ELDER ABUSE - Jeff Gross
First meeting of the season for the Kings and Ducks. LA had Friday night off and the Ducks played a solid game against the Minnesota Wild. Will the extra rest give the Kings the advantage or will the Ducks roll on the momentum of their win?
It feels like we have been waiting for this day all summer. Something happened that we're not going to talk about. It's best we repress it from memory.
While nothing in particular was happening in July, I was boozing my feelings and made a (drunken) bet with one of three Kings fans I like - the Royal Half of TheRoyalHalf.com. If the Kings won a certain trophy, I would take The Half to a Ducks and Kings game at Honda Center.
I lost the bet.
The fateful day where I have to spend an entire game with a Kings fan will be Apr. 6. In the mean time, I took some time to interview The Half. It's kind of like Clarece interviewing Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.
[Check out The Royal Half's preview. He shows the ways the Ducks and others celebrated with The Cup. Woohoo pictures!]
JN: Teemu Selanne, great player or THE GREATEST player?
The Royal Half: I love that Teemu Selanne has become this "elder statesman" of the sport of ice hockey... and yet no one remembers that by today's standards he would have been a "hot shot punk" during his rookie season.
The only way you could be a LA Kings fan and hate Teemu Selanne is if you are a fan of Brad Richardson's face... which means the vast majority of the LA Kings female fan base HATES Teemu Selanne.
Teemu is a legend but most importantly he's an exciting player to watch. And since he's doing it at age 42 it just makes all of us that are younger than him feel awful about ourselves.
JN: What is it about you guys that makes me hate you so much?!
TRH: Hmmm... good question. Now that both of our hockey teams have won Stanley Cups... you people in Orange County probably hate us in Hollywood because you spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a Great Park to be a huge tourist attraction and all it has is an orange balloon.
Or maybe because your local baseball team would rather be associated with Los Angeles than that pit of a parking lot you call a city?
But most likely it's because instead of getting the chance to hear your sport called by a well-respected, Hall of Fame broadcaster like Bob Miller... you are stuck rimming it around the boards with John Ahlers and Brian Hayward. And don't even get me started on when you have to watch one of your games on the KDOC 56 feed! [Ed. Note: Hazy is pretty bad but Jim Fox makes me want to drive forks into my ears. - JN]
JN: Dustin Penner has been healthy scratched in four of six games. Fallen out of love with him so soon? Do you think the Kings would use one of their amnesty buyouts on him? Some of us are a little worried he is going to end up back in Ducks sweater with his old drinking buddies, Perry and Getzlaf.
TRH: Dustin Penner is a UFA at the end of this season, so he won't be bought out anytime soon.
Penner has actually been incredibly well-received by fans here in Los Angeles... for everything but his actual hockey play. He's funny, honest and likeable... basically the complete opposite of anyone you would meet in Los Angeles. It's so "LA Kings" to trade for a dude that put together seasons of 29, 23, 17, 32 and 21 goals... and then watch him struggle to score 13 goals in 112 games. But the greatest part of all is by scoring that fateful goal against the Phoenix Coyotes in the 3rd Round of the Playoffs... Dustin Penner will be a LA Kings highlight for generations to come.
JN: Why do you hate us? Try to keep it under 500 words.
TRH: Anaheim Ducks fans... it's time to put our differences aside... lift our Stanley Cups high over our heads... and laugh at the San Jose Sharks until we are red in the face. WHO IS WITH ME?!?!?