Well, the Ilya Kovalchuk trade finally went down tonight before the Los Angeles Kings game against their cross-freeway rivals, the Anaheim Ducks. For a few weeks, speculation has ran wild that some combination of Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson and Wayne Simmonds was what it would take to pry one of the NHL's premiere snipers away from Atlanta. So how did those 3 Kings do tonight?
Jack Johnson 1 G, 3 A
Wayne Simmonds 1 G, 1 A
Dustin Brown 1 G (game winning)
Yeah, I'd say GM Dean Lombardi made the right call.
"Hey Ref! I was in the video room with Parse all day.
How much was Waddell asking for?"
Kings 6, Ducks 4, Kings' Young Prospects, Safe
The only thing better than perpetual trade bait Simmonds, Brown and Johnson having excellent games was the fact that Anze Kopitar is a King for 7 more years. Kopitar had 2 beautiful goals and 2 beautiful assists tonight and he is now the 10th leading scorer in the NHL. Oh, and he also happens to lead the NHL with 27 Power Play points. Anze has been playing so well lately that Fox Sports West HD actually got a cash infusion to create a new graphic for Kopitar.
Money well spent, FSW HD.
But let's be honest here. Sure Kopitar has 15 points in 8 games (the same 8 games in a row that the Kings have won) but the real story tonight were the guys who might have been on the chopping trading block... if Kings GM Dean Lombardi wasn't such a cool customer.
"The Night Train ain't going for Kovy... no way."
"Hey dude, we're really getting tired of you calling yourself Night Train all the time."
"The Night Train don't care what you think."
And after all the trouble that's gone down over the past 2 weeks between Dean Lombardi and Jack Johnson, tonight a message was definitely sent by the Indiana-born defenseman.
"Hey Lombardi... suck it!
Red Berenson says hi."
Honestly, I was never worried that Dustin Brown was going to be traded. I mean... he's the Captain. (Although trading their Captain has turned out pretty, pretty, pretty good for the Washington Capitals.) So when Dustin Brown scored the game winning goal tonight, giving the Los Angeles Kings their 8th win in a row, tying a franchise record set back in the day of Wayne Gretzky... what did he do to celebrate?
He shrugged his shoulders and basically said "What, me worry?"
So when the Kings are playing better than they have over the past 7 years... and are 4th overall in the Western Conference... and seem to have incredible team chemistry... what move do you make in order to show how far they've come as a team?
Why you bring former King Jeremy Roenick into your broadcast booth of course!
Bringing JR into the fold as an analyst for the Los Angeles Kings would be like seeing Kevin Brown on a Dodgers telecast or Ryan Leaf down on the sidelines reporting for the San Diego Chargers. In other words... it's just wrong. It's super annoying how Jeremy Roenick positions himself as "The Maverick" when it comes to hockey. Because he usually fails in his attempts to be shocking.
Except here... here JR is quite the shocker.
And finally. Just because I wanted an excuse to post it.
The Kings are back in action Saturday afternoon against the Detroit Red Wings. A win sets a new Kings franchise record for most consecutive wins... 9. I've been to a lot of memorable Kings games in my 20+ years of being a Kings fan... but I can honestly say I never thought I'd be at one like this. Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I will be there at Staples Center in the sea of red... and we'll be hoping that number 9 is fine.