Episode 39: Previewing the 2015-16 Kings

Seanny-hockey on the spot! We cut in (podcast)live to L.A. correspondent Sean to get the latest scoop on the Kings just before they begin the 2015-16 season.

After catching up on the mirthless news regarding Slava Voynov and Mike Richards, Keith and Sean dive into the on-ice excitement that is the Kings preseason. Like… injuries to starting defensemen Muzzin and Greene. Sean catches Keith up on the play of new additions like Ehrhoff and Lucic, they debate what line truly is Number One, and go through young prospects like Weal and Mersch that have impressed in the preseason.

And what podcast would be incomplete without playing some end-of-summer Armchair GM (Kopitar Kontract? Opening Day Roster? Waiver wire and trades?)

Episode 38: Dark Days of Summer

End of June, end of July (end of August!?)–what’s the difference for the 2015 Los Angeles Kings?

It has been a busy offseason, but for all the wrong reasons for armchair GMs like yours truly. Sean and Keith do an admirable job recapping the ugly, the bad, and the occasional good. Tune in for a rapid-fire rundown of: the Jones-Lucic trade, the Williams departure, the Sekera contract, the 2015 Draft, the Voynov cesspool, the Richards scandal, the Stoll kerfuffle, the Ehrhoff signing, defensive pairings, the Toffoli re-signing, the Kopitar non-signing, and the apex: the addition of Jhonas Enroth.

 

Episode 34 3/3: Postgame Stadium Series with Sean + Robin & Matt

Super Three-Part Episode!

PART THREE: Robin joins Sean and Keith celebrate the 1-0 Kings victory over the Sharks in the outdoor game the day after. They give their patented three-period game breakdown, compare the festivities of the two California Stadium Series games, and delve into the EPIX coverage.

Then Matt returns for an encore. They avoid any legal discussion this time to delve into the highlight of the night–the Melissa Etheridge performance. They chat a bit about the hockey that took place as well, and Matt provides a stunning prediction for the Kings moving forward.

Episode 34 1/3: Pregame Stadium Series with Matt

Super Three-Part Episode!

PART ONE: Special guest–longtime listener, first-time podcaster–Matt joins Keith for a unique, on-the-road episode as they head to the the Stadium Series game between the Sharks and Kings. Matt puts on his legal expert hat to answer any and every question one might have about the Slava Voynov case, and Keith prompts Matt to muse on Stanley Cup playoffs past and future.

2014 Cup Run: Reflecting on the Review

Kings win! Kings win their second Stanley Cup! A double overtime victory that also happened to be the longest game in Los Angeles history! Making history along the way, coming back from 0-3 against the Sharks, two-goal deficits against the Blackhawks, winning three game 7’s on the road, three thrilling overtime victories in the final round, in the longest championship run in the history of the playoffs.

You truly are the Kings of Kings.

For a final time, we encourage everyone to relive the moment–sheer joy this time–alongside regular friends of the podcast through the text messages below, as Keith, Sean, Ryan, Anthony, and Matt revel in the days after the 2014 victory.

A final link: On the same day we post our podcast episode with Calgary’s own Richard, let’s give a shoutout to one of Canada’s major news outlets–CBC. Of course they have a ton of hockey coverage, with a number of prominent staff writers and commentators, like Tim Wharnsby who breaks down the Kings Stanley Cup victory. They also have a couple great podcasts we enjoy listening to.

______________________________________

June 14

 

[POST-VICTORY]

 

9:29am

 

Ryan:

Woke up 2.5 hours ago and, yep, still cup champions.

IMG_5242

IMG_1049

 

Keith:

[photo from seats of Cup presentation]

IMG_2592

 

Sean:

No way.

 

 

1:28pm

 

Keith:

What did I tell you Tony: Bestern Conference crushes Leastern in Final.

 

Anthony:

You also said the Kings would lose to Chicago, so…..

 

Keith:

That prediction was a complicated mix of superstition, fandom, reverse jinxes, and despair. My conclusion about the final was grounded in plain facts and objectivity

 

Anthony:

And give credit where credit is due: Sean.

[snapshot of SMS conversation with Sean’s prediction]

“Keith: But Sean is right. Whoever wins the west should crush the east, who saw its best teams crumple last round”

Revisionist

 

Sean:

Keith was making the only rational prediction given his tenure as a Kings fan. Anyone who has watched this team for longer than the last 4 years will always be waiting for the other shoe to drop, for Gary Bettman to pop out at center ice and say “psych! The cup is going to the Red Wings!” It’s buried too deep in the damaged psyche of Kings fans.

 

Anthony:

I can comprehend that pain.

 

Matt:

Last night finally erased Marty McSorley’s curved stick nightmare from my childhood. 2012 was bittersweet because I couldn’t watch it. This was glorious. I image this series felt to Rangers fans like 93 did to us. Losing in five games, but losing 3 of the games in OT. It’s disturbing how much this championship inflates my self esteem.

 

Keith:

I second Matt’s sentiments—2012 I was in transit during much of the playoffs, and had a hard time watching and properly celebrating. This time it was great to be in CA, and getting to share game experiences with each one of you

 

Anthony:

Oh, I’m basking in it

Big time

Been wearing my bootleg $10 T-shirt all day long

IMG_6865

Will wear it all day tomorrow

 

Keith:

I love that shirt. I hope it becomes your official Kings game attire – plus purple hoodie – in the future

 

Anthony:

Count on it

Guy only screened 100 of em—collector’s item! All day long, strangers have been digging it.

I love celebrating a championship in LA

 

Keith:

How many cop cars have you flipped?

Where did you get it?

 

Anthony:

Oh man, I wanted to

We were in a bar and this dude was selling them

 

 

June 15

 

 

9:47pm

 

Keith:
Reason 736 I love that the Kings won the cup: now we can officially start talking about offseason moves and next years roster.

 

 

 

June 16

 

 

10:00am

 

Anthony:

Parade time, b______

 

Keith:

Take some pics for me. Back north

 

Sean:

For me too. I gotta work but I’m going to talk my boss into giving me a lunch break after two hours of work so I can watch it.

 

 

June 17

 

 

6:55 pm

 

Keith:

So how many times have you rewatched that clinching goal?

 

Sean:

xINFINITY

 

Keith:

I love Jim Fox on the call.

2014 Cup Run: Round 4, Game 5

So… after four games of the Stanley Cup final, the Kings win the first three games (two in overtime) and then lose the fourth game to a New York-area team. This sounds… exactly like the 2012 Cup run.

Would the Kings lose Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final and cause Los Angeles fans tremendous heartburn yet again? Or could they actually close this series against the Rangers before it reached seven games?

We encourage you to follow along with our text message thread from Friday June 13th below, which is a little disjointed but includes just about everyone. And Keith had the good fortune to attend in person, which will become apparent.

Today’s link: Hey, remember that glossy magazine that was synonymous with sports journalism (and annual swimsuit editions)? Yeah, Sports Illustrated is still around, and even exists online, where they dip their toe into ice hockey at times. Several writers pen some excellent hockey pieces, including Allan Muir who provides this Game 5 preview.

______________________________________

June 13

 

[Pre-game]

 

11:39am

 

Keith:

Can we talk about the inner chemistry and quiet production emerging from the Stoll Williams King line?

 

Sean:
Yes. They’re like the perfect Nintendo hockey line. One heavy, one medium, one skinny.

 

Keith:

Yes!

Though they function differently—one big body to screen and finish around the net, one to hold onto the puck, pass and dig it out of corners, and one to snipe with wicked wristers (though I wish Stoll did this more)

 

Sean:

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen a wicked wrister from Jarrett Stoll.

 

 

11:41am

 

Keith:

Matt—do you have all your hexes and talismans lined up for tonight’s game?

 

Anthony

Ahhhh gaaaaaaaaaad

 
[Game time]

 

5:23 pm

 

Ryan:

Let’s do this!!!

 

 

5:34 pm
Keith:

Woo!

 

Ryan:

CLUTCH. All day long.

 

Keith:

This is our game seven.

 

Sean:

Cuz Justin Williams scored?

 

 

5:40pm

 

Sean:

Stupid f_____g penalty by Doughty.

 

Ryan:

Very much so.

 

 

6:40pm

 

Sean:
Quick looks locked in.

 

 

6:58pm

 

Sean:

Nevermind.

 

Ryan:

Barely off his angle, and an exceptional shot. Not worried. Lundqvist is beatable.

 

Keith:

Umm, I’m worried. Not a good period.

Where the F___ is our power play?!

 

Sean:
Stop with the negativity.

 

Ryan:

Not good, no. But not bad either. And remember who owns the 3rd.

Rangers barely generating offense, and relying HEAVY on Lundqvist. HEAVY.

 

 

7:37pm

 

Sean:

MMFG

 

Ryan:

True story: Lundqvist had a hard time stopping pucks with his balls.

 

Keith:

So this is our template: send in Gaborik to tie it in third, then choose a hero to score the game winner. By default, Williams if you can’t decide.

 

Ryan:

KOPITAR

 

 

7:59pm

 

Keith:

Another dominant third period. Feel on better.

 

Ryan:

Feel on, Keith. Feel on.

 

 

8:52pm

 

Ryan:

Not worried. Not worried.

 

Sean:
Can’t take much more of this.

 

Keith:

You’re telling me.

Rangers came out better that period

 

Sean:

My video feed keeps seizing up so I’m only getting audio which I can barely hear cuz I’m working. This is a f_____g nightmare.

 

Keith:

Batteries dying.

 

 

[Post-game]

 

9:28pm

 

Ryan:

Let your batteries die Keith!!!!

 

Sean

F___ YES!

 

 

9:28pm

 

Anthony:

F___ TO THE YEAH

 

Sean:
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!

 

 

9:30pm

 

Sean:

Can’t talk now. Done with work in half an hour. Where you at??!!

 

 

9:33pm

 

Richard:

Did you get to see the game live?

 

Keith:

[Snapshot of Cup presentation on ice]

IMG_2591

 

Richard:

That would have been a fun place to be

 

Keith:

You betcha

 

 

9:56pm

 

Matt:

Martinez!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Anthony:

Headed downtown now. Not joking

 

Matt:

F_____g love it!

 

Sean:

Where you gonna be Anthony?

 

Anthony:

Some bar? Join if you want

 

Sean:

Who else are you meeting?

What bar?

 

Anthony:

I can’t talk on the phone and handle the money at the same time

And dude, I dunno. Somewhere near Ham and Eggs.

Or Hotel Fig, apparently

Yes?

 

Sean:

On my way. No clue where to park though.

 

Matt:

I’m about to ___ off to Alex Martinez in Petaluma if anyone wants in…

 

Anthony:

Keith, you in?

 

Matt:

He’s probably already looking up bus times

 

Anthony:

Now relocating to El Compadre because Hotel Fig is all f____d up

 

Sean:

Hotel Fig on Figueroa and Olympic, yeah?

 

Anthony:

Yeah, but now elsewhere

F___ it homie

Keith: MIA

 

 

2:41am
Keith:

Sorry boys. Phone battery died while celebrating.

2014 Cup Run: Round 4, Game 4

The Kings are just one win away from their second Stanley Cup! Would they take Game 4 from the Rangers and sweep the  final round?

These rhetorical questions are likely absurd since anyone reading this already knows the outcome, but such thoughts were circling through the heads of Keith, Sean, Ryan, Anthony, and Matt as you can see below in the contemporary text thread.

Today’s link: When you are starved for hockey content, sometimes you need to sneak across the border for your fix, and that is why we turn to TSN, Canada’s version of ESPN (meaning way more NHL coverage… and way less NFL). In addition to compiling all relevant hockey content coming from the Canadian Press, like this delightful story about Drew Doughty and the demise of San Jose, staff writers like Scott Cullen provide stellar game recaps.

And a bonus, since it’s mentioned by Sean in the text thread–Helene Elliott, a great hockey writer for the LA Times, penned this feature on Darryl Sutter.

______________________________________

June 11

 

[Pre-game]

 

12:41pm
Sean:
[Photo of LA Times front page with portrait of Darryl Sutter: “YES, SIR”]

lat-sp-3-darryl-sutter-20140610

 

Keith:

Why is no one talking about the fact that we are on the verge of back to back FULL season titles, tossing out that lockout shortened season?

 

Ryan:

3 straight trips to the conference finals. THREE.

 

 

12:57pm

 

Keith:

Matt, clearly you had the good luck juices flowing last game. Can you watch tonight?

 

Matt:

I will likely be an hour or so behind. Bedtime routine gets everything off track. Keith, if I get any texts about the game I’ll blame you entirely.

 

Anthony:

Got it, Matt. I won’t f___ up this time.

 

Matt:

Thanks. And like I said, if you do slip up, it’s Keith’s fault.

 

Anthony:

Oh, don’t tempt me

 

Keith:

I can see Tony’s evil grin through text message

 

 

[Game time]

 

5:16pm

 

Keith:

Y’all watching?

 

Ryan:

You bet your sweat pants.

 

Sean:
Oh you bet your squishy boots.

Watching on my phone, texting on my iPad, all while rehearsing a show. So I may be a bit behind.

 

 

6:43pm
Keith:

Eat it NYC

 

 

7:41pm

 

Ryan:

I’m a fan of our chances. Also, can Chris Kreider just not grow a beard, or is he worried about missing some “sweet pooooonanny”?

 

Keith:

Looking good.

 

Ryan:

You better not be talking about Kreider’s Van Dyke

 

Keith:

I think Kreider misinterpreted playoff beard to be scuzzy facial hair meticulously trimmed.

 

Ryan:

2-1 NY still, but with 8 mins to go we hold a 9-1 shot diff.

Reminds me of Henrique in 2012. He lost that series.

Kreider does, I mean.

We win it in LA!!!

 

Sean:
What gentlemen these Rangers are.

 

Ryan:
You can tell by Kreider’s Van Dyke.

I kinda just fell in love with Henrik Lundqvist.

 

Keith:

Exciting finish.

 

Ryan:

Definitely. Not worried about the next game.

Rangers are not gonna last regardless.

 

Keith:

So can the Rangers now stop whining about puck luck?

 

Sean:
They can just shut the f___ up and die in LA.

 

 

[Post-game]

 

8:03pm

 

Matt:

F___! Uli was pretty solid in net though.
Anthony:

Thanks a lot, I still haven’t watched the game

=D I keed, I keed

I think this game proves that when we group text, the Kings win. When we don’t….

 

Matt:

Haha exactly. I’ll make Bea watch Friday night.

 

Anthony:

Hell yeah

 

Keith:

Clearly. I blame Matt