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09-28-2009, 12:52 AM
  #90
BigKing
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Belmont Shore, CA
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I was loaded like a freight train and flying like an aeroplane by the time the puck dropped so this is what I remember:

Good:
Wayne Simmonds just keeps getting better. He has now demolished two guys so far this pre-season with last night's devestation of the Avalanche nation. I was pretty close to it and kept yelling "what happened to your face?" but Kendricks was not able to speak even if he heard me due to the pool of blood he was wallowing in. Ok..it wasn't that bad but it was very brutal. According to Diehard, Kendricks received 10 stitches and a broken nose. Ref tried to clean the blood up with his skate which was laughable as they had to bring the shovel out. It was a pretty chippy game but it settled down after that fight. These guys keep on other fighters and I think Simmonds is gaining a serious rep around the league. Oh, and his actual hockey skills are so much fun to watch. He never has a boring shift and you have to watch him...just electric.

Doughty's goal was just a great shot. I didn't stand up and cheer until everyone else did because the puck shot at so fast that I thought it must have hit the post. Threw a nice hipcheck which is the second nice stand-up typ hit I've seen him throw this pre-season. He looks more confident than last year...don't discount the invite to the Canada camp and his good performance in the scrimmage. I have absolute confidence that there will not be a sophomore slump.

Johnson's offensive talent is definitely high-end. I loved his set-up on the Kopitar goal as he drove hard to the net. It wasn't just the drive to the net but it was the decision to make it. He didn't really have much of a step but, instead of stopping and turning back towards the blueline like all of the defensemen did last season, he dropped the shoulder and created a goal. While watching Johnson and Doughty this pre-season, I see tons of confidence just oozing out of them. They want to score goals this season and appear to have the green light to go for it.

Kopitar played like a #1 center should. My friend who is a Ducks fan didn't know who Anderson was for the Avs. Anderson made some pretty big saves and my friend was really impressed. After the shootout goal, my friend says to me in all seriousness: "But he's still a new goalie though, right?" It was a very nice move. He's also getting involved physically and, most importantly, driving the net.

This may be due to Ryan Smyth. These guys didn't drive the net at all last season and now everyone, and I mean everyone, is going straight towards the net. Smyth looked great last night and is just a very talented hockey player. This is the big difference I see between this year's squad and the previous crap: there is no denying that there is more pure hockey skill out there for the Kings. Does anyone remember any really good goals that the Kings scored off the rush last season? It seemed they never really scored off the rush but rather on deflections/rebounds. The games I have seen in the pre-season are of a team that is better in transition and simply more talented than we've seen in awhile.

Scuderi is very good positionally and good with the poke-check. The defense is better than last season in my opinion due to Scuderi and the emergence of Johnson. It's still just pre-season though.

I was able to get back to my room in the first tower of The Signature during the first intermission, refill my large cup of Jameson and some other things and make it back in time to see Simmonds put the best punch I have seen a King land in years. You'd probably have to go back to Norton vs. Sawyer for a King to win with such devastation. I also met Diehard which was cool. Good guy and one of my favorite reads on the boards so it was great to put a face with a name. I'll definitely stop by your section at some games this season.

Bad:
Stoll was atrocious but to be expected since he's behind everyone right now due to missing all of the pre-season basically.

Quick was average which was a little but of a bummer.

I love Matt Greene but this was a subpar game for him. A few fumbles at the blueline and a tough holding call late in the 3rd.

Lewis was unimpressive for me personally and I thought he looked great during his stint last season. He did not look as good as he did then.

Clune getting hurt really pissed me off. I want this guy on the roster opening night and now that may not be an option. He skated right up behind Koci immediately following the fight, like the linesmen just grabbed both of them. Clune starts jawing right in his ear and Kendricks came over and it looked like they may fight. He was definitely going to get into a fight so it was a bummer he went out, especially since it was on a real nice play where he created a scoring chance by skating right around a guy on the outside.

I'm bummed I didn't meet everyone else but I was so rockin' that I didn't really have any concept of time or what I should be doing at that point...I basically just followed my friends. I'll have to try again next year.

Also, the drive back was a nightmare. Listend to all of Animals and Dark Side of the Moon and could still see Vegas in my rear-view mirror. Utterly disgusting, especially when you settled for 2 hours of sleep the night before. Fun weekend though and the game, as usual, was so much fun. This game has more intensity in the crowd than you've probably seen at Staples since the playoffs. The players feed off of it and really go at it.

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