There are certain players who are guaranteed to score when playing the Los Angeles Kings. I affectionately call these "Kings Killers." Since these players were chosen for the visceral reaction they create from my inner being, I have to rule out the entire Eastern Conference due to the lack of constant exposure. Also, there are some teams that don't have any standouts at all, so I've just pushed those to the side as well. After sifting through the mess of names left, I've come up with my list of the Top 5 Kings Killers. These are somewhat based on stats stored in my head and 100% completely based on my immediate reaction when I see them on the ice.
Kings Killer #1: Mike Ribeiro (Dallas Stars). This guy is one of the most frustrating players to watch because he'll find a way to get the puck past the Kings goalie every time these two teams play. I'm always sitting on the edge of my seat when he's on the ice wondering if he's going to do it again. The worst display of Ribeiro-ism was when he hushed the crowd at Staples Center after he scored in the shootout. I don't have enough words to spew out in order to fully illustrate my hatred for this guy. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate all Kings Killers. Dallas' Killer used to be Niklas Hagman, but I was more than willing to have Hagman join the Kings roster.
Kings Killer #2: Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes). The funny thing is, I never see Doan as a threat until he scores his first goal against the Kings. When this happens I immediately think, "Oh... yeah... forgot about that guy." The Coyotes haven't been an exciting team to play against until this year, but both teams have been equally horrible. I won't discount the fact that their suckage has paralleled each other, but now they're both exciting teams to watch! The Kings continue their development and the Coyotes finally have someone behind the bench with real coaching experience.
Kings Killer #3: Patrick Sharp (Chicago Blackhawks). Since the Blackhawks have come to the fore, their style has evolved into an exciting brand of hockey. This also allows for players to feed off of weaker teams, i.e. the Kings of seasons past. Even though the Kings are stronger this season, Sharp can always find the loophole. While everyone looks to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, I keep my eye on Sharp. He could do the Kings in on his own. Gulp.
Kings Killer #4: This one was a little difficult to pin down since there were two clear choices from the Anaheim Ducks. My first instinct is to say Corey Perry, but there's always Ryan Getzlaf. It might be my pure hatred for Perry to cause me to automatically name him, but Getzlaf is the better overall player and, thus, a pick that makes a bit more sense. Since I hesitated for a second on this choice, I decided to see what the consensus was, but after the question was posed to fellow Kings bloggers and one Duck faithful, I decided to go with my original instinct:
Earl Sleek (Battle of California): The answer to all your questions these days is named "Lubomir."
RudyKelly (Battle of California): Lubo. Guaranteed.
Marie (Purple Crushed Velvet): Getzlaf (expletive)
Matt Reitz (View From My Seats): Getzlaf, scares the (bleep) out of me
Corey Perry it is. Also, I don't accept Lubo as an option.
Kings Killer #5: One half of the Sedin Twins (Vancouver Canucks). This is a scary match up in the first place against this team. Their identity is in net with everyone else trending towards being mediocre. I say this at puck drop, but then one of the creepy-looking Swedes gets the puck and zaps it into the Kings net. Fail. I never actually know who is doing the scoring because, to be honest, I don't care. A Sedin scored and that's all I need to know.