Life's a Drag for the Kings
The Southern California NHL season has come down to an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Both the Kings and Ducks have faltered during the season, and as the season winds down the chances to make the final eight get slimmer. With the ninth-place Kings and 12th-place Ducks showdown Saturday night, this was essentially the time for the teams to lip sync for their lives. “Good luck, and don’t fuck it up,” as RuPaul would say.
Both teams tried to prove they were the reigning bitch diva queen of the Southland. But as the final horn sounded at STAPLES Center, it was the Kings huffing and puffing away, wig in hand, sweat dripping down their mascara-riddled face, one stiletto broken in hand with the 4-2 win.
“Every game is so big now,” Dustin Brown said who scored the game’s first goal, a rare Kings’ power-play goal. This game was so big Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were on hand to take in the spectacle.
“It’s so tight, everyone is looking for points any which way they can get them,” Brown continued. And the Kings certainly got the two points they so needed though it wasn’t pretty. They were outshot by the Ducks 31-20, missed the net 20 times and turned the puck over 12 times. But like the drag queen who pulls out the Chinese acrobatics, the Kings got it done when it counted: namely the power-play.
It really was a simple recipe. Shoot the puck to the net and collapse to the crease. Brown’s goal and Jeff Carter’s first goal as a King came on rebounds during the power-play, Carter’s helping reestablish the lead early in the second period.
“Those things always help out in games like this,” Carter mused.
Carter finally showing up on the score sheet in his fourth game with the Kings was a big relief for everyone involved. “A little weight off the shoulders,” Carter said. “It’s always nice when that first one goes in, you feel a lot better about your game. Hopefully it’s the start of a nice little run here.”
For the Ducks after their lip sync for their lives, things got ugly. Head coach Bruce Boudreau went off on the officials after the game.
“If we are busting our ass all night long and playing our fifth game in seven nights, we needed better from them,” Boudreau said about the officials. “I don’t know what their schedule is, but if it’s four nights in a row or what have you we can’t have that. It’s just bad calls and I haven’t paid too much attention to whether [the Kings] deserved their calls, but I know the calls on Sbisa’s slash, Bonino’s interference, and Hagman’s trip were not penalties; not even close.”
Oooooh child. We won’t mention that both teams had four power-play chances in the game. The difference was the Kings converting twice while the Ducks were shut down. That will just be our little secret.
In the end it the Kings who were told “Shante, you stay” while the Ducks had to “Sashay away.” The Kings lived another day while the Ducks had to drag their haggard asses away in tears.
But remember. In reality shows eliminated contestants can come back to the competition, so the Ducks can still figure in to the playoff race. But with 16 games left for them time is ticking away.
For the Kings they still sit in ninth place. But they are only three points out of the Pacific Division lead (read: third seed). Anything is possible. In a sense, they better work it.
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