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The Anaheim Ducks’ Ryan Kesler (#17) trying to keep the puck away from the Los Angeles Kings’ Jordan Nolin during the Kings’ 3-2 win at Honda Center on January 17th. Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

By NICHOLE CHOICE

 

AS A PART OF OUR ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIONS, OUR HOCKEY LADY, NICHOLE CHOICE, IS BACK WITH HER MONTHLY TAKE ON OUR TWO NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE CLUBS, WITH THE SEASON HEATING UP AND BOTH TEAMS, L.A’S KINGS AND ANAHEIM’S DUCKS FROM THE O.C., HITTING THEIR STRIDE!

SO AS ALWAYS, READ ON AND ENJOY…

 

Here we are Hockey Family! It’s 2016, and we have a lot to catch up on, so let’s get to it!

Last night, our Anaheim Ducks were victorious over the Minnesota Wild in a gloriously sweeping display of even handedness on the scale of Cool Hand Luke. They were steady, they were focused, they were determined, and the results speak for themselves.

The matchup prior to last is the pinnacle of our season thus far: The infamous Freeway Face-Off between the Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings last weekend!

And what a matchup it was – breathtaking!

Let’s get it out-of-the-way…

Los Angeles Kings left wing Milan Lucic, right, centers the puck past Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler, left, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Los Angeles Kings left wing Milan Lucic, right, centers the puck past Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler, left, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo) Photo courtesy of news.yahoo.com

 

We all know the Kings were victorious during this first Freeway Face-Off of the season, and this likely came as no surprise to any of us.

What we did not know, however, was just how hungry the Ducks were for a feast!

The final score of that 1st Freeway Face-Off was 3-2 in favor of the Kings. Metaphorically speaking, this match was a traffic jam, because things were tight!

After all, the Ducks came in with an acquired appetite for success, coming off back-to-back wins against the Dallas Stars and Ottawa Senators respectively.

In fact, since New Year’s Eve, Anaheim has only endured four losses versus six wins. They will face the Washington Capitals on Friday night, who by the way are having a great season thanks to their addition of Mike Richards.

But back to last Sunday’s Battle of I-5…

 

Freeway Face-Off Highlights, Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks – January 17, 2016

 

It was intense! No one expected the Ducks to come out fighting like they did, and it was certainly a good fight as though they succumbed to the mighty Kings, it was close, the final score being 3-2 and L.A’s King Kopitar – Anze by name – leading the way.

The next time these 30-miles apart rivals meet, Part Two of this season’s Freeway Face-Off, is on February 4th, with the Kings hosting it at Staples Center.

Next up for the Ducks: The Detroit Red Wings tonight!

It’s 27 degrees in Detroit today, exactly 30 degrees colder than it is back in Anaheim. Sunny Southern California is wishing much confidence, good luck, skill, and SoCal swag in tonight’s encounter. The Red Wings are fresh off a victory over the Buffalo Sabres – denying them even one goal – and are having an overall decent season, go…

Go, Ducks, Go!

How about we talk a bit more about those Kings, shall we?

It’s a real discussion to be had, as those Kings have the brilliant Vincent Lecavalier on their team now!

ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 17:  Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks passes the puck against Anze Kopitar #11 and Alec Martinez #27 of the Los Angeles Kings on January 17, 2016 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CA – JANUARY 17: Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks passes the puck against Anze Kopitar #11 and Alec Martinez #27 of the Los Angeles Kings on January 17, 2016 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images) Photo courtesy of news.yahoo.com

 

This is his swan song, the crowning glory of a storied and successful career! Things could not be feeling more royal around here than if their very blood bled a distinct shade of royal purple.

Bye, Luke Schenn!

Vincent Lecavalier was traded to these Kings from the Philadelphia Flyers  at the start of this year and, amazingly, played the same day he arrived on our coast.

Since Lecavalier’s debut as a King, his play has steadily gained in momentum, and he’s been a welcome addition to the team.

He is a veteran of the NHL with a surplus of 1,000 games associated with his sticks, and is a 2007 recipient of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy as the league’s top goal scorer. Hurrah!

Lecavalier has one Stanley Cup under his belt, and Kopitar has been essential in our recent ultimate season victories. These Kings are looking good, cohesive, and focused, and the strategic acquisition of Lecavalier is a clear statement of the team’s intentions from a management perspective….

We want the Cup (again, for the 3rd time in five years)!

 

Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry (10) races to the puck against Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry (10) races to the puck against Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo) Photo courtesy of news.yahoo.com

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