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Kings Gameday: Team Ramrod?

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Next Game

Los Angeles Kings
@ Dallas Stars

Friday, Mar 12, 2010, 5:30 PM PST
American Airlines Center

Complete Coverage >

Tonight's game isn't on television and I'll be otherwise occupied so naturally tonight's game will be awesome.  There are a ton of storylines to focus on tonight so instead of writing about just one I'll write just a little bit about all of them.  It's the blogger's dream; I don't have to actually know about anything because instead I can just spout nonsense off the top of my head that you seals will gulp down like a fresh cod.  But to actually put some sort of input I'll preface each tidbit with a quote from Super Troopers since I watched it the other day and it's hilarious.  Wait, it's not actually my input if I just mindlessly parrot someone else's comedy, is it.  Ah well, we're living the blogger's dream today.  Who wants a moustache ride?!?

It stinks like sex in here.

Omigod, Jonathan Bernier's starting tonight.  In case you forgot, Bernier's the silent and smooth goaltender who set my heart aflutter by showing me his pretty, pretty butterfly.  He also showed me how he stops the puck.  Bernier's calm and controlled in net, a stark contrast to Jonathan Quick's frenetic and acrobatic style.  You can tell the difference between the two when there's a pass from one side to the other and then a quick shot: Bernier will slide over and rely on his positioning to make the save, while Quick will usually keep his body in the same spot and try to either snare the puck with his glove or kick it out with his pad.  The idea behind Quick's strategy is that it's easier to follow the puck if you keep your head in the same spot (since you're not adjusting for the puck's movement and your own), while Bernier would tell you that the shooters in the NHL are good enough to beat you so you might as well put your body in the way and let geometry take care of the rest.  Is there a right answer?  No, not really.  The greatest goaltenders in NHL history haven't been butterfly goaltenders, but then again it's unrealistic to show some kid tape of Dominik Hasek and say, "Go ahead and play like that."  It's an interesting contrast, though, and it'll be fun to watch.  You know, if you could.  I can't.  Dammit.

I'm a cop, goddamnit! I got my own car now! I get to bust criminals! It's what I gotta do!

I feel kinda bad for Erik Ersberg.  I've been in his position before, a back-up behind a really good goaltender and it really, really sucks.  When you're a #1 goaltender you have a position of importance on the team; you're the guy responsible for half the winning equation so guys tend to give you space.  You get the spot at the end of the locker room so you can get all your shit out of your bag, no one gives you shit about bad goals because there's no one better, you get right of prima nocta on any new girlfriend... it's a nice life.  But when you're the back-up, all of a sudden you've gone from the most important player on the team to the least.  You play every once in a while but it's against shitty opponents and no one really wants you in there; you're there because the other guy needs a rest.  It's a shit life, even when you're making six figures a year, and it's especially demeaning when the #1 guy finally goes away and then your team calls up some young guy and you're still stuck on the bench.  I get why Bernier is playing (Quisp detailed that argument here) and I'd make the exact same decision if I were in Murray's shoes, but it still sucks for Ersberg.  Poor little guy.  I have a feeling he can't wait 'til next year when he can go somewhere else and hopefully be "the guy."  I hope it works out for him.

Just cleaning out the old locker, she stinks like ass but I'll sure miss her... I guess you could say that about all my girls.

Similarly, the life of a #6 defenseman isn't  a very good one either.  I'd say the #6 defenseman is the most ridiculed person on the roster.  It makes sense: people hate seeing their teams scored on more than they love seeing their teams score, and the #6 defenseman usually sucks, so they're prime targets for hatred.  That being said, I kind of feel that Randy Jones is being unfairly maligned by the Kings fanbase.  I mean, I know: he's terrible.  I think he knows that.  It's not like he's walking around thinking he's the best guy on the team or anything.  The thing is, he's the only defenseman we have that fits what we need from that 6th spot. 

The Kings have 2 defensemen that are good at offense: Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson.  Their next 3 defensemen are horrible at offense.  I mean, horrible.  HORRIBLE.  It can't possibly be overstated how inept Rob Scuderi, Sean O'Donnell and especially Matt Greene are at offense.  God love Matt Greene but if you could translate his offensive skill to macking skills he'd be Earl Sleek.  The Kings need one more defenseman that can get a shot on net just in case Doughty or Johnson have to leave the game or they're in the box or something.  Davis Drewiske can't really do that and Peter Harrold can't play the penalty kill in a pinch like Jones can.  Jones sucks, but he's our #6 defenseman.  You're not going to find a #6 guy that doesn't suck in the NHL.  I get why people hate him, but at this point it feels like we're fighting a windmill.

Also, isn't it a little weird that people hate guys that score but suck at everything else and yet guys like Greene are heralded as "scrappy" and "gritty?"  I guess it's like that in every sport; it's the reason David Eckstein has a job.

-Know what this is?
-A chamois cloth?
-Ha!  Lucky guess. I just lost a buck. TO MYSELF.

This doesn't have anything to do with the Kings, I just like this part.

-We could be like Cagney and Lacey.
-Right. Except Cagney and Lacey were both women.
-I could be Lacey.

Justin Williams is back!  Williams, who broke his leg less than 3 months ago, is apparently back in shape and will retake his customary spot alongside Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth.  That line works much better when Williams is in there because he can bring the puck in on the rush, get it to either Smyth down low or Kopitar along the boards, and then read and react to what those two are doing.  Terry Murray is moving Dustin Brown to the Frolov-Stoll line and shifting Frolov back to the left wing.  That's OK, I guess, even though I was learning to love Frolov on the right side.  The third line's remaining the same and the 4th line is now Richardson-Halpern-Clune.  When was the last time the Kings had a legit 4th line?  I can't ever remember one.  It'll be fun to watch toni- wait, fuck!

Prediction: Kings bite the soap and make Dallas look like a dick.