Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Interview w/ LA Kings' Bob Miller (part two)

Bob Miller is an institution here in Los Angeles.  He's been with the Kings far longer than most fans have been following the team, going all the way back to the early 70s.  He had already been calling Kings games for over 15 years when Wayne Gretzky came to town in the summer of '88.

In over 35 years with the team he's seen just about everything...well, everything except - you know.

Most recently he's had to bide his time for eight years to get back to where he'll be tonight...calling a playoff game for the Kings.

Prior to leaving for game one up in Vancouver Bob chatted with the Mayor about a variety of topics.  In part one of the interview yesterday he gave his predictions for round one of the playoffs.  Today he's back to talk about NHL players in the Olympics, the Canada-U.S. rivalry, Ziggy Palffy, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, the World Cup, the trade deadline, Kings prospects, other players around the league he likes to watch, when he'll retire and plenty more.

It's part two of our exclusive interview with Bob Miller.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Mayor's Playoff Preview with Bob Miller

Kings fans aren't the only ones that have waited eight long years for the team's return to the playoffs.  The man who has probably seen more Kings games live than any other human on the planet has had his patience tested too.

The voice of the Kings for over 35 years...the hall of fame broadcaster...heck, the man has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame...

Bob Miller stopped by MayorsManor for a playoff preview.

He gives his predictions on each series in this year's first round of the Western Conference he gives thoughts on who might be a playoff hero this year, as well as weighs in on the debate of the Forum or Staples Center, which arena is better.

It's another MayorsManor interview with Bob Miller.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This is LA - live at Staples Center

You know the song you always hear at Staples Center before the Kings games that you just can't get out of your head...THIS IS LA...

Well, as a special treat for Kings fans attending the upcoming home playoff games, the Briggs will be performing their song live inside the arena prior to next week's action vs Vancouver.  According to the band, the plan is for them to also perform the song after the game, provided the Kings win!

Taking a look at the video below it looks like they'll be setting up shop right outside of section 308 in the upper bowl.  The video also provides some behind-the-scenes type footage from a dress rehearsal the band did inside the arena last week.

The Briggs play LA Kings Playoff Home Games!
note - the dates are wrong in the video, as it was mixed prior to the playoff schedule being released

Kings vs. Vancouver - playoffs, round one.  Game three is at Staples Center next Monday.  You'll want to be there when the playoffs return to Los Angeles for the first time in eight years.

The Mayor

Monday, April 12, 2010

Interview with Kings Playoff Hero - Gary Shuchuk

Gary Shuchuk is one in a long line of unsuspecting NHL playoff heroes. Ironically, his brightest moment in a Kings uniform was against the Vancouver Canucks - the same team LA will begin battle with later this week.

An LA Times article recapping the May 11, 1993 game began with 'The hero of the Kings' double-overtime victory over the Canucks in Game 5 was a player who had not taken a single shift in the first four games of the Smythe Division final.'

It was the longest game in Kings history and the biggest goal in Shuchuk's NHL career.  The few years prior hadn't been that bad for him either, be won the NCAA hockey championship at Wisconsin in 1990 and the AHL Calder Cup in 1992.

Last week we sat down with Shuchuk to talk college hockey life in an interview published here.  This week, he's back to share memories of making to the NHL, Barry Melrose, the Kings, Wayne Gretzky, Dan Blysma, Warren Rychel and more.

Another Mayors Manor exclusive interview - welcome in Gary Shuchuk...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Mere 82 Games Ago

Throughout training camp in September the Kings players were sporting shirts reading The Only Reason We're Here. At first, some wondered what it meant. However, it quickly became apparent that the team was now on the same page as fans and management - a return to the playoffs was a must this season.

The majority of experts had the Kings finishing out of the playoffs yet again. The more optimistic ones had the Kings finishing 8th...maybe 7th.

Yet, let's take a look at what the Mayor said in his October 3, 2009 article just prior to Game One:

My fearless predictions for the upcoming season:

Western Conference
1. San Jose Sharks
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Calgary Flames
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Vancouver Canucks
6. Los Angeles Kings
7. St Louis Blues
8. Dallas Stars
I then went on to explain why I felt the Kings would not only make the playoffs, but actually finish HIGHER than 7th or 8th.

Overall, I would say things unfolded pretty much as expected.  Sure, Colorado made the playoffs.  Nobody saw that coming.  I challenge anybody to find a news source claiming the Avs would make the playoffs.  Calgary and Vancouver were seen as 'even' coming into the season.  You could have flip-flopped those two in the standings.  In the end, Calgary just didn't come together as quickly as the Canucks did.

In hindsight, the one team that should have been given more respect was the Phoenix Coyotes.  They were in the playoff race for the first 2/3 of last season.  Then the wheels fell off.  The coaching change was bound to do them some good - and it did.  Overlooking them was a mistake.

As for St Louis...well, as Andy Murray said in his interview with the Mayor - expectations were just too high for the Blues.  Unrealistic expectations.

Back to the Kings...all season long I've written about the importance of EVERY SINGLE POINT.  The Kings should have finished fifth in the West, perhaps even fourth if you really look at things.  They simply gave away too many points throughout the season. 

They can't continue to give games away if they expect to upset Vancouver in the first round.

In another article (posted here) where I made some predictions on player performance I had penciled Michal Handzus in for 25 goals and Ryan Smyth for 27.  Each fell just a few shy of those numbers.  Too bad they couldn't have chipped in just a couple more...if they had, the Kings probably would be playing Phoenix later this week instead of traveling to Canada.

That same article featured these words about Anze Kopitar - read carefully, THE KINGS NEED YOU, need you to play big every night, need you to become dominant.

It's probably even more true now than it was a mere 82 games ago.

The Mayor