Kings 1, Anze Kopitar, A Manno comments
Kings 1, Anze Kopitar, A Manno comments
One of my favorite pastimes at start of a brand new NHL season is to take a look at how the Los Angeles Kings have decided to advertise their brand of hockey to the faithful residents of Los Angeles. In the past, we've seen ad campaigns based on being a team that starts a game poorly...but finishes kinda strong (featuring the acting debuts of Anze Kopitar, Matt Greene and a very convincing Dustin Brown). There's been ad campaigns based on clever puns about photo development or the goalie's last name. The Kings have even advertised a behind-the-scenes commercial for an advertisement. But as anyone who works in Hollywood knows... if you want to get your message across... you gotta have a billboard.
For the last 8 years, the Marketing Department of the Los Angeles Kings have been trying to drum up support for a team that hasn't made the playoffs. But after last season's successful run to the first round of the playoffs, the Marketing Department is keeping it simple this year... billboards plastered all over the city with the last name of the star players in big bold letters.
There is Kings Captain Dustin Brown in a warehouse district.
Anze Kopitar smiles, even on a rare overcast day in LA.
Yup... you better believe that's a palm tree.
And there's Wayne Simmonds... on the back of a bus.
Is it just me or do the expressions on the faces of Brown, Kopitar, Doughty and Simmonds make them seem like some sort of modern day ice hockey Rat Pack?
Obviously because of the smile, Kopitar is Sinatra.
These billboards have been all over the city for the last 2 weeks. And the other day, I noticed a few more popping up.
Ok, that makes sense. I mean, Dean Lombardi is the architect behind this exciting, young Kings team.
Even if Dave Taylor did draft Kopitar and Brown.
Oops, I'm pretty sure this one wasn't supposed to be unveiled until mid-December.
Let's be honest. If the Los Angeles Kings wanted to advertise the true heart and soul of this franchise... the person who works the hardest each and every day to make this hockey team the best it can be.... then they'd put this guy on a billboard.
Now that's billboard blight at its best!
The 2010-2011 NHL Season starts today. And the Los Angeles Kings start their season on the road in Vancouver on Saturday night. The Royal Half is so excited and we just want everyone to know.
Special thanks to Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and Indiana Matt... who are quickly becoming the Roger Sterling and Don Draper of this website. I, of course, remain Bert Cooper.
I've done a lot of great things during my 20+ year career as a Los Angeles Kings fan. I was able to watch Wayne Gretzky play nightly, I saw Peter Forsberg lose his spleen and I was there when a young team won its first playoff game in 8 years. And while I never thought that a pre-season NHL game could land high on my list of greatest Kings experiences… making it to Frozen Fury 13 in Las Vegas is something that every Los Angeles Kings fan should check out. Don't get me wrong, it's the pre-season for chrissakes. I would take watching the Kings play for real in the playoffs any day of the week. But watching nearly 10,000 passionate Kings fans descend on the city known for the manufacturing and selling of Sin is quite a sight to behold.
Indiana Matt and I grabbed a 5:30 pm flight out of Burbank into Vegas and once we landed, we couldn't wait to meet and greet all of the Los Angeles Kings fans that had flown in for Frozen Fury.
Why did it have to be the Red Wings? Anyone but the Red Wings.
In a few hours Indiana Matt and I will be on a plane on our way to Las Vegas for Frozen Fury 13. Now, while this certainly won't be my first time to Las Vegas, it will be my first time at Frozen Fury. Now... from all the crazy things that Kings fans say they do at Frozen Fury, it seems that most people only go to this pre-season NHL game to drink, gamble and party. Well I think that severely undermines the point of pre-season hockey... to fully evaluate your favorite NHL team, assessing the strengths and weaknesses and getting the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the franchises' future stars.
So in this spirit, I'll be providing Twitter updates throughout the weekend as I fully evaluate my favorite NHL team, assessing the strengths and weaknesses while getting the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the franchises' future stars... all while drinking, gambling and partying.
After attending the Los Angeles Kings 8-3 pre-season victory over the Anaheim Ducks, I'm thinking that the team ends up skating a lineup like this:
I don't know about you guys, but I really like the look of that 2nd line. Also, I'd rather have Quisp as the #1 LW than an over-paid Russian any day of the week.
Have any of you actually read Dustin Brown's Twitter? If not, I'd like to play a little game called: NHL Captain or 11 Year-Old Nephew?
The correct answer is.... 11-Year Old NHL Captain.
Photo courtesy of Indiana Matt's awesome Android Phone app.
It felt great to be back at Staples Center last night even if it just was the pre-season. There was a general excitement in the air and fans across the building have already begun to embrace the newest Kings players.
Worst. Willie Mitchell Jersey. Ever.
Seriously? There's already a Jon Bernier player t-shirt?
The #1 goalie controversy has barely started!
I'll save my review of the new 2010-2011 Staples Center amenities for when a Los Angeles Kings victory actually counts for something… but we may have a front runner for the newest, most horrible piece of Kings merchandise.
I think at the end of the day, Alexei Ponikarovsky will be an upgrade over the Alexander Frolov that was playing for the Los Angeles Kings. (However, I'm convinced the Alexander Frolov that is playing for the New York Rangers will be a 40 goal scorer.) Wayne Simmonds looks like he's going to have a huge coming out party this season. Jack Johnson just might be for real this year. Drew Doughty has lost some baby fat in his face. And Andrei Loktionov looked like he wanted to be in the NHL way more than Brayden Schenn. I hardly noticed Thomas Hickey and I think that's exactly the type of game he is supposed to play.
But the best addition to the Kings lineup this season? The gigantic scoreboard, of course!
The only feeling better than watching your favorite hockey team dominate a meaningless pre-season game against their cross-town rival who yes, was starting their horrible backup goalie, but otherwise most of their regular season lineup?
Coming home to find your Half Season Ticket Holder Package sitting on your front step. Next stop, Las Vegas, as Indiana Matt and The Royal Half are headed to Frozen Fury for the first time.
You can sign up at Yahoo. Hit me up with any questions.
Since he spent a night at my house during the NHL Draft, NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blogger, James O'Brien, must have felt obligated to ask for my thoughts on the possible training camp battles for the Los Angeles Kings. Did I pick Brayden Schenn's hope to be the 2nd line center? Jon Bernier's quest to become the #1 Goaltender? Rich Hammond's desire to replace Jamie Kompon as the Power Play coach? Find out over at Pro Hockey Talk.
Sure Training Camp starts on Saturday, but the real big news around these parts is the creation of The Brian Willsie Invitational Classic. What is The Brian Willsie Invitational Classic you ask? It's a Fantasy Hockey League created by myself and McSwarley where the goal, much like former King Brian Willsie, is to be the worst competitor possible.
It is simple... get the least amount of total points with a team full of NHL'ers over the course of an entire season. You get rewarded for faceoff losses and goals against... while you get punished for game winning goals and a high plus/minus.
We salute you, Brian Willsie.
If you are interested in joining the league, let me know via email, twitter or leave just leave a comment and I'll send you an invite. This should be a completely different way to experience fantasy hockey that is at least 75% less nerdy and 25% more sarcastic.
You know it's hockey season when the lead blogger for the Los Angeles Kings is right where he belongs... behind the bench.
"Um... I don't know there, Scott... that's not how Coach Murray does it."
Holy shit! When did former Hobey Baker Award winner Scott Pellerin become an assistant coach for the Monarchs!!
As all fans of The Royal Half know... two of our favorite things in the world are Los Angeles Kings Hockey and the AMC television series Mad Men. So much so that The Royal Half In-House Graphic Designer, Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy, even created this piece of genius that somehow never made it into a blog post last season.
Randy Jones is totally Pete Campbell.
So after last week's amazing episode of Mad Men and the subsequent internet phenomenon that has become Sad Don Draper... The Royal Half decide to look back at the Los Angeles Kings 2009-2010 season... Sad Don Draper Style!
Check it out after the jump!
In case you haven't noticed (my Mom and Dad are really the only people to have noticed)... things around here at The Royal Half have been awful quiet this off-season. I mean, honestly... it's not like anything of importance has been going on with the Los Angeles Kings this summer, right?
Enough to win a Cup without Kovalchuk?
Hmm, not so sure about that one.
As the Dog Days of August turn into the Awesome Approaching Training Camp Days of September, The Royal Half will be back in full force as the regular season gets closer and closer. We'll provide a look back at the Kings Players that are gone from last season's squad as well as take an in-depth look at all the additions that the Kings have made this off-season... you know, players like Alexei Ponikarovsky or Willie Mitchell. Or... only players like Alexei Ponikarovsky and Willie Mitchell. That's right, Kings fans... your 2nd line left-winger going into training camp... Scott Parse!!!
"Yeah, so apparently they couldn't sign this Russian dude, so that means I'm starting on the 2nd line!"
"Oh, that's cool. They haven't really said anything to me about starting this season...
but I'm sure Coach Murray's just been busy, that's all...
it's not like I've lost my job before training camp, right? Right?!"
Also coming in September... more Pundays and a fantasy hockey league hosted by McSwarley and The Royal Half. And don't forget... after 20 plus years of being a Kings fan... The Royal Half will be attending their 1st ever Frozen Fury in Las Vegas in October. We'll be signing autographs at $25 a photo before the game, so get in line early. Please, no memorabilia. It's still less than William Shatner charges.
Things that happened in less than 14 days:
2010 Stanley Cup Finals
The recording of the first Beatles album, Please Please Me. (9 hours and 45 minutes)
Wally Backman's Major League Baseball managerial career.
The Indo-Pakistani war
The Britney Spears-Jason Alexander Wedding