Weekend Returns: Nothing Menacing about Kings’ offense


Hockeywood Weekend ReturnsThe top movie at the box office last weekend was the token romantic comedy for Valentine’s Day, The Vow, with $41.2 million.

more importantly, there was another movie that topped $453.6 million total. Yup, Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace, a flick that was originally released back in 1999, pulled in $22.5 million. In doing so, Episode I moved from seventh to fifth overall on the all-time chart. By next weekend (when I’ll go see it in 3D), it will have passed Star Wars: Ep. 4 for fourth overall. Only Avatar, Titanic and The Dark Knight will be out of reach.

For everyone’s complaining about Ep. 1, I just ask this: if it was soooo bad, why was it ranked so high? Even if you were to adjust for ticket price inflation, it’s still in the top 20.

Yes, Phantom Menace has some issues. But it won’t ruin my movie-going experience. Especially considering I’ll fork out the cash for 3D, even though I have the DVD and a 54-inch flat screen with surround sound. Why? Because I’m a fan.

Real fans don’t abandon what they love, and from the beginning, I’m a SW fan. Which means I may rail against some of the lamer elements of Ep. I (Jar Jar, the confusing explanation of midi-chlorians, blatant racial stereotypes and seeing an old Trac-Ball racquet in Anakin’s room), I’ll still accept it. Because without Ep. 1, the table wouldn’t have been set for Ep. III (which is the strongest of all the prequels.)

The same can be said about rooting for the Kings. We can rail against the lack of scoring, the over-paying of free agents to come here and the seemingly endless jersey incarnations since 2001. (Eight different jerseys, by my count.) I’ll still root for the Kings. Why? Because I’m a fan.

Speaking of the Kings, they continue to underwhelm much like The Phantom Menace does for the hard-core Lucas haters. While expectations are high, it seems they are content to just make the playoffs again, and are heading to a first-round exit again.

Let’s take a look at the media’s ranking of this franchise this past week:

• Sports Illustrated’s Adrian Dater’s Week 19 rating: 12. Last week: 13.

What could have been a truly miserable six-game road trip was salvaged
with a nice win at Dallas on Sunday. Offensive woes remain (of the top
16 teams in the NHL points-wise, L.A. ranks last with 124 goals), and
there is a good deal of speculation that Kings GM Dean Lombardi will
deal for a forward by the 27th.

• CBSSportsline’s Adam Gretz’s Week 19 rating: 13. Last week: 15.

Usually, just about every team in the NHL posts a shooting percentage somewhere between eight and 10 percent, and so far this season that’s what we’re seeing across the league, with one exception: the Los Angeles Kings, entering the week with a team shooting percentage of only 6.8 percent, which is pretty unheard of.

• The Hockey News’ Adam Proteau’s Week 19 rating: 13. Last week: 15.

In their past seven losses, Kings have allowed just 14 regulation or overtime goals, but have scored only six goals in that span.

• Fox Sports’ Jim Rosen’s Week 19 rating: 13. Last week: 13.

Former Islanders and Sabres coach Ted Nolan’s son Jordan scored his first career goal in just his second game in Los Angeles’ 4-2 victory at Dallas on Sunday. Dustin Penner has been a healthy scratch in two straight for a Kings team that returned home from a 2-3-1 road trip.

• ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside’s Week 19 rating: 14. Last week: 17.

The Kings picked up three points in two weekend games and are putting the heat on San Jose in the Pacific.

• TSN’s Scott Cullen’s Week 19 rating: 15. Last week: 15.

Injuries have taken Simon Gagne and Jarret Stoll from the lineup, so who does that leave to play the wing with Mike Richards? Well, once you factor in Dustin Penner as a healthy scratch, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan took those spots Sunday and both scored their first career NHL goals.

• Sportsnet’s Luke Fox’s Week 19 rating: 19. Last week: 19.

Defeating the Stars in Dallas on Sunday allowed the Kings to salvage two wins from their six-game road swing. The Kings’ 4-2 doubling of the Stars marked the first time they scored four goals in a game all month.

Take the average and you get the Kings’ Hockeywood Power Ranking of…


(+0.2 from last week) 

Speaking of prequels, here’s a new idea: check out this trailer for the upcoming Bourne “side-quel” called The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) and Ed Norton (Fight Club).

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