Thursday, February 2, 2012

A controversial win is still a win. Also a win: Our seats last night.

The Brother scored tickets to last night's Kings game vs. Columbus and the seats were beyond awesome.  As much as I liked being center ice, we were in the third row behind goal (just a bit to the left of the goalie), right by the glass, and it was an amazing view.  Add to that a thrilling and controversial finish that saw the Kings finally win a game we were at this season (5th time charm!) and we had a great night at Staples Center!  Final score was 3-2; the recap is here.

We were in the end the Kings defend twice, so The Brother and I spent a large chunk of the evening ooohing and aaahing over Jonathan Quick.  For you non-hockey types who don't know who Quick is, you know that expression, "And on the eighth day, God created ___________"?  Well, Quick is what God created on the eighth day, at least for the Kings and their fans.  He wasn't really challenged by Columbus but as squealing fangirls of Quick and his jedi mind-control goaltending it was enough for us just to be near him.

For reasons I cannot fathom, Dustin Penner was not only in the starting lineup, but also took up space  on the power play.  He probably heard me tossing out words like "pylon" and "useless" to describe his play, because he scored a goal right in front of us during the second period, just to be obnoxious.  The appearance of a Penner goal, a rare, almost extinct creature, kind of freaked us out.  We just couldn't wrap our heads around the idea that that just happened.  I don't care if he has a great sense of humor about hurting his back while wolfing down pancakes, the guy has done virtually nothing since we got him from Edmonton last year and I can't wait until he's gone.  Total waste of a spot in the lineup.

Another highlight of the evening was a kid in the row behind us.  He was just a little slip of a thing, but he had a big voice and an even bigger attitude and provided us with non-stop entertainment as he bellowed increasingly vindictive orders at the players like a miniature Mike Keenan.  "Shoot the puck!" and "Fight, fight, fight!" were his favorites (he really, really wanted to see some punches thrown) but my favorite moment was when he singled out Anze Kopitar for abuse.  Kopi had the puck and Future Keenan commanded him (LOUDLY) to shoot it.  Anze disappointed him greatly by passing it instead, prompting the Little Dictator to mockingly wail, "REEEEALLY KOPI????" at him, like Kopitar is some sort of complete moron when it comes to the sport compared to the kid.  Hilarious.

And then there was the "clock controversy".  As regulation was winding down, the game was tied 2-2 and it looked like yet another OT game and possible shootout.  We've had way too many of these this season.  Even if you win in OT, the losing team still gets a point, and the Kings have been giving away a lot of OT points and losing regulation win points, something which could bite us in the ass in terms of making the playoffs if the standings are tight when the season winds down, which is probably exactly what is going to happen.  Luckily this was not to be, as Drew Doughty dramatically scored with .04 seconds left in regulation.  The place went wild.

Then the play was reviewed.  And it stood, which was awesome because the Kings are notorious for getting screwed on reviews.  The replay bore this out.  At least on the clip we saw, which started with something like 1.6 seconds left.

But then there's this, which shows the clock from six seconds out and sure enough, it sticks at 1.8 seconds before resuming the countdown.

The league is investigating, but bottom line is it sucks to be you, Columbus Blue Jackets.  We win.

All I have to say about that is that like any fan of any team, I know my team has been victimized by officiating and circumstance, therefore this is payback.  Earlier in the game, one of the zebras blew play dead because he lost track of the puck at the CBJ goal.  Turns out the puck was still in play and Brad Richardson popped it into the net, but we lost that goal due to the early whistle.  So pick one or the other, either way it's a 3-2 victory for the Kings.

Now back to our awesome seats.  One of the best things about them was that I was able to actually get some decent pictures.  We don't usually show for the warmups, but if we get these seats again I'm going early.  The players are moving almost constantly during the game, which made it hard for me to get clear shots of them, but they do stand around during warmup drills and I think I could have gotten a lot more shots of a lot more players.

Most of my pictures are of Quick.  Big surprise there.

This one is now my wallpaper.  Best shot of the night.

At one point something required Quick's helmet-less attention.  Needless to say, The Brother and I were riveted.

We were also pathetically fascinated by the sight of him hitting the water bottle.

Stay thirsty, my friend!

In going over my pics, I noticed a peculiar trend - I got some really good shots of the guys from the back, nice shots of the names and numbers.  Their faces not so much.  Not sure why, but enjoy.

Tried to get a good shot of The Brother's latest favorite, but Kyle Clifford was camera-shy.  Or possibly avoiding us like the plague.

The third star was some random Columbus Blue Jackets player we didn't care about.  Williams was second star and Doughty was first.

The Brother and I are scoping out the schedule for the rest of the season for more games and we're definitely spoiled by the great seats we've had, so it's not going to be cheap.  But it will be worth every penny someday when our boys hoist the Stanley Cup.  Until then, GO KINGS GO!!!

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