I don't know about you, readers, but I think "Los Angeles Kings" is a hilarious misnomer, because no one who's ever played on that team has ever, at any time, been King of Los Angeles. In fact, no human ever has. What morons!
But seriously, if L.A. had a king, who would it be? Philip Marlowe? Henry Rollins? Harvey Weinstein?
Anze Kopitar might be a good candidate for "King of L.A. but kind of a Slovenian usurper," what with all his goals and points this season.
Which leads us to the central point: the Kings are damn good this year. GM feller Dean Lombardi has been criticized a bit for not making the playoffs at all recently, but it's clear enough that all this time he was patiently building---mostly through the draft, though lately with some truly ace trades---a monster. Now it's fully formed and ready to kill us all.
But the Thrashers can totally win this game, because with Kovalchuk in the fold they're awesome, right? Which brings me to today's "In Praise Of..." section.
This game day, we would like to praise last night's dazzling effort against the New York Rangers. I could watch the replay of Evander Kane's goal, complete with awesome pass from Rich Peverley, exactly 10 million times. Same with Peveley's power play goal: one-timer blast from Kovalchuk, bounce off of an Antropov-screened Lundqvist, straight to the Pevs Dispenser and then into the net. Beautiful.
As some of our commenters have already pointed out, the level of confidence goes up quite a bit when the Czar's around. There were some imperfections, but I'd wager that last night's game was the most complete, most confident game the Thrash have played this season. And it was the most entertaining: lots of goals, including strikes from the Superstar on each team; a hellacious Boulton vs. Brashear fight; and Zach Bogosian ruining Ryan Callahan's evening. Say, with his mustache doesn't Bogo look like he should be quietly selling arms in a low-lit, slightly grubby cafe?
Anyway, it was a real cool time.
As for the bout tonight: Kings blogger Rudy Kelly, a great among greats at the great blog Battle of California, is a huge Kovalchuk fan and is mighty stoked about tonight's game:
Just think of it: Kopitar v. Kovalchuk; Doughty v. Bogosian; Fro v. Maxim...
UPDATE: DO check out Mr. Kelly's official game day post.