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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
We’re playing for the love of the game, but put your money on the Purple Team.

The fourth session of the Kings Beginners Workshop began with some familiar skating drills. We skated in seven groups as Coach Evans (Kings Legend Daryl Evans) emphasized the need to be comfortable on our edges. This time he took the drills to another level by adding little twists and turns, making them more difficult. I thought the hardest was skating forward to the blue line, than quickly changing to skating backwards without losing speed, and your balance.

Whoever decided to put face cages on the helmets is a genius. My face would have hit the ice so hard the Tooth Fairy would have gone bankrupt. The drills concluded with the always popular three on two drills. Our chance to get some true Hockey action always gets everyone pumped up. It really is an amazing feeling when you receive a sailing puck while you’re racing down the ice. It’s like hitting a baseball on the sweet spot of the bat, or catching a twenty yard pass in full stride. Whether I decided to take the shot or pass it to my teammates, it just felt awesome to be playing Hockey, or something like it.

I can see it now, 20,000 fans on their feet, dressed in purple and black. I take Lord Stanley’s Cup from Jack Johnson and begin a victory lap as the fans start chanting my name One day it could be me… if only I could skate backwards.

I finally put my elbow pads on correctly and let me tell you, it makes a huge difference. Who would of thought they were made to specifically go on the right or left arm?

All of a sudden the assistant coaches starting passing out different color jerseys. You know, those old elastic mesh jerseys they used in every High School Gym class. We all wondered why they would be doing this if we already were divided into Purple and Gold teams. They then told us to go to the benches and that we were going to play six on six (no Goalies). Needless to say, everyone was thrilled.

The Gym Class Jerseys were used to give both the Purple, and Gold teams, three different “lines”. They dropped the puck and before you knew it, we were playing. Rotating shifts, playing full ice, this was amazing. Quickly I realized all those drills we had done really come in handy. I felt like the Karate Kid when he finally realized that Mr. Miyagi was teaching him Karate moves all along.

You DO need to crossover your skates. You DO need to get up quickly. You DO need to keep your head up. You DO need to skate backwards. Wax on, Wax off.

One of the coolest things about hockey is you can list your height with your skates on. That makes me a mean 5’9” which should instill fear in the hearts of the Gold Team. I’m going to model my game after my favorite Kings player Raitis Ivanans. I will play with no fear and have always been a believer in the old saying “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” If you don’t believe that, see Andy Liu.

While I was skating my shift, I noticed #10 on the Gold Team was roughing it up with one of my teammates. Being the self appointed Purple Team Enforcer I knew I had to get involved. I quickly headed in that direction, but my skates seemed to have a different plan. I fell (Aaron Fell, ha ha) flat on my back and slid into the boards. There was enough ice scraped into the back of my jersey to make Snow Cones for the entire Brady Bunch. I wanted to get up and at least talk some trash, but I couldn’t stop laughing.

The time flew by and Coach Evans finally called us all to center ice. He started telling us about our game on Thursday. I listened as my eyes wondered to the Kings retired numbers hanging gloriously above the rink. One day it will be me… now if only I could skate backwards.

As for #10 on the Gold Team, I’ll have to pay her a visit during the game on Thursday night.

This will not be a contest about winning or losing, but truly a triumphant victory for all the participants, for simply just playing the game, but put your money on the Purple Team. Fell #7

Purple Team

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