I encourage you, Royal Half reader, to find the NHL pre-season prediction article that has the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes battling it out in December in a match-up of 2 of the NHL's hottest teams. The Coyotes, who have been living out the real life story of the classic motion picture, Major League, came into this game winners of 5 straight. While the Los Angeles Kings were coming off points in 6 straight games. Go ahead, look it up... not Wyshynski, not Mirtle, even yours truly had them barely making the playoffs. What does this all mean? This is why we love professional sports. Because you can do all the research, crunch all the stats, go to all the practices... and you still have no clue that on December 11, 2009... your favorite team is 1 point out of first place.
Kings 3, Coyotes 2, Losing Franchises Elsewhere, A Glimmer of Hope
This was another excellent game. You didn't have to be a fan of either of these teams to enjoy the amazing goaltending and defensive play of both opponents. It's just so fun to watch Los Angeles Kings hockey right now as the team is firing on all cylinders... and doing it without Ryan Smyth. As a fan, and especially as a season ticket holder (even a Half Season Ticket Holder) the greatest reward is sticking with a team through thick and thin so that one day you see it all come together. Right now, it is all coming together for this team. I mean, I know it's only early December but check out this IM conversation between myself and Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy after the San Jose game.
I'm the little crown. There is no way Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy would cry.
He's too much of a man.
GM Dean Lombardi has molded this team in his own image, given them an identity and allowed them to excel. The only question now is who will he pick up later in the season to really push these guys over the edge. I mean, how can you not love a team that has this on their 4th line?
Lil' Swedish Scamp, Oscar Moller, had a great goal tonight on an even better pass from Wayne Simmonds. Over at Battle of California, RudyKelly is having a great debate about his nickname "MeatTrain" for Wayne Simmonds. While I love this nickname, I suggest a new one for the 21 year-old 3rd line winger... "Midas." Because from Alexander Frolov to Scott Parse to Oscar Moller... everything this kid touches turns to muthafuckin' gold.
The 5-4 shootout in San Jose on Wednesday may not show it, but ever since Rob Scuderi has returned to the Kings lineup, their defense has been stellar. And last night, Coach Murray decided to dress 7 defensemen in order to give them a bit of rest throughout the game. It seemed to work.
But the biggest news last night was the triumphant return of Kings sideline reporter Heidi Androl to the Fox Sports West HD airwaves. In all honesty, I'm really proud of their decision to not suspend Heidi because of her pending DUI arrest. When it comes to the media, people can be crucified for bad decisions, but it's nice to know that Fox Sports West HD has Androl's back. Did someone say Androl's back?!?
The Kings have done a few "Spotlight" nights on different players throughout the season and tonights one was on Kings forward and former supermodel dater, Jarret Stoll. Heidi took a tour of the new home that Stoll is building in... guess where? Manhattan Beach. Did you know that Stoll currently lives with Brad Richardson and Teddy Purcell. I bet those are some fun friday nights! I call first game on Xbox!
Jarret took Heidi on a VIP tour of his new home showing off some of the challenges that go into building a home from scratch.
Stoll also showed off his soon-to-be new pool. But with all that rain last night in LA, I could only think about Poltergeist.
This was a real life construction site... people are working 24 hours a day to build Jarret Stoll's new home. I'm sure being a pro athlete and potentially having fans working at your house all the time can be difficult.
Also, throughout the night during the celebration of all things Jarret Stoll, they showed pictures of him playing hockey as a child. But I'm not sure how this current photo of Oscar Moller snuck in.
This game truly had everything... even a surprise celebrity guest at the end!
Check out the awesome HipChecks and Five For Howling for all things Phoenix (and eventually Quebec) related. The Kings take on the Dallas Stars Saturday night at Staples and Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I will be there.