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Old
08-12-2012, 11:36 PM
  #1
Ziggy Stardust
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Old Kings Memories

Since I'm starving for hockey and with the possibility that we may be deprived of hockey due to a potential lockout, I forked over the cash to subscribe to the NHL vault, which is loaded with games through every era.

I've had the misfortune to sit through some really painful memories of the post 1993 LA Kings. For those of you who don't remember, they were bad, real bad. One of the games I watched was from the 1994-95 season with the NHL returning from a lockout, reducing the schedule to 48 games. Take a gander at this lineup from February 25, 1995 against the Edmonton Oilers.
http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxs...502250EDM.html

Kevin Brown - Wayne Gretzky - Jari Kurri

Tony Granato - Dan Quinn - Rick Tocchet

Randy Burridge - Kevin Todd - John Druce

Pat Conacher - Robert Lang - Troy Crowder

Rob Blake - Philippe Boucher

Rob Cowie - Darryl Sydor

Sean O'Donnell - Michel Petit

Kelly Hrudey - Grant Fuhr

Scratched/Injured: Marty McSorley, Eric Lacroix, Yanic Perreault

The best players on the ice for the Kings were Robert Lang and Kelly Hrudey. It is mind numbing looking back and seeing how well Hrudey played that season, and yet the Kings wasted away a great asset like Alexei Zhitnik to bring in the washed up and out of shape Grant Fuhr. Gretzky always had to surround himself with his close friends. It's also frustrating remembering how misused Robert Lang was on the Kings. You could tell watching him as a youngster that he had the talent and potential to be a future top six forward, but the Kings were more interested in over-the-hill players and Barry Melrose (and later Larry Robinson) didn't know how to utilize skill. A late surge from the Kings, led by Robert Lang's play, enabled the Kings to win this one 4-3.

Onto the next game, which was from the following season, with the Kings playing the Colorado Avalanche on February 23, 1996.
http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxs...602230COL.html

This game was a disaster as the Kings had no idea how to play defense nor could they contain Peter Forsberg. Stephane Fiset was in net for Colorado with Byron Dafoe having the misfortune of going up against a high powered Avs team. Forsberg would score 5 points, all assists. If you guys thought the lineup I posted above was bad, take a gander at this one:

Kevin Stevens - Wayne Gretzky - Vitali Yachmenev

Yanic Perreault - Jari Kurri - Shane Churla

Eric Lacroix - Kevin Todd - John Druce

Barry Potomski - Robert Lang - Steve Larouche

John Slaney - Marty McSorley

Steven Finn - Aki Berg

Sean O'Donnell - Doug Zmolek

Byron Dafoe - Kelly Hrudey

Scratched/Injured: Rob Blake, Dmitri Khristich, Philippe Boucher, Tony Granato

You could just tell Gretzky wanted out of LA by this point. He was winding down and age was creeping up and it showed. This game was brutal to sit through as a Kings fan, but highly entertaining if you want to see what it's like for an NHL team to go up against an IHL team (the Kings were affiliated with the Phoenix Roadrunners of the IHL at the time). To add to the complete beat down on the scoreboard was an obligatory Doug Zmolek beating, courtesy of Chris Simon.



So that does it with my first installment of terrifying Kings memories. Reflecting back, it is an interesting time period to experience as there was so much crap going on with the team off the ice with the bankruptcy, the whole McNall trial, and the change in ownership from McNall to Sudikoff and Cohen to Anschutz and Roski. These were tumultuous times and a true test of ones loyalty to a miserable Kings team. There was nothing promising about this squad, yet a loyal fanbase remained with the team through thick and thin, even when our neighbors down south were enjoying some success with Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne.

What are some of your memories of the Kings before Lombardi steered the ship in the right direction? This flashback makes me further appreciate what they accomplished this year.

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Old
08-12-2012, 11:51 PM
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I remember Lang had a handful of goals during his rookie year and most of them were highlight-reel. I also remember a time when the Kings defense was anchored by three tremendous young players in Blake, Zhitnik and Sydor but the Kings brass decided to trade two of them away. I am not the world's biggest Lombardi fan but I am at least glad that he is in a position now (that they've won the cup) to further his vision of a team that can compete year after year.

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08-13-2012, 12:37 AM
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First Kings Memory: The first time I saw the Kings was on KHJ in 1982. I remember it well because they were getting killed 5-0 after 2 periods and my mom came down and made me go up to bed (I was 11). I complied, but being a resourceful kid, I snuck down when the third period started. I hadn't seen hockey until then, so I didn't know 5-0 was a thrashing. I also didn't think it was out of the ordinary when the Kings came back and won, I also had no idea what the Stanley Cup they kept talking about was. The date was April 10. Not sure anyone could see that and not become a Kings fan immediately.

Funniest forum memory - 1988ish against Calgary. We were sitting behind the goal about 10 rows up and took my cousin along. When we got there she was about to fold her seat down when she noticed a huge dent in it. She asked what that was from and the guy behind her told her a puck had did that the game before. Her face was priceless.

Worst Kings Memory - Having to take a leak in my first game at the Forum.

First Heartbreak - When the Kings traded Kasper and Duchesne for Kurri. Those were my two favorite players, I was pissed!

Craziest game memory - The brawl game against Edmonton. Not sure when it was, but the penalties were ridiculous. I remember Benning getting pummeled, and I called him Bonecrusher every day after that. Talk about a lover and not a fighter. I also remember Buchberger hitting someone in the face, Sandstrom I think, and starting a huge melee. It was hanson brothers like.

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08-13-2012, 12:57 AM
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Ziggy Stardust
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Here's the brawl that you speak of, which took place on February 28, 1990:





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08-13-2012, 01:42 AM
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I remember the 95-96 season season very well.

The Kings actually started off strong. Seven games into the season they didn't have a single loss. They were the last undefeated team in the NHL. I recall Yachmenev racking up the points during that span as well, including a couple 2 goal games.

Then everything went down hill after that.

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08-13-2012, 11:56 AM
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In the 93 playoffs against the flames here in Calgary there was a line brawl at the end of the game I enjoed as a kid.

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08-16-2012, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjm22 View Post
I remember the 95-96 season season very well.

The Kings actually started off strong. Seven games into the season they didn't have a single loss. They were the last undefeated team in the NHL. I recall Yachmenev racking up the points during that span as well, including a couple 2 goal games.

Then everything went down hill after that.
My memory from that season...

I had just moved to Pittsburgh in September of that year and the Kings came into Pittsburgh early in the year. The Kings were first in the league, I remember that, must have been right in the middle or end of that streak.

Dafoe was on fire for the Kings, but Storr started and the Kings somehow came back and won that game 3-2 on a Yanic Perreault OT goal.

Man, were those mid 90's Kings teams awful...

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08-16-2012, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjm22 View Post
I remember the 95-96 season season very well.

The Kings actually started off strong. Seven games into the season they didn't have a single loss. They were the last undefeated team in the NHL. I recall Yachmenev racking up the points during that span as well, including a couple 2 goal games.

Then everything went down hill after that.
From memory wasn't Dafoe playing out of his mind and Hrudey came back from injury and sucked and killed all their momentum?

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08-16-2012, 04:51 PM
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Master Yoda
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I remember the Kings putting together the all Russian line, or almost all Russian, Yachmenev, Khristich, and Tsyplikov. I got all excited cause that was when Detroit had their russian 5 and everyone was looking for their own Russians. They actually played well... for a few games.

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08-16-2012, 04:57 PM
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I liked Tsyplakov. I thought they gave up on him too early.

I remember the Tsyp-Perrault-Murray line.
Remember when Perrault scored 20 goals in the first 30 games of that season then only scored 5 or 6 the rest of the year?

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08-16-2012, 04:59 PM
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It wasn't all Dafoe. The Kings were getting lucky (5 out the 7 games went to OT), and they were also scoring a lot of goals to compensate for their shotty defense. They were averaging something like 4.5 goals scored per game.

The beat Chicago 6-5. Tied Vancouver 7-7, and beat Washington 7-4.

Their luck soon ran out. There was no way they could keep up that scoring pace, and their team D began to show itself for what it really was.

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08-16-2012, 05:28 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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I'll never forget the Kings vs. Jets game from the 1994-95 season when Alexei Zhamnov absolutely manhandled the Kings, scoring 5 goals in a 7-7 tie.
http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxs...504010LAK.html

Sad to look at the scoreboard to see that Michel Petit is a +3 while Gretzky was a -3. Hell, Gary Shuchuk was a +2 in that game!

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08-16-2012, 05:48 PM
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I learned under the tutelage of Randy Burridge.

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08-16-2012, 07:57 PM
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I posted this before, but for those of you who have forgotten, or didn't see it before, this is the oldest L.A. Kings game tape found on YouTube.

I looked it up...it was their 9th game overall in existence, in 1967. Just a month or so later, I saw my first Kings game on TV at 9 years old.

The game announcer is Jiggs McDonald, I don't know who the other guy is offhand, but a little research will solve that issue. Just six years later, Jiggs went off to announce for the Atlanta Flames, and Bob Miller started his career with the Kings.


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08-16-2012, 08:17 PM
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Some Kings games/moments I always remember.

Halloween 1997,
The Kings beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings 5-1, on a hat trick by Yanic Perreault.

1995 season,
Ziggy already mentioned this, but Zhamnov owns Fuhr. Scores 5 goals, the 5th with his famous one hand deke move. Fuhr's jock is probably still somewhere in the cheap seats at the forum. Daryl Sydor tied the game at 7-7 late in the 3rd, crashing the net and banging in a rebound.

1999 season
Kings vs. Flyers. Kings are down a goal, Pavel Rosa ties the game late in the 3rd. Jozef Stumpel then beats current Kings Asst. GM Ron Hextall with a buzzer beater from the blue line to win the game.

1993 playoffs
Game 3 (I think) vs. Toronto. Taylor comes down the rw and just blasts a slapper past Potvin, crowd was going nuts.

1993 playoffs
Warren Rychel's goal vs. Vancouver at the forum. Even as a kid I knew the guy was terrible, but man did he score some big goals in that run. I used to have that game taped on a VHS and would watch it, Bob's voice cracked quite a few times calling some of the goals that night.

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08-16-2012, 09:13 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herby View Post
1999 season
Kings vs. Flyers. Kings are down a goal, Pavel Rosa ties the game late in the 3rd. Jozef Stumpel then beats current Kings Asst. GM Ron Hextall with a buzzer beater from the blue line to win the game.
I remember this game vividly as the Kings were pretty much outplayed by the Flyers for the most part. Fiset would look like an amazing goalie at times, then look like a terrible goalie in other games, but I seem to recall him standing on his head in this one.
http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxs...902110LAK.html

Quote:
1993 playoffs
Warren Rychel's goal vs. Vancouver at the forum. Even as a kid I knew the guy was terrible, but man did he score some big goals in that run. I used to have that game taped on a VHS and would watch it, Bob's voice cracked quite a few times calling some of the goals that night.
Ha, I used to like Warren Rychel. I remember Melrose would shift Rychel to the top line at times to play with Gretzky and Sandstrom. I also liked him on the checking line with Conacher and Taylor.

Here are all the goals from the Vancouver series in 1993 (and there were a ton in that and the Calgary series).

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08-16-2012, 10:12 PM
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I started following the Kings in 1988 after the Gretzky trade. I grew up with Luc scoring at a 50 goal pace, Gretzky vying for Art Ross trophies and Hrudey being the coolest goalie ever for that awesome bandana. We also had a trio of young d-men in Zhitnik, Sydor and Blake that was to die for.

And then the roof fell in. Within six years I'm hoping Jim Paek would some how morph into Bobby Orr and Jamie Storr would be what we had hoped. That's the biggest issue we had I think in the mid-late 90's and early part of this decade; constant young hopefuls who flopped. Yachmenev, Berg, Barney, Papineau, Lehoux, etc. The odd one that didn't (Zhitnik, Jokinen and Sydor for example) were traded to early and, outside of Jokinen, for far to little.

I have old copies of The Hockey News' Future Watch issues, and I should go dig them out from back then and see how many top tier prospects (according to them) we had that managed to do almost nothing (looking at you Jared Aulin and Pavel Rosa).

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08-16-2012, 10:25 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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I became enamored by Olli Jokinen as a kid when he said that he'd be willing to take on Eric Lindros. I even remember Dave Taylor calling Jokinen the "Finnish Lindros." I was a huge fan of Lindros at the time so that had me excited. Of course he'd be nothing like him.

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08-16-2012, 10:31 PM
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Suck it Jens Karlsson!

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08-16-2012, 10:36 PM
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Suck it Jens Karlsson!


Boy have we had some terrible 1st round draft picks.

Karlsson
Zultek
Biron
Teubert
Tukonen
Berg
Storr

The sad thing, with the exception of Storr, none of these busts can be blamed on attitude, work ethic, drug problems or any of the other things that plague young athletes. These were just terrible hockey players.

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08-16-2012, 10:40 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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Aki Berg was supposed to be the Finnish Scott Stevens (according to Kings scouts). He was more like Scott Lachance with the poise of Peter Ahola.

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08-16-2012, 10:43 PM
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Gentle Ben Kenobi
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Remember when the Kings drafted Ellen DeGeneres?


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08-16-2012, 10:46 PM
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Herby
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Aki Berg was supposed to be the Finnish Scott Stevens. He was more like Scott Lachance with the poise of Peter Ahola.
Teubert was also compared to Scott Stevens. Turned out more like Scott Parker.

Karlsson, like Zultek before and Boyle after, was part of Taylor's obsession with finding the next Keith Tkachuk/Cam Neely power forward.

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08-16-2012, 10:52 PM
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Gentle Ben Kenobi
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Teubert was also compared to Scott Stevens. Turned out more like Scott Parker.

Karlsson, like Zultek before and Boyle after, was part of Taylor's obsession with finding the next Keith Tkachuk/Cam Neely power forward.
Don't forget David Steckel and Scott Barney

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08-16-2012, 11:41 PM
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Master Yoda
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and Jeff Tambellini

Another unforgettable/unbelievable moment was, not sure of the year, but the Tony Granato tomahawk chop on Neil Wilkinson.

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