The Kings went into the All-Star break by getting 5 out of the possible 6 points in their three game road trip, which ended in the mile high city last night as they won their first back-to-back games on consecutive days in over a year (the last time was December 29 & 30, 2007 in Colorado and Chicago). The last time the Kings were in Colorado, the Avalanche beat them 6-1, going ahead 6-0 before Oscar Moller would score the only Kings goal more than half-way through the game. I’m sure the Kings were thinking of that as they faced the Avalanche last night and it seemed to help them get off to a good start. The Kings scored the first goal just 2:14 into the game and started off the 2nd period strong after allowing the Avalanche to tie the game 7:40 into the 1st. Though Kings fans were certainly worried as they watched the Kings give up 3 goals, allowing their 4 goal lead to drop to 1, they had to be happy to see their team hang on to their lead and go home for the All-Star break on a high note.
Since the world figure skating championships are being held at Staples Center in addition to the Grammy Awards, Lakers & Clippers games, and other normal events, the Kings face more away games than their usual high number after the All-Star break. Many have said they think the large number of away games will hurt the young team and they’ll end up at the bottom of the heap. I actually think the time to bond might help the young team and they’ll continue to do better than they did last year (they’re now 13th instead of 15th in the conference and 23rd instead of 29th in the league). I guess we’ll all find out after the All-Star break. At least the Kings and their fans can enjoy watching Drew Doughty in the Young Stars game and their captain Dustin Brown in his first NHL All-Star game thinking of their team ending on a positive note before the break.
Remember that the Kings’ first game after the All-Star break (on Thursday, January 29th against the Chicago Blackhawks) is not being televised on FSN West, so if you want to see that game outside of Staples Center you’ll need access to the Center Ice package to get WGN’s HD coverage of the game.
Tags: All-Star, Avalanche, Blackhawks, Center Ice, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, fans, FSN, HD, Hockey, Kings, NHL, Oscar Moller, Staples Center, Young Stars
The Kings don’t appear on US National TV at all this season (unless you count the NHL Network airing CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada), but they did make it onto the Hockey Night in Canada schedule. CBC does a much better job with HD than FSN, so it’s good to watch some of the highlights at home after the game from CBC’s coverage. (Initially, I was annoyed that FSN chose to make all their HD games home games of the Kings or Ducks, but once I saw the terrible “rinkside view,” I was thankful that I wouldn’t have to watch that for an entire game, since I’d be seeing the games live.)
Tonight’s game was a rough loss for the Kings, but it still demonstrated how much fun their young team is to watch this season. The Kings play with a lot of energy and it’s good for the rest of North America to get the opportunity to see them play. Hockey Night in Canada is watched by a ton of viewers. Hopefully, they stuck around to watch the second game and were able to enjoy this entertaining game.
It was fitting that Oscar Moller got both of the Kings’ goals tonight, since it was his 10th game in the NHL and the first game after he was told he was staying in LA and not being sent back to juniors. Moller now has 6 points in his first 10 NHL games, leading the Kings rookies and near the top of the NHL rookie list.
In the beginning of tonight’s broadcast, Kelly Hrudy mentioned that he thinks Dustin Brown might be the most underrated captain in the game today, since “he’s gritty, he hits hard, and he has a great scoring touch.” I have to agree with Hrudy. Dustin Brown is definitely an extremely underrated player. I think that’s true of many players who fight hard to stay in front of the net, but Brown has the distinction of typically having the most hits and not having many penalty minutes. Most of the guys who battle to be in front of the net seem to rack up a lot more penalty minutes.
Tonight’s show was also Marc Crawford’s first Hockey Night in Canada broadcast in LA since being fired by the Kings after last year’s next to last place finish as head coach of the Kings. He was actually at the game Thursday night, but Hockey Night in Canada did not broadcast that game.
Tags: CBC, Ducks, Dustin Brown, fighting, FSN, HD, Hockey, Hockey Night in Canada, Kings, Marc Crawford, NHL, Oscar Moller, rinkside view, Staples Center