Earlier this week, there was a news station which had the wrong names under the wrong players in addition to a Chicago newspaper advertising this weekend’s Blackhawks matchup with the Kings using the logo of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings instead of the correct one and now, of 35 players, only two Kings were selected in last night’s TSN Fantasy Draft.
Okay, to be fair, the latter is small potatoes. After all, since there were only 35 spots, many of the game’s stars were also passed over including Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier and Taylor Hall. The two Kings who were chosen were defenseman Drew Doughty and goaltender Jonathan Quick who was one of only three netminders picked with the other two being Boston’s Tuukka Rask and reigning Vezina winner Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.
But overall, the three examples simply underline the lack of respect the Los Angeles Kings are receiving heading into the regular season. While I understand that teams like the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins are favourites to win it all this year, that shouldn’t take anything away from the Kings. Forget the west coast bias – fans, experts and casual observers had to have been living under a rock not to notice Los Angeles’ spectacular playoff run this past spring, a complete turnaround from their futility during the regular season. Nonetheless, the Kings aren’t quite getting the recognition they deserve, although it is slightly better as they are (TSN Insider) Aaron Ward’s pick to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. Perhaps coming from someone who won hockey’s Holy Grail twice as a player means something special but there’s no sense getting into that.
TSN’s attitude towards the Kings hasn’t been disrespectful by any means. No one has scoffed at them or dismissed them much like they did when the playoffs began back in April. But there’s still that sense of being slighted and it’s unfathomable considering the dept the Kings have throughout their entire roster. The only question mark heading into the season is the health of Jonathan Quick who, despite being ready to go, did have off-season back surgery, a procedure not to be taken lightly especially for a goaltender.
If the Los Angeles Kings are to enter the season with that “us against the world” mentality, it won’t be done so with hostility. After all, the Kings have been here before and as we saw from this past spring, it is a position they thrive on. However, with the gaffes made by the Chicago newspaper and even the news station, it’s simply a case of laziness and as far as I’m concerned, that’s tantamount to a slap in the face. Okay, getting the wrong names under the wrong players happens but like the newspaper’s use of the wrong logo makes you wonder how ignored the reigning Stanley Cup Champions really are outside of Los Angeles. I’m not saying it’s like that everywhere outside of the City of Angels obviously but in many cases, it’s just downright laughable how any sort of publication can make such mistakes.
King fans have expressed their displeasure in the wrong logo incident but there’s nothing more that needs to be said. Frankly, come Saturday, the best revenge the Kings can give the Blackhawks is to show them (as well as everyone else in attendance) why they are the Stanley Cup Champions – assuming the pre-game banner-raising ceremony doesn’t leave a lasting impact.
No respect? No problem. This is a situation the Los Angeles Kings thrive on and I’m very eager to see how they kick off the season knowing that, despite what a great team they are, they still don’t get the credit they deserve.
Photo: Courtesy of Danny Moloshok/Reuters