Thursday, December 29, 2011

12/29/11: Kings 0, Jets 1 (OT) - Jets Fans are on the Shins List

Short and sweet game review in bullet format! (an engineer's favorite type of report):

  • Winnipeg Jets fans are on the #shinslist
    • Booing the "best" player on the opposing team is the stupidest thing ever.  Only Philly fans can boo for no GD reason;
      • By the way, you asshats should have been booing Dustin Brown because (a) he's the Kings captain, (b) some fans think he occasionally embellishes to draw penalties (*I have no idea what those people are thinking*), and (c) he's AMERICAN! That would have made WAY  more sense; 
    • Taunting the goalie when your team has NEVER even scored on him is fucking baseless and idiotic;
  • Good to see Bernier get in a really solid game (gotta beef up those stats for the upcoming trade deadline.....j/k.....sorta.....not really.....oh what the hell do I know);
  • Someone please tell Sutter it's almost 2012 because it's pretty obvious that he's several decades behind.  And I SWEAR he was wearing the exact same suit at tonight's game that he wore the previous night.  Unacceptable;
  • The Kings better get the power play going or else they're going to be exiting the playoffs after the 1st Round again, assuming they can even make the playoffs;
  • Remember when it looked like Anze Kopitar was going to have a ridiculously productive offensive year?  I don't think it's helping that #15 is one of his wingers.....just sayin'.

Anyway, the Kings have one more game in 2011. I wish my husband was just a wee bit more into hockey because I would totally spend New Years Eve at a Kings game. Just hoping the Kings can close out 2011 with a solid game, including a decent outing or two on the power play.  That's not too much to ask for, right?

12/28/11: Kings 2, Blackhawks 0

I had absolutely zero faith in the Los Angeles Kings to win against the Chicago Blackhawks IN Chicago.  As I mentioned in my game preview, I honestly could not remember the last time the Kings beat the Blackhawks.  After this game was over, Bob Miller mentioned that the last time the Kings beat the Blackhawks in Chicago was almost 4 years ago to this day! Unreal.  And including games played in Los Angeles, the Blackhawks had won the previous 7 matches.  No wonder I dread watching the Kings play the 'Hawks.

The game started out as I had expected, with the Kings barely able to scrape anything together.  The team chemistry was way off, the passing was atrocious, the rushes into the offensive zone were futile, and the power play looked no better.  And then I saw this on the Kings bench:

(AP Photo)
Oh jeeeeeez, Sutter.  That suit just screams '1975'.
Someone get this guy a stylist;
he's the coach of a  professional sports team
in Los Angeles for crying out loud.

The only reason the Kings were still in this game after the first period was because of Jonathan Quick, whose play only got exponentially better as the game went on.  Also, it helped that the Blackhawks never seemed to catch a break, which coincidentally, was the story for the, majority of Kings' season so far.  But Quick......holy moly, it's breathtaking, heart-stopping, jaw dropping to watch him when that kid gets on a roll. (And yes, I may be exaggerating just the slightest, but it's only because I don't think Quick gets the praise he deserves nearly as much as other netminders.)

(Bill Smith/Getty Images)
Quick almost got a kiss from close.
Other notable moments from the game:

  • Trent Hunter scored the first, and eventually game-winning, goal. (I suppose I'll stop bitching about him for awhile....);
  • Speaking of Trent Hunter, his dad looks like a cooler, less annoying, less douchey version of Pierre McGuire; 
  • I couldn't help but notice that the Kings players' dads were not in a suite....what's up with that LA Kings management?  Is the team that broke after signing Doughty? Stay classy, AEG;
  • Mike Richards needs to take penalty shot/shootout lessons from Jarret Stoll considering he's 0-for-2 THIS season and 0-for-7 all-time; 
  • Bob Miller interviewed Kyle Clifford's dad during the 2nd intermission and I don't know what he said because I was so distracted by how freaking HUGE he is!  Clifford's dad was remarkably larger than Bob Miller; He looked like he ate Jim Fox and was sizing up Bob.  He isn't grossly obese or anything, just a very, very large man.  Even Bob said, "I see where [Kyle] got his size."
  • I enjoyed seeing how unfazed the fathers were when their sons scored (although I have no doubt Jack's dad would have been running up and down the aisles giving everyone a high-five if his son scored). I guess after you've seen your kid play probably thousands of games and seen them score a lot, another goal, even if it does occur in the NHL in your presence, just isn't that big of a deal.
So it's off to Winnipeg!  I have no idea what to expect from either the Kings or the Jets.  Will the Kings be able to continue this points streak? Only if Sutter wears another brown plaid suit.  Maybe on Thursday he can pair it with a burnt orange dress shirt.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kings at Chicago: Someone Get Jack Johnson's Dad to Dance

The players' fathers are joining the team on this road trip.  During the last game Patrick O'Neal interview Willie Mitchell's father.  I was really, really hoping he would interview Jack Johnson's father, but it never happened.  Although The Royal Half did post a screenshot of Jack's dad photobombing the interview. Let's all hope that at some point during this road trip, Jack Johnson's dad treats hockey fans to one more dance:

I imagine Jack's dad is one cool dude.  The type of father, like Homer Simpson, who instilled the most important life lesson:

"Son, being popular is the most important thing in the whole world."

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I sure do hope Jack's father dances because it'll make watching the Kings lose to the Blackhawks a whole lot easier to take.  I mean, seriously, does anyone remember the last time the LA Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks?  At least Sutter will be there to give all the guys hugs after the loss:

(AP Photo)
C'mon, look at that!!
He's such a close talker and such a touchy feely guy....
Do they not get the news in  Red Deer?
Does he not realize this is just a wee bit awkward?  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Los Angeles Kings

Have you seen the Los Angeles Kings' Holiday Video??

(If you're reading this in a feed, then you may need to go to the actual post to view the video).

In case you can't watch the video, here's a recap:

Jack Johnson, Anze Kopitar, Kevin Westgarth, Jonathan Bernier, Slava Voynov, Andrei Loktionov, Davis Drewiske, & Dustin Brown wish all of us a Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.

Except that Jack said it with his incredibly high cheek bones, Kopi confused everyone by talking in a super foreign language, Westie talked in Yale-y terms (or was it Princetonian flair?), Baby Bernier made every woman go "Sploosh!" by talking in French, Loki just looked adorable, Drewiske tried to eye-f*ck every female Kings fan, Voynov spoke too timidly, and Brownie ended things with his good-golly-I'm-just-a-good-ol'-boy personality.

Oh, and Colin Fraser was in there somewhere.

Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays), fellow Kings fans!

Monday, December 19, 2011

12/19/11 - Kings 3, Leafs 2 (SO)

(AP Photo)
Awwwwww....look at how happy they look!

My expectations were pretty low for this game considering how things looked on Saturday against the Red Wings.  My concerns weren't alleviated the least bit after reading two pieces on the Kings earlier in the day.  The first article I came across, 'Anger Pours Over for Kings', was by Helene Elliott of the LA Times.  I did a double take when I read this part:

Mitchell said he enjoyed Sunday's taxing workout.
"Those are the practices we need if we're going to get out of this," he said. "It was up-tempo, forwards were buzzing and going to the net hard. It pushes the limits of defensemen when you practice like that.
"It's a cliche but it's true. You need good practice habits to play well in games and I don't think our practices have been the best around here."

Willie Mitchell didn't think their "practices have been the best around here"?  Well that's not something you want to hear.

The second article I read was about the team going to Dairy Queen after practice.  I can't remember if I first read about it on ESPN or Yahoo!, but Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider also mentioned it:
After practice, the team bus diverted to a nearby Dairy Queen, and the losing team bought treats for the winners. It was a nice touch by Stevens and a solid attempt to keep a good team mood. Raise you hand if you think there will be ice-cream side trips under Darryl Sutter. Seeing none…
Wow, I wish some of my sports coaches took us to Dairy Queen after practice to pick up the mood. But noooooo, we got attitude adjustment practices instead!  Well....I guess ice cream really does make everything better.  Just make sure it's not "lactose free" ice cream, because my husband accidentally bought it the other night and it tastes like butt and it totally ruined dessert for me.

If you were like me and were stuck at work for the majority of the Kings/Leafs game, then here are some game highlights from

Glad to see the Kings finally get some lucky bounces!!

So who's looking forward to the Darryl Sutter Era???????

Sunday, December 18, 2011

12/17/11: LA Kings 2, Detroit Red Wings 8

What the fuck was that????

I don't know how  I managed to sit through the whole game.  Shit hit the fan 2 minutes into the game and I'm pretty sure every body knew this game was over for the LA Kings at that point.  It seems like every season there's at least one game where the Kings look terrible and they let in a ton of goals.  I can remember off the top of my head two games against the Buffalo Sabres in which the Kings got completely blown out.  Usually I just toss the game aside as an anomaly and move onto the next game.  But I cannot just ignore this game, especially since it happened during a real low period of this season.  So be prepared for a full on rant and armchair GM post:

The Kings didn't just look a step behind the Red Wings, they looked like they were a full shift behind them.  They looked like they were chasing the Wings all around the ice.   They looked like a minor league team playing against the future Stanley Cup champions.  It was embarrassing to watch.  Jack Johnson looked atrocious.  He was a -4 in the game and I don't know why Interim Coach John Stevens allowed him to play past the 1st period.  And how the hell did Andrei Loktionov get benched in favor of Trent Hunter?  Holy moly, the Kings were fucked before the puck even dropped.

I think it's pretty obvious at this point that the onus is on the players to turn things around.  I don't know what any coach can do at this point to get this team back on track.  If I were the coach, I would go fucking ballistic on these guys.  (If I have kids, then I should probably never coach youth sports....ever.)

The only positive I can take from this game is that the line of  Dustin Penner, Jarret Stoll, and Justin Williams played pretty well.  I distinctly remember one play where it looked like the Red Wings were going to have an odd-man rush, but Dustin Penner back-checked and successfully foiled a scoring opportunity.  Well done, Penner.  (But, where the fuck was that during the 2010 Playoffs???)

As in past seasons, I hope this game against the Red Wings is just one of those freak games where nothing goes right.  But I'm concerned it's a step towards the Western Conference basement.  My expectations for this team were so high when the season started.  Right now, I'm just hoping the Kings can clinch a playoff spot in April.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12/15/11 - Los Angeles Kings @ Columbus Blue Jackets - We Got This in the Bag!....maybe??

When the Los Angeles Kings were a really terrible team during those years after the lockout, I used to get really angry whenever fans of other NHL teams made comments about how happy they were that his or her favorite team was going to play the Kings because that meant an easy win or the fans would be pissed if the Kings won because they always thought "dammit 'we' are supposed to beat the Kings!". So I understand how frustrating it is to be a fan of a team that is in the NHL basement and how annoying and old it gets when other fans beat up on your team. But with that said,

oh my gravy, I am going to be so effing pissed off if the Kings don't win tonight's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets!!

I mean seriously, look at the team stats for the Columbus Blue Jackets at this point in the season:

That's atrocious!!  How is Scott Arniel still this team's coach? It's going to be so embarrassing if the Kings lose tonight's game and the losing streak hits SIX!

The players better get their shit together and realize they just got a perfectly fine coach fired and they're all severely under-performing.

"We" better win tonight's game.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

LA Kings Losing Streak Hits FIVE!

Holy moly, I don't even know what to say anymore! I don't think Terry Murray should have been fired.  I just don't.  And now I'm nervous about who the Los Angeles Kings will hire as their new head coach.  Really nervous.

I only watched the last 5 minutes or so of the game against the Boston Bruins.  I got to see the Kings struggle mightily on the power play.  It's brutal watching the power play without Mike Richards.  In fact, I'm really nervous about how this team will continue to look without him.  The last game he played in was against Florida and the Kings have not won a game in his absence!  IS ANYONE ELSE FREAKING OUT!?!?

Simon misses his Mikey

The Kings had some decent scoring opportunities near the end of the game against the Bruins, but just could not get the puck in the net!  Story of the season.  You could just feel the frustration of the players; I kept waiting for a Kings player to angrily pick up the puck and throw it in the net.  How many more losses till this actually happens?

This losing streak will end.  Keep the hope alive, Kings fans!  The season isn't over.  Go Kings Go!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Brad Richardson Has Huge Balls and Guess Who's in the Finale of 'The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs'

Normally I'm not too confident in Brad Richardson's scoring chances on breakaways. He's a decent enough player, incredibly hard working, but he doesn't have the best stats on breakaways. In Saturday's game against the Dallas Stars, Brad Richardson found himself with puck on stick, streaking up the ice on a 2-on-0 with leading LA Kings scorer, Anze Kopitar. You're Brad Richardson: What do you do? Make a perfect pass to Kopitar. You're rookie netminder Richard Bachman: What are you thinking? Richardson is going to pass it to Kopitar.

What does Richardson do? He fucking takes charge of the situation and, after having been benched for several games, shows off how huge his balls are, makes a pretty deke and gets the puck into the net. BALLLLERRRR!!!! Did anyone else watching at home jump into the air and celebrate like the Kings won the game upon watching Richardson act like a total bad ass?

Too bad that was the only thing LA Kings fans had to celebrate on Saturday......yikes, things are not looking good.  There's been a lot of chatter about whether Coach Terry Murray will get fired...and it could happen soon...I don't know what to think.  Do either  Dean Lombardi or Tim Leiweke really have the balls to fire someone so close to the holidays?  That's cold.  Ice Cold.

So......who watched the December 11th episode of 'The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs'??????? All day leading up to the episode, Alton Brown was tweeting about how intense the show was going to be that night. In fact, I think Alton talked it up too much! My expectations were sky high. Check out some of his tweets from Sunday:

I enjoyed the episode, I was just expecting it to be far more intense than last week's episode, which I thought was ridiculously exciting.  For this challenge, the contestants were in The Hamptons and had to buy ingredients on a budget (I think $300) to cook a trio for the judges and 20 "guests".  All of the chefs lamented HOW DIFFICULT it is to be on a budget IN THE HAMPTONS.  (oh the HORROR!!)  These chefs are professionals and the best for a reason, so they made it work.

I think it's cruel to make contestants on any cooking show cook outdoors, especially for 'The Next Iron Chef' because, "Hello!!!" they're going to be cooking in Kitchen Stadium!!!  Anyway, it seriously didn't look like any of the contestants were going to finish and Chef Alex looked so worn out and stressed (and I think she said 'homicide' or 'homicidal' at least twice this episode).

It was really entertaining watching the episode and hear the contestants talk shit about each other and then see them respond to each other on Twitter.  If you get the East Coast feed, then I highly recommend following all the contestants and Alton Brown on Twitter and then read their reactions to the episode while watching the show.

Anyway, so one chef was immediately booted from the show and one chef was immediately selected for the Finals after the judges tasted the dishes.  Unfortunately, Chef Alex had the least tasty dish so she was let go.
And finally, Chef Zakarian had the best dish!  The judges had glowing praise for his dish.

Chef Faulkner and Chef Chiarello had to battle it out for a spot in the Finals.  The secret ingredients were crackers and wine.  There were three types of crackers and they only had to be used a serving vessel, but it was still bizarre.  Chef Chiarello had the better plating, but his molecular cooking technique backfired for one appetizer as the judges didn't care for its taste.  Chef Faulkner took a risky move by making an Indian flavored meatball, but it was voted the best tasting dish.  Even though her plating was boring, Judge Iron Chef Symon noted that you win Iron Chef on taste, not plating.  In the end, Chef Faulkner prevailed so she'll face Chef Zakarian in the Finals.  I'm curious to see what the secret ingredient will be!  I'm still on Team Zakarian so I hope he wins!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Brendan Shanahan Iron Fist > The Colin Campbell Wheel of Justice

All the articles I read about Andy Sutton's hit on Alexei Ponikarovsky made it seem like Sutton almost decapitated Ponikarovsky. Especially after hearing that the NHL had suspended Sutton indefinitely, offered him an in-person hearing, and then suspended him for 8 games, I was expecting it to be one seriously vicious hit. So I was a wee bit disappointed when I finally did watch the video. I mean, yeah, it wasn't a clean hit. Was it suspension worthy? Sure, maybe a game. Was it really worthy of an indefinite suspension and eventually 8 games? I don't think so. But I guess you also have to take into consideration that Sutton is a repeat offender and was recently suspended for multiple games on one violation. Have a gander....what do you think?

Watching this hit reminded me a whole lot of a hit on Ryan Smyth by Jason Demers that occurred during the 2010 playoffs. Remember this hit, LA Kings fans?

And guess what?? No fucking suspension was handed out! (I can't remember if there was even a penalty called, but I wouldn't surprised if play had resumed like nothing happened.) I remember being absolutely ENRAGED when Demers hit Smyth and I got even angrier every time I watched the replays of this hit. In fact, after watching this hit and the Sutton hit, I think this hit on Smyth is even worse. I bet this hit would have garnered a suspension if Brendan Shanahan was the disciplinarian back then. Oh how times have changed....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The LA Kings are Such a Disappointment Right Now and so is 'The Walking Dead'

I seriously can't figure out why the LA Kings are having such a difficult time scoring goals.  It is so frustrating watching them game after game struggle to clearly enter the offensive zone, get quality scoring chances, and actually score goals.  They've been able to get a lot of shots on goal the past couple games, but quantity does not matter if they're not high quality chances.  Oh, and The Ethan Moreau Experiment is finally over.  Finally.  

(Harry How/Getty Images)
See ya, Moreau!
Good luck in the future!

I can think of two other players off the top of my head who need to get bounced waived as well.  Congrats to Andrei Loktionov and Slava Voynov for playing well enough to stay with the team and get a veteran player waived.  Did anyone else notice how well Loktionov absolutely dominated the play for several shifts in the third period against the Wild?  I'm looking forward to seeing more of that!  Oh, and some goals and wins too......

The LA Kings are just so disappointing right now.  But don't fret guys, because there are plenty of other things that are equally, if not more, disappointing.  Case in point: Season 2 of The Walking Dead.

I didn't start watching The Walking Dead until this year when I noticed people on Twitter talking about the Season 2 Premiere.  The general consensus seemed positive and since Breaking Bad was just about to wrap up, I wanted to have another show on Sunday night to watch.  My husband was a little surprised when I mentioned that I wanted to Netflix the first season of The Walking Dead.  He said something about the writers all getting canned either after the first season or right after the second season started, but I didn't care.  I just wanted to know what everyone on the Twitters was talking about!

Note: Spoiler Alert!  I'll be discussing both Seasons 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead.  

Season 1 of The Walking Dead was pretty good.  It was only 6 episodes so the writers had to reel in the audience with action, suspense, and a somewhat believable plotline.  There was one part that seemed unbelievable (I mean seriously, who would cut off his own hand instead of breaking off the handcuffs??? c'mon!!! and I wasn't buying the half-assed explanation they gave for this occurring) and the audience just had to assume that this character died since he has yet to appear (in real life).  I also think it's kinda ridiculous that the zombies are referred to as 'walkers' when in actuality they can pretty much run when they smell fresh blood.  And how is that in one second an area will be free and clear of the zombies and the next thing you know there's a whole mess of them surrounding the living?

Anyway, minor issues aside, I enjoyed the first season.  I like the actor who plays Rick and knew I had seen him from something.  Recently I finally came across a blog that mentioned he is the guy in Love Actually who was secretly in love with Keira Knightley's character.  Awwwwww, that's why I liked him immediately! And oh my god, his real last name is Clutterbuck!!! Hahahahah!!!  Any hockey fan should appreciate that!

I don't recall ever seeing the actor who plays Shane.  And every episode I struggle to determine if I think he's hot or not.  Ladies, help me out here.  What do you think of him?  

My issues with Season 2 include the following:
  • Not much action - my husband mentioned that the show was given the exact or similar budget for Season 2 as they had for Season 1, but they have twice as many episodes to produce this season.  Therefore, there is a lot of filler content and not as much action, which equates to many episodes that are super, ridiculously boring.
  • No character development - we have hardly learned anything about this group of people over 6 episodes (the first half of Season 2).  There's some weird father/daughter type of issue going on between the old man and Andrea.  The black man is apparently still alive, but do we know anything about him?  They should have just killed him off and the writers had the perfect opportunity to do it!  We don't know anything more about the battered wife other than she was sad that her daughter was missing for 99% of the second season.  Rick's wife is just too skinny and needs to start eating.  Rick's son needs to start acting more like a kid and stop acting like he's 25 years old.  We probably learned the most about the white trash guy (Daryl) during his adventures searching for Sophia.  Scratch that.  We probably learned the most about the veterinarian old man whose land they're staying on.  And why are we learning about him since the group shouldn't be staying on his land for the remainder of the series?  
  • Missing Girl - oh. my. goodness.  They spent almost the entire first half of the season searching for Sophia who went missing in the woods.  This story line should have been wrapped up in two episodes max.  
  • Advancing the story - Wasn't this group headed towards an Army base?  Didn't the assistant coach from the movie Miracle whisper something (presumably very important) to Rick before he went down in a huge ball of flames at the CDC at the end of Season 1?  I'm so glad Rick's kid got shot in the stomach AND DIDN'T DIE, which gave the writers an excuse to stall the story for 5 episodes!!  
  • Inconsistencies - I could have sworn in the first season, they explained that the only way the walkers can't identify you is when you have their blood or a dead person's blood on you (because this way the walkers think you're already dead).  But in this season, apparently as long as they can't see you, then you're safe!  I didn't buy for a second that by hiding underneath a car that walkers wouldn't be able to notice them as they walked inches from their faces!!  That was total B.S.  Also, what about the fact that walkers are attracted to noise.  They're talking up a storm and shooting guns at gun practice and not a single walker approached them.  And how is it that not a single walker approached that house they're staying at??  
So now that we know Sophia is dead (or was a zombie) I hope that early in the second half of this season either the group leaves for the Army Base or kills the man who owns the land so they can stay there without conforming to his idiotic rules.  Also, Shane is clearly crazy so he needs to go.  I think the group should split up.  Despite my disappointment with this season, of course I'm going to keep watching.  I have to know how this season will end! They better make it to the Army Base.  They better reveal what the CDC scientist/doctor said to Rick.  Rick's wife better stop being such a huge c**t.  They need to develop the Asian dude's story because I like him!  T-Dog, jeeeeesus did the writers really name the only black guy, T-Dog??, well, he needs to go because he's just dead weight.  And for the love of zombies everywhere, there needs to be more action!!  More zombie attacks!!!  I'm not giving up on the this show just yet. But if the show continues to be boring and filled with inconsistencies and the story doesn't advance, then I will call it quits after this season, that is if the show doesn't get canceled after this outing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The NHL Realigns the Conferences and Everyone's Head Explodes!!

There has been so much chatter about different realignment plans the past month or so, but I guess I thought they were just rumors or suggestions to stir the pot for angry hockey fans. I had no idea the NHL was that serious about drastically realigning the conferences and divisions, so I was shocked when the NHL actually approved a realignment plan that also includes a new playoff format. I understand the logic in developing conferences or divisions based on geography, but I'm not too fond of the new playoff format. Also, I am not happy that the Kings will play the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks 6 times each! I know there's a rivalry among the California teams, but honestly, I HATE watching games against the Sharks, Ducks, and Coyotes. Hate them! When I decide which home games I want to attend, I immediately cross off all games against the aforementioned teams. Kings fans see so much of those teams season after season and having more games against them is not what I want. I remember several years back when the Kings played their division rivals 6 times per season and I thought it was terrible. I was so sick of seeing those teams over and over again. I am glad we get to see Eastern teams twice per regular season (including once at home!), so yay for that.

This past week I've been trying to format my thoughts into a concise sentence or two, but have failed miserably (see above in case you skipped my rant), so I'm glad I came across Pension Plan Puppets' brief initial thoughts on the realignment because this sentence is exactly how I feel:

It's not the end of the world, but I think a reorganization to accommodate Winnipeg didn't have to be such a complete overhaul.

Totally agree! I thought one or two teams would switch divisions or even conferences, but 4 new conferences with a drastically different playoff format? Not what I was expecting and I'm surprised to hear it passed fairly easily. People have been saying that this new format could be easily adjusted if, or rather when, the Coyotes relocate (probably east). But still, I don't like it! (Is my whiny voice getting through???) Since the realignment news was announced on Monday a lot of hockey bloggers and analysts have written about this subject, so here's a roundup of some of the best ones I read this week:

New Playoffs System Lacks Fairness by Tom Awad (at ESPN)
"The past few seasons, 91 points would have been enough to make the playoffs, on average, in a seven-team conference, but 94 points would have been required to make the cut in an eight-team conference."

NHL Realignment = Inferior Product by Empty Netters
"If we could put percentages to what we like and don't like about this plan, it's 75 percent bad and 25 percent good."

TRH Gameday 28 - Minnesota Wild: Realigning & It Feels So Good by The Royal Half
"The Kings are in a tough conference where you have to assume that the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks will make the playoffs each season. That leaves space for 2 spots from 6 teams."

What realignment tells us about the league’s opinion of the West by Harrison Mooney (at Puck Daddy)
"Not since I last played Oregon Trail have I heard so much about the horrors of going West. Heck, the settlers were better sports about it, and they were in covered wagons, dying of consumption."
(I LOVE any reference about Oregon Trail! I always looked forward to computer sessions in elementary school because playing Oregon Trail was SO MUCH FUN even on those super shitty computers that we once thought were amazing!)

A Spoonful of Sugar by Katebits (at The Willful Caboose)
"Two rounds of playoffs within the division is TOO MUCH."
(I wholeheartedly agree!!!!!)

So, fellow Kings fans (or hockey fans), what you do you think of the realignment plan? Love it? Like it? Nothing it? Dislike it? Hate it?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The LA Kings Can't Score So Let's Talk About 'The Amazing Race'

The LA Kings/Anaheim Ducks game on Tuesday was brutal to watch.  Here are the reasons why I was so tempted to change the channel on my beloved Kings:

  1. For some reason the Anaheim Ducks start their home games at 7pm.  There's just something wrong with starting a game played on the West Coast at 7pm, especially in a county with notorious rush-hour traffic conditions. If you couldn't tell by now, I forgot the game started 30 minutes earlier than it should so I missed some of the first period, which made me an aaaaannnnnnngrrrrrryyy panda.
  2. What is up with the attendance in Anaheim?  Sheesh, talk about fairweather fans.  Nothing's worse than watching a game on TV with hardly a peep from the crowd.  Oh wait, I bet being at the game was even worse.
  3. The Kings played the Ducks and I hate everything about them.  Everything.  No wait, I actually like Bruce Boudreau, but he was doing his best Terry Murray impression so he wasn't very entertaining to watch.
  4. Mike Richards has been out for two games, but it seems like an eternity.  We need that guy back, stat!
  5. Why is it so damn difficult for the Kings to score???????????????????????????????????  Lately it has been so aggravating watching them on offense.  If the Kings continue only scoring 1 goal each game, then I may need to take a break from watching their games because I'm probably going to give myself an ulcer with the stress I endure yelling at the TV.
  6. The Ducks got so freaking lucky with a couple goals, especially the game winner.  That fluky goal was gut wrenching to watch.  A day has passed and I'm still pissed about the game and that goal.
And on Thursday the Kings get to play the Minnesota Wild, who lead the NHL in points.  Fantastic.

So let's talk about The Amazing Race. Is anyone else super excited for the finale this Sunday?  

Note: Spoiler Alert ahead! 

I didn't think the bland couple (you know, the guy who sorta looks like Timothy Olyphantastic and his gal with the fake boobs) would make it this far.  I didn't even bother to learn their names because I thought they would mess up way early in the race.  But thanks to them, my two favorite teams made it to the final 3!  I'm always partial to white/asian couples so I really like Ernie and Cindy, even though she can be a bit controlling, spastic, and stressful (hmmm, I think I just described myself).  I also like Marcus and Amani because they seem like good people and they've fought their way to the finals.  However, I do think it's a bit annoying when Marcus tries to make a football metaphor out of ANY situation.  Yeah, dude, I get it.  You played the NFL.  But I do like how his wife always has this "there he goes again/I'm tuning him out" look on her face whenever he does start comparing a task to football.

So the best part about last week's The Amazing Race episode was finally seeing Andy and Tommy fail!  They were kinda getting on my nerves the past several episodes because of their groovy, mellow mood about everything.  I also couldn't believe how lucky they got during the whole race when they won several legs by default because another team or two screwed up and had to redo something.  I was amazed at their ability to complete tasks with ease and it looked like nothing was going to stop them.  Maybe I was just glad to see they weren't perfect.  In fact, they messed up twice with the last mistake costing them the race.

I was absolutely stunned at how the other three teams managed to find the last pit stop.  In past seasons we've seen contestants ask for help at hotels, search for better flights on-line, ask passerbys for assistance, heck, even Boston Rob and Amber found a fan in Africa (I think) who practically spent the entire day with them showing them how to get from point A to point B.  Usually, the biggest obstacle for contestants are the taxi drivers who sometimes claim to know where they are going, but in fact have no freaking clue where a destination is located.  So in last week's episode, I thought it was so bizarre how the final 3 teams were all trying to determine the location of the pit stop at the same time and their taxi drivers were all communicating with each other.  The bland couple showed their taxi driver a sketch of the monument for the final pit stop and he knew exactly where to go.  The other two teams thought it was a different location, but their drivers ended up all talking to each other on cell phones and the first taxi driver convinced them where to go.  Cindy even said at one point that she had no idea where their driver was going, but that he seemed to know where to go.  They totally lucked out as the drivers got them to the correct location. 

In this episode the taxi drivers in Panama ended up being heroes for some teams.  But as we've seen in the past, sometimes the most difficult taxi trips have been those in the United States, where some drivers don't exactly speak the best English or understand what you're saying.  I'm really looking forward to the finale and I hope it's exciting.  Sometimes the final challenges are ridiculously difficult and other times they seem really easy, so I'm not quite sure what to expect. I suppose I'll be happy with any of the three teams winning this race because the bland couple finally proved (to me at least) they deserve to be racing for the prize.  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Penner Finally Scores a Goal and Guess Who Got Booted Off the Next Iron Chef

I wasn't really looking forward to watching the Kings/Canadians game because Mike Richards and Willie Mitchell were going to be out of the lineup with injuries. I tortured myself by watching the game on tape delay. Or perhaps it was a brilliant idea since the game kinda sucked. Here's a quick run down so we can move onto more important weekend news. The Kings looked messy; things just didn't flow very well at all for most of the game. Somehow the lone King to score was Dustin Penner. Justin Williams looked so shocked (and thrilled) that Penner scored and hopefully this means that damn monkey is off Penner's back so he can finally start scoring some goals. Bernier looked pretty good in the second half of the game, but you kinda have to help out your goalie by shooting the puck and getting it in the net in order to win games. I know, it's simple stuff. But despite a brief surge of intensity in the second period, the Kings looked lackluster in the third and could never overcome that afternoon lull that always seems to hit you around 2pm during the workday. Those damn afternoon games really get in the way of good Kings hockey.

I can't really bring myself to point out three positives from the game because there really weren't any. However, I did notice these three big negatives:
  1. Davis Drewiske is not Willie Mitchell. (I know you're thinking, "Well, duh, idiot!!") I would elaborate on this statement, but I fear that I would go into a paragraph long criticism of Drewiske and I don't want to do that;
  2. The Kings power play looked terrible;
  3. Towards the end of the game the Kings pulled Bernier and tried to tie the game. Jarrett Stoll was slashed (I think by PK Subban) and it was pretty obvious because his stick was snapped in half by the slash. Sure, I was pissed that the refs missed the call, but not that pissed because, as I stated above, the Kings power play was pitiful and they had every opportunity during the game to take the lead. But I was embarrassed when Jarrett Stoll threw his hands up in the air, STOPPED playing, and looked around to yell at the refs for not making the call. When did Stoll become a professional soccer player? You don't stop playing just because you think there should have been a penalty. You play till the whistle is blown!!!!

Anyway, did you catch the recent episode of The Next Iron Chef? I'm total a Food Network whore and my husband used to make fun of me for watching all those cooking shows, but now he's really into some of them, especially The Next Iron Chef. I wasn't too into it because it's the All-Star edition so they have all these high profile chefs, some that are judges on other Food Network shows, and I wasn't convinced that these all-star contestants were really serious about being the Next Iron Chef. But boy was I wrong. This episode was fantastic!

First of all, some background on my opinions of these chefs. I NEVER liked Alex Guarnaschelli until I saw her competing on this show. As a judge on Chopped she also looks pissed-off, sounds cold as ice, and seems so unfriendly. But as a chef competing to be crowned one of the best, her frantic, spastic, "homicidal" personality is showing through and I've really started to like her. Similarly, I never cared much for Geoffrey Zakarian until I saw him compete on Chopped All-Stars. He is also a judge on Chopped and always comes off as a super sophisticated foodie know-it-all. But as a contestant you come to appreciate why he's such a tough critic because he's The Master. He's a perfectionist in the kitchen from how he gathers his ingredients in one fell swoop to how he maintains an unbelievable level of cleanliness at his work station to his library of cooking techniques. At times his fellow contestants even get star struck by the way he cooks.  And to top it all off, he's the most arrogant son of a bitch you'll ever meet (or see on TV) and that's what I love the most about him. He's never wrong. Ever.

(Food Network)
I'm rooting for this arrogant chef.

Spoiler Alert: I'm going to discuss the most recent episode in some detail and reveal who was kicked off.

In the most recent episode, the remaining 5 contestants had to participate in an auction.  The contestants were able to bid how much time it would take them to cook a dish using a certain ingredient and the lowest bidder won.  Anne Burrell looked like a genius by betting on sardines (or maybe they were anchovies...) and saying she could cook them in 50 minutes (or maybe it was 60 minutes, whatever) and no one else wanted to bid.  Chef Alex looked like she was fucked when she didn't win any of the previous 4 auctions and was left with a whole leg of lamb and had to cook it in 20 minutes.  

If there was any doubt whether these contestants really wanted to be the Next Iron Chef, this episode proved these chefs want it more than anything else.  Four contestants had to stand on the sidelines while Chef Anne was able to start cooking before them, get first pick at the ingredients, use whatever cooking appliance she wanted, and get a ton of prep work done before anyone else even started.  Chef Zakarian kept saying how "painful" it was to just stand there and watch Chef Anne cook and it got to the point where he stood face forward against a wall waiting until it was time for him to start cooking.  After the contestants miraculously finished their dishes within their allotted times, it was revealed that since Chef Anne won the previous challenge, she would judge her fellow contestants and pick one person to be in the bottom two.  OH SNAP!  After all the contestants were judged by the regular 3-person panel Alton Brown announced which chefs were the bottom two: Chef Anne chose Chef Zakarian for the bottom two and the 3-person panel chose  Chef Anne for the bottom two!!!! WHAT?!?!  The best part was when Alton Brown announced that Chef Anne had chosen Chef Zakarian, they were standing next to each other and Chef Anne looked so incredibly uncomfortable as she was fidgeting with her hands.  It was so awkward!!! and awesome!!

The two chefs went to battle using a secret ingredient and Master Zakarian prevailed.  Karma can really be a bitch.  This season is by far the best 'The Next Iron Chef' season ever!  Well done, Food Network.