New to LAKings.com is a “View from the Press Box” and in this first installment we interview Kings Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller. Miller is in his 39th season as the television “Voice of the Kings” -- the first 17 years simulcast on TV and radio and the last 21 years as the exclusive television voice of the team -- and is again joined for the 22nd season by former Kings right winger Jim Fox for all Kings games on FS West and Prime Ticket. He has been named the top television play-by-play announcer in Southern California seven times (including 2010) and last year he celebrated his 50th year in broadcasting.
Miller recently answered the following questions in this installment of View from the Press Box:
We recently witnessed a record-setting shutout streak for Jonathan Quick. You’ve seen a lot of streaks and a lot of goaltenders during your time with the Kings. Can you put Jonathan’s recent hot streak into perspective?
A: Well you’re right, I saw Rogie Vachon play well in goal for so many years. Yet, what Jonathan Quick
did, I’ve never seen before in 39 years with the Kings. It was amazing that he made so many saves and also that the team played so well around him. They played so well around Jonathan Quick
, that he said ‘a lot of those saves were not spectacular saves.’ He didn’t have to make acrobatic saves and stops because the Kings defense seemed to be so poised and calm around the net and they cleared pucks away. Yet, it was still amazing going into what would have been his fourth straight shutout to see if he would be able to do this. To look back and see that Brian Boucher had five straight shutouts (he set the NHL record while with Phoenix in the 2003-04 season) kind of puts that in perspective about how hard it is to do that. I think it was amazing and I know the fans in that shutout at home were just going crazy when it came down to the last few seconds, and they were all on their feet knowing they were going to see a little bit of history and that long streak of three consecutive shutouts. Just the other day Matt Greene took a puck to the forehead. Fortunately, he’s okay. He took some stitches but came back and played that same game. Does an incident like that open up a discussion of whether visors should be mandatory in the NHL?
A: I don’t know whether they should be mandatory. I’m amazed myself that more players don’t wear them simply because of what happened with Chris Pronger in Philadelphia with a stick right near the eye and what happened with Matt Greene
. He was cut pretty good on the forehead. Those are not intentional plays but those things happen. A lot of those injuries around the head are accidental, but pucks deflect and sticks get picked up by mistake and flip up in the air and hit somebody in the eye. I think if I were playing, I would definitely wear one and I think Jarret Stoll
has had enough close calls with those kinds of chances near his eye that he’s decided to put one on. I know the comfort factor is what deters a lot of players from using it. They either can’t see real well down near their skates or it fogs up. Though I think they’ve improved on that issue. I think from a safety standpoint that most players would be wise to say ‘I’m thinking about wearing one from now on.’What’s your level of excitement for this season after watching the Kings go through this whole growing and developing process the last couple of years?
A: I think it’s higher than it’s been in a long time, probably since the Wayne Gretzky years. Because of the moves that were made in the offseason, because of the veterans they’ve got in the line-up, and because of some of the youngsters coming in this season, and we know that the goaltending is solid. There were so many years for the Kings where the goaltending was a question mark and quite frankly, for many years, when we started seasons knowing that we were a long shot to make the playoffs because of that. You’re always hoping that things are going to change and you’re going to get surprised by the team, but this year, right from the start in training camp, we could feel something different. And we felt the excitement not just in Los Angeles but we heard it all around the United States and Canada that this Kings team is finally in position to make a run, not only in the playoffs but make a run to the Stanley Cup Finals. That lends to the excitement of ‘let’s see if that’s true, lets see if that can happen’ and yet we all know it’s a long season and a lot of things can happen. But I think there is more excitement by everyone in the organization going into this season than there has been in a long time.