Hey everyone, The Royal Half here. So over the summer I discovered a really cool but now defunct blog by Riley Breckenridge called “The Battle of Los Angeles.” Each week, Riley would take a look at the two baseball teams in Los Angeles* (*and surrounding areas) and compare and contrast how their week went. And even though it was about something called “base-ball”… I really enjoyed it. So what do we here at TRH do when there is a feature that someone else does that we really like? WE RIP IT OFF, THAT’S WHAT WE DO. I just hope no one is paying attention.

So when we ran the North America’s Next Top Blogger contest over the summer, I got the idea to take the concept of The Battle of Los Angeles… and apply it to hockey. And one of the NANTB applicants was the perfect fit to spearhead the new feature. FYI… Riley is ok with us lifting his idea and using it for the sport of hockey and you should totally check out Riley’s baseball blog and podcast, Productive Outs. So… introducing Hrudey Can’t Fail… the author of a new weekly series that we here at The Royal Half like to call…



Los Angeles Kings (3-3-1)


GIF That Best Represents the Past Week for the LA Kings:


Darryl Sutter has decided to go with King, Nolan, and Carcillo to start the season… while Toffoli, Pearson, and Vey are headed to Manchester.


How Do Kings Fans Feel Their Team Was Slighted This Week?:


2014 Norris Odds

Those are Bovada’s odds for this season’s potential Norris Trophy candidates. Do you notice any glaring omissions?

Drew Doughty for THN

Get it? That’s a picture of Drew Doughty, glaring.


Fan of the Week Frozen Fury Attendee Most Likely to Have a Drinking Problem:

FROZEN FURY, EVERYBODY! I would have liked to put a group photo of Team TRH here, but since I didn’t have that, you’ll have to settle for this young lady.


Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (3-4-0)


GIF That Best Represents the Past Week for the Anaheim Ducks:


“Dustin Penner is back baby…And he’s reunited with Perry and Getzlaf on the top line…And the coach just described him as ‘mediocre’…And now he’s practicing on the fourth line…And…DANG.”


This Week’s Glimpse into Dustin Penner’s Future:

Penner Police Tweet 1

Penner Police Tweet 2There is NO shame in finding work as a residential security officer in Newport Beach when this reunion with the Ducks eventually turns sour.


The Worst of the Worst from @ducksfanzone:

That’s the kind of interest in a player’s personal life that would even make The Royal Half uncomfortable.

Hey, when you become accustomed to the unbiased, well-informed opinions of Brian Hayward, all others feel like a letdown.

That’s obnoxious. The only thing more useless is when twitter accounts alert you to their own “milestone” tweets.

I’m sorry, I’m not sure what that one even means.

Oh god dammit. Look, as long as those other 34,999 tweets were informative and insightful, you are still providing a great service to the public, and you’re allowed to pat yourself on the back every now and then.




First Round, Coaching War of Words:

Darryl Sutter, Los Angeles Kings (via Jon Rosen,

On Alec Martinez’s performance: Marty’s trying to prove himself, and I don’t know if I’ve given him enough opportunities. I’ve been playing him on the right side in camp, and now we moved him back to left. He made two good plays – one on the goal, and one just before the goal on the power play. Hopefully that gives him more confidence.

Yes! Darryl Sutter seems to finally be seeing the value Alec Martinez brings to the blue line!

On Keaton Ellerby’s training camp: Keaton’s played really well for us. He did a good job training this summer. He’s played really well. He’s got some jump in his game. We’ve liked the way he’s played.

OK OK…1 out of 2 isn’t bad.

Bruce Boudreau, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (via Lance Pugmire, LA Times):

“There’s room for improvement,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said after Tuesday’s morning skate at Honda Center, before Penner renews acquaintances with his recent teammates, the Kings, Tuesday night at Staples Center. “He’s dedicated, he wants it, talks to me about it all the time. “It’s up to him. He’s got to keep pushing through, getting better. He’ll play in these next two games. We’ll see how it goes.”

Hold on, I’m checking to make sure that quote didn’t actually come from Darryl Sutter last season…

Winner: DUCKS.

The over/under on when Boudreau calls Penner a “shit-bum” is set for Thanksgiving.


Second Round, Star Power:

Let’s examine who each organization sent to represent them at the Stadium Series press conference.


kings dodgers prresser

Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, Rob Blake, Luc Robitaille…aaaaaaand…the Crypt Keeper?


etem penner boudreau

The Ducks opted for the best story lines. Emerson Etem is a hometown boy, while Dustin Penner has his obvious ties to both teams.

Winner: KINGS.

Apparently you have to be from LA to understand star power trumps story every time. 


Third Round, Top Play:


A lot has been made of the Kings’ search for a legitimate second line LW, but shouldn’t every NHL forward be dying to play on a line with Jeff Carter?


Hampus Lindholm has been the Ducks’ breakout star of the preseason. The kid has been really impressive. That being said, who the hell is Magnus Lindholm, Bob Miller?

Winner: KINGS.

Matt Frattin’s nickname is Hotspot because when he first moved to LA, he asked the other players where the nightlife “hotspots” are. Based on that, the Frattin-Richards-Carter line has earned a nickname: THE TRIPLE SEC LINE.



Before you start complaining about a bias toward the Kings, you should know that you are absolutely right.

A rambling man, Hrudey can't be tied to any one team. But because he's too cheap for NHL Gamecenter, his NHL universe consists only of Ducks and Kings broadcasts. What he lacks in knowledge of the actual sport of hockey, he makes up for in snark and pop culture references. You can follow Hrudey Can't Fail on Twitter @HrudeyCantFail.