Depot and Fresh ‘N Easy are doing with self-checkout lines… eliminating jobs. Less cameramen are needed for Rinkside View because the whole game is pretty much covered with 3 robotic cameras. And that’s what the coverage feels like… robotic. You get no sense of how the game flows left to right and the entire thing ends up playing like a first generation hockey video game. And if you want to get technical, the “Line” (the first thing they teach you about in film school) gets crossed up all the time. Fox Sports is selling this as a way for the fan to get closer to the game, but I feel like I end up seeing a lot less of the game. But… I certainly didn’t need Rinkside View to show me that Erik Ersberg kicked ass tonight.

Kings 0, Waterfowls, 1

Staples Center is really upgrading the in-game stats.
Obama with 297 hits on the season, McCain with 139.

I don’t care if the Kings make the playoffs this year. If they play the remainder of the season anywhere near the level they played this game, I’ll be a happy Half Season Ticket Holder. To put the 1-0 loss in perspective… The Ducks were 6-0-1 in their last 7 games and the Anaheim Ducks trio of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne had combined for 10 goals and 18 assists LAST WEEK. To put together the game the young Kings did tonight took a great overall defensive effort.

The team that carpools together, plays defense together.
Or maybe Oscar’s mom drove them all to the rink.

Erik Ersberg did everything an NHL goaltender is supposed to tonight. And the team played confident in front of him. I never felt late in the game that the Kings would give up a flukey goal. 4 on 3 is near impossible to defend and that shot from Chris Pronger was perfect placement, even if I couldn’t see it that well on the Rinkside View.

Now this is Rinkside View.

I think I might have figured out the source of Jason LaBarbera’s inconsistency tonight. Take a look at this:

I love how the trainer gets a quick sniff in as well at the end.

Um… I’m not quite sure what to think here. The only time I’ve ever used a smelling salt was when I was catching in high school baseball and I was knocked unconscious during a home plate collision. And in that case, it was used to wake me up… it wasn’t used because I was about to be sitting on the bench for 20 minutes. If LaBarbera loses his starting job and ends up part of Celebrity Rehab 6, I think we’ll all know what his gateway drug is.

Finally, one thing we should start addressing are the hints of growing tensions between Coach Murray and his players. Coach Murray was brought in to be the anti-Marc Crawford, he’s not there to yell and scream at his young players. He is there to teach them. And if one of your stars is not playing to his potential, then you bench him and make him aware of it. I have no problem what Coach Murray is doing right now because I think the young players will be better off from it in the long term. Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Patrick O’Sullivan are no longer secrets in the league. The checking line will play against them. But they will eventually learn how to play against the checking lines and it will all straighten itself out.

Welcome to LA, Coach Murray. It’s easy to get distracted.

Things I Learned from Watching the Ducks:
I could watch Scott Niedermayer skate all day long.

JS Giguere’s goalie pads cannot be legal.

I had heard that the Ducks take careless penalties but I had NO idea they were this careless!

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.