Tag Archives: Los Angeles Kings

Hawks Keep Rolling

18 Feb

Yes it got a little frantic at the end of the game but the Hawks held on to win the game and remain unbeaten in regulation.

The Blackhawks (12-0-3) matched the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers for the league’s second-longest streak, and are one away from the tying the mark set by Anaheim in 2006-07.

Who do they play next? The much hated Vancouver Canucks. What a time for those jerk-stores to come to town. Could it get any better then beating them? Of course I’m sure they are saying something similar about being the team to beat the Hawks and keep them from making history. Should be a fun one.

201302171542565253770-p2

The Hawks got a good start and an early lead on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. Up 3-0 and that was enough. Nice to see Sharp get a goal. He went nearly a month between tallies. He was still productive and was racking up the assists but goal scorers like to get goals. Imagine if that guy heats up.

Ray Emery was solid all night. Looking like a legit number 1 goalie instead of a number 2 or a guy on his last legs….or last hip in his case.

The 2 goals that the Kings scored were power play goals that Ray Emery was screened on. Full marks to the Kings. The earned those goals and grabbed momentum off of them. Hey Blackhawks did you hear that? The Kings scored power play goals by having a man in front screening the goalie. It’s not rocket science guys.

201302171542565253768-p2

”What’s important to us is getting home-ice advantage, making the playoffs,” Toews said. ”Those are our goals. Once you get there, the real season starts. When you get to that point, no one really cares or remembers those streaks at the start of the season.”

”I thought we had a great first 40 minutes and they got some momentum off their power-play goal early in the third,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. ”They had a great third period. We had 40, they had a great 20, and the clock ran out, which was nice.”

”We probably didn’t play well enough to win this game,” Richards said. ”The slow start kind of cost us. We gave them a lot in the first period with penalties and some turnovers and they scored some goals, which put us behind the 8-ball pretty quick.”

Before the game, Quenneville said Crawford was ”progressing” and is day-to-day. When asked if Crawford’s condition might be long-term, Quenneville replied, ”I don’t foresee that yet.” Crawford – who has a 7-0-3 record, 1.65 goals-against average and .935 save percentage – has not skated since sustaining his injury, apparently in a 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim last Tuesday. It’s alleged that Bobby Ryan injured Crawford when he ran into him in that game. With no penalty called for some weird reason.

TTS

Kings Win First Championship in 45 Year History!

12 Jun

The Kings became the first No. 8 seed to win the Cup since the league started seeding conferences in 1994. They went a stunning 16-4 overall and 10-1 on the road.

Long suffering Kings fans can finally celebrate.

I had a friend who texted me during the game that the refs gave this game to the Kings with that 5 minute power play.  I understand his thought on it but after I thought about it I wasn’t so sure.  After all it was a penalty.  Maybe a double minor instead of a major but that’s only a difference of a minute.  Then I thought about my beloved Blackhawks.  Their power play the last two years has been atrocious.  If it was them, they wouldn’t have scored a single goal on that pp and would have given the momentum to the Devils.

So give credit to the Kings.  They scored 3 goals on that 5 minute power play to take a 3-0 lead in the first.  There was little doubt after that.  We all knew Lord Stanley’s Cup would be making it’s home in Los Angeles for the next year.

Not even Taylor Stevens boobs could help the Devils after that.  It took a while to see her.  I was beginning to think that NBC was making a conscious decision not to show her.  The first few times they showed Deboer they zoomed in on him, even cutting off the top of his head.  It was like they were afraid to get her in the shot.  Did some uptight Christian Coalition member threaten to boycott NBC if they showed her?  I mean the ice crew girls wear less clothing then she had.  What’s the problem?  They finally did show her and she looked great.  She is fighting off cancer and is auctioning off the clothes she wore at the games to raise money to fight cancer.  You can get the details on her twitter account.

Congrats to Johnathan Quick who became the 2nd consecutive American born goalie to win the Conn Smythe for MVP.  Last year it was Tim Thomas.

In addition to that Dustin Brown became the 2nd ever American born captain to hoist the cup over his head.  Last time that happened was in 1999 when Darien Hatcher lifted it for the Dallas Stars.

So enjoy it while you can Kings and Kings fans.  It’s not easy to repeat.

Here are some pictures of the celebration.

TTS

The Series Gets More Interesting

10 Jun

Now that’s more like it.  More action, more intensity, two teams battling out there.  This is what was missing from the first couple of games.

The Devils have found their game and the Kings are getting a little bit frustrated.  They even pulled Marty’s jersey over his head (see above picture).  That’s what created that little scrum.

These two teams don’t hate each other and that’s obvious.  Nor is there an Alex Burrows pissing everyone off.  But that’s ok, as the Kings grow more frustrated from being so close and not closing it out we are getting more emotional hockey.  It’s paying off, last nights game was the best one of the series.  So far.  Let’s see what Monday night brings us.  As a hockey fan I want the Devils to win so we get a game 7.  I’m sure Kings fans don’t want to see that.

Parise had a great game.  Check out the picture above where he knocks Richards into his own bench.  He was all over the ice and had some real urgency to his game.

Both goalies played great but Brodeur came out on top.  The veteran still has some good hockey left in him.

Plus they won without Taylor Stevens behind their bench.  I guess she was busy getting stalked by TMZ.  She’s a big star now.

They did get a little help from Voynov.  That’s the second goal he’s scored for the Devils.  Too bad for the Kings he plays for them.  Actually I think he’s had a decent series.  Just a little bad luck that two Devils shots bounced in off his body.

So we get a game 6 to watch tomorrow night.

What happens now?  Do the Kings finally put them away on home ice and bring home their first ever Stanley Cup Championship or do the Devils spoil the party again and push a game 7?  The Kings were undefeated in these playoffs.  A perfect road record.  But that was before last night.  The Devils believe and have only the series to lose.  The Kings were 3-0 and have now blown two chances to close this thing out.  They have a lot more pressure on them then the Devils do.

Yes the series just got more interesting.

TTS

Kings win game 3 with 4-0 shutout

5 Jun

Uh…yeah.  This team is a freight train.

“Every now and then, you see somebody play unreal, and right now, they’re right at the top of their game,” Gretzky told Yahoo! Sports seconds after the final horn sounded. “They’re unbelievable right now.”

Do you see a deficiency in this team right now?  Me either.  I’m trying to think who else can beat them right now.  I don’t see anybody in the West or East.   Talk about jelling at the right time.

The game was pretty even through the first period but once that first goal was scored the Kings took off.  End of the first period we had a 0-0 tie.  After the 2nd period it was 2-0 and the final score was 4-0. The Kings started rolling after that first goal and didn’t take their foot off the gas.

I’m not too sure about the first one either.  Marty had the puck under his glove.  Doesn’t that mean the ref can’t see it?  If so, the ref should have blown the whistle.  Marty sure was mad about it.  Since I’m a hockey fan I don’t really watch ESPN but I was at a store today that had it on.  They showed highlights from the game last night.  Yeah I know…I was in shock too at the sight of ESPN playing hockey highlights but they did.  They had to pixilate over Marty Brodeur’s mouth as he was talking to the referee.  Guess he didn’t agree with the non whistle on the play.  I don’t blame him.  Once that goal happened the game was pretty much over.

You don’t want to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.  Once you do they play their game and you’re done.  Game over.

After losing the first two games in over time at home, the Devils have to be crushed at what happened in this game.  A 4-0 shut out?  In a game you pretty much have to win.

The Kings are making working hard look easy.  When you see that, you know you’re watching a more talented team beat a less talented team.

I’m not so sure we see game 5.  At this point you think it’s in the Devils heads….and the Kings heads.  As in the fact that they KNOW they are going to win.  It looks like the Devils know they are going to lose.

So Kings fans are happy.  There is a buzz about hockey in Los Angeles for the first time since the Gretzky days.  That’s good over all for the sport we love.  More fans is good for everybody.  More fans means more ratings.  That makes the TV guys happy and they keep showing the games.  Speaking of hockey on TV, The Kings actually just signed a lucrative new TV deal.

The new deal keeps the Kings on Fox Sports West through 2024 and guarantees the team about $250 million, according to a person familiar with the agreement who was not authorized to discuss the terms.

The contract ranks among the most lucrative local cable deals for any NHL team.

Fox agreed to tear up the Kings’ current contract, which extended through 2015 and included annual payments that topped out at about $12 million.

The new deal averages about $21 million per season. The most lucrative local cable deals pay NHL teams more than $25 million per season and the least lucrative less than $10 million, Forbes reported in December 2010.

So yeah, Kings fans are happy right now.  Let’s take a look at some of them.

 

Up on the wall at Staples hang the 11 championship banners the NBA’s Lakers have won in Los Angeles. Next to them are only two Kings banners – one for their 1993 conference title, one for their ’91 division title. Nothing more.  It looks like they will have to make room for a Stanley Cup Championship banner up there too.

TTS

Aside

Game 1 is in the books

31 May

OK, the feeling out process is over.  Now we can have a series.

It started slow.  It played like two teams that are not that familiar with each other and have no animosity towards one another.  Watch for that to change.

The Devils finally woke up late in the 2nd and all of a sudden we had a hockey game.  That third period was some great hockey if you missed it.  I got a text from a friend of mine who said that was the best period of hockey he saw in this years playoffs.

Neither team played the way they wanted to.  Anze Kopitar admitted so much after the game when a reporter asked if they planned to have a feel out process in the first 40 minutes.  He responded with “that wasn’t the plan”.

The game went to overtime and when the Devils made one mistake, the Kings capitalized and scored.  Brilliant pass by Williams who got it right on the tape to Kopitar who was all alone in neutral ice.  He skated down and went forehand and scored.  Game 1 over and the Kings are up 1-0 in the series.  They deserved the win.

The Devils need to be better and they know that.  They lost game 1 of two previous series in these playoffs.  They were shut out 3-0 in Game 1 against the Rangers and they responded quite well to that.  They have responded in all three rounds and I expect a much better effort in Game 2.  They had just come off an emotional series against the Rangers to a team that they don’t hate.  It won’t stay like that for long.

The Kings are a big tough physical team and the Devils out hit them.  They hung with them despite not playing a good game.  18 shots against Johnathan Quick isn’t going to get the job done.  You’re going to need around 30-35 with some traffic in front of him to beat him.  Plus you need to get shots up around his head and shoulders.  He won’t let any low ones in.  Parise and Kovalchuk didn’t have very good games.  I would expect them to respond.

However I also expect a better game out of the Kings.  Both teams finally have game 1 out of the way and can get to hockey.  I think the offense, chances, goaltending and hitting should all elevate as the series goes on.

Can’t wait for Saturday night.  Let’s drop the puck.

TTS

Los Angeles Kings vs. New Jersey Devils

29 May

VS

Regardless of your expectations at the beginning of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, few could have seen this match up coming.  Seriously, how many people went to Vegas and said give me a $1,000 on a NJ – LA Finals.  If you did, I’m sure you got some serious coin back.

Anyway on to the match up.

The Kings are still looking for their first Stanley Cup in their 44th NHL season. The only NHL franchise with a longer championship drought is the Maple Leafs, who won their last Stanley Cup in 1967. The Kings entered the league in the fall of ’67. Other active droughts: Blues (44 years); Sabres (41); Canucks (41).

LA’s run has been impressive.  An 8th seeded team who takes out the President Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks.  Then they dispatch the 2nd seeded St. Louis Blues in a sweep.  Next up, the 3rd seeded Phoenix Coyotes who ironically enough have become the new NJ Devils with their brutal style of play.  I’d rather watch grass grow, paint dry, listen to an insurance seminar, etc. then watch the Coyotes.  Thank god they lost.

LA has never won the Stanley Cup in their 44 year existence.  Can you still call it a non traditional market if a team has been there 44 years?  Either way it’s the ultimate bandwagon city.  They love a winner.  This years team has been a Cinderella….no make that a Hollywood story.  They have gained so much momentum in the public that they are now the odds on favorite.  No road losses in the playoffs and going 12-2 will do that.  Everyone is on their side.

Even Las Vegas has jumped on the “we want the Kings to win” bandwagon.  Las Vegas’ set line for the series has the Kings a -150 favorite, making the Devils a +130 ‘dog.  That’s right, a ninety-five point eight seed is now your odds-on Stanley Cup favorite.

Remember that NJ has home ice!

But let’s talk about those Devils.  In my first, second and third round predictions I picked whichever team was playing the Devils.  Shows what I know.

Let me tell you something, even though I would like the Kings to win just because 45 years is long enough and I would love to rub it in Vancouver fans faces that the Kings would have won a cup before them.  My throat would be sore from taunting.  Despite all that….I’m starting to think the Devils are going to do it.

Why are they winning me over when everyone is saying the Kings got this in the bag?  Well their 4th line is playing outstanding.  A Stanley Cup winning team needs contributions across the board.  When the other team shuts down your big guns, then you need the other guys to step in.  NJ’s 4th line has, in limited minutes, played very effective hockey.  They are contributing across the board.  I think that line is a + 16 through the first 3 rounds.  That’s impressive.

Ilya Kovalchuk is playing team hockey.  He is turning my opinion of him around.  He’s really screwing up Don Cherry’s theory that Russians are no good lazy SOB’s who disappear when the going gets tough in the playoffs.

Zach Parise is an animal.  He is also in a contract year.  He is contributing to his team every way he can.

Speaking of the Minneapolis native, this is the first time in Stanley Cup playoffs history that two American born captains will square off in the Finals.  Facing off against Parise is Ithica, NY native Dustin Brown.  Can’t wait to see these two suit up for Team USA in the next olympics.  But that’s a post for another day.

One more caveat I’d like to add is that teams that have gone 12-2 in the post season, like LA has, have not done well in the finals.  I remember quite well a certain team doing just that.  In 1992 the Chicago Blackhawks went 12-2 through the first three rounds.  They were on fire and we knew they would bring Lord Stanley’s Cup back home to Chicago.  Didn’t happen.  Despite getting out to a 3-0 lead in game 1, Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux staged a comeback and won game 1.  Then they won the next three for a sweep.  I was at game 4.  I saw Captain Dirk Graham score a hat trick as he tried like hell to win at least one game for Chicago all by himself.  Didn’t happen.  Instead I got to watch Super Mario lift the cup over his head and skate around the old Chicago Stadium.  Damn.

I think I read that it’s happened 2 other times where a team went 12-2 and lost in the finals in addition to it happening to the Hawks.

So yeah, i’m going to buck the trend and say the New Jersey Devils will win this series.  I’ll go 6 games.

What do you think?

TTS

Rangers Take Game 7 and 3rd round predictions.

13 May

The NY Rangers have never lost a Game 7 at home in the history of the franchise.  Last night was no different.

The Capitals played them tough but in the end couldn’t generate enough offense.  You never would think that could be possible a couple of years ago with the offensive juggernaut that the Caps used to be.

The team that scored first in this series won every game.  The first goal was crucial and Brad Richards delivered.  He is a stud.  Brad is now 4-0 in his career in game 7’s.  He is showing why the Rangers showered him with money this past offseason.  He delivers on the big stage in crucial moments.  It doesn’t get much bigger than Broadway in game 7.  He scored on the first shot of the game.  Game over.

The Rangers have now gone to  7 games in both rounds.  No team has ever won the Stanley Cup when they’ve had 2 game 7’s in one playoff.  The thing is…..they are only half way there.

“To me, we’re still in the middle of the process of the New York Rangers trying to become one of the elite teams,” coach John Tortorella said. “For a young group of guys, it’s a tremendous experience. … This is where your legacy’s made, in the playoffs, and so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the next couple weeks here as we go into another phase.”

The Rangers, Devils, Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings.

“Four teams,” Richards said. “Everybody plays a solid, hard team game. We feel we have as good a chance as anybody.”

3rd Round

So here we go.  Game 1 in the West is tonight and game 1 in the East is tomorrow night.

Time for predictions.

This years playoffs have not been kind to TTS’ predictions.  But then again a lot of people have not been doing very well.

In the first round I got 50%, in round 2 I got 25% right.  If the Rangers lost last night I would have been at zero!

So here goes.  Based on the first two rounds don’t take my pics to Vegas but…..

I’m going to say in the West – Los Angeles in 6 games.

In the East – I’m going with the Rangers in 7 games.  This is a tough call.  I really think this series can go either way.  The Devils are playing great hockey and I want to pick them, but the Rangers have shown an ability to adapt to their opponent and their style of play.  Plus throw in home ice.

LA vs. NY in the Finals.

TTS