Offside Thursday/New year – same team, plus NFL picks

Well hockey fans, New Year same team.

The Kings were 2-2-0 last week.

Last Wednesday, a 7-5 loss at Fort Wayne. A win on Thursday December 29th, a 4-1 victory over Evansville.
Then we were spanked by the Bugs once again on New Years Day. Not the way you want to ring in the New Year. The final 8-2. (ouch,ouch,ouch) It didn’t look good from the drop of the puck. The Bossier-Shreveport Mud Bugs scored five first period goals.

The Kings did respond on Sunday after the thumping on Saturday. They actually played a much much better game. It went to a shoot-out and the Kings prevailed in the fourth round on a goal by Ihnacak. Yes we beat the Bugs 3-2. Did you read that right? Yes you did. no typo error.

The Kings are now 15- 16- 1 good for 31 points in the Berry Conference. Sixth place.The same old story. Win two games, lose two, two bad efforts. Yes, your beloved Kings, who looked like they might be turning a corner, are back below.500.

Joe Sports thoughts…

The Kings look like a team who are playing an outdated system and don’t have the horses to get it done.
As such, they will likely continue to battle for the sixth, seventh or eighth spot up until the last few games of the season because they are not good enough to do much more.

So that begs the question of why and what is wrong with this team? From watching the first 32 games or so, a few things have become apparent.

We are slow compared to other teams. Half the team has no desire, those players are just collecting paycheques.
When the opposition dumps the puck into our zone, they usually have an attacker who goes in after it. The Kings do not do that, they just dump it in.

Now, when the puck is in the Kings zone, and the opposition is on offense, the Kings struggle to out-muscle the opposition and win back possession. These lost battles lead to defensive zone break downs, shots on nets, scoring chances against. As a result, the Kings are usually outshot by the opposition.

Since the Kings do have some skill and speed on their team, they can sometimes prevail, get to the pucks first, go on the quick counterattack, score goals, and win games.

That, plus the often spectacular play of their goaltenders, is the only way this edition of the Kings wins any games. It is as simple as that.

The Kings can’t get the puck out of their zone and can’t grind it out in the corners, so the opposition gets too many shots,a lot from the outside. the Kings goaltenders are forced to make too many saves and the special teams must be successful, or the Kings will lose the game.

That has become their formula for winning. Great goaltending and special teams makes for low scoring wins. The Kings simply do not score much five-on-five and the powerplay sucks, and this is why they are a .500 hockey team. If the goaltending is not perfect, and if the special teams are not clicking, the Kings lose games.

On the bright side of things, the Kings actually have a lot of skill and some speed in their lineup. If they focused more on attacking rather than sitting back, they might have more wins to show for it. Perhaps not enough to be an elite team in the league, but they would likely be higher in the standings than they are now.

The Kings desperately need points to climb higher in the standings. In the games we lost last week, we did not come out strong and actually fell apart/asleep in the game.

In most games, the Kings are simply ground down by the opposition and look slow and tired.

As I wrote in My December 23rd article.

They can’t score, can’t keep up with quicker teams and can’t find ways to win close games. Even when they play pretty decent games, they’re falling to teams that aren’t as good on paper.

History has shown that anything is possible, but for this edition of the Kings, I DON’T THINK SO. They are missing leaders.

And while players and (new) coach can’t possibly call it quits in spite of the next-to-impossible odds they face, management and ownership need to focus on at least doing something this season.

Before this team inevitably checks out mentally for the year, it’s time to assess the assets and think about getting value before they depreciate. Make some big trades and get rid of some big salaries and try to at least salvage this season.

It is very frustrating seeing a veteran-filled club struggle nightly. Our vets are sitting in park.

Sadly, there is nothing to indicate that anything will change, which means that the Kings will likely continue to win one, lose one for the rest of the season.

That’s the way I see it and I’m Joe Sports.

On the road again…

First up,the Kings travel to Laredo for a battle with the Bucks at the Laredo Energy Arena on Friday and Saturday night. No easy task. This is part of another five-game road trip.

Laredo January 7th and 8th
Missouri January 14th
Evansville January 15th
Fort Wayne January 16th.


The Kings are 5-10-1 on the road.


The RiverKings have announced they have traded forward Matt Miller to the Dayton Gems for future considerations. I don’t understand why they would get rid of Miller.

Kubaliak, Martin (D) recalled by Mississippi (CHL)- Don’t get this one at all.

Welcome to Offside Thursday

Are you ready for some Football !!

Got what it takes to beat Joe Sports PICKS.

The New Orleans Saints (11-5) head to Qwest Field to battle the de facto NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks (7-9) at 4:30 PM Saturday, January 08, 2011.The Saints will win, but the Seahawks will cover.

The New York Jets (11-5) kick off the AFC divisional round of the playoffs when they face the Indianapolis Colts (10-6) on Saturday January 8th at 8:00PM. I think the Jets are a better team but the Colts have the better quarterback, and lucky for them he handles the ball more than any other player. Colts will win.

The Kansas City Chiefs (10-6) are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and will try to snap a six-game losing streak in the postseason when they host the Baltimore Ravens (12-4) on Saturday.In the end I have to go with the battle tested Ravens, been there done that. 1:00 PM Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Packers head to Lincoln Financial Field this weekend to take on Philadelphia in a Wild Card Playoff game. Logic says the Eagles should be able to put together a good balanced game plan and win this game easily.Philly is young, Green Bay is more experienced. Take the Packers. 4:30 PM Sunday, January 09, 2011.

Make your comments below or e-mail me at:

Jet’s guard Brandon Moore says stories about coach Rex Ryan’s alleged foot fetish aren’t a distraction, their focus this week is on the Colts. I guess Rex is just looking forward to going toe-to-toe with an arch rival.

A Finnish scientist claims reindeer deliberately eat magic mushrooms to escape the monotony of dreary long winters. In a related story, magic mushroom consumption is up among Oilers, Flames and Leafs fans.

L.A. Dodger Matt Kemp and Singer Rihanna have reportedly split amid allegations of infidelity. It appears the 2009 Golden Glover is out after too many fielder’s choices.

A recent study says people in Toronto are the least happy Canadians. They are the most happy if you exclude a) housing costs, and b) Maple Leafs fans.

A new report on psychology says because babies around eight months old have massive foreheads and small chins, that’s why women find them so attractive. Who knew TSN’s Pierre McGuire was a chick magnet? Hockey fans deserve better than Pierre McGuire.

Aussie actor Hugh Jackman needed a time out after getting hit in the groin by a pitch during an Australian cricket match. That’s the news from Down Under.

Two 84-year-olds made headlines to end 2010. Joe Paterno says he plans to coach the Nittany Lions again next season and Hugh Hefner got engaged to 24-year-old Crystal Harris, December 2009’s Playmate. It’s a wonder how they both keep it up.

The NFL claims they had no proof Brett Favre sent Jenn Sterger lurid photos of himself, but her lawyer claims their evidence shows “a pattern of lewd and offensive behavior.” In football terms, that would be a fly pattern.

There are unconfirmed reports that St. Nick met with Don Cherry just before Christmas Eve. After seeing Don’s neck, Santa asked him to guide his sleigh.

NHL president Gary Bettman reportedly has no problem with Bruce Boudreau’s profanity-laced rant on HBO’s 24/7. No surprise really; Bettman’s probably used to hearing obscenities.

Comedy writer Jerry Perisho, on Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s engagement to a former Miss Missouri: “Missouri is the ‘Show Me State.’ It seems like a more appropriate fiancé for her would be Brett Favre.”

Giants coach Tom Coughlin, to reporters, bemoaning his fate a day after his team blew a 21-point lead in the final eight minutes to lose to the Eagles: “My wife ignores me, and I don’t have a dog.” Maybe he should call Vick.

Barely a week after getting remarried, Hulk Hogan had to undergo 10 hours of back surgery, E! reported.

Doctors immediately advised the 57-year-old Hulkster to give up honeymooning and stick to something a little less hazardous — like, say, pro rasslin’.

Ex-quarterback Ryan Leaf announced he’s writing three books — one on his days at Washington State, another on his NFL career and the third on being addicted to prescription painkillers.

“Actually,” noted Steve Watts of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “expect the second book to be more like a pamphlet.”

U.S. soccer star Landon Donovan not only filed for divorce from actress wife Bianca Kajlich, TMZ reported, he wants her to pay spousal support and his attorney’s fees.

In other words, his financial goals aren’t unassisted, either.

Among the top 10 surprises in the 2010 census, from CBS’s David Letterman:

• “Population has grown by 9.7 percent; population’s waist size has grown by 42 percent.

• “Eighty-seven percent of professional athletes have dated Kim Kardashian.

• “Wealthiest neighborhood is wherever Tiger Woods’ ex-wife is staying that day.”

Larry Brown resigns as head coach / This is not a repeat from 1979, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2003, 2005 & 2006.

Suspects Report Fake Carjacking To Divert Cops

Orange County investigators said a pair of thieves reported a fake carjacking Wednesday night to try to get away with robbery. As of 11:00pm Wednesday, the suspects’ names had not been released.

Investigators said the two suspects called 911 claiming a couple had been carjacked at the Publix supermarket on South John Young Parkway. Police said the suspects were trying to divert attention away from them, but strangely gave the description of their own car. Who-ever said criminals are smart.

Taiwan tax evaders barred from taking taxi-cabs

TAIPEI — Taiwan has banned repeat tax evaders from engaging in activities considered wasteful, including taking taxis, an official said Thursday.

The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming!

Canadians are devestated and so they should be. In Canada they eat drink and play hockey. For the second year in a row, Canada suffered a crushing defeat in the gold-medal match of the world junior hockey championship, this time in unbelievable fashion. Russia’s five-goal third period left Canada and its fans in disbelief. Where did it go wrong?

The Game

Canada takes a commanding 3-0 lead at the 6:27 mark of the second period.

The Russians change goalies.

2nd period ends: Canada 3 – Russia 0

Canada starts the period short-handed and kills off the penalty, but is being outhustled. Moments later, at 2:33 of the third, Artemi Panarin of Russia scores.

3rd period:

Right after the faceoff, the Russians take the puck into the Canadian zone. There’s a scramble in front of the net and the puck dribbles through the legs of Canadian goalie Mark Visentin. The goal scored by Maxim Kitsyn totally changed the game.

At 7:29, Russia’s Vladimir Tarasenko scores to tie the game 3-3.

Then at 15:22, Russia’s Artemi Panarin scores the go-ahead goal. The air is sucked out of the HSBC Centre in Buffalo.

At 18:44, Russian Nikita Dvurechensky beats netminder Mark Visentin for the last goal of the game.

Final score: Russia 5 – Canada 3
Wow what a total collapse.
I’LL BLAME IT ON THE COACH,WHY NOT. They were not focused in the third period. They thought they had the Gold.
The players and the coaches.

Maybe they should have had pedal to the medal “Bill” Belichick coaching.

Remember this?

The Patriots didn’t give the Bears much time to get going. With a half time score of 33-0 the game was essentially over. In the first half the Pats scored four touchdowns and two field goals. Unfortunately, the Bears would end up scoring only 7 points all day.

Your up 26-zip and Bill says to his team I want more. On the final play of the first half, Brady completed a 59-yard touchdown pass to Branch. That’s what Canada’s coaching staff should have done. We’re up by three but we want more.

A lot of people dislike Bill, because he coaches that way, so be it, that is why he’s one of the best coaches of all time.

I’m Joe Sports, have a great day and week. Enjoy the football games and the Kings games.

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