Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kings hockey is almost upon us!

The 2010-2011 NHL season begins Thursday, with the Kings debuting Saturday night at Vancouver.

The Kings opening night roster has been set.  The full roster is here.

Jonathan Bernier will remain in L.A. as Jonathan Quick's backup.  It's going to be a hell of a battle between those two for the starting job in goal long-term.  This means last year's backup, Erik Ersberg, is odd man out.  Ersberg has been assigned to Manchester but per Hammond, he may look into playing in Europe.

Yahoo Sports put the Kings on their list of 10 Stanley Cup contenders.  ESPN goes one up on them and puts the Kings in their top 5:
I caught two playoff games at Staples Center this past spring and thought the roof was going to collapse. It's amazing to see hockey back in L.A., and this team shouldn't disappoint. Drew Doughty, Willie Mitchell, Rob Scuderi and Jack Johnson as your top four on D? Hello!
The Quacks are at #24 out of 30 teams.  Heh.

The Bleacher Report breaks down the Kings:
With a year more of maturity for the baby Kings, another playoff berth seems like a lock. Watching such a fast, scrappy team each night could prove to be the most entertaining thing in the long run.
Drew Doughty, Superstar.  Scroll down to #8:
...Drew Doughty is the consensus favorite to be that next best defenseman in the league. A finalist for the Norris in June, Doughty will be able to build off of a breakout year that saw him score 13 times and log 25 minutes a night for the Kings. Factor in the two weeks he spent surrounded by experienced, veteran makeup of Team Canada during their gold medal run and Doughty, still just 20 years old, is poised to become the second youngest Norris winner behind Bobby Orr.
Some observations on the Kings upcoming season:
  • Number of players on the Kings roster age 30 and over: 5 (Michal Handzus, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Ryan Smyth, Willie Mitchell and Rob Scuderi).  Smyth is the senior King at 34.
  • Number of players on the Kings roster who need fake IDs to buy brewskis: 6 (Drew Doughty, Brayden Schenn, Colton Teubert, Kyle Clifford, Andrei Loktionov and Viatcheslav Voynov).  Schenn, born 8/22/91, is the baby King.
  • First game: Saturday, October 9 at Vancouver Canuckleheads.
  • First home game: Tuesday, October 12 vs Atlanta Thrashers.
  • Final game of season: Saturday, April 9 vs the Mighty Quacks.
  • Longest homestand: 8 games, December 30 through January 15 (vs Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Preddies, Columbus BJ's, Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers).
  • Longest road trip: 10 games, February 1 through February 23 (at Minnesota Wild, Edmonton, Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Philly, BJ's again, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, Anaheim Duckies).
  • Defending Stanley Cup champs at the Staples Center: Saturday, November 27 and Monday, January 3.
  • Sid the Kid and Malkin at Staples Center: Zip, zilch, nada.
  • Game at which Ilya Kovalchuk will be booed every second he's on the Staples Center ice: Saturday, October 30.
  • Game at which I will be in the 6th row, dead center: Sunday, December 26 vs the Quacks.
  • All-Star Game: Sunday, January 30 in Raleigh, NC (home of the Whalercanes).
I am so excited about this season.  GO KINGS GO!!!


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