March 1, 1995 |
It was ex-King night on Tuesday in California. Actually isn't it ex-King night almost everywhere these days? Instead of looking wistfully at the out-of-town summaries--scanning for the names of Luc Robitaille, Tomas Sandstrom, Shawn McEachern, Paul Coffey, et al--fans were able to watch scoring from a former King up close and in person.
March 13, 1994 |
The Kings, for once, weren't their own worst enemies on Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres. They put in a spirited effort after getting yelled at by owner Bruce McNall in the hallway between periods on Wednesday and by Coach Barry Melrose in a heated team meeting afterward. Several players heard McNall wondering loudly why they weren't hitting anyone and stating they were certainly getting paid enough money.
January 19, 1994 |
The width of the goal post to Andy Moog's right was all that kept the Kings from getting a point--or possibly two--out of a game in which they dozed for 20 minutes and then tried to substitute finesse for tenacity. Their 5-3 loss to the Dallas Stars Tuesday, before a sellout crowd of 16,914 at Reunion Arena, was a tale of missing effort in the first period and near-misses in the third.
January 1, 1994 |
His team had all but disappeared offensively after the first period, yielded a season-high 55 shots on goal and mustered only 18 shots, yet King Coach Barry Melrose racked his brain and found a positive statistic in the aftermath of a 4-4 tie here against Detroit. "I don't think we've lost a game when we've given up over 50 shots," he said. And he wasn't joking. Then again, Melrose does not play goal for the Kings.
June 10, 1993 |
Slide me out there on the ice so I can shake somebody's hand. Put me in line behind the Montreal Canadiens so that I may say to each Los Angeles King: "Good job." "Nice going." "Great series." So I can thank them for their entertainment and their effort. So I can whisper the magic words: "Next year." And so I can call out as they skate off into the sunset: "Come back, Wayne. Come back."
December 9, 1993 |
So much for the alleged forgiving part of the Kings' schedule, a favorable-looking home stand dotted with the NHL's newest teams. This innocent-appearing section of the season has reared up and slapped the Kings around and it has gone from disappointing to mediocre to downright embarrassing. It reached that new low Wednesday night as the expansion Florida Panthers scored three power-play goals to beat the Kings, 6-5. Six goals is a season-high for the Panthers.
October 5, 1993 |
A beaming Dave Taylor skated past the distraught Montreal Canadien goaltender, Patrick Roy, and handed off the Stanley Cup to a teary-eyed Wayne Gretzky, who glided across the Forum ice and gave a thumbs-up sign to owner Bruce McNall. Kelly Hrudey, giddy with exhaustion, wrapped a sweaty bearhug around Barry Melrose. Roy Mlakar patted Nick Beverley on the head. And they all lived happily ever after. . . . Yes, it could still happen.
October 25, 1993 |
Almost every little thing King Coach Barry Melrose did seemed to turn to magic last season. He had an uncanny way of making the right move at the right time. Well, the magic dust was missing Sunday during a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers.
May 27, 1993 |
Let's see if we've got this straight. You take a bunch of Canadian kids who grew up in small towns, dreaming of putting their names on the Stanley Cup. They hone their skills on ponds and in creaky, cold rinks, hoping for bigger days and bigger arenas. They get taller and faster and better and, one day, they find themselves in the NHL, at the entry level on the road to the hallowed Cup. Then this year, it all comes together for some of those kids.
May 14, 1993
It's a hockey town. After 26 years of more chills than thrills, after so many days and nights in the cold and dark shadow of the Forum's other tenant, after hundreds of players and dozens of coaches and more pucks than you could shake a stick at, there is finally life beyond Round 2 for the Kings, the ice guys who are tired of finishing last. "As they say, Rome wasn't built in a night," Wayne Gretzky said.