Snapping Back to Normal

I’ve never been in an abusive relationship… but I have to think that being a Los Angeles Kings fan is the closest I’ll get. As I’ve experienced several times before, just when things are feeling right and happy… and we are getting along great… my favorite hockey team comes home one night and beats the shit out of me in a drunken rage. 

The 5 Stages to Being A Los Angeles Kings Fan When You
Lose Your Best Player with 7 Games Left Before the Playoffs.

“No way we are fucked.”

“We’re fucked!!!”

“We are not fucked. We are NOT fucked.”

“Why! Why does this always fucking happen to me!”

“We’re fucked.”

I think it’s really cute how Kings fans are trying to believe that losing Anze Kopitar to a broken ankle is no reason to think that this team is finished being a contender in the West. Some even point to the Pittsburgh Penguins and the job they’ve been able to do all season with the loss of Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Problem is that the Penguins have been adapting since mid-January… not with 7 games left in the middle of the craziest playoff race ever. The loss of Kopitar isn’t just his 72 points and his quarterbacking on the Power Play. He was this teams one true offensive threat… the kind of player that opposing defenseman would back off from. And now that is gone. I have no doubt that this Kings team will still qualify for the playoffs, but even for the most die-hard of fans, it’s nearly impossible to think they will do anything in the post-season. And for myself, being a fan of this team for 23 years… and living through disappointment after disappointment and injury after injury. It’s enough to make you scream.

I’d like to remember Anze Kopitar as I last saw him before that horrific injury… with the exact same face… but skating. 

Never forget.

You know you want to see it again. 

I know I give Jim Fox a lot of shit… but man, he is heartbreaking in this video.


…and to the left.

Some people have claimed that the Los Angeles Kings have been cursed since 2002, when they erected a statue to Wayne Gretzky in front of Staples Center. Since this statue went up, the Kings are yet to win a playoff round (making it to the post-season just once, last year), have gone through 17 goalies and suffered many, many injuries. But I don’t think the Wayne Gretzky statue had anything to do with Kopitar’s injury today. No, instead I blame this piece of Kings history instead…

Screw you, Burger King jersey.

Today was the 2nd Annual Burger King Jersey Appreciation Day at Staples Center. Last years was a great success but this one… well, I think it’s safe to say… you can blame the beady little eyes of that angry king for spooking Anze Kopitar and forcing him to get caught in a rut and twist his ankle. 

This dude was so embarrassed to wear the Burger King jersey
that he waited until he was at warm-ups to put it on.

Worst. Clan Meeting. Ever.

This was actually the ugliest jersey I saw at Staples Center today.

So there you have it. Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. #1 and #2 leading scorers for the Los Angeles Kings gone within 5 days of each other. Your top 5 scorers for the Kings are now Dustin Brown, Dustin Penner (kinda), Ryan Smyth, Jack Johnson and Jarret Stoll. God help us all. Indiana Matt and I had planned to unveil our latest Royal Half t-shirts after the victory over the Avalanche today. Little did we know, that we’d be delivering a eulogy. So here they are! Yay?

The “I ♥ AK” t-shirt.
Now, only $11.
Never forget.

All of these and many other t-shirts are available at The Royal Half Gift Shoppe. Perfect for wearing during MRI’s! Use the code “SPRING2011” or “CADSPRING2011” for $10 off an order of $50 or more. 

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.