By Zeke Quezada
The Kings were taken out back and shot by the Phoenix Coyotes and the only clear thing was that this Hockey team was clearly unprepared to win against a team that has nothing to lose. If your passion is hockey and part of that passion involves the Los Angeles Kings you must feel miserable.
Personally, I think the Kings are trying to make a little extra cash as the season winds down. When the Kings are losing the fanatics tend to hover around the beer stands and drink away some of their disappointments. I found myself crawling over to the Royal Room way more than usual as the Coyotes lit the lamp three times in about three seconds on Mathieu Garon.
The Kings took an early one goal lead and it evaporated when Phoenix scored three goals in less than two minutes half way through the first period. I could sense the drink line swelling as the crowd was collectively sighing at the hole that the Kings had dug themselves.
In the Royal Room with the $9 dollar drinks I realized that King management might possibly have a plan. As the opposition scores there is a direct correlation to the amount of alcohol purchased. I ordered up my Manhattan only to find out that the girl behind the bar was trying to drown me in sweet vermouth. But, considering the score was already 3-1 there were plenty of King fans in there just trying to gather their thoughts so I opted not to complain.
The conversations between periods amongst the King faithful seem to center on the same thing. Can this team survive to gain a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
There is always that feel good story about the underdog team that squeezes in and rides a hot goaltender or the team with so much heart that they somehow get divine intervention to lead them to the Promised Land that the Hockey Gods preside over. It could happen here.
There is hope in this team if only for the reason that if you’re a hockey fanatic you really do not have much of a choice but to root for your team to keep it together.
When the Kings took the ice for the second period I had hope, faith and my fourth drink from the savages that put a cap full of bourbon in a glass full of ice with four ounces of vermouth. The Kings however still had nothing.
The power play is enough to make you crave those great curling competitions that became a favorite during the Olympics. The truth is the Kings seem to be doing more with the puck but it is just not finding the back of the net with a man advantage. So, Phoenix scored their own power play goal to make the score 4-1.
4-1 to a team that is having a hard time winning on the road and is way back in the standings. Now it should be understood that Phoenix is not that bad, the Kings have only won 6 more games than the Coyotes, but they are still a team that should be beaten.
So the crowd was forced to sit through a third period that went from bad to worse as Phoenix scored a minute into the third period to up their lead to 4 goals. At that point you know the game is over.
The nutty kids behind me who have a comment for everything were out of fresh remarks to belittle the Kings. The girl behind the bar at the Royal Room was out of vermouth after pouring me two more to help me get over the loss. The Kings were out of gas and a great deal of fans seemed to have used up their faith.
I wonder if Andy Murray will soon be out of a job.
I wonder if Jeremy Roenick will show up on a bad reality TV series real soon.
I wonder of Luc Robitaille will get the accolades he deserves for the job that he is still doing, in front of the net, in the corners and in the slot? I’m not sure Robitaille will ever hoist the cup in a King Jersey.
With 15 games to go, what do you think, are you out of gas? Can you handle the ebbs and flows of inconsistent hockey?