Sunday, January 4, 2009
Kings Edge Flyers
Have not had a lot of time to do any game recaps lately so I apologize for that but can do one for last night so lets get right to it shall we?
First and Foremost-I wasnt at the game to experience any Flyer fan aholery but one has to admit they are a damn good team. Barring any injury to one of their key players there is no reason they shouldn't be in the Eastern Finals. Well coached, fast, gritty, leadership-they've got a really well balanced team that should translate well into post season play. Richards is a bonafide leader and Carter make you think he was going to score every time the puck was on his stick. Should I call a Wing-Flyer finals right now? Nah...Ill wait another month to hedge my bet.
As for the Kings they played a very solid team game for the most part and never strayed from the game plan. All in all for the fans this was a very entertaining game and apart from any fighting majors had it all and was well worth the price of admission. From that Angle it was almost the polar opposite of the Columbus Game(Who blanked the Ducks after the blanked us; then again who gives a blank about the Ducks). I will say though that if this was the Flyers after playing a hard fought battle the previous night one really has to thank the NHL schedule makers for giving the Kings that added edge in the game. Kings did get a bit lucky with some posts and at times looked a bit sloppy with their passes but a W is a W.
Some other player and game thoughts....
Quick- Isn't it a weird feeling knowing that the Kings have a goalie who can stop a penalty shot and had the potential to win a Shoot Out? Crazy stats for this kid and between him and Ersberg the Kings finally have two above average NHL goalies. Quick's glove save in the Shootout was a thing of beauty. Truth be told-I'm ecstatic about these two and Bernier. Another one of those happy but sad moments in that as I write this the 4th day of January 2009 that right now the Kings have the best goalies on the roster they have ever had quality and depth wise. When Jack Johnson gets back you will be able to say the same about the D Corp as well.
Simmonds-A great young player who will be a fantastic 3rd liner with leadership skills and grit. I still stand by my comments that he may have been better served getting boat loads of ice time in Manchester buts thats all conjecture at this point. Love his attitude and his grit and not knocking this kid at all; just not sure he has the top end skills to be a top 6'er. That said-there is always a place in the NHL for players like him and if he can be a guy who pots 15-20 goals a season and can fill occasionally on the 2nd line makes him an asset. Simmonds best season goalwise in the OHL he scored 33 goals. To compare-Laperriere had a couple of 40 goals seasons in the juniors and topped out at 24 goals for a career best.
And once again to clarify-I like Simmonds and he will be a good player for us for a long time but what separates good teams from mediocre teams is that on good NHL teams the roster spots of Simmonds, Calder, Zeiler, and Boyle would be filled by actually high caliber tried and true bonafide NHL'ers.
Boyle-He was throwing the body which is great but needs to stop with the lazy hooking penalties. On that note he looked pretty good overall.
Quincey- Someone mentioned his play is starting to wane a bit and I agree. There were a couple of times he failed to clear the zone and one or two other plays that made me shake my head a bit. Not bashing him but his play has dropped a 1/2 notch recently. Still a great pickup though.
Purcell-really liked the look of Purcell and Simmonds on the PP. Shame Teddy whiffed on a couple of big time chances but as he gets more acclimated with the NHL these are chances we will be hitting more often then not.
Brown-How can you not love this guy? Throws the body with reckless abandon and scored the Game Winner in the Shootout. The 2003 draft was legendary-too bad we didn't have Lombardi then-you know he would have packaged the two Kings late 1st rd picks to move up in the draft.
Ivanans- He played a real solid game. Didnt score and didnt fight but didnt look like an absolute liability. He looked to be skating well and played pretty well positionally. Cant really ask fdr much more from your 4th line enforcer then that truth be told. One can only wonder had Brown made the pass on that two on one would he have capitalized?
Doughty-I may as well as just cut and paste the same thing about this kid-his poise at 19 years old is insane. He literally looks like a 10 year vet out there logging crazy ice time and rarely getting beat. When Jack Johnson returns the team will have 3 young Dmen who can log tons of ice time.
Overall, its nice to get the win but you also can look to Philly as a team to emulate a bit. There are still 2 spots on the roster of forwards that can be upgraded to improve the team. Looking ahead its not going to be goaltending or defense that is going to hurt us as much as scoring and generating offense.
Will be real interesting come the trade deadline if we're still in the hunt. Do we try and get us a scorer or stand pat and play the trade deadline price is right? Do we have any assets that we would be willing to move? Will Lombardi move Frolov like he did Cammi with an impending contract situation?
Looking at the schedule-the Home and Home against the Ducks should be a good marker as to where we stand and once again catching a bit of a break the Ducks will be without Selanne and Perry so that helps. Once again, the good news is defensively and between the pipes we'll be ok but can we generate the offense?
Look forward to hearing thoughts.