Shoutouts and sticktaps

TV Dude drinks Dos EquisIt's been a week since the Kings lost to the Canucks in Game 6 of their first-round matchup with the Vancouver Canucks. And while I was able to throw together the obligatory game recap and related items, it was with a heavy heart. And when I finished the final blog item, I simply shut my laptop.

I decided rather than pound out a caffeine-fueled rant on how the team needs to acquire Ilya Kovalchuk or rag on Terry Murray for playing Jonathan Quick too much, I stepped away from the blog. I spent some well-needed time with my family. My wife Brittany has been very understanding and supportive of my "creative" outlet.

So, I decided to give myself a five-game suspension from hockey. And I played Hot Wheels with my son, made a trip to the library for my daughter, and actually went to bed early. And I loved it.

Whatever your opinion is of blogging and bloggers, I can tell you I treat my blog with the same respect as a beat writer for a publication. I feel I have an obligation to you, the reader, to not only provide commentary of how the team played, but to do so responsibly. Having a journalism degree might not get you a cup of coffee in the real world, but I feel that it gives me a little respectability, and I try to uphold that standard as best as I can.

I decided at the beginning of this season to make an effort to watch every single Kings game. Every. Single. Game. And let me tell you, watching 82 versions of a game can be a little tedious. That's a lot of hockey, and a lot of space that was taken up on my DVR. I learned to look past the generalities of the game, and tried to offer my unique spin to each game. It wasn't easy, and Lord knows if anyone noticed or cared.

I tried several different features this season, to try and establish myself for the pack of excellent bloggers we are lucky to have in the Kingdom. First, I started to present Weekend Returns, my weekly Power Rankings for the Kings, based on the countless number of "experts" weekly tallies. I figured why not try to combine the experts' opinions and focus on the Kings.

Therein lay the problem: I was held hostage by the sporadic nature of these experts updating their rankings. Yahoo's Ross McKeon turned his rankings into a monthly affair, then dropped it altogether . This led Yahoo to link to CBC's Power Rankings by Hockey Night in Canada’s Scott Morrison, often withouot an actual link. ESPN's Power Rankings alternated between Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside, which made for a very scattered ranking. Other sites, such as CBS Sportsline and FoxSports , couldn't decide which day to post. Ultimately, I just didn't have time to sit there and wait on other writers' whims, so I scrapped it. For now.

Another idea I had was to start video blogging, using my limited video editing skills to produce Hockeywood Tonight. The issue here was time on my part: blogging about every game was a major undertaking by itself. Add to that the writing of a short script, filming it as my son took his nap, editing it as he ate lunch and uploading it at work... yeah, time was scarce. I still have plans for doing more video blogs, only not with so many bells and whistles. It's unfortunate my creative side often seizes control of my common sense.

Even though those ideas didn't quite pan out for me this season, the one thing that I think was successful was my continued support of fellow Kings bloggers. This season, there were a cavalcade of new writers who were anxious and excited about the team. And each one has their own spin and take that was unique and interesting in their own ways.

What I'm saying is... we're all snowflakes. I was able to finally reach out and establish friendships with fellow Kings bloggers, especially Chris Kontos from The Royal Half, Jeremy Smith from The Throne Room , Gann Matsuda from Frozen Royalty, Kat Kealy from PressBoxPerspective , Jon Moncrief from Examiner.com , John Hove from MayorsManor, and Matt Barry/Dancing Boy from LGK/HockeyBuzz . Thank you guys for all the effort you put in, I enjoyed reading and linking to your posts this season.

The Hockeywood Insider podcast is the single most popular thing on the blog, and that has a lot to do with my broadcasting partner Jesse Cohen. Jesse might have the online moniker of  "Dr. Naysay," but he truly loves hockey and especially the Kings. The amount of work Jesse put in for the podcast has always been tremendous, and I believe he deserves the bulk of the credit for his opinions and analysis. He often brought guests to the show, which added a new element to this season.

And speaking of guests on the podcast, I need to give a special shoutout to all out guests who joined us this season.
Heidi Androl was an absolute delight to take time out of her busy schedule to talk to us. In case you didn't know, she is really involved behind the scenes at KingsVision, and is not just a pretty face coming out of commercial. Plus, she's good people.

Rich Hammond was able to live every writer's dream, to follow a professional club on the road. He has always made himself available to us, and we really appreciate it. Kings' broadcaster Daryl Evans was gold every time he joined us, and bailed us out many times. He was gracious and professional and a huge get for us.

Helene Elliott, from the L.A. Times, was also a pleasant surprise. Her love of the game, coupled with her biting humor and spot-on commentary really elevated the podcast's respectability. Greg Wyshynski, the editor of the Puck Yaddy blog on Yahoo, provided some of the funniest hockey conversations I've been involved with. Plus, he thought Drew Doughty should have been the Calder winner last season, and linked to the blog often, which earns him a special sticktap.

Finally, my friend Anthony (A.J). Perez, who originally joined us as a correspondent from USA Today, then got laid off unceremoniously, then was able to find a new gig days later writing for AOL Fanhouse. As a former colleague, I'll always root for A.J., even though he roots for San Jose.

I'd like to recognize Bob Schmidt over at KLAC570 who recorded those awesome openers for the podcast, and was always willing to go the extra mile for us when we asked him. A special thanks also goes to Melody Huskey and Eddie Kotz from the L.A. Kings for their overwhelming support this season. And I'd also like to thank the Kings organization for letting me blog over at HockeywoodLA.com , allowing me to expand my reach further to Kings fans.

And speaking of Kings fans, a huge thank you to Mike Zampelli and all the diehards over at LetsGoKings.com, the site where fans rule, for allow me to drown the message boards with my incessant links to the blog and podcast. LGK has been and always will be the best place for Kings conversation, even if it gets a little schizo at times.

When I started this post, I wanted to say that I'll be providing a wrap-up of the season as soon as I can organize my thoughts, as well as Jesse and I will continue our weekly podcast through the Stanley Cup playoffs and beyond. I didn't intend on it being a ball-wash or name-dropping opportunity. But it apparently has veered that way.

And that's fine, because it's my blog and I can do what I damn well please. It truly took a Kingdom this season to provide fans with the coverage we all so desperately crave in this hockey-deprived market. And I felt I should take the time to say thank you.

So... thank you.
 

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Comments

  • May 3, 2010 8:07 AM ChrisKontos wrote:
    Thanks to you for another stellar year of Kings coverage. Your bandwagon ticket was a highlight for me. Here's hoping we all get to write about the playoffs again next season... maybe even the 2nd round.
    Reply to this
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