Preseason games often have a lot of fighting. This is true even more in rookie games, since everyone seems to be trying to get noticed. (This is common knowledge, a friend of mine who barely watches hockey even asked me if I thought a game might break out at the fight tonight – I said I wasn’t expecting it.) Fighting is always a big crowd pleaser, but when there seems to be as much fighting as 5 on 5 hockey without it, serious hockey fans can get a little frustrated… a possible problem when the only fans who will attend a preseason rookie game are the most loyal fans.
Tonight, the Toyota Sports Center was packed with fans who watched their team’s rookies lose to the Coyotes’ rookies (who rode out to LA on a bus) 6-1. The Kings scored the middle goal of the game and the crowd went wild. Of course, the fans also cheered for the fights, but their team had a lot more fights than goals and the fans need to find entertainment value in the game.
However, I still think the best way to enjoy a preseason game of any kind is to sit with good friends who also really know the game. That way, you can discuss the players fighting, potential pronunciations (though most of us figure we’ll learn the names of the guys who actually make it – most of the guys in the rookie tournament won’t be in the NHL this coming season and many won’t be on the Kings when they do), the give-aways, the hits that take players out of position, the break-out player moments, and (in tonight’s case) maybe even how the other team is outplaying your team.
I personally enjoyed the second period of tonight’s game the most and it had nothing to do with the Kings scoring their only goal a little more than half-way through the period, though as a Kings fan that was a definite plus. No offense to those I watched the 1st & 3rd periods of the game with, since we had a lot of fun talking; however, Bob Miller sat next to me for the 2nd period and hearing his stories more than made up for the quality of the game and the fact that the Kings’ rookies weren’t doing too well against the Coyotes’ rookies. Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty & HockeyTalk.biz kept telling Bob he needs to write a second book (an idea I fully support), since he has so many great stories that didn’t make the cut for the first book. Those who were lucky enough to catch Bob Miller’s One Man Show at Hockey Fest at the end of last month got to hear a few of the anecdotes that didn’t make the cut for Bob Miller’s Tales from the Los Angeles Kings. I’m sure many of the Kings fans would join us in pre-ordering Bob’s next book if/when we’re given that chance.