FanPost

From my view at the Staples Center

A few thoughts, now that I'm back home.

1.) The Staples Center is a great facility for hockey. Granted, growing up in Wisconsin as a Rangers fan means my exposure to NHL hockey live has been extremely limited. While I have yet to experience a game at MSG, I have seen NHL hockey in venues that are deemed classics, having witnessed a Rangers/Blackhawks game in the third deck of the old Chicago Stadium and a Whalers/Bruins game in the old Boston Garden. So while my experience is limited, I can say that Kings' fans have a great venue to see their team play. The scoreboard is unique (again, in my limited experience), allowing fans too close to the ice (and players) the opportunity to look 'inside' the scoreboard from the bottom and see the action on smaller screens. The intermissions and in game stuff was a little schlocky (give aways, in stadium announcers) for my tastes, but it fits in la la land. Not a bad neighborhood, lots of parking around the stadium and decent traffic flow to get on the interstate after the game.

2.) The fans. For the most part, polite and well mannered. Was sitting in a group of Rangers fans (for the most part) behind Quick in the first, third and second overtime. Great view of the game. Sitting to the left was a father and son who flew out from NYC for the game. To my right was a Rangers fan who lived in LA. In front were a group of lawyers (yes, I know, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one of us) and their sons. The one directly in front of me was a transplant from Chicago, who still is a Hawks fan at heart, but roots for the Kings. Behind us, I couple in a mixed relationship (him a Rangers fan, her a Kings fan). Behind them a group of Rangers fans. We got a little loud, chanting on goals and it was disheartening that the Kings fans had the last cheer of the night. Lots of Rangers fans in the lower sections and middle sections all around the arena. In fact we must have been one of the louder groups because the Rangers fans below us were looking up at us and giving us the thumbs up after the goals. (The group behind us even did a Potvin sucks chant in the first period.)

3.) The game. Had a bird's eye view of the McD and Zucc goals and the third period knockdown of Hank behind the goal. From getting to see more than just the action brought to you by NBC, I thought the best players for the game were Nash and MSL (really active in both zones); Kreider showing lots of speed; Dorsett, flying around the rink staying out of the box. Hank didn't look himself and Richards seemed to do nothing but chase the puck and had some of the more glaring miscues. Sitting at the end of the ice really brought home the fact that the Rangers are stacking the blue line four across on the PK and not letting the Kings get much of a chance to carry the puck into the zone.

I think the Rangers showed more than they did in Game 1, although the lapse early in the third period killed them. I was hoping to see AV start short shifting with the lead, but it never got to that point. The Rangers can play with the Kings, they just need to avoid getting caught up in LA's playing the body and keep moving the puck like we know they can. My view of the Kings....they are like the cockroaches that you can't kill and can't get rid of unless you find the right poison. Hopefully that poison is back in NYC at MSG. Sorry I couldn't bring the team better luck, but at least they played a better game (at least IMO) in Game 2.

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