It may seem odd that someone born and raised in Southern California would be a a huge Ice Hockey fan, but I am. The LA Kings are my favorite team and there is hope that the team finally has a general manager who will build a winning team. They have started 1-3-0 but there is still good reason for hope.
The Kings have a couple of the top young players and maybe two legitimate Calder Cup Trophy candidates (Jack Johnson on defense and the 19 year old goalie Jonathan Bernier). There are quite a few new players and the lines are taking some time to get used to each other.
One thing I think is pretty clear though, the team captain, Rob Blake, a certain hall of famer, is not ready to play yet. He had hip surgery this off-season, and he is clearly not 100% yet. His defensive play has been awful; he's a step or two behind, he's getting moved around in front of the net and he's probably been directly responsible for about four goals against. I know he wants to play and lead this team, but it looks like the better idea would be for him to rehab a week or so; or if he is playing his way back into shape, Marc Crawford should cut his ice time a little as his worse play has been late in the game.
I'm not sure if the Kings have enough right now to make the playoffs; the Western Conference is exceptionally strong. But they will be much better than last year.
Tomorrow I'll be at Staples Center. The Boston Bruins are in town (for the first time in about four years) and after the Kings I always liked Boston; or more specifically, I liked #4 Bobby Orr (who, after Wayne Gretsky was probably the best hockey player ever). Hopefully the NHL will fix their horrible scheduling and I won't have to wait for another four years to see Boston in town (or Montreal, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and so on...)Posted by Narnia3 at October 11, 2007 9:37 PM | TrackBack