TRH GAMEDAY 46 – CALGARY FLAMES: Getting Home-Stood Up


“It’s now time to reel in a few (wins) in a row here. It’s time to stop screwing around. It’s time to get ourselves to the top of the conference again, where we belong, and get some breathing room between us and other teams.” – Justin Williams on Jan. 3, 2015

So… About that…

A lengthy homestand is something that a hockey team – especially an underachieving one – typically relishes. It offers a much-needed respite from the constant bevy of flights, bus rides and hotel stays that accompany the road grind. It allows players to sleep in their own beds and spend time with their families. And, like Williams and the rest of his team alluded to, it is a great opportunity for a team to try and string together some on-ice success.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 4.31.16 PM

Any chance for a do-over?

Obviously I can’t speak for how the Kings players spent their time away from the rink during this three-week stay-cation (besides Martin Jones and Tyler Toffoli fluffing the pillows that Tanner Pearson rests his busted leg on), but their on-ice exploits have been wildly underwhelming.


Seriously, Tanner Pearson can be a little high-maintenence sometimes.

But now, as the Calgary Flames visit Staples Center tonight for game 7 of the 7 game home stand, instead of Kings fans collectively saying “aww, it’s over already?”, they are all but ready to kick their team out the door like an impatient parent booting their no-good slacker kid out of their house so he can get a real job instead of writing nonsense on the Internet all day (totally hypothetical example).

Despite how frustrating the Kings’ 1-2-3 record may be since they put away their travel luggage, I’m a firm believer trying to learn from past mistakes. So here is a brief summary of the calvalcade of catastrophe that was supposed to be the turning point of the 2014-15 LA Kings’ season. If anything else it might prove to be cathartic.

Game 1: vs. Nashville (OTL, 6-7)


The Bad- Usually when you give up five consecutive goals the game doesn’t end up going in your favor.

The Takeaway- Well we got a point, right? Hooray I guess. #MoralVictories

Game 2: vs. N.Y. Rangers (L, 3-4)

The Good- Built an early 2-0 lead against one of the best teams in the East in what was sure to be an emotion-filled game for both sides.

The Bad- Swiftly give up four straight goals, including two in 19 seconds, and never led the game again.

The Takeaway-


Game 3: vs. Winnipeg (SOL, 4-5)

The Good- Another gritty come-from-behind effort, managing to earn a point after falling into an early hole. And this play:


The Bad- Another lackluster start, spotting their opponent a 3-0 lead on their first three shots. Failure to hold a third-period lead and shootout impotency. And this play.

The Takeaway- Kings fans got to see something that many never thought they would ever see in their lifetimes: Trevor Lewis in a shootout.

Game 4: vs. Toronto (W, 2-0)

The Good- Finally a complete 60-minute effort for Los Angeles, led by a steady 19-save shutout performance by Martin Jones. Got the lead in the first minute of the game and never let go of it. A commanding win to build on moving forward.

The Bad- The shutout win came against a team that went on to get shut out twice more in their next three outings, and that has been held to two goals or fewer in seven of their eight games in January.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 6.21.12 PM

Hey, things could be worse Kings fans.

The Takeaway- (Insert Randy Carlyle/Phil Kessel/Jonathan Bernier joke here)

Game 5: vs. New Jersey (L, 3-5)

The Good- Um… The Kings got some training in for the inevitable day five years down the road when the league makes teams change goalies on-the-fly at least twice per game, in a last-ditch effort by Bettman to increase scoring before Chris Pronger takes over as NHL commissioner.

The Bad- Everything.

The Takeaway-

2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final Ð Game Six

Game 6: vs. Anaheim (SOL, 2-3)

The Good- At long last the Kings played a game against a contender that did not include any major lapses, goals on consecutive shots, injuries, awful goaltending, awful defensive zone awareness or any of the other things that have plagued them since late December. It was a competitive, high-tempo, high-intensity game that was more indicative of the way we are used to seeing Los Angeles play.

The Bad- The shootout. *Fart Noise*

The Takeaway- Please NHL, for the love of all that is sacred, do the right thing and change overtime to the way the AHL is doing it.  Just don’t ever make me have to watch the Kings try and win a game in the shootout ever again. #Team3v3

Overall Thoughts:

The one thing Kings fans should take solace in when it comes to the Homestand of Horror™ is that in each loss, overtime or regulation, you can isolate one or two windows of catastrophe, where the hockey game went from enjoyable to throw-your-TV-through-the-window-bad in a matter of minutes. These little lapses may be incredibly frustrating to watch, but it is easier to fix a team that is galactically awful for five minutes a game than a team that is consistenly terrible for 60.

Time will tell, but I am led to believe that Saturday night was a huge step in the right direction for the Kings. They were able to control the game’s pace and avoid one of the aforementioned meltdowns. No. 32 was playing more like No. 32 of October and not like No. 32 of early January. And while how infuriating the Kings’ current inablilty to score in the shootout may be, the important thing is that they have still found a way to grab points in four of their last six and six of their last eight, anchoring them in a Wild Card spot despite playing nowhere near their potential.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 7.19.50 PM


Tonight, as Justin Williams, Mr. Game 7, (nickname hopefully applicable to homestands as well as playoff series) said… it’s time to stop screwing around.






Flames Nation

Matchsticks and Gasoline









Knick Rickle was a former junior and college goaltender and is a current aspiring journalist and mediocre adult league goaltender. While growing up in Minneapolis, he learned how to play by attending Robb Stauber's goalie school, which unbeknownst to him at the time was the first step in becoming a Kings fan. The rest of the steps came when became probably the first person ever to move to California from Minnesota to play hockey. He currently is unemployed, holds an English degree, while contributing to #TeamTRH, so you be the judge how his hockey career turned out. You can follow KnickRickle on Twitter @KnickRickle.