Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Ouch- A Painful Loss that seems like Old Times
This Hurts. Not as bad as Mcsorely's stick or a Craig Muni knee on knee open ice check-but this hurts. For us Kings fans any small amount of hope is generally followed by a sharp pull of the rug which sees is sitting on our backsides in a slight daze wondering what the heck happened. Last night was that whole concept wrapped up into one period of play. Let gets to it shall we?
Overall, The team played well enough to win. As a matter of fact though the Kings have dropped 4 of their last 5 they played well enough to Win almost every game. 3 of those losses of the 1 goal variety with the Kings having glorious chances to tie or win only to not be able to come up big. Probably the reason last night really stings because the elation of the comeback proved to short lived....12 seconds to be exact. It is not time to wave the white flag yet but certainly some players can be critiqued and this is as good of time as any to do just that.
Jack Johnson- I am of the belief that JJ should be paired with Greene or Scuderi and just let him run wild and jump in when he sees fit ala Mike Green. It's obvious he is a good skater with speed and offensive skills but on the D side, and I hate to use this term, but he is an outright trainwreck. He is a team low -13 on the season, debate the +/- stat all you want but O'Donnell is a +8 and Doughty a +7. JJ is the only full time Defenseman on the roster with a minus in that category.
And while I hate to blame a loss on one player-after the Kings rallied to tie the game up with less than 3 minutes left-WHY THE PINCH? At that point he simple needs to fall back and get the game into OT thus guaranteeing one point out of the game. Making matters worse is where he pinched and the entire situation. It wasnt as if his pinch would have led to a scoring chance for the Kings and by the same token falling back wasn't going to guarantee the Wild a scoring chance either. A baffling decision on JJs part that literally cost us a point in the standings.
Some good news-its clear that Ryan Smyth is getting back into form as is Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds has a level of tenacity on the puck that I am not sure I have ever seen from any hockey player at any level. He seemingly loves to battle for puck possession and more often then not whens that battle. A fine player to be certain.
Parse-He is clearly an NHL player and without question if not for Purcell's contract would have taken his spot on the roster IMO.
Purcell- Looks to me like Purcell just is one or two areas shy of what is minimum to be an NHL player. Oscar Moller is obviously a more complete hockey player IMO.
Kopitar- I would not be surprised to learn the he is nursing an injury. He looks like a different player and even noticed that his skating style has changed a bit with a lumbering type of gait. Regardless-when need our #1 to play like a #1 and right now he is not doing that.
Ivanans- When Boogard ran Smyth....action should have been taken. He doesnt necessarily need to go after Boogard but he certainly should have went after one the Wilds skilled players. Boogard did this same thing the other night against St Louis if Im not mistaken, where he threw a good hard check on a killed player and there was immediate action taken. I heard a quote from an old school NHL enforcer who said "you dont ask a guy to fight, you make him fight" meaning instead of lining up and asking to dance, you hammer someone on the other team thus forcing a reaction from the other team. Ivanans isnt cutting the mustard at this point and before we start asking for Westgarth-he is not ready for the NHL and if called up will most likely end up like Ryan Flinn with his wide open style.
Dustin Brown-I like the Captain....I really do. But when Marek Zidlicky wants to fight you drop the gloves and pound the crap pout of him. Zidlicky has never won a fight, is lighter and smaller- Being the Captain means dropping the gloves once every blue moon and while I like Brown throwing the big checks when the Captain drops the mitts then no one has a reason not to drop the mitts or at least raise the intensity level.
There are some other players who I just wont comment on at this Point but I will say its no accident that players currently being lambasted are also the same players on the bottom of the stats in key categories. At this point I would love to reacquire a Tim Gleason type player and get a veteran forward with some leadership who can score and fight like a Guerin or a Shanahan type player.
The bad news we're on a losing streak, the good news is we could have won most of the games. The bad news-next up is a back to back in Calgary and Minnesota and right now I am not sure there is a team in the league that can be considered a gimme considering the way we have lost recently. The Good News- Smyth will score against Calgary and Simmonds and Parse will prove the duo that wins the game in Minny.