TRH Playoff Gameday 4 – St. Louis Blues: 99 Problems


95 pts, 8th in Western Conference, 13th in NHL
109 pts, 2nd in Western Conference, 3rd in NHL

Kings Won Regular Season Series 3-1

Kings Lead Playoff Series 30

12:00pm (!), Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA


Darryl Sutter, asked about the early start time, shrugged and told the media about his sleepwear.

SUTTER: “I just fold my pajamas, and that’s it.’’

These are courtesy of Tim from Ironsight Design.

St. Louis Game Time
Thrashing the Blues


Sunday’s Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues is the Los Angeles Kings 99th game of the 2011-2012 NHL Season. That’s right, 8 pre-season, 82 regular season and 9 post-season games. So since the fans of the St. Louis Blues haven’t had much to be cheering about these past few games, myself and Spike Coffman, producer of The Fourth Period Radio Show on XM Home Ice and The Royal Half’s In-House 1990s LA Kings Historian, have decided to put something together for Blues fans that they haven’t seen in a while… a recap of a St. Louis victory against the LA Kings!

March 18th, 1996.
Wayne Gretzky returns to Los Angeles.


It was a packed house at the Great Western Forum, 16,005 people on hand to watch Wayne Gretzky…as a St. Louis Blue.  It was a Monday night game and it would be the only time Gretzky would skate as a Blue at the Forum.

Apparently, no one told Howie Meeker which camera to look into. Or even if TSN was live right now.

Also in attendance was a very young Bob McKenzie and Gord Miller.

He really hasn’t changed one bit, has he?

But everyone was here to see 1 thing and 1 thing only…

Wayne Gretzky in a clown outfit.

Craig MacTavish knew this was an important game…
so he used his extra-special hair gel.

There was another former LA King playing in this game for the St. Louis Blues. That’s right… Grant Fuhr who had gone an impressive 1-7-3 for the Kings in 14 games the year prior.

Grant Fuhr had started every game of the Blues season at this point.

StArTiNg GoaLTenDer.

This was not a very good LA Kings team that the Blues were facing tonight. In fact, this team would finish the season in 23rd place. Out of 26 teams! WHAT-WHAT?!?

Early on in the game the Kings took a penalty and St. Louis went on the power play. No big deal… it’s just a 5 man unit of Brett Hull, Wayne Gretzky, Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger, and Shayne Corson. 

Surprisingly the Kings killed the penalty and during the first commercial break Spike learned that Canadian commercials in the mid-90’s were heavily dominated by weird animated animals.

What the hell is this gargoyle doing at a bar?

What the hell is this gargoyle doing behind the bench?

Pronger Physics before we knew it had a name. Poor Ray Ferraro.

No… poor Ray Ferraro because he had to play on this Kings team.

At the end of the 1st period the Kings and Blues were scoreless. You know, coverage of the game hasn’t changed much in 16 years. In between periods there was the out of town scoreboard…

All Your Sutter’s Belong to Us.

… and an interview with a star player.

Without a set of headphones close by, one of the TSN producers
hands his grandmothers’ hearing aid to Wayne Gretzky.

Just one more commercial break and it will be back to exciting 2nd period action.

That’s some slogan there, TSN.

The 2nd period beings and Larry Robinson has already had enough of John Druce.

“Really, John. Out of all the numbers… you gotta take that one? Benched!”

I wish there was some way to visually represent how Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull have done since the trade.

So of course… a mere few seconds after the graphic goes up… Gretzky scores the 1st goal of the game.

Yeah, Wayne sure does look excited to be playing for St. Louis.

Let’s see that graphic again.

The Kings aren’t out of this game yet because they have a truly special player who is finally ready for the spotlight now that Gretzky is no longer in LA.


Doug Effin’ Zmolek… that’s who!

Doug Zmolek is in there, I swear.
He’s just surrounded by the awesomeness that is Eric Lacriox and Jan Vopat. 

And the fans in LA go crazy!

Awesome Cosby sweater, bro.

And although it wasn’t as big a goal as he’s scored for a Mike Keenan-coached team before… a few minutes later as Stephane Matteau ties it up for St. Louis with assists from Gretzky and Hull.

The Assist on the Matteau’s goal was Gretzky’s 2,600 career point.

He would go on to score 257 more points. There is something kinda sad about that, right?

Let’s check that Gretzky/Hull Graphic again, shall we?

You can tell this game is old-school because Gretzky hasn’t been photoshopped into his Blues headshot yet.

I miss the Forum.

After 2 periods in LA… it’s Blues 2, Kings 1.

Maybe this was the birthplace of the McFlurry Minute.

In order to make things more exciting in the 3rd Period…
Janet Jones-Gretzky starts running some side bets.

“Hey Larry… um… how do I put this? Your team is awful.”

In case there was some confusion… visual proof that Sean O’Donnell is old.

The Kings couldn’t get an attack going for most of the 3rd Period and in the last few moments they pulled Kelly Hrudey for the extra skater.

Maybe he’ll miss?

Yeah that’s not happening.

Now they hug like this on the golf course.

Spike wants to update the Gretzky/Hull graphic one last time:

Unlike Indiana Matt, Spike is only good with MS Paint.

The game ends with a 3-1 Blues victory. Hull has a three point game, Gretzky has two and TSN reminds us how bad the Kings sucked.

Now THAT’S a Western Conference!

So there you go, Blues fans. Something to smile and be proud of a few hours before the 3rd overall team in the NHL loses in the 2nd Round to the 8th seed.

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.