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Kings Live-Blog: Pretend This Isn't Boring

What's up ya dirty dogs? The Kings are playing fellow derelicts the Edmonton Oilers tonight in what is sure to be a match-up that causes Lord Stanley to ask for his cup back. Both teams are young, fairly talented, and sure to have high draft pick next- what's that? For Dustin Penner? Really? Oh. Sorry, Edmonton.

Anyway, Jason Labarbera is out tonight thanks to former Oiler and all-round jerkass Ryan Smyth, so J.S. Aubin gets the call with Johnathan Quick backing him up in case Aubin does poorly. So I guess what I'm saying is look for the NHL debut of Johnathan Quick tonight. Isn't it the fate of the Kings that Jason Labarbera seemingly claims the #1 position and then immediately gets hurt, while on the other end of the ice Mathieu Garon looks rejuvenated? I swear, it's enough to make me suicidal. No wait, what's the thing where you want to kill someone else? That's what it makes me.

So, Kings-Oilers tonight. Hopefully the Kings can put in a solid effort; if not, I'll probably just resort to pointing out how much better Los Angeles is than Edmonton. Like this: today it was 74 degrees in Los Angeles. In Edmonton? 5. Kinda makes you want to let them win, doesn't it?

Prediction: Kings win, 4-3. Goals by Pisani, Torres (x2) and Penner, who score on their own goalie in the hopes that the Kings won't make them go back to Edmonton.

7:27: I don't know if you guys have ever heard the Sharks' radio play-by-play guy, but he kind of sounds like a guy who'd report the exploits of Dick Tracy.

7:30: They just took us inside the Kings locker room; those of you hoping Ivanans was going to pass by the camera completely nude were disappointed.

7:32: Ha, Patrick O'Neal is balding. I don't know why, but that makes me happy.

7:34: Does anyone want to make a bet that there will be a story about Dustin Penner being lazy and out-of-shape in about 2 years?

7:36: Jimmy needs to calm the fuck down. Bob needs to take away his chocolate, or coffee, or cocaine, or whatever he's on.

7:38: Oh good, they put Cammy back on the top line. I was beginning to think that O'Sullivan was starting to get chemistry with Kopitar. Can't let that happen.

7:40: Aubin is not one that inspires confidence, is he? He looks like they got Ricky Gervais to play net. He kinda just looks like Ricky Gervais, doesn't he?

7:42: Torres just got the first real good hit I've seen on Kopitar this season. I would imagine Dustin Brown will have a response to that.

7:43: Wow, this Willsie-Armstrong-Nagy line is just a comedy of errors. I actually felt myself rooting for the Oilers when that line was out there.

7:44: Nevermind, I guess Kopitar can respond on his own. HOORAY, Kings score, 1-0. It got deflected off the stick of the Oilers defenseman. I don't understand why defenders don't just get the fuck out of the way, especially in the NHL.

7:46: Jimmy said that Kent Nilsson, father of Robert Nilsson, was called "The Magic Man" when he played. I like to think that only Jimmy called him that and that Kent was creeped out by it.
Jimmy: "Hey there, Magic Man!"
Kent: "I'm sorry, do I know you?"

7:48: Kings on the power play thanks to a too many men penalty. I don't know why the hell Rob Blake is out there.

7:54: Damn, I just realized Ales Hemsky is out tonight. I actually like him; did you know he's only 23? Also, did you know California has a higher population and better economic ranking than all of Canada?

7:58: Aubin makes a save on a bad-percentage shot by Shawn Horcoff, but one thing you don't want to see your goaltender do is flinch on a shot. That's the opposite of what he's supposed to do, actually.

7:51: Kings don't score and didn't get too much pressure, but it was good to see Jack Johnson out there. Of course, this leaves Tom Preissing completely useless, but oh well.

7:54: Seriously, Jimmy's fucking drunk. I think he's taking the Kings' losing ways pretty hard.

7:56: The Willsie-Armstrong-Nagy line makes an impact: Oilers on the power play.

7:59: Mother fucker, Kopitar gets a delay of game for putting the puck over the glass right as Jon Klemm gets out of the box. Good thing the Oilers suck on the power play, otherwise we'd be in trouble.

8:03: John Zeiler tries the ol' "check the guy with your face" technique and ends up hitting the glass. Interesting strategy.

8:04: So far, Jimmy has told us that Lubo and Brad Stuart moved to the right side while Jack Johnson moved to the left. For fuck's sake, Crawford, there's a difference between shaking things up and not knowing what you're doing.

8:05: Holy shit, Calder had a great shot that led to a rebound up high and Handzus almost knocked it in out of mid-air.

8:06: Double holy shit, Brown schooled a Edmonton defender, sped in on a two-on-one with Kopitar, and then... passed it right into Garon. Oh well.

8:07: This is weird, they had the power play and then no breaks in the action for like 6 minutes so they took a TV timeout with :40 seconds left. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

8:09: Okay, now Jimmy's yelling the name of Italian hockey players. I think the 2nd period's going to start and Patrick O'Neal is going to be up there with Bob while Jimmy is en route to the Betty Ford Center.

8:11: The period ends with John Zeiler hitting Fernando Pisani and then Ladislav Smid came over to protect him. If you're Pisani, aren't you kind of embarrassed? Anyway, 1st period over with the Kings leading, 1-0.

8:14: How do you think the conversation where Marc Crawford told Tom Preissing he was benched in favor of Jon Klemm went? "You know, Tom, we think you're doing a great job, but there's just an element to your game that we're missing. It's a certain amount of... what's the word... suck. Yeah, that's it; you don't suck enough. I want you out there during the warm-ups and I want you working on falling down, missing assignments and blowing open nets, and we'll see if you look shitty enough for the next game, okay?"

8:16: I'd like to take this time to inform you that my good friend Bailey has a new website that is purr-rific. Go check it out during the intermission. I'll wait.

8:21: Who's more likely to be shaved, Heidi Androl or Patrick O'Neal? My money's on O'Neal.

8:23: I did think you couldn't do anything lamer than what I'm doing right now, but I glanced over at Meg and he' s currently 20 pages into a 40-page forum thread about some obscure word written on a map in Bio-Shock. So I'm only the 2nd lamest person in the entire world, I guess.

8:29: BOO! Oilers score, so I guess the 2nd period has started. Fucking blast by Pitkanen. That kid is pretty good, hopefully they'll get someone to play with him with their high dra- oh wait, sorry, forgot again.

8:32: Ivanans gets a penalty for holding. You play for like 5 minutes a game, dude, c'mon.

8:34: Wow, Blake is giving Penner a clinic on how to play in front of the net. It's a real battle of NHLers who don't deserve their paychecks.

8:36: God dammit, Brown gets a penalty to put the Kings down 2 men. He's been making great plays and then immediately following up with asshattery. I guess I shouldn't be too hard, what with his mental handicap and everything.

8:38: Some fan got hit in the face with a puck. I don't have much to add except that I am a terrible person for laughing.

8:39: Holy shit, Jack Johnson just made an amazing play to get a breakaway, but was stopped by an even more amazing save by Garon. Wait, goalies can make saves on breakaways? I thought they're supposed to stand straight up and fall backwards into the net?

8:41: I can't stress enough how amazing that play was by Jack Johnson. When was the last time you saw a defenseman take it end to end like that? The last time I remember something like that was Niedermayer two years ago. Of course, Johnson will probably board someone in the next 5 minutes.

8:42: That Willsie-Armstrong-Nagy strikes again, Derek with the high stick. *Sigh

8:43: So that's how the Oilers score on the power play. BOO, Penner gets an empty-netter when the puck takes a funny bounce off the boards. Edmonton up, 2-1. Almost makes those 3 draft picks worth it, huh?

8:45: Raffi Torres, who I hear loves apples and bananas, gets a penalty for hooking Mike Cammalleri. Kings on the power play.

8:46: The puck pinballs around until Brown finds it and slams it home. Hooray, game tied, 2-2. It was actually a nice play by Cammy for passing up the low-percentage shot and giving it back to Brown. Brown's starting to make it where I don't act surprised when he scores. That's a good thing.

8:50: They interview Brian Willsie on the bench because he doesn't have anything else to do. Is it libelous for me to say he looks like a child molestor? I'm just saying he looks like one, there's nothing wrong with that, right?

8:51: Every now and then Blake will get a crazy look in his eye and completely demolish someone; he just did it to Andrew Cogliano. I think it's the Bowlby coming out in him.

8:53: Dammit, Stuart had a great back-door opportunity but was robbed by Garon. A part of me is glad he's doing well but another part of me hopes he tears his groin.

8:54: Fuck, Patrick Thoresen tips the puck in off a turnover by Visnovsky. Boo, Kings down, 3-2. Lubo, you're really making it hard for me to make excuses for you.

8:56: Hey, did you know Chuck Norris is really tough? What a delightfully original idea that hasn't been beaten do grim death at all, Mountain Dew. Please direct me to your products, I'd like to buy some.

8:57: They showed Carrie Underwood sitting right behind the glass, and then I just heard, "Ahhh!" being screamed by my roommate Matt. I think his dick exploded.

8:59: GOD DAMMIT GARON. Seriously, the guy is a god damn magician. Why couldn't you stay healthy, you mother fucker???

9:00: Okay, if you're playing hockey, and you have a wide-open net with the goalie off to the right, where do you put it? Oh yeah, and you're Brian Willsie. If you said, "The only spot the goalie can get to it," you are correct. Now please get off my team.

9:03: If goaltenders were characters in Spaceballs, Mathieu Garon would be Lonestar and J.S. Aubin would be Prince Valium. Darren Pang would be Yogurt. Dark Helmet would be Ed Belfour, Princess Vespa would be Martin Brodeur... I'm sorry, I'll stop.

9:04: Dustin Brown creates a turnover and Anze Kopitar gets off a last-second shot, but nothing comes of it and the period ends. Why can't games end after the 1st?

9:12: They have these commercials where people see a guy in a Kings jersey and give him whatever he wants because he's so intimidating... but I think a more accurate portrayal would be if the Kings fan got pantsed and kicked to the ground before everyone took turns pissing on him.

9:21: Just wanted to take a quick second to let you guys know that the Kings are offering 2 tickets to 4 home games, 2 tickets to Universal Studios, and a scarf for $99. I ordinarily wouldn't pimp for the team, but that's an insane deal. The 2 tickets to Universal Studios are probably more than $99, and the scarf... well, we don't have real use for scarves in L.A., but maybe there's a Edmontonian you know that could use it. Oh yeah, the period started up too.

9:23: I was just kidding at first, but that's the 3rd penalty called on the Willsie-Armstrong-Nagy line. I'd rather just give Edmonton a penalty shot rather than put that line out there. Let's just save everyone some time.

9:25: Dustin Brown has been playing really well so far. He's been playing so well that I'm not even going to make a joke about his lack of intelligence.

9:27: Wow, I didn't realize until now but Anaheim lost 2 games to Edmonton by a combined score of 9-1. That's kinda sad and hilarious all at the same time.

9:29: Brad Stuart jumps in and almost scores off a pass by Kyle Calder. Calder did a good job getting past the defender and getting to the net; if he were on a line with Frolov, I think we'd be in pretty good shape.

9:33: Wow, Raffi Torres knocked Dustin Brown off the puck, who then immediately demolished Pitkanen. Is someone holding Dustin's baby hostage tonight? If so, you guys think you could hold onto him for the rest of the season?

9:36: Heh, Stortini (shouldn't he be trying to catch Pinocchio?) tried to jump around Johnson, who held him up long enough for Blake to come over and knock him down. They're like the Bash Brothers!

9:38: Man, the Kings have really been hitting in this period. Even Nagy got into the act; he failed miserably, but maybe that was enough to prevent him from getting benched in the next game. Nah, who am I kidding, he's doomed.

9:41: Jesus, Jimmy stopped huffing on the nitrous long enough to point out that besides Kopitar, the Kings have gotten 1 goal by a center this season; it was an empty-netter by Handzus. That is the most depressing thing I've ever heard.

9:42: Holy fuck, how did that not go in??? Kopitar passed on a shot and slipped it over to Stuart, who somehow managed to miss a wide-open net. This isn't looking like our game, which sucks because it's probably the first game in a while that we deserved to win.

9:45: Okay, it bounced off Cammalleri's stick and almost went in but struck Garon's blocker. Sorry, Stuart, you managed not to fuck up on that play.

9:47: I'm going to have to check later, but I'm pretty sure that Willsie-Armstrong-Nagy have had more ice-time than Calder-Handzus-O'Sullivan. If that's the case then Crawford has to be fired, right? Handzus' line had another great scoring opportunity that just happened to hit Garon. He's fucking good, man.

9:49: Has Ladislav Smid always been a piece of shit, or is the Edmonton influence working on him? For a guy who looks like Sponge on Salute Your Shorts he sure puts himself in some bad situations.

9:52: Hooray, Kings finally get one in thanks to the power of Rob Blake's ass! When Rob Blake goes in front of the net there is absolutely nothing on Earth that will stop him. (He actually kind of interfered with the goalie but shut up.)

9:53: And do you know who scored that goal? That's right, the Willsie-Armstrong-Nagy line. Redemption, thy name is W-A-N. (*drops mic, walks away)

9:55: The refs review it for a while, just to give me a heart attack, but eventually give the Kings the goal. Do you think Crawford will bench Nagy now? Actually, yeah, probably.

9:57: Few seconds left, neither team is allowing anything in front of the net. Oilers get called for icing, giving the Kings a face-off with :08 seconds left. Visnovsky got a shot but put it wide, sending us to OT. God, we're so fucked if we go to a shootout.

9:58: I think the Kings have a definite advantage in OT and should go for the win right now instead of risking a shootout; let's see how much rope Stuart, Johnson and Lubo get to jump in.

10:00: Well, :30 seconds in and Lubo went behind Edmonton's net, so I guess that answers that question.

10:01: The Kings are really hurt in these situations without Frolov; O'Sullivan hits the post with a great shot.

10:03: Bob just said, "Armstrong has had a real strong game tonight." I know you want to encourage him, Bob, but let's not say things that aren't true.

10:03: I think these Edmonton players are going to have nightmares about Dustin Brown. How many hits has he had tonight?

10:04: Nagy+Cammy=Point shot with absolutely no one in front of the net. They need a 5th guy out there.

10:05: Holy shit, Dustin Brown just made an amazing move through his legs. I don't think any King has had a better game this season except for maybe Frolov against Anaheim a few weeks back.

10:06: Steve Staios played an entire season on a broken kneecap? I love hockey.

10:07: Kings take a time-out with :30 seconds left to give Kopitar a rest but it doesn't work; OT ends, 3-3. Shootout coming up and I'd put our chances at approximately nil, right? I mean, Garon is awesome at the shootout and Aubin is about as flexible as my grandpa on a winter night in Edmonton, so we're pretty boned.

It's Cammalleri up for the Kings, who elected to go first. He puts it up high and I thought it went in, but apparently it hit the crossbar. Fuck.

Sam Gagner up for the Oil, who just completely embarrasses Aubin. Basically a single deke with a lot of salad dressing, but it's enough to fool Aubin.

Dustin Brown tries the same fake shot/single deke move, but Garon reads it all the way. Fuck.

Robert Nilsson has a chance to ice it; he goes wide and tries to leave it on the right side, but Aubin is actually too inflexible to get moved across the ice and stops it.

Kopitar to keep the Kings alive: Garon is amazing at the shootout and just reads it from the moment Kopitar touched the puck. I can't stress how amazing Garon is at these things. Fuck.

So, the Kings lose to the Edmonton Garons, 4-3. You could tell Garon was pretty excited to beat the Kings, and I have to give him credit for playing really well. The Oilers look like a pretty good team; they have a lot of good young guys who can someday lose to the Kings in the playoffs. This wasn't a total disaster for the Kings, though. They played really well and came back from being down, 3-2. Hopefully they can build on this to have a great December that they'll need to stay in the playoff hunt. That's it for me; now, I get drunk.