Kings 6, Ducks 3

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Kings put a great effort on the ice last night. It’s no secret that the individual talent on the Kings’ roster has seldom translated into a winning formula as a whole, but last night showed us a glimpse into what that’s supposed to look like. There are positives that I could talk about with every player on the Kings bench; that is, except for one lone soul (if you were watching the game, you should know exactly who I’m talking about).

This game was to see who would have to occupy that unfortunate spot of dead last in the Pacific Division, which is where the Kings were for much of last season. I came into the game fully content with the possible result of the Kings being slotted in that 5th position. None of my daydreams yesterday had the Kings winning 6-3 over the Ducks. Then again, I wasn’t expecting the Ducks to look like a group of disorganized high school kids. They continued their physical brand of crap while taking 13 total penalties. Two were fighting majors and two were coincidental minors (Ryan Getzlaf and Denis Gauthier canceling each other out). So the Kings had 9 PP opportunities and converted on 3 of them. The Kings took 9 total penalties with 5 being actual PKs. Once again my boys killed all of the penalties against them and haven’t given up a goal while being shorthanded yet! They’re 14 for 14 and I’m loving that stat. They looked solid last night and I was very much impressed. Jarret Stoll has continually impressed me with his scrappy efforts, and he definitely improved on his faceoff percentage going 60% (won 9, lost 6).

Another notable on the PK was Michal Handzus. He looks so much stronger and looks less afraid to get his nose dirty. He’s actually taking the body now, which he rarely did last season, so I’m pretty happy with how he’s been doing on an individual level. He registered an assist and had 18:18 of ice time. Going back to Stoll, he had plenty of TOI at 20:39. At first I was wondering why he always seemed to be out there, but then I realized it was basically a game of specialty teams with all the penalties that were being called.

The awesome thing about the goals by the Kings was that the 6 goals were scored by 6 different skaters. I think Matt Moulson had the prettiest goal while Patrick O’Sullivan had the slickest goal. I honestly didn’t think Moulson was going to gain control of the pass from Dustin Brown and have time to get the shot off before the angle to the net got too sharp. But gain control he did where shot it from the left side over J.S. Giguere’s left shoulder far side. If that goal doesn’t make Kings fans notice my boy, I don’t know what will. The shot was so pretty and perfect that he couldn’t have made it any better. Giguere literally followed the puck with his eyes all the way to the back of the net. Perfect. Sully had a fantastic game last night. He had a bit of the time on the PK, more time on the PP, and ample time at even strength so it seemed like he was everywhere on the ice. He was so effective in everything he did that I believe he’s earned his spot back on the top line with just one game. I knew he had it in him; it was just a matter of when.

With Sully on the top line, the subsequent shift of players was unexpected for me. Moulson was moved to the 2nd line left wing, which I was stoked about, but that meant Alexander Frolov was moved to the 3rd line left wing. As much as I didn’t expect that, I think that just gets our 3rd line moving that much more to have a big body that is always searching for ways to get the puck to the net as opposed to shutting down the opposition. I thought that all four lines the Kings rolled out looked great together. The defensive pairings were a bit of a different story. With Jack Johnson out, the pairings obviously changed and after some time in the second period I noticed that Peter Harrold was getting an ungodly amount of minutes (17:55) with almost four minutes coming on the PP. This fact coupled with Drew Doughty not having been out on the ice for quite some time, I voiced my concern. Whereupon, ½ of KingsCast and I tried to get some information from people watching the game on TV at home, but there was nothing until the 3rd period when we found out that Doughty was having “flu-like symptoms.” I was so relieved that it wasn’t a substantial injury because we would have basically been screwed if he AND Jack were out. But the flu isn’t bad, he just needs some shuteye and he’ll be back in no time. Going back to Harrold, for how much he was fumbling and bumbling around, he had way too much time on the PP. None of his passes were landing; he couldn’t outmaneuver past Ducks or even clear the damned puck at some points. It was so frustrating to watch Harrold stumble around while the rest of the roster was working smoothly. He definitely stuck out like a sore thumb when he was on the ice.

I must take a minute to address the fight between Raitis Ivanans and George Parros that occurred less than two minutes into the game after the first Ducks goal. I’ve never seen anyone land that many kidney shots in succession as Ivanans dished out to Parros. It was fantastic and got the crowd amped up. Conversely, Chris Pronger had 4 hits in the game, which all seemed to be against Oscar Moller. Hey, D-Bag, you’re an ugly monster and Moller is an 18-year-old kid who you are twice as big as. There’s really no need to plaster his face against the glass whenever you can. Stop being a prick. And I saw you raise your elbows while skating by Moulson. You elbow him and I’ll shankify your ass.

I could honestly go on and on and on about how great this game was, but I won’t. I will end by saying that I’m glad the Kings now have a decisive win under their belts after losing two games against a solid Sharks squad. This performance is very promising for the Kings as I’m sure Terry Murray knows the boys have it in them to not suck on a game-to-game basis. Good job, guys!


Kirsten October 15, 2008 at 10:00 AM  

I am rubbing this one in hard core right now. Did you see the goal where Pronger just stood there watching it go in like an idiot? Priceless.

Brad October 15, 2008 at 10:15 AM  

I once again missed most of the game on TV since I got home so late. Moulson's goal was indeed slick and I hope giguere felt like a fool afterward. Congrats to everyone on the goals/assists last night. Definitely a good game (at least, what I saw of it.)

but what is this about Labarbera letting in two goals on the first three shots? come oooonnnnnnn!

Connie October 15, 2008 at 11:27 AM  

Kirsten – I honestly didn’t notice Pronger that much in general. The Kings were looking fantastical! I’m definitely liking the Jarret Stoll pickup.

Brad – Yes, Barbs let in 2 goals on the first 3 shots. But the guys picked it up and started to help him out by collapsing down low and blocking shots. He looked great after the first couple of minutes. Let’s see what he does on Friday. Who knows, your boy might get a shot.

KQ949 October 15, 2008 at 3:37 PM  

I had the (un)pleasant experience of watching FSN's "rinkside" coverage of this game. Another story, but let's say, my family was frantically running around the house closing all the windows so the neighbors wouldn't hear me!

Any-DucksSuck-Way, My Raitis! I'm sure the consecutive Kidney punches to Parros was the gift that kept on giving into this morning. That early morning pee was probably really enjoyable for Georgie! (Sorry! lol)

I didn't see Pronger picking on Moeller because of the crappy camera angles, but it was terrific to watch the goal hit his skate and go in and his "ah, shit" face!

Mr. Perry was MIA from what I could see on the TV. I was glad to see that because the less I see of him, the better the blood pressure!

It was a fun game and something we can hang on to for a day or so!

Connie October 15, 2008 at 5:10 PM  

That early morning pee was probably really enjoyable for Georgie!

That is fantastic, hahaha! I totally said to my friend that Perry was completely invisible the entire game. Good call. I just checked out the rinkside view on my DVR. Definitely going to just delete that one. Yikes.

Brad October 15, 2008 at 5:10 PM  

"My Raitis!"

so that must have been you I saw in the Ivanans jersey on sunday?

KQ949 October 15, 2008 at 8:16 PM  

Brad, I don't have an Ivanans Jersey, but that is me and him in my avatar photo. He has me in a headlock like he's going to punch me. It's one of my favorite pics ever!

When I asked if I could take my picture with him like that, he looked at me and said, "really"? Army was next to him and just dying laughing.

I want to do some type of homage to "My Raitis" with some clothing but not sure what I'm going to do yet. I love that great picture of him pummelling Carcillo last year that I may put on the shirt.

Connie October 16, 2008 at 5:57 AM  

That IS a fantastic picture you have with Ivanans. I hope I get something just as awesome when I meet him. He kind of scared me the first time I saw him outside of the rink, but now he's my favorite pugilist.

Gann Matsuda October 17, 2008 at 12:39 AM  

Hey sure you let us all know when you're going to "shankify" Pronger so we can sell tickets to the event! :-)

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