Thursday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes wasn't part of my Half Season Ticket Package. But I had scored 2 free tickets to the game and called up one of my oldest friends... who happens to also be my oldest "long suffering Los Angeles Kings fan" friend. She and I met around 1993, at the height of King Fandom in Los Angeles. How old-school Kings is she? Well, her jersey collection consists of replica Robb Stauber and Darryl Sydor jerseys. So what do two 30-something, 20-plus year Kings fans do when the current incarnation of their favorite team is slogging its way through a 2-0 loss to a division rival? You try to name the most obscure Kings from the past and then top one another. That's what you do!
We called it a tie after she said Doug Houda and I said Todd Elik.
But spending the majority of the night throwing out names from the last 25 years got me to thinking about this current Kings team. They were so ready for prime-time... the "Next Chicago Blackhawks"... just one impact player short of Stanley Cup Contenders. And now... well, while the playoffs are not out of the picture at all, the 2010-2011 Los Angeles Kings have to find an identity. And they have to find it quickly. The Kings may just be 5 points out of a playoff spot, but they are 2 losses away from being a .500 team. And there is no excuse for that. Not even this:
Even if the War Room in Toronto pulls their head out of their asses to see this wasn't a goal... the Kings still lose 1-0. People might say "oh, well that 2nd goal wouldn't have been scored if not for that emotional, controversial goal in the 2nd period." That my friends is bullshit. This is a professional sports team who is supposed to be able to endure the ups and downs of the game. Not cave in after being told a goal was scored against them. But, as long suffering Los Angeles Kings fans... we'll continue to show up at Staples or watch on tv... and hope our favorite team won't let us down again. Because that's what we do... we are Kings fans. We are used to being disappointed.
And in regards to what Dean Lombardi said after the game... in regards to that emotional, controversial goal in the 2nd period. Good for him. It's about time someone involved in this hockey team showed a little fire and made it seem like they actually care about what is going on.