Sunday, February 1, 2009
The start of this 5-game road trip looked to be a fantastic outing. The Kings were looking solid in their passing, skating, and defensive play. Last season when the Montreal Canadiens came to LA, they outworked and outskated the Kings; this game proved to be quite different. The Kings set the tone right from the start; they dictated the speed and flow of the puck and the Canadiens were the ones that had to do the adapting. The first period saw the Kings leading the way but little did I know that by the end of the game, I'd be in for shock and disappointment... and with no points to show for it.
Let's get the whole Denis Gauthier incident out of the way. I'm not going to go into whether I think he needs to get suspended for his hit on Josh Georges or not. The fact that I don't think he's a great player overrides his action yesterday. I was irritated that he was in the lineup to begin with, and watching him leave his feet to land an elbow on Gorges' head proved my point. If you want to vote on how many games he should be suspended, go to James Mirtle's post and then head over to Puck Daddy for some thoughts on it. I really couldn't care less.
Something that annoyed me: The announcer for the Canadiens. What a homer, seriously. And when Wayne Simmonds fought Max Pacioretty, it seemed like it ended almost with a tie, but I gave it to Simmonds because he landed more fists. This announcer said something like, "Both benches are cheering and I don't know why." What do you mean you don't know why? Are you a person who thinks the game should be without fighting? That comment and others put a sour taste in my mouth and I was irriated with his play-by-play for the rest of the game.
Once again the Kings held their opponents to shots-on in the mid-20s at 26 and they got 32 shots to Carey Price. But things fell apart in the third period when the Canadiens came back to tie it and got the go-ahead with less than a minute to go. The first half of the game had the Habs getting penalties here and there, but in the third, the Kings took five total penalties. I didn't even realize this until I just looked at the stats sheet, but Jarret Stoll received a 10-minute misconduct with less than a minute to go in the game. Maybe I was too upset to even realize this happened, but I still have no idea what it was for.
At this point I'm just upset that the Kings lost. The end of the game was just ridiculous and I don't believe the Habs deserved the win. Yes, I can be a homer because this is my team and they were robbed, but I'm not boohoo-ing over this loss. There is no singular player that I can hang this loss on. I'm not even sure what the problem was on the Kings' side; the Habs just seemed to get their legs back under them and finish out the game. Anyway, the only thing the Kings should do from this loss is to learn from it and move on to their next game against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday evening.