32 bookmarks! I mean... my Los Angeles Kings Playoff Tickets!
The entire county of Los Angeles can exhale now... the Kings have clinched a playoff spot with a particularly inspired 3-2 victory against the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday night at Staples Center. Even the players were caught up in playoff fever.
I can't tell if Jarret Stoll is excited... or if he's showing the ladies of Hermosa Beach what he demands later tonight.
When the season started back in October, I think we all knew exactly which player would put this team on his shoulders and carry them into the playoffs.
With his 2nd period goal, Kyle Clifford tied the game for the Kings and a little while later found himself as the #1 star of the game.
When asked how he felt going to the playoffs for the first time, Clifford said: "They are gonna be a lot of fun." You are right, Kyle Clifford. They are gonna be a lot of fun.
The Kings making the playoffs in consecutive years wasn't the only piece of Kings history to re-visit Staples Center tonight. Trade Deadline Acquisition Dustin Penner also decided to show up.
This was on the back of every box of milk served at Staples. Seriously, are missing person ads on the back of milk cartons even a relevant joke anymore?
Probably tired of being called out on back to back days by Coach Murray, Penner might have played his best game as a King, throwing that massive body around the ice. And let's be honest, have you seen a cuter set of wings than Penner and Oscar Moller?
Penner is actually on one knee.
A lot of people thought the Los Angeles Kings were gonna buy the farm when it came to making the playoffs. They couldn't have been more wrong.
I know that Stoll told Doughty to go after a slumpbuster, but this is ridiculous.
Here we are. 2 games left in the regular season and if the Kings can win them... they will have home ice advantage as the 4th seed. Raise your hand if you thought that was possible 2 weeks ago.
I love it when Dustin Brown does his Marky Mark impression.
How excited was everyone at Staples Center to clinch a playoff spot?
Heidi Androl didn't even notice Indiana Matt stalking her all night.
So after 7 years of having Half Season Tickets without any post-season action, myself and Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy are going to the playoffs for a 2nd straight year. And then the Kings will get swept in 4 games without Anze Kopitar and with an 80% Justin Williams. I'm trying to stay positive, I promise! Maybe the new Playoff T-Shirt we've designed for 2011 will prove to you how hopeful I'm being for the playoffs.
I swear I'm trying.
You can buy it today... and wear it next week. At a Los Angeles Kings NHL Playoff Game. Damn, that feels good to say. And if the newest commericial from the NHL doesn't give you goosebumps... then you aren't human.
We all seem to forget that Michal Handzus was once a Coyote.
Trying something new tonight due to our awesome new commenting system... a Gameday Thread. Feel free to chat it up in comments below as the Los Angeles Kings take on the Phoenix Coyotes in the Battle of the Playoff Spot. Winner makes the playoffs. The loser... dies.
Today Bloguin upgraded our comments here at The Royal Half to the LiveFyre system. It's really awesome and easy to use. Here are a few tips:
#1 - You will need to either register with Livefyre.com or sign in using Facebook or Twitter. Everyone has Facebook or Twitter, right? You can't post as a guest or anonymous... sorry. But take the few seconds to sign up for LiveFyre and it will be worth it. And if you says something SUPER clever in the comments here... you can post it directly to Facebook or Twitter. Cool, right?
#2 - If you already have a Bloguin user name and password integration will be coming soon. But just do LiveFyre, Facebook or Twitter for now.
#3 - Flickr, Twitpic, tinypic, and imgur are the supported image sources, which means you just copy and paste the URL into the comment box and the image shows up as a thumbnail. And you all know we love attaching images here at The Royal Half.
#4- For videos, YouTube and Vimeo work. Just paste the URL, and your video will show up. And you all know we love attaching videos here at The Royal Half.
Hopefully the new comment system will encourage all of my awesome readers to chime in and speak up... especially with the NHL Playoffs right around the corner. (Hopefully.) You can sign up to get notified right away if some one replies to your comment or adds something new. To see how it works, check out this epic comment battle going on at Days of Yorr right now! Also, check out this great blog post about how to get the most out of LiveFyre.
Now a lot of people might think that the Los Angeles Kings came into the NHL during the 2009-2010 season. But in actuality they've been in the league since 1967. And as a long time Kings fan, I'm old enough to remember back to the last few weeks of the 2003-2004 season, when the Kings were in a playoff spot... and then lost 11 straight games to fall out of the post-season.
Oh boy what a ride that was!
With some combination of a Los Angeles Kings win or a Dallas Stars loss in regulation, the Kings can clinch a playoff spot. Easy right? I mean, I haven't looked at the schedule but there is no way the Stars can win out the rest of their games, right?
You've got to be fucking kidding me.
Well I'm sure the Kings have just as easy of a schedule, right? RIGHT?!?
Well, on the brightside, at least the Stars have one more game to play than the Kings. But honestly, 2 games against the Avalanche really count as 1. Man, the Stars are really going all out with their playoff drive. Check out the splash page to DallasStars.com.
I think it's nice of them to still include Minnesota.
The Kings are just as pumped... check out the front page of Kings.com.
Although it's a little strange to remind us fans that the Kings have made it this far without Drew Doughty all season.
Sure, you can shake off last night's embarrassment in San Jose as a 1 game letdown... but the curtain behind the Kings may have been lifted a bit. This Western Conference is loaded with talent amongst the top 10 teams. And the Kings are going to have to face a team of San Jose's caliber not just in the 1st round... but in every round. And after watching the Sharks roll 3 excellent lines last night, it doesn't matter which player Coach Murray puts on which line... it's going to be tough to match a lot of the firepower in the West with the Kings top 2 offensive players injured.
I think this accurately sums up last nights game.
I've been trying this "believing" thing... I really have. And trust me, there is nothing Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I want to do than meet up next week at a Los Angeles Kings Playoff Game. But I'm worried... I really, really am. The sensible hockey fan in me realizes that it would take both a total collapse AND a total miracle for the Kings to not clinch a playoff spot. But oh... my... god... if the Kings don't make it into the post-season... I wish there was some sort of way to visually represent how I would be feeling if that happened.
Well, here we are. The final week of the 2010-2011 NHL season. We've come so far since that first week of hockey in October. Our favorite teams have lifted our hopes in November and subsequently crushed them in February. And now, with exactly 7 days left in the regular season and only 8 of the possible 16 teams having locked up a playoff spot... for the fans of the remaining franchises all you can do is hope and pray your team makes through this week so it can taste the sweet nectar of the post-season.
If the Dallas Stars lose a game, then the Gates of Hell known as the Western Conference finally fly open as the Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes would all clinch a playoff spot. For the Kings, this would be the first time they've been in the playoff in back-to-back years since 2002. How long ago was that?
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the number 1 movie in 2002. And I had totally forgot about the failed start-up hockey league that was formed out of it.
The Hobbits took it all that year, but the league really wanted the Rangers to win.
And making its television debut in 2002 was the reality hit, American Idol.
Which allowed Mike Fisher to be traded to the Predators so he could score 4 goals in 24 games.
So here we are in 2011 and with any combination of a Dallas Stars loss and a Los Angeles Kings win, the Kings will taste the sweet nectar of the post-season for the second straight year. And this time, to make it interesting, they are doing it without their 2 leading scorers!
"Wayne, don't worry. I got this. A lot of people don't know... but I scored 4 goals for the Green Bay Gamblers in 2002."
Matt Greene played for the Green Bay Gamblers? That must have been a marketing departments wet dream.
Even after beating the Stars 3-1, the Los Angeles Kings technically haven't scored on an NHL goaltender for 5 periods. I'm really diggin' Coach Murray's new strategy for scoring off the opponents defensemen.
That Goligoski trade really paid off here for the Kings.
Now I'm sure every single Kings fan will be rooting for the Anaheim Ducks to beat the Dallas Stars today. But just keep in mind that a victory by the Ducks puts them 1 point behind the Kings. I don't know about you, but while the travel time to each game would be pleasant, I wouldn't want to be the NHL franchise that plays the Ducks in the first round. Even after Doug Murray took a 5 mile jog at Lubomir Visnovsky.
With a Stars loss today, all 3 California teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time ever. Meanwhile, it looks like Canada is only going to have 2 teams in the post-season. (3 if you count Buffalo.) Forget Winnipeg, I think it's time the NHL seriously considers a different destination for the Phoenix Coyotes.