I've been a Kings fan since the second grade. I'm now 57. Despite the many lean years during that span, I can't remember a playoff series in which the Kings' play was more anemic or inept than what just occurred in the series against the Golden Knights. Three goals in four games? Aside from the performance of Jonathan Quick, who was brilliant, the team showed that an overhaul is needed. The deliberate grinding style that the Kings play simply doesn't work in the NHL anymore.
Perhaps the L.A. Kings, who were swept by the Vegas Golden Knights, aren't really that bad — maybe the Vegas team in its first year of existence is a sports anomaly. Only time will tell as Vegas next takes on San Jose. One thing for certain, however: If Vegas does pull it off and wins the Stanley Cup in its maiden voyage, the adage of "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" will certainly apply to the Cup itself for a whole year.
Many will say it was the stellar goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury that beat the Kings. Stellar he was. Many will say it was poor shooting by Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, etc. Poor shooting it was. But game in and game out the bete noir of the Kings was abysmal stick-to-stick passing. Their inability to complete passes precluded their developing a transition game and stifled their offensive attack, making it easier for Fleury to position himself to make stops more easily.
Bruce N Miller
Playa del Rey
After the Kings got eliminated by Vegas after only four games we can start a new motto, "We are all Knights."
Drew Doughty gets suspended during the playoffs for a hockey hit yet Erik Haula gets nothing for intentionally hitting Anze Kopitar in the face with his stick. Is David Stern running the NHL?
The Ducks getting swept out of the playoffs should come as no surprise to those who follow this team closely. They are so slow they have to constantly trip, hold or interfere to keep up. They can't clear a puck out of their zone without turning it over, and their dump attacking strategy went out of favor a decade ago. This team needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom.
At a loss over Lakers
During the four previous seasons, the Lakers and 76ers both occupied the 14th and 15th places in their respective conferences. This season both teams talked about making the playoffs. Los Angeles fans know how that worked out. Philadelphia not only made the playoffs, it finished in third place, winning 16 games in a row to end the regular season. The Lakers missed the playoffs again, finishing 11th.
Management and the players are graded by how they perform. How did Lonzo Ball do? What grade should he receive? Lonzo was not even the best rookie on his team, even though his salary is 400% more than any other Laker rookie. If Lonzo was receiving a grade for his performance would it be much more than a C-minus? What grade would management receive? It's been five straight years without a winning record or playoff appearance for the Lakers. The former inept Philadelphia 76ers exceeded the Lakers after four seasons of finishing in 14-15th place. Should Laker fans expect an NBA All-Star to join the Lakers after an 11th-place finish this year?
Let's pray for a miracle.
Too much traveling
Has anyone else noticed that NBA referees in the past few years are not enforcing the rules on traveling with the ball? To wit, James Harden, Dwayne Wade, et al. are literally taking two steps back to get off their jump shots. If you watch their feet closely you will see them hop back — usually behind the three-point line — to create the space necessary for them to shoot. Harden does it at least 10 times a game! Am I imagining this?
Kelvin D. Filer
Last weekend I was proud to be a volunteer at the LA/SGV Special Olympics Regional Games, where over 470 athletes competed at Azusa Pacific.
At this event, working the basketball games, I was heartened to see the true positive nature of sport displayed. Absent was any trash talk, fighting, blatant fouls, swearing, complaining, name calling, arguing or negative attitudes. Present was a pure enjoyment of the sport, helpfulness, fun, respect, effort, and most of all, kindness. When a player goes down at one of these games, another player always helps him or her up, no matter what team they're on.
Today we live in a society inundated with derision, dishonesty, and being most concerned with our side winning at all costs. So, maybe it's time we take a lesson from the Special Olympic athletes. Let's help instead of hurt, respect instead of ridicule, praise instead of deride, and instead of merely winning, come together to do what's best for the greater good. Maybe if we all helped each other up, instead of putting each other down, we'd all be winners, just like in the Special Olympics.
Missing the playoffs
It looks like by fall there will have been zero total playoff games won during 2018 by the Rams, Chargers, UCLA football and basketball, USC football and basketball, Ducks, Kings, Lakers and Clippers.
It's been a tough year for this UCLA/Kings/SoCal sports fan...
PAC-12 bowl record: 1-8
PAC-12 tourney record: 0-3
SoCal hockey playoff record: 0-8
Rams postseason record: 0-1
At least I have that great World Series Game 7 to lean on!
Baseball, snow don't mix
It is amazing to see 21 games postponed due to inclement weather around the country, with more still to come. There must be enough West, southern and indoor stadiums to start the season under better conditions. I can't imagine trying to play in 40-degree temperatures, and snow must be a great deterrent to hitting a white baseball. This is as inane as playing World Series games in late-October Eastern or Midwest weather. Wake up, MLB, and smell the coffee.
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