Saturday, November 12, 2005

Kings 4; Blackhawks 2

This was probably the largest crowd I've ever seen at a Hawks game, which means the place was more than half full. For those that don't know, a tradition at Blackhawks games is to cheer through the national anthem. The only problem is that usually you can't tell people are cheering because there's nobody there. A little more energy through the anthem last night.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much more energy than that. As was noted by my seat neighbor, the Hawks don't do a very good job of selling the game. They do their little spiel before the players take the ice at the beginning, but there's no anouncement of the players entering the ice before the second and third periods. They rarely prompt the crowd to make noise. It can just seem kind of lifeless. Most of that is probably because the Hawks have been so bad for so long. The girls who skate around picking up the snow at the TV time outs are pretty hot, though.

Met up with a couple of guys I used to play against in Garden Grove and Duarte way back when, one of who is also a Chicago resident. Back in the mid-90's, our street team (Sloths/Gunners) had a pretty big rivalry with a team called "the Studs". It was mostly harmless, but they had a few guys I really hated, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual. The first season in which we played them, we finished 7-2, with both losses coming to the Studs (who were like 6-3 or something). We met up again in the finals and swept both games, winning game one 5-4 and game 2 3-2 in overtime. We seemed to meet up every season after that. They always had a great goaltender, but because we cut out teeth practicing against one of the best in the league, we were never intimidated by him. Anyway, one of their players now lives in Chicago and is now a Kings viewing partner.

One of the reasons that the place was so lifeless last night is because after the first 15 minutes or so, the Kings really led the whole way. Belanger's goal came kind of quickly, and quite frankly, I didn't really see it until it was in the net. Cammy's goal, however, was a true thing to behold from our seats in the upper deck near center ice. Dustin Brown, who played a great game, weaved beautifully into the zone before sliding what looked like a north/south pass to Cammalleri, who tipped it home. The next two Kings goals were both sort of similar, as Frolov and Conroy both found themselves on the doorstep with wide open nets.

Garon played a terrific game, as the Hawks were buzzing all night, and really had a lot more scoring chances than they should have had. He was under heavy fire much of the night. But he did an excellent job making the first save and controlling rebounds. This would be a legitimate goalie controversy if either guy seemed egotistical enough to worry about being the number 1.

Second place in the West as the road trip heads to Columbus. It's a tough stretch this month, so these games against bad teams take on that much more importance. When you're playing Nashville three times, Detroit twice, Colorado, and Vancouver all in the same month, you need to beat the Chicagos, St. Louises, and Columbi of league.

Friday, November 11, 2005

There's a doin's transpirin' in the Halosphere

Welcome to the group new Angels bloggers Jim Scully over at Haloville, and Chone Smith over Anaheim Angels All the Way. Someone needs to remind Chone what the official name of the team is. I'm pretty sure this is the "Rally Monkey" Sean Smith (for whom I can't find a BTF profile), as opposed to the Purgatory Sean Smith. The more the merrier.

And damn you, Chone, for stealing my template!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Red Wings 5; Kings 4 (OT)

For the first 50 minutes or so, this looked like a good team playing a great team. Despite the shots on goal, Detroit clearly looked like the superior team to me. They were getting to more loose pucks, they were getting more bounces, and they had a lot of very good scoring chances. But the Kings didn't give up. That's sort of becoming their M.O. this season. For the second straight game, they trailed by two in the third period and didn't give up. They stole a point tonight.

After the Wings opened the third period with a goal to make it 3-1, J.R. fired one past Manny Legace to bring the Kings to within one. Minutes later, Thomas Holmstrom banged home a Datsyuk pass to push the lead back to three. That's pretty much when I assumed it was over. But the Kings came right back with Conroy banging home a rebound of a Demitra shot to pull within one. Frolov netted the equalizer after stealing the puck from Jiri Fischer, then stickhandling past Legace, who had committed to the loose puck.

The overtime was pretty predictable. Whenever it looked like there was open ice throughout the game, the Wings were all over the place, and they created a lot of problems in the Kings zone. I had a bad feeling about the four on four, with the Wings able to exploit even more open ice. Sure enough, Robert Lang banged home a loose puck from Andreas Lilja to end it just a couple of minutes into the extra period.

It was former King night all over the NHL. Lang, Lilja, and Matt Schneider combined for a goal and three assists, and former King Manny Legace notched the win. Martin Straka and Olli Jokinen both scored in the Panthers-Rangers tilt. Fran Kaberle had a goal in Carolina. About the only former King who didn't have a good night was Ziggy, who had no points and was a -3 in the Pens game tonight.

The Kings come to my town on Friday to take on the Blackhawks at the United Center. The Blackhawks are simply not very good. Of course, now that I've written that, I'm sure the Hawks will somehow win. I'll be there, since the only way to see a Hawks home game is to actually go, thanks to dipshit owner, Bill Wirtz.

On a meta note, sometime over the last couple of days, this blog picked up hit number 10,000 since the beginning of May. Whoever the regular reader from Emory University is, congratulations. You win absolutely nothing but a hearty "Thank you".


There will be more here, I swear. I'm just slacking at the moment. What did I miss? UCLA getting their asses kicked, and the Kings playing one of the most entertaining third periods of the year, PLUS a shootout. Also, the fucking Blackhawks deprived me of my first in-person shout-out by scoring with 38 seconds left in OT on Sunday night.

For any Chicagoland readers, which is probably about two of you, if anyone wants to go to the Hawks game on Friday, let me know. I'm just going to buy tickets there. I'll be rooting for the Kings, so I could use some protection. Po, there might be a few beers in it for you. And I'm obnoxious like certain Red Sox fans.