Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quick to the Punch Pt 2; Kings beat Flames

A few notes and a few off the top of my head. Lets do it.

I said when Smyth and Scuderi went down that we should be happy with .500 hockey. Without looking at the results of those games I sure they did just that if not topped by a game or two. Sure Smyth aint back yet but you could see what Scuderi brings to the table in the final minutes of the 3rd. He reminds me of a better version of Aaron Miller. Some complained about his contract but you could see when the game is on the line Scuderi is about as good as dman as you will find in the league.

The Cycle- I am loving the work of our forwards on this team. Cant recall the last time we had so many players not only with good speed-but can and willing do the dirty work to cycle the puck. Parse, Richardson, Simmonds, Fro, Stoll, Williams-all are very good and adept at the cycle and last night they created a lot of chances off of it as well as visibly wore down the Calgary D. Even Moller looked like he was willing and able to work the puck low. Hate to say it but-this is another sign that doesnt bode well for Teddy P.

Parse-Really love what this guy brings to the table. Watching over the last couple of games you can see he plays with some intensity and grit that was never really reported in past scouting reports. Looks to me like he is really making the most of his call up. Would be very surprised to see him get sent down at this point. Looks as well like the chemistry is starting to blend with his line mates as well. And the fact he played hockey in Nebraska gives him brownie points.

Lets give some props to DL-last nights win would not have been a win without some of his acquisitions.

Looking at the trade of Visnovski for Stoll and Greene for instance. I liked Vis but the character that both Stoll and Greene bring is off the charts. We knew Greene is a 5th/6th dman who will occasionally scrap but his play on the PK is vastly underrated. Stoll won a ton of faceoffs, led the team in hits, scored the GW goal, and threw some nice props to the fans in his 1st star selection speech. Which brings us to Williams.

Maybe this is the flogging of a dead horse but Williams brings so much more to the table then Patty O. He can throw a check, take a check, make a pass, drive the net, work the cycle, etc etc. When that trade went down I thought the 2nd rd pick we made to get the deal done was too much but watching him play makes me think it was well worth it. And he certainly looks like the product of an illegitimate child of Dale Hunter and Bono.

Quick- Is he lucky or good or some combo of both? There are some games when any of those pucks would have trickled over the goal line....Im glad last night wasnt one of them. How rare of feat is it to only get 16 or so shots against Kiprusoff and still come away with a win?

Now some negatives or criticisms- Jack Johnson was pretty much solely to blame on the Glencross goal. For a guy who is as strong and well conditioned as he is, it looks like he is able to get out muscled and at this point in his development and it kind of makes sense. He was probably the strongest guy in college hockey and was used to being able to rub people out and use brute strength to make the plays-but in the NHL there are so many strong players that he needs to make an adjustment on how to play the bigger, stronger man. Do I bench him? No, I dont think so as overall the team is playing well. But-if he continues to make the occasional gaffe I certainly would think having him sit for a game to watch from the pressbox wouldnt be a bad thing-particularly since his spot would be filled with a competent Davis Drewiske.

Kings PP- The puck movement on the PP Goal was jaw dropping. I dont recall the Kings ever moving the puck like that....even going back to the Golden days. I hope we see more of that in the near future because it was brilliant.

Doughty- Gotta love the fact even Canadians are starting to talk about Doughty beating Phaneuf for a spot on the Olympic team. Mentioned earlier that Doughts play certainly makes every Johnson gaffe a bit more pronounced. The Poise on this kid is unbelievable. Funny to think as unhappy as we were when we lost the lottery and the Stamkos sweepstakes-Doughty may very well be the best player in one of the best draft years in recent memory. We can now switch our "would have could have" focus to last years draft and "what if" our way to think what may have been had we been able to pick 3rd and get Matt Duchene.

Can someone slap the director of the broadcast? I kept waiting for a replay of the Greene penalty in the 3rd but alas it was to no avail. I will give him props though-it was great hearing the refs/players on the live mic during the Richardson scrum. Ive said it 1000 times-if the NHL had some balls they'd mic every player and offer up everything warts and all with an alternate audio feed.

Im still flabbergasted reading some of the comments on LA Kings Insider critical of Terry Murray. I am not saying the guy is Scotty Bowman but I think there should be little doubt this is a well coached team. I mentioned before the season started that Terry Murray has always had teams that had huge point gains in the 2nd season with him as coach and it looks like it will ring true again knock on wood.

What a telling week and month this will be for the team. San Jose, Phoenix, and Dallas all in a weeks span with a Canadian Roadie after that with Van, Edm, & Calgary again, a long break(great for Smyths return hopefully) with the Yotes, 2 against the Wild, and Calgary one more time for good measure. Seeing Calgary so many times makes me long for the good ole days of the Smythe division when our division rivals were Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Hating Joel Otto and Jim Peplinski, Messier, Craig Muni, Garth Butcher, Jim Sandlak, and Winnipeg who never really had the hatable players but always seemed to have a rookie goalie you never heard of who managed to play like Terry Sawchuk every time we played them and Burton Cummings singing O Canada. Good times.

As always look forward to your thoughts.

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