Just some random passing thoughts on the season, stats, players and other NHL musings.
With 17 road wins....the Kings are 2nd best in that category. Remaining schedule has 16 at home and 13 on the road; 12 technically after this trip. Kind of weird to see the remaining schedule and lament the large amount of [I]home[/I] games.
People who were ready to run T Murray out of town might be eating some crow. In recent games I'm very impressed how we can roll 3 solid lines in almost any situation. I know the team will say 4 lines but lets be honest.
I know its been asked before but I would love a Justin Williams update. If the team continues its winning ways though Im not sure I play him even if he is ready sans the odd game in which we dont need Ivanans. Yes, Im aware there is a golden opportunity to hit the quote button on that last sentence. On that same note a Drewiske update would be great as well.
Peter Harrold....youre ok in my book. Dont know where that came from but there it is.
I was ready to say how amazing it was the West playoff race is so tight with so many teams still in the hunt until I checked out the East....8 teams only separated by 2, yes 2 points. A 2 game win streak could conceivably move the 13th place team into 6th.
While Id like to think the Kings are in good shape for the post season how many times have we been heartboken in the late season? Calgary, Dallas, Minnesota, and Anaheim are all fighting for the last spot and while Im glad we dont see Calgary any more this season we play Anaheim 4 more times, Dallas 3 more times & Colorado 4 times as well. Basically, we cant let up against anybody. The Good News-Colorado has lost their last 2; the bads news is their next games are against the Rangers and Columbus.
Anaheim appears to be playing a bit better and bad for the Kings that Selanne will probably be back in time to face them for all 4 games. Not sure if the Ducks are dirty or ultra gritty but it amazes me that almost every game against the Eastern Teams has an all out melee.
And watching Hayward its amazing how its always someone on the other team who starts it. I really think given the standings and what happened last game against the Ducks the Kings would certainly be warranted to recall Westgarth or Clune. While the hype around the next game will be huge Im actually interested in seeing how Oscar Moller plays. I recently watched the new Witch Mountain Remake with the Rock....cracked me up that the boy character and Moller shared such an uncanny resemblance.
Really happy for Quick but what really surprises me is that while he is having a good season by NHL standards & a great season by Kings standards...I really dont think he has been dominating. Using a couple of Masons for example-remember how good Steve Mason was Columbus during their run a year or two ago? Same with Steve-while he didnt get his team to the post season he was very very tough to play against. Maybe its a case of the grass is greener?
Of the Top 10 goalies in Wins, Quick's SV and GAA is 2nd worst out of the top 10....that said #10 is Marc Andre Fleury so maybe its relative.
Once again, you will see it a lot of times where the young team rides a hot goalie to the playoffs. Heck its what the Kings did their last playoff appearance with Potvin. But with Quick its not really like. He is certainly solid-godlike by Kings standards but to me he has not reached his peak. I guess Quick will officially be the Kings #1 goalie when Yahoo can actually get his picture.
Kings PK seemed to improve but looking at the stats we're still in the bottom 10. Boston is #2 in PK, lets hope we can see a reversal of fortune tomorrow.
Im way too lazy to do it but I would love to see what the standings would like without the shootout with ties simply ending up with each team getting a pt and moving on like in the good old days.
I predicted that Simmonds and Doughty would have good seasons....but I never though Doughty would be #2nd in scoring on the team. If Doughty played on any East Coast team he would be the NHLs media darling. I'll go on record and say that will all change during the Olympics. Call me nuts but I think a strong showing in the Olympics accompanied by a playoff appearance by the Kings will almost surely spell a Norris bid for Doughty....which I predicted before the season started as well.
Nice to see Kevin Westgarth starting to score. Dont look now but as long as Moller is with the big club Westgarth is tied for 4th in goals for the Monarchs. Looking at the AHLs website I have to say the Monarchs logo is one of the best in the league.
What ever happened to Randy Gilhen? Or Francois Breault for that matter?
I may as well weigh in on the Kovalchuk debate. If atlanta is prohibiting teams from talking contract extension....I say screw it. Depth and young talent is a beautiful thing and something we as Kings fans have never experienced. Through the history of the LA Kings the phrase "great young talent pool" pails in comparison to the usage of the phrase "miss the playoffs yet again."
I would like to see us perpetually build the pipeline giving players time to develop and bringing them up when theyre ready.
Case in Point is when Forsberg was traded to the Predators. Forsberg was near the end granted but-Preds gave up Scottie Upshall & Ryan Parent plus a 1st round pick & a 3rd round draft pick. Upshall is 1st in goals for the Coyotes, not sure about Parent, and not sure who the picks were spent on. Regardless- Forsberg didnt help Nashville out at all and they lost core players and potential depth as well. Given Dean Lombardi's knack at getting good players in the 2nd and 3rd rds Id rather roll the dice at getting another Wayne Simmons then roll the dice a flashy hot shot russian on a UFA contract will somehow lead the Kings to glory. If Atlanta gives a Sweetheart deal maybe-but anything less then that I would rather simply wait and try to get him for nothing as a UFA. Purcell, Moller and a 2nd or 3rd? Why not but anything more then that I pass. Too risky when the fruits of our patience are finally being realized.
May think of somethings later but that's it for now. Go Kings and as always look forward to your thoughts.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Changing the format a bit here and doing a minute by minute recap of my thoughts straight from the notes as the game transpired.
7:38- Blues score already? This cant be a good sign of things to come.
7:51- Why cant we control the puck? The start of this game doesnt look good at all.
7:53- Good old Armstrong. I wont be surprised if he scores tonight as ex players generally always score against their old team. Wasnt Brian Boyle's 1 goal he scored this season against us?
7:55- Wow, what a perfect setup by Brown. Bob Miller said it was Kopitar but it was in fact Brown. You can ask for a better set up and scoring chance.
7:57- Frolov is cold as ice. Moller looks like a far superior player right now. Frolov's read on coverage is simply awful. How can he have the puck at his feet and still not manage to gain control?
7:59- Greene/Winchester with a scrap. Greene simply grabs and falls which is ok I guess. If Ivanans doesnt fight tonight he never will.
8:00- Armstrong calls himself the Armpit? Why was LGK not informed of this?
8:03- Zeus boarding penalty? Ouch-this really doesnt look good for us tonight.
8:04- Huge Save by Quick. Early in the game but could be potential game saver.
8:07- Cool seeing the clips of LA Kings Alumni poker tournie. My question-why isnt the legendary Steve Finn invited to these things?
8:15- This game is really starting to look like it will end up like thursdays game.
8:17- The Rock as the Tooth Fairy? Why is the Duane Johnson taking rolls Rob Schneider turned down?
Between the 1st and 2nd I switched over to the Nucks/Flames game.
8:25-Prust/Rypien with a great toe to toe battle. I really have to see a game in Canada between 2 Canadian teams that hate each other.
8:37- Period about to start, With Det loss still fresh in mind I must remind myself is the NHL archives are littered with teams down 1-0 at the end of the first who came back to win 4 or 5-1.
8:47- Ivanans....UGH. Wont fight and gets plastered by the other teams goon. If not for the Segal goal this series of plays would have seen Ivanans run out of town.
8:48- Game tied.....please dont give up a quick goal. Can we finish the 2nd tied 1-1?
8:50- Game is now wide open....I dont like it at all. Brown just drew a penalty as Kings go on PP. That should help ease the wide open game style for the rest of the period.
9:02- Please god let us get out of the period tied 1-1.
9:04- Blues Score with 1:04 left in period.
9:06- How many quality chances tonight have ended up in shots that miss the net?
Back to the Flames/Nucks.
9:13- What this? A new Kids in the Hall series on the CBC? Must watch.
9:16- Just watched the commercial for the Kids in the Hall new series-I wonder if any channel here in the states will have or will need to go the net and get by nefarious means?
Back to the 3rd
9:26- Frolov-just awful play, outright unequivocally awful. If you miss the net by a mile and that shot leads to an outnumbered attack-you have to get back and break it up-not turn away from the man you are supposed to cover and run into your own goalie. My god-this is by far the worst game Fro has ever played.
That sequence may be the symbolic last straw for Frolov-who can argue with a change of scenery trade?
9:28- O'Donnell vs Winchester....if Ivanans doesnt fight tonight he never will.
9:33- Goodnight Henrietta this game is toast and maybe the season as well. We have scene this over and over again more times then the episode of I Love Lucy where she works at the chocolate factory.
9:35- Ivanans Penalty. Worlds weakest penalty in the world compared to what theyve been doing in the Nucks/Flames game. I really should try to start posting Video Clips of lame penalties on my blog.
9:40- Kovalchuk.....lets do it. Frolov, Hickey, Moller, Purcell, Ivanans, hell I may even give JJ and a 1st.
9:42- Crombeen fights Greene. If Ivanans doesnt fight now he never will Pt3. Ivanans was scene at the bench texting his wife to make sure the Fox Family Channels movie of the night was Tivo'd.
9:48- Brown with a fantastic play and goal. He has maybe been the best forward tonight.
9:55- Once again, Can we manage to hit the net...even occasionally?
9:56- Kopi makes it close with a nice goal as the Kings pressure. Can we do it?
9:57- How many 1 goal losses do we have this year?
10:03- Frolov again bungles the play and maybe costs us a chance. How can he not get the puck to a teammate when we have the extra attacker? Why did he blindly pass it directly to a blues player?
10:04- Another Loss and while I hate to single out players Frolov was the consistently the rally killer. Guy couldnt pass nor hit the net nor proved to play much defense. Really, I like Frolov but this was his worst game ever.
Final Thoughts- Weve seen this before. Cant really blame quick per se-the 3 of the goals he let in were 2 on 1s or the offensive player had time. I do wonder why Terry Murray messed with line combos at all given how well everyone played in Detroit. I also cant help but wonder who would have thought at the beginning of the season that Matt Moulson would be outplaying Frolov at this point. Basically for the Kings to play good hockey they need everyone giving 110% and Frolovs play along with the Invisible Ivanans has us playing with a shortened bench as those two add nothing. Its one thing to bag on an enforcer who plays less then 5 Minutes a night but Frolov is expected to log quality minutes-his diminished play is really have an anchor effect on the forward units. On a positive note-I didnt really make any notes about Jack Johnson and have yet to check his +/-.