Monday, February 20, 2012

arena report: staples center

i've been realllllllly slacking with the arena reports. i feel like a bad student who's overdue with a number of essays (MSG was in NOVEMBER for cryin' out loud !!!) so here's the first of three and with any luck i'll get all of them done sometime this week.

the staples center in los angeles is housed in an urban-planned, comprehensive entertainment complex called LA LIVE, which also includes the nokia theatre, the grammy museum, an absurdly clean open plaza and walking mall, apartments, movie theatres, hotels & restaurants etc. it's *conveniently* located in a barren nighttime wasteland of officetowers in the city's downtown, largely deserted after dark, and miles from the hustle of hollywood blvd, the sunset strip, and the beaches. but it does boast a pretty sick statue of the Great One (who seems, in this photo, to be glowing from the junk).

i brought the original GIO jersey out of retirement for this trip, and wanted my LA-based superfun girl friend carly to taunt the kisscam types with me, so we set off to find her a kings jersey. i like the current black LA home model, the home alts, and i'm a huge fan of their purple and gold thirds, but the only ladies' cut they stock in the staples center shop is the white away jersey (and all of them are lettered DOUGHTY !!). i found an employee and inquired if, indeed, the only option in a ladies cut was the road version with "greasy muthafucka" on the back. she laughed and said yes, "unfortunately," and went on to proclaim her love for captain dustin brown... we finally found a kings logo-emblazoned shirt that was purple, kinda cute, and reasonably priced, and when we set about ripping off the tags after purchasing it, i realized alyssa milano is still involved in designing stuff for hockey-loving females. hmph.

our seats were pretty good --13th row off the ice about halfway between the blueline and the goal. there were a few other flames fans in the joint but nobody "oi oi oi"d my "iggy iggy iggy" so they didn't appear to be imports like me. i WAS on the receiving end for a number of highfives in acknowledgment of the flaming C i was sporting.... :)

it turns out that in LA the ice girls hang in the concourse between periods, but they were truly no help at all in my efforts to track down bailey (king of the jungle) for a photo... it took me most of the game to track the big cat down but i eventually squared that away in the middle of the third. as for the arena snack, i was directed by a number of people towards "CPK." even though i was trying to steer away from pizza (the arena snack of choice in detroit), california pizza kitchen is actually quite awesomely good, largely based on the option of chicken as a topping, and the liberal appearance of cilanto. nice touch, CPK... well played. i washed the deliciousness down with a pint of blue moon on tap, which only served to remind me how shitty the pour is back home at the 'dome.... :(

(this pic would've been better if i didn't lose 2xcameras last year)

other staples center notables:

- the crowd were pretty decent at chanting "go kings go" and at inserting "FLAMES SUCK" during the clapping parts of the organ-played "addams family," but since nashville's got the market cornered on chanting, it was largely tame. nobody seemed to cheer along with me as i yelled "GO PANCAKES !!!" when penner did much of anything, though more than a couple people snickered... ;)

- the evening began with a pretty serious laser light show that reminded me of zepplin nights at the planetarium when i was in high school. except that i knew there was a hockey game at its culmination, so it wasn't just lasers then curfew...

- the jumbotron in LA is outrageously amazing. it has the four (presumably LED) main screens around the side with the four "scoreboard" screens in between, and then it has four MORE screens at an angle underneath. you can see in the attached photo. too bad i caught the introduction for rob scuderi and not someone... y'know.... good.

- speaking of introductions ---like they do in jersey, as they announced the flames starting roster, the crowd yells "sucks" following each player. for example "number 12 jarome iginla" "...SUCKS." gotta hand it to those americans. really highbrow stuff, right there.

i guess that's it. flames beat the kings 2-1 in shootout, bringing my flames on-the-road points total to 10 out of a possible 16, if i remember correctly (wins in DET, NASH, STL, & LA, shootout losses in MIN & NJ, and losses in BUF, EDM). the flames should seriously consider taking me on the road.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

something's rotten in the state of dionmark....

puck daddy posted this yesterday confirming the slow death of dion's smile. i would like to use it to demonstrate the un-receding of his hairline....


Thursday, February 16, 2012

(pocket) gaudreau update: BEANPOT MVP !!

johnny gaudreau getting the beanpot MVP
(how AWESOME is this guy !??!?)

i have absolutely no excuse for the amount i (don't) post ---i've got three arena reports in the hopper and one of these days i'll get around to writing them. i've also got opinions on the upcoming "forever a flame" honorees and how ken king has forced me to put airquotes around the word "retire" when talking about sending former flames' jersey numbers to the rafters... and there's always the further adventures of the "mcrimmon" poster at flamescentral (which, btw, was removed two days after my letter to ken king). i'll get around to those. i'll try to put up a little each day for the next while. i can't not !! it's not like i'm employed... ;)

THANKFULLY, there's some upcoming news on the pocket gaudreau project, and today i got a proverbial kick-in-the-pants to write something AWESOME about flames prospect johnny gaudreau from his family... where to start ?!?

pocket gaudreau is officially on the move. after his brief initial winter sojurn in calgary around xmastime, he headed off to puerto rico to visit arik. it was a busy time for our favorite coast guarder, as PG was momentarily ignored while arik spent time with his first born daughter and newest/smallest flames fan, claire mika marie. no photos from PG's time with arik have emerged as of yet, but you can keep an eye out here and also on PG's very own twitter site. i've heard PG has been sealed in an envelope and addressed onward, so check your mailboxes !!! he might be enroute to you !!! :)

in other news, the REAL johnny gaudreau had quite the week as well, as he brought home the MVP title at boston's annual beanpot tournament. bahstahner, ryan lambert, posted some interesting commentary on the subject over at flamesnation, and the org posted some nice stuff over on their site as well. massive congratulations to johnny and the entire gaudreau family on the win, and on being bestowed such an honour... [with a "U" cause we're canadian]
(thanks to the original PG for the photos !!)

as the nhl trade deadline approaches, folks like us can only cross our fingers and hope eternally that feaster/king don't ship off what few solid prospects we have in the formerly "bare cupboards" for splashy vetrerans with ill-advised contracts (gaudreau would certainly be named a keeper in this sort of talk, along with sven baertschi and max reinhart).