Fake Chris Kontos here. While I'm on my 1 week East Coast road trip, I unfortunately don't have the time to update you on all the Los Angeles Kings happenings. Even more unfortunately... Indiana Matt does. So, while I would have preferred that Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy would have been blogging in my absence... I'll give you the 3rd best option... presenting, "Indiana Matt's First Royal Half Recap"... or as I like to call it... "The Royal Half's Sloppy Seconds!" Take it away, Indiana Matt!
It’s Good To Be King
Thursday nights game had everything you would expect from two incredibly well matched teams, big hits, nearly paralyzed captains, frustration for fans of both teams, great goaltending, one team ending up really pissed off at the end and the other sitting atop the NHL.
I make no assumptions that my 10 months as a Los Angeles Kings fan makes me a “life long hockey fan”. That being said, I feel that Thursday night’s game was just another step in my quest to becoming a “rest of my life hockey fan”.
Kings 1, Lightning 0, Frustrated and Embarrassed Steve Downie’s 1
Now, I am no stranger to hockey, I grew up in Indianapolis, home of the Indianapolis Ice (er… former home of the former Indianapolis Ice.) While most people don’t consider Indianapolis to be important in hockey, I beg to differ. The Indianapolis Racers were the first team to employ Wayne Gretzky.
And even though Gretzky finished his career elsewhere, the Circle City is the beginning, middle and end of the most prolific seven-foot-seven, former NBA star, hockey player… ever!
I trace my Kings fanship back to the January 11th game that The Royal Half took me to. It was my first taste of real NHL hockey, and while the Kings looked like a big bag of turds against the San Jose Sharks, I felt a bizarrely strong connection to the team.
Since that fateful night in January, two things are certain, #1 - I have been a Kings fan… #2 I have been a SPOILED Kings fan... the team has been playing out of their mind, racking up a regular season record of 30-13-6 since January 11th. To put that into perspective, during the same time period, the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks hold a regular season record of 28-18-5.
However, I am no stranger to sticking with a team through the shitty years. (SEE: the Indianapolis Colts before Peyton Manning) So Kings, through thick and thin… I will be there with you. But please keep it up, because it’s way more fun when you win.
“Good work, Jon. Great Shutout.”
“Thanks Kopi, but please god, don’t make me do that every time...
I mean, how about a couple goals against the Tampa Bay backup, huh?”
“How about you don't melt down after the all-star break and we'll call it even?”
Next up for the Kings, the Nashville Predators, and as the Royal Half already pointed out, we DON’T play well against Nashville in recent history.
Hopefully the fact that it is “Ol’ Man” Ryan Smyth’s 1000th game will add a little extra motivation to the squad.
Impressive/Depressing Fact: When Ryan Smyth Scored his first NHL goal in November of 1995, Gas was $1.05 a gallon.
Follow Indiana Matt on Twitter @indiana_matt for all your Kings’ opponent fun facts on game days.