Thursday, February 26, 2009
This back-to-back the Kings just finished illustrated their need to get a finisher. Find the guy that can get the puck in the net when it matters; not just in the game, but at this point in the season. Is this person Dustin Brown? Maybe it’s that simple; he stayed in Los Angeles for these two games for the birth of his second child (CONGRATS!). Or maybe Brownie’s not the answer.
On Wednesday the Kings were in Minnesota taking on the Wild and they actually had a pretty good game. They played smart, defensive hockey and Jonathan Quick was solid in goal. It was a low scoring game with only two goals total in regulation, but isn’t that what typically happens? The games get so important down the stretch that no one wants to make any mistakes? Old news, everyone knows this. So the game continues into overtime and then to the shootout. My “favorite” shootout player, Jack Johnson, was once again in the top three. But wouldn’t you know it, he was the only one that scored and they had to go to a fourth round. P.S. Sully, everyone knows your shootout move now; you’re not surprising anyone. So who came in to save the day? Drew Doughty. His weird stick-handling shuffle had Niklas Backstrom apparently reeling because he couldn’t stop Doughty’s accidental slip up through his fivehole.
So the rookie defenseman saved the day and the Kings gained two points, but Minnesota was able to gain a point and move up a bit in the standings themselves. Not a bad finish to the game, but more regulation wins are going to be the key for the Kings because their shootout record has been pretty bad this season and they can’t afford to be giving up a point every time to the opposition. Once again, old news.
The game against the Philadelphia Flyers last night was a bit different from their previous game. The Kings came out and played hard against an aggressive team but couldn’t get the job done, but it wasn’t for lack of effort or drive. They outshot the Flyers 34-20 but they were still shutout 2-0 with the second goal being an empty netter. It was pretty frustrating to see that none of the shots were getting past Marty Biron. Patrick O'Sullivan and Jarret Stoll seemed to have so many chances, but neither could finish! The Kings abilitly to shut down the Flyers was great to see and their efforts remain promising in that they may reach that 8th spot in the western conference.
The trade deadline is coming up and I'm not sure what, if anything, Dean Lombardi is going to do. He stated that the team isn't at the point where they're going to give up a ton for a scorer; couple that with watching the team on a game-by-game basis and I'm pretty sure the Kings aren't going to be making any drastic moves by the deadline. Brownie is scheduled to return by the next game against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday and they can still recall Oscar Moller if they need a further shake up. If they don't make the playoffs, this will still be an exciting end to the season for the Kings.