Saturday, October 11, 2008
Well, the Kings lose their season opener to the San Jose Sharks. Great. In what seemed like a promising game ended in ... a bit of disappointment. The Sharks came out tentative but slowly picked up their momentum and killed off any hope for the Kings to get back in the game. But that doesn't mean I gave up hope for them to make a come back.
I thought the Kings had a great first period. It seemed a bit tentative in the first 10 minutes and I felt like the Sharks would take control of the game at any moment, but the Kings were able to get a bit scrappier when the tempo was hightened. Something that I thought was interesting was that during the Sharks' first PP rather than getting the puck into the Kings' zone as quickly as they could, they regrouped and came into the Kings' zone four across. I don't think I've ever seen the Sharks do that; so I can automatically see a change for that team. Alexander Frolov's goal was pretty solid. The cross-ice pass from Michal Handzus hit Fro's tape and the Kings were up 1-0. But really, that was it for the positives.
In the second period, the Sharks dominated the Kings all over the ice, but I never believed that they'd get a goal against Jason LaBarbera. I was feeling pretty confident with their efforts. Be that as it may, the Kings were missing passes and causing turnovers, but I was still hoping... The first goal against Barbs was by Devin Setoguchi in a scramble at the top of the crease. I was more annoyed with the second goal against the Kings, which was shot in by Tomas Plihal off the short side blocker. Jack Johnson pushed him out to the outside angle but Plihal was still able to get the shot off. Booo. And of course the Kings end two periods with only 9 shots on net. 9!!! Just to illustrate how ridiculous that was, the Sharks had 31 by the end of 2. How do they expect to win if they can't get anything going in the offensive zone?
Just relax, Connie...
One last thing, Handzus (my faceoff whipping boy from last season) has won 8 faceoffs and lost only 5! Amazing! BUT, the guy we brought in to win faceoffs? This Jarret Stoll? He's won only 1 and has lost 4 so far. That's 20%, Stolly. C'mon now.
The third period doesn't hold any better for the Kings. The Sharks come out and continue their dominance. Time to move to bullet points.
- In looking at the stats at the end of the game, Fro was the only forward to get more than 20 minutes of ice time.
- Interesting: Stoll only had 13:44 of time. He also only won one faceoff and lost 6. Crud.
- Patrick Marleau lost 2 and won 9. I hate you, Patrick Marleau.
- The Kings end the game with only 13 shots on. The Sharks had 41.
- On a positive, Matt Moulson had 17:05 of ice time where he saw time on both the PP and PK. It was a bit of a disappointment to see that he ended at a -3. But hey, is that really surprising when you're on the Kings?
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadians
In the same fashion, the Leafs were dominated by Montreal. The game started out promising, but the Habs took over and were taking advantage of everything the Leafs were missing out on. Just like in their opener, the Leafs weren't able to generate any offense and the Habs were looking pretty damn good. One thing that stook out to me was how well the Habs were able to hold down their own slot area. Anytime the Leafs were able to get the puck in front of the Habs' net, there were always either 4 or 5 red jerseys there.
The Habs came out the victors in this game winning 6-1. Vesa Toskala was pulled after 40 minutes and Curtis Joseph didn't look too bad in net. Hopefully their next game looks a bit more cohesive where their lines can actually move together. Hmm, sounds like something the Kings need to accomplish. Is it too early to say that I don't think it'd be too farfetched to say that the Stanley Cup finals might have the Canadians facing off against the Sharks? God, I hope the Sharks don't make it that far...