Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Kings Home Opener was FANtastic!

The Kings home opener exceeded all of my very low expectations! I felt like a little kid again, super excited about the little things, like a beer garden, being able to walk across the closed-off-to-vehicular-traffic Chick Hearn street, magnet schedules, and especially watching the Kings win their home opener!

My Kings home opener celebration began a little earlier than I had initially anticipated because I was so antsy to leave work and get to LA Live. The Husband was starving and the Yard House was packed as usual so we made our way to Lawry's Carvery. They serve overpriced sandwiches but they're tasty (which I can't say about the food at the ESPN Zone) and they have $3 bottled beers, including Blue Moon and Stella Artois.  it makes me happy.
The place was packed by the time we left, but the food does come out quick. We headed over to the Kings Fanfest beer garden for one last stop before heading into Staples Center. I'm glad we went because we got to witness the bottoms-up beer dispenser in full action!

Look Ma! It's Magic!
I had read about it last year on Puck Daddy, but never saw it at Staples Center. It definitely serves beer quicker and everyone around was amazed at this magical invention. I forgot about the magnetic "stopper", which you can definitely poke up into the cup. The husband was very tempted to drink the beer from the bottom of the cup, but common sense got the better of him.

Do it. Do it. Do it. 
I made a quick stop in the Team LA store. There was a Kopitar player t-shirt for women in black, but I really wanted a vintage grey Doughty player t-shirt, which the store didn't carry. Instead of buying stuff I walked around the store and made fun of the hideous shirts including this one:

brought to you by Ed Hardy
The Husband was really smitten with this baby/toddler tracksuit even though we don't have any kids and are several years away from having any:
why was my husband looking at kids clothes? i don't know....
I'm also not sure how I feel about dressing up a kid in a tracksuit. A bib and a onesie are acceptable, but a tracksuit? Umm...we're not Italian.

I really enjoyed the player intros. I was wondering what this device was:

What could that possibly be?
And then we soon found out:

now that's pretty cool, right?
Last season before the Kings entered the ice, there was this horrible animation that would play on the jumbotron. My description won't do it justice, but it consisted of animated medieval soldiers going to war and they carried flags that showed the teams' logos and one of the Kings soldiers would shoot the puck and it hit the opposing team and shattered them. Something like that. Trust me, it was terrible. Thankfully, it was not played last night and hopefully it will never be shown ever again. It was super cheesy and I cringed every time I saw it.

Another absence I appreciated? Davis Gaines didn't sing the national anthem!

The game was fantastic as well! I sat in one of the sections behind the goal where the Kings shoot twice. From that viewpoint I was able to clearly see how the Kings break out of their zone. I was impressed with how well they were passing to each other and it seemed like they were really trying to open the game up by playing laterally, making a lot of cross-ice passes, even in tight situations. There were a couple close calls when a defenseman made a cross-ice pass literally a stick's length in front of Quick, but they were confident passes. It probably helped that the Blues were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights (thanks NHL scheduler!) because the Kings looked fresh and fast. Quick was on fire and tracked the puck really well even when there were multiple deflections.

Whenever I'm at the game it always seems like there are a lot of phantom penalties being called since you only get one look at it from one angle. Last night it seemed like several penalties called on both teams were ticky-tacky, but at least it wasn't one-sided. I really enjoyed watching Dustin Brown rough it up with the Blues and draw a penalty. The Captain's got a great talent! During the coaching staff intros, the Husband asked why people were booing Jamie Kompon so I had to explain about how the power play has been pretty terrible the past couple seasons so the majority of the fans blame Kompon. Well, it seems like the fans are going to have to eat crow because the Kings power play is getting the job done. We can't expect the Kings to score on every power play, but so far the Kings have had two game-winning power play goals (thanks, Jack!) and last night the power play looked pretty good most of the time.

Here are some quick and dirty thoughts about a couple players' performances:

Kopitar: Another great game. I can't get over how amazing he looks this season. Is it too early to start the "Anze for MVP" rally?

Brown: He did all the work on Stoll's goal, including setting it up perfectly and drew at least one penalty.

Gagne: He really exploded tonight.

Penner: I saw him in warm-ups and I couldn't help but imagine him whining to Coach Murray that he couldn't play because of some injury and Murray rolling his eyes and telling him to put a band-aid on it. I don't think Penner had that great of a game. I mostly noticed him when he was standing at the blue line and someone would pass it to him and he would just deflect it into the offensive zone and then skate off for a line change. I doubt he's 100% right now, but he still needs to be better because there's no crying in hockey!

Richards: I like him more and more with every game I watch. Do I see a Richards jersey in my future???

Voynov: The kid looks a lot bigger than the 5'-11" he's listed at. He had a pretty solid game tonight. If he keeps it up, once Doughty is healthy Martinez might need to book a flight to Manchester.

Quick: Like I said above, he had a fantastic game. He wasn't tested that much, but there definitely could have been some fluky goal off a second deflection, but Quick was all over the puck.

The only way this game could have been any better is if Gagne had a hat trick. Oh, and also if the hipster douchebags sitting in front of me didn't talk non-stop throughout the game about everything under the sun BUT hockey. Seriously, if you don't know anything about the game, then at least try to learn and if you're not going to pay attention, then LEAVE or at least don't talk so freaking loudly! (rant, done.)

It warmed my heart to see the fans standing through the last minute of the game cheering the Kings for putting on a great show. 5-0 against the Blues? Now that's how you start a season at home!


  1. Great article! Hubby and I also took the Lawrey's route before the game instead of the yardhouse. Fat tires and beef sandwiches. Way cheaper than the yardhouse all though I'd love to go there one day and sit on the patio.

    We couldn't see the laser structure from where we were sitting and I when got my first glimpse of it I was suprised. I thougth it was the castle all this time. lol

    I share your thoughts on how well everyone played. I also thougth Moreau did well. After a game, I usually like to sit back and think "who did I notice" and "who did I not notice?". I really noticed Moreau and I noticed Richards. Niether scored, but both played the puck well. Richards is very skilled on possession isn't he?

    I'd like all our games to be like this one. We can hope!

  2. i've only sat on the patio at Yard House once before a game and it was during the weekday and I think we got there at 5. Otherwise if we go to Yard House any later than that we have to fight for a spot at the bar and just get drinks.

    I've read that other people that Moreau did well, but I guess I just wasn't paying attention to him. I also forget that he's #17. But Richards....oh, he's good!