Imagine you have the kind of hockey team that can play an incredibly tight, strong defensive game against the Calgary Flames yet were still able to have enough offense to take 35 shots against Miikka Kiprusoff. Now imagine the GM of that team made a late-December trade... giving up Peter Harrold, Oscar Moller and Corey Elkins for Ryan Smyth, Jarett Stoll and Jack Johnson? How excited would you be as a fan of that team? Okay... I might give up Moller and Harrold for those guys... but no way I'm trading Elkins. That kid is a stud!
Hey Teddy... 1 goal in 2 games. What you got?
Kings 1, Flames 2
Fine. So the Los Angeles Kings lost 2-1. But they really won. Because this team showed all of Canada exactly how much heart it had. With some of their best players out with injuries, this group of Manchester Misfits nearly won this game. How does the Kings having so many skaters out with injuries really affect this team? Well, check out this 5-some that Coach Murray skated late in the 2nd period.
Clockwise from goalie Jon Quick... Alec Martinez, Teddy Purcell, Oscar Moller, Scott Parse and Davis Drewiske.
Oh and the guy that Moller had just changed for? Corey Elkins.
I mean, seriously... those are 6 skaters who all were playing for the Manchester Monarchs in the last year. Corey Elkins really impressed me out there tonight. Coach Murray hasn't been afraid to get the most mileage out of his emergency call-up, using him during penalty kills and giving him ice time late in a close game. And when Corey Elkins scored his 1st NHL goal in his 2nd NHL game... who would have thought it would be Oscar Moller that would celebrate the hardest?
Oscar! What have I told you about acting like you've been there before?!?
The last two Flames-Kings games have been fantastic. And tonight, Mark Giordano was all over Dustin Brown... leveling the NHL hit leader 5 times throughout the game. I've been watching hockey a long time, but I can not remember seeing one game where one player was hit so viciously throughout the game by the same guy.
I'm coming for you, Brownie.
This has been a really informative week for me as a hockey fan since through the magic of NHL Center Ice I've been able to see the Kings play 3 games in 4 days... all on Canadian sports television.
Hey Calgary, you got enough patches on that uniform?
Sure, every game brought a different announcer or studio host declaring what Kings fans have known all along.... "Drew Doughty is the 2nd coming" and "Jon Quick is a surefire Olympian" and "Anze Kopitar hasn't scored as much since Ryan Smyth was injured." But the coolest part about watching these Canadian broadcasts are the ads.
This was a Pepsi ad announcing the new national cheer for the Canadian Olympic team.
Canadian Broadcasters may be extremely knowledgeable about hockey... but they aren't so knowledgeable about the popularity of hockey in the United States... especially in Los Angeles. Check out this incredibly cringe-worthy segment that ran between the 2nd and 3rd period on TSN.
First off... I can assure you... with the utmost confidence.... NO ONE in Los Angeles but Kings fans think that Kopitar is more popular than Bryant. And I can also assure you that NO ONE stops Fox Sports West's Patrick O'Neal on the streets in Los Angeles to talk. Watching this video a 2nd time, I get the sense that Kobe wasn't actually interviewed about Anze Kopitar but that they rather spliced together soundbites from other interviews that made it seem like he was. Besides Justin Williams awesome acting job, the best thing to come out of this profile was the reveal of Anze Kopitar's on-line dating photo.
I like long walks in jeans and sneakers on the beach.
The start of December featured 10 games in only 17 days. Now, the Kings will return to Los Angeles to rest their weary bones for 8 straight days before taking the ice again on Saturday, December 26th in Phoenix. Having finished this stretch at 7-2-1... I think this team has earned a little rest.