April 12 2012 01:18AM
Following the team's victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the first game of the Western Conference Quarterfinal on Wednesday night, the Kings official Twitter account (@LAKings) tweeted an amusing, trolly joke. The joke - seen above in a screen shot - comically referenced the well worn "the Canucks aren't Canada's team" narrative, and did so in a way that wasn't offensive, classless, cheap or inappropriate.
This wasn't a comment about Kesler's diving, it wasn't a tweet editorializing about Bitz's injurious hit on Kyle Clifford, and it wasn't a comment about what happened in last years Stanley Cup Finals. This was a harmless joke about the - frankly indisputable - fact that the LA Kings have picked up some news fans this week who will root for the team at least through this series.
Of course Canucks fans, fresh off of watching their team lose a postseason game and feeling particularly sensitive, promptly reacted to the tweet as if it was something offensive and juvenile. It's playoff time, baby!
Read past the jump!
April 11 2012 04:31PM
(Photo from redditer lebutdelavie)
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April 11 2012 04:09PM
The first round of the playoffs starts tonight, and once again the writers of the Nation Network are getting together to predict who they feel will win each series in the first round.
April 11 2012 01:59PM
We've still only seen 56 games out of David Booth, so we don't really know what to expect in the NHL playoffs from him. Similar to Booth (by his performance on an advanced boxscore, not necessarily by his playing style) is Christopher Higgins, and while he's only played 110 games in a Canucks uniform - we're damn sure he's an impact player.
The weird thing is that Higgins and Booth have morphed into threats at both ends of the ice, each having replaced Ryan Kesler to some degree in the role of the "American two-way forward" on the team. That's not, well, exactly true, but by analyzing scoring chance data we find some really similar things about the two players.
April 11 2012 12:50PM
Thanks to Matt Henderson of theyslayedthedragon for mocking up the above postseason game preview banner!
The time has come.
Today is the day you woke up glazed in the icky type of stress sweat unique to oft-tortured fans who root for perpetually cursed franchises, with the words "this year," on your lips. It's the day you shave - for what you hope is the final time in several months. It's the day you rush to the BCL to pick up a twenty-four pack, just to get you through the first period. From here on in, the hockey doesn't just matter - it seems like it's life or death. The hits are bigger, the goal celebrations become desperate, and the intensity turns up so many notches it embarrasses Subway Jared's belt.
Yes, today marks the return of playoff hockey.
On Wednesday, April 11th 2012 at 7:30 the puck will drop and the Canucks will host the Los Angeles Kings in the first game of what should be a tightly contested first round series. The Canucks will almost certainly be without their leading scorer, a huge blow, though they've proven they can win without him. For the Canucks it marks the first big-step towards ultimate redemption and immortality. Can the team win one more game than they won last season, or will Canucks fans wake up a year from now, yet again dripping wet and mumbling hopeful, incoherent nonsense: "this is it, this is finally the year"? We'll find out over the next few months...
Click past the jump for the underlying numbers, key performers and more detailed game information.