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Penner’s Road To Redemption, Celeb Kings Tweets, LA’s Awesome Media Department, and More…

May 24, 2012 2 comments

 

After about four years of being on the receiving end of folly and failure, things are finally turning around for Dustin Penner.

Though it was indeed a big goal, Dustin Penner may have confused his OT series winning tally in game 5 of the Western Confernce final with one that won the Stanley Cup or Olympic gold medal – after a few well deserved fist-pumps, Penner yard-saled his stick, and then later in the handshake line felt his gloves no longer needed to be on his body either. Through the whole sequence of events from goal scored to the end of the handshake, Penner is the only guy without his stick and gloves.

But good for him really, and why not – this is a guy that has taken nothing but heat since leaving the Anaheim Ducks after winning the Cup in 2007, and had his commitment/ability/dedication/conditioning constantly called into question. He even threw his back out while eating a stack of pancakes, and got divorced shortly after.

That’s not to say any of it was undeserved (aside from the pancake incident), but it wasn’t until this year that he really got called out on the hockey end of his woes. Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi once suggested Penner may be a better fit for a rec league softball team, and Darryl Sutter called him horseshit and healthy scratched him in February. Whereas the criticism was purely vocal up until the Sutter era in LA, the Kings were the first to act on it and actually put the $4.25 million cap hit on ice for being awful. If tough love ever worked out, this may be the prime scenario. He’s about ¾ of the way from coming full circle though – only a Stanley Cup will bring him around the full 360.

In the meantime though, you chuck that gear Penner, you’ve earned it. Now just don’t go saying anything stupid….

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Apparently Wayne Gretzky thinks this year’s version of the Kings is better than the squad he captained to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993, and has horses on LA and NYR to root for…. though being the diplomat he is, doesn’t count out New Jersey. He also makes a case for Darryl Sutter as a candidate for the Jack Adams. With the way he’s turned around guys like Dustin Penner and Dustin Brown (two guys primed for relocation at the trade deadline), it’s really not a stretch of a thought. I’ve posted before that I hope if a team Gretzky used to play for wins the Cup this year, he finds a way to get down to ice level and give the ol’ grail one last hoist. I’d say he’s earned it after all his post playing career follies. Full story: http://www.sportsnet.ca/fantasy/hockey/2012/05/24/hockey_hearsay/

In other absurdities, the LA Dodgers want the Kings to play in the Winter Classic game — at Dodger Stadium. In California. Apparently they have the technology…..

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Celebrities are emerging as tweet-happy Kings fans…. of course, LA is no stranger to stars while they all film movies in town, and have the Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, and Kings in town, but some are making their fandom known on Twitter too. Here’s some of my favorite celeb Kings tweets to date: Matthew Perry tweets about traffic issues while en route to Kings games, tweets pics from ice-level at Staples Center, offers congratulations, feels adulterous when attending games played between other teams, and even tries to rally support for Anze Kopitar to be on the cover of EA Sports’ NHL ’13 — amongst plenty of other pro-Kings tweets.

Rob Lowe hasn’t forgotten his roots as Dean Youngblood, and offered the team congrats from the fictional hockey prodigy he once played.

And perhaps my favorite thus far, Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight Schrute from “The Office”) inquired about attending a Kings game, and had LA’s Twitter respond by saying they’d deliver them to him encased in Jell-O. The terms were accepted, and Wilson even live-tweeted game stats during the game he attended, amongst other musings. And ironically he even crossed paths with Matthew Perry whilst enjoying the evening.

Will Ferrell has been known to make an appearance at the Staples Center for a Kings game as well.

What have I missed? What are you favorite celeb sightings at Kings games or Kings tweets you’ve read?

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The Kings’ media department continues to rule…. not only does their Twitter account dominate, their webpage throws the occasional knock-out blow too. Here’s their follow up on kings.nhl.com to all the LA local TV stations screwing up everything there is to screw up about their team on TV: That’s gold, Jerry, gold.

Los Angeles’ Local TV Stations Unprepared For The Kings Suddenly Being Good/Newsworthy

May 19, 2012 Leave a comment

It appears that since the LA Kings have been bad for so long, local Los Angeles TV stations have nearly no idea of what to do, say, or show on TV since they’ve become good at hockey again. It seems their graphic and sports departments had become so used to their irrelevance, they hadn’t felt the need to update the team’s displayed logo (or city location, or sport), or learn the proper pronounciations of the players it chooses to show highlights of. This trainwreck from Fox News 11 has the announcer talking about the the Kings’ game three victory over Phoenix, and saying something about some guys named Onjee Kopidoor, Brad Doty, and making references to the Kings having the ball and scoring touchdowns. To top it off, the highlight package concludes by showing the orange NHL logo that hasn’t been used in 7 years. The anchor, Liz Habib acknowleged her errors in a tweet, and then proceeded to apologize — whilst making another name pronounciation error (which she realized 6 hours later): Local media wasn’t even sure which Kings team was playing in town or even what sport they were competing in, as this graphic indicates a network displaying the NBA’s Sacramento Kings logo while referencing the LA hockey team in relation to the Lakers and Clippers. Hopefully this tweet from LA Kings twitter wasn’t their only tip-off: The goof led to a tweet and this televised apology from the network:

Fox 11 News also hasn’t felt the need to update the team’s logo since 1998, when the team last used this logo (glove bump to @vtecjunkie from Twitter for sending this one in to me):

And most recently, a new player named Jonathan Swift has joined the Kings, and is doing quite the job in goal:

In the meantime, the LA Lakers are doing their best to promote the Kings’ presence in town: Unfortunately, from the sounds of tweets from people inside the building, basketball fans aren’t quite as enthused (or aware) of their hockey playing counterparts:

Even in victory, KTLA can’t figure it out — the helicopter traffic reporter either thinks the Lakers won the Stanley Cup, or that the Lakers won the NBA title after being eliminated and the NBA Final not even being completed yet, or just doesn’t know what year it is. Either way, the Kings are the farthest LA sports team from his mind:

 

Do you have any more LA Kings media FAILs? Send them to me, and I’ll include them in this post.

2012 NHL Playoffs Preview: Canucks vs. Kings

April 14, 2012 3 comments

Canvassing the Caucuses: An Election-Style NHL Playoff Preview during Election Season

PART 5

by Peter Nygaard (follow him on Twitter)

We’ve already taken a look at the Eastern primaries, so now let’s examine the polls out West.

Western Primary

Vancouver Canucks (1) vs. Los Angeles Kings (8)

[also see: St.Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks, Phoenix Coyotes vs. Chicago Blackhawks,  & Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings]

  • The Issues:
    Family Values — In the 1999 NHL Draft, Vancouver held the second and third picks in the first round. After drafting left-winger Daniel Sedin, the Canucks opted to use the third pick on his twin brother, center Henrik Sedin. The Canucks have played them almost exclusively on the same line throughout their entire collective career. When Henrik won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 2009-10, he was even considerate enough to get injured the next year, giving Daniel a chance to showcase his skills.
  • Health and Fitness — Nobody asked to see Ryan Kesler buck naked in this year’s Sports Illustrated “Body Issue,” but that having been said, you can’t deny that the dude’s in good shape.
  • Political Dirt:
    The Canucks enjoy tremendous depth. Some teams have gone as far as accusing Vancouver of stealing its players when they were turned around. The NHL has yet to file a formal inquiry.
  • Campaign Promises:
    If elected, the Canucks promise not to riot. Seriously, we only riot when we lose in Game 7 of the Cup Finals. Or when we get to the Cup Finals. Or when we beat the Blackhawks. Promise. :o)

  • The Issues:
    American Exceptionalism — Team captain Dustin Brown and starting goalie Jonathan Quick are two prominent members of the Team USA hockey club. They are also prominent reasons why the Kings are where they are. Quick posted a Vezina-worthy season, winning way too many 2-1 and 1-0 games for a goalie’s comfort, while Brown led all L.A. forwards in plus-minus, while dealing with the responsibilities that come with wearing the ‘C’.
  • A Winning Combination — Less than a season after the Flyers took such great care in breaking up forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, the two were reunited when Carter was traded to the Kings for defenseman Jack Johnson. The Flyers soured on the perceived immaturity displayed by the talented twosome, but they both played key roles in Philly’s run to the Cup Finals in 2011.
  • Kingdom Confidence — according to the LA’s Twitter, the Kings are playing for every Canadian that does not reside in British Columbia.
  • Political Dirt:
    The Kings are the second-lowest scoring team in the NHL and score less than all of their playoff peers. Can such a chaste team rally support in Hollywoodland? The Kings score less than A.C. Green.
  • Campaign Promises:
    If elected, the Kings promise to make hockey relevant again in the City of Angels. L.A. was rabid about the Kings in the Gretzky days. It’s a stretch to say they’ll become that popular again, but a playoff run would certainly be a start.

Vote For: Vancouver Canucks in 7

[editors note: SDC has LA winning the series]

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