TUFF’S 3 PERIODS – 9.9.13


Tuff’s team, back again / Shoot some pucks at your shins and let’s begin!


On March 13, 2014, Jim Fox will cry. He will cry because a crowd of over 18,000 rabid Kings fans will celebrate his numerous contributions to our beloved franchise and to California’s wine industry. Video clips will play moments from a time before Cabernet permanently dusted his lips, from a time where the diminutive forward spend nine seasons tearing up the NHL (and his knee) from the right wing side for the LA Kings.

Fox, cursing the missed opportunity to include the Sunset Striptease silent auction

As we all take that evening in March to idly bobble Fox’s distinctive head, let us acknowledge that this man loves the Los Angeles Kings more than perhaps anyone else in the organization. When all is said and done, he’s likely to have spent the majority of his life in LA, helping to grow the sport here in virtually every possible way.

Look at his admirable display of bulletproof homerism as he battles Patrick O’Neal about the famous Columbus coulomb incident. That kind of allegiance doesn’t come around every day – it’s only fitting that we honor it… on a Thursday night.


It appears there was one notable absence from Sunday’s LA Kings Hockeyfest:




Assuming that ladder isn’t part of a boating-while-intoxicated test for Dustin Byfuglien, I think it’s safe to say that Mike is still taking reps on the lake with Lindsey while guys like Alec Martinez are slaving away in front of a green screen with an anthropomorphic lion at 9 o’clock in the morning. We already know that it’s tough to pull Richards away from the lake in the offseason – the guy would likely spend the rest of his life on a lake if he could – but is this something we should read into further? After all, last season it was widely speculated that #10 showed up to camp a bit out of shape after the extended Cup summer.

Personally, I think this is just fine. Yes I’m a Richards apologist, and if you don’t like it you can tweet insults at me to your heart’s content. But hear me out here. Mike’s the type of player who gives 110% when the stakes are highest, and that kind of dedication and sheer mental effort doesn’t just flow like a damn fountain. You have to recharge your batteries once in a while and remember just who it is you’re playing for. That’s the stuff that lights a fire in a champ’s heart. Even if he has a slow start, Mike Richards has proven that – for his game – hockey rest beats hockeyfest, every time.


It’s no secret that the only thing worse for your health than ingesting liquid diabetes (generic name: Pepsi) or copious amounts of butt-leakage inducing chemicals (generic name: Diet Pepsi) is being a fan of the Colorado Avalanche. Keeping in line with the soft drink giant’s firm commitment to all things obesity, the Pepsi Center has adopted their sponsoring company’s “bigger is better” philosophy by installing a huge fucking Technodrome-sized video screen in their arena. Boasting 8.5 million pixels (one for each puck Varlamov will let squirt through his legs this season), this behemoth is the largest screen of its kind in the world. That’s right – 1080 will be more significant as a resolution than as an average attendance figure in Denver this year.

Displaying the Avalanche’s sizable technical difficulties

More than anything else though, the reason this disturbs me is an increasing trend I’ve noticed of hockey game attendees watching the action on the scoreboard instead of on the ice. Our society of glazed-over screen gazers can’t wrench their eyes away from the pretty blinking lights even when they have unfettered access to the real thing. People, you didn’t fork over $8.00 to watch the pixelized representation of David Van Der Gulik when the real thing is sitting right there on that bench a few rows down from you.

Release your screen addiction. Learn to appreciate real life as it happens. And people of Colorado, go get a frosty Pepsi to go with that personal pizza. Lord knows they gotta pay for that jumbotron somehow.


Sometimes… a video is worth 1000 words. Or in this case… 1000 side-splitting guffaws.


That’s right, hockey world… listen up! We proved hockey belonged in the desert by having some of the worst NHL attendance over the last 5 seasons. We are the overachievers who won the Pacific Division by 1 point and scrapped our way to the Conference Finals… and built upon that momentum by missing the playoffs the following season, finishing 4 points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets. We are the hard-nosed, hard-working players who leave it all out on the ice. And with new owners, a real home (that’s in the wrong part of town since 2003) and a coach we’d follow to hell and back (who waited till the last possible second to re-sign because most of the more desirable jobs were taken)… we are Hungrier Than Ever to play in a Division where we have less of a chance of making the Playoffs than ever!

As a child, King Tufficult liked to hang out at Iceoplex to watch his dad’s summer skating group that included many gloriously mulleted individuals. Some of the people attached to those mullets played for the early 90′s LA Kings. It was destiny. Since then, King Tufficult is best known for extensively traveling in Europe during the Cup Finals and writing “The Post” after Game 6 of the 2014 WCF. If you're a glutton for punishment, you can follow King Tufficult on Twitter @KingTufficult.