clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kings Gameday: Dean Lombardi is a Diabolical Genius

LA Kings (poop) @ Detroit Red Wings (Umm, they're alright)

4:30 PST, FSN West

(Check out Earl's post regarding Anaheim's visit to the White House below. I wonder if they made Todd Bertuzzi and Doug Weight stay in the bus.)

It’s tanking time around the NHL as teams desperately try to get a better draft position. Soon veterans will be getting "shut down" because of nagging injuries that we’ve never heard of before and in their place will be goofy-looking scrubs whose main job is to suck badly enough that their team loses games. Toronto is starting the Tank Train a little early this year and teams like Tampa Bay, Chicago and Edmonton will soon be joining them. (Oh wait, Edmonton gave their first, second, and third-round picks to Anaheim. This can not be brought up enough.) The Kings have been getting in on the action as well, sitting Rob Blake for 2 weeks and forcing guys like Scott Thornton and Brian Willsie to miss games with mysterious injuries. A funny thing happened, though; the Kings played better with their goofy-looking scrubs. How could this happen? Suddenly, I came to a startling revelation:

What if the Kings have been tanking since the beginning of the season???

Think about it: the Kings have a stable of young NHL-ready talent in Manchester and yet play rubes like Willsie, Thornton, Armstrong and Giuliano. Why would they do this if they really cared about winning? Matt Moulson comes up during the middle of the season, plays well, and then gets sent down until a few weeks ago. Ted Purcell leads the AHL in scoring among rookies and yet can’t get called up to save his life. It's going to take a random injury to a current King to get him up here. (I’m working on it.) The one guy they actually call up and keep is Jeff Giuliano, who I’m pretty sure has cystic fibrosis. Brian Boyle looks much, much better than Derek Armstrong, yet he just recently gets called up? As the venerable Tone Loc would say, "Something ain’t stirring the Kool-Aid, man."

Here’s my theory: Lombardi didn’t think the Kings would make the playoffs this season. He had these fairly expensive players (Willsie, Thornton, Armstrong) who, while terrible at hockey, would not bitch about playing time and would generally fly under the radar. Next season, the old guys will be jettisoned in favor of these young players, who would miraculously play well and lead the Kings to glory, allowing the Kings to be the sweetheart of the league before getting mercilessly brutalized in the playoffs by Dallas.

Sound crazy to you? "Why would they call those players up now, pushing the Kings out of the #1 spot?" Well, Lombardi has already thought of that; that’s why he called up Dan Cloutier. QED.

Prediction: I’ll make 2 predictions, one if Labarbera plays and one if Cloutier plays. If Labarbera plays, I’d say Kings win, 4-3. If Cloutier plays, Kings lose, 10-0. Think it’s impossible for even Cloutier to let in 10 goals? Watch this:

God help us all.