Three game losing streaks are unnacepptable. I know it. You know it.
The Kings know it.
Though technical difficulties kept the fans from seeing the first 30 seconds of action, the Kings experienced no such difficulty in defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2.
Erik Ersberg got his first win of the season against a Hurricanes team that needs to do some heavy duty soul-searching or lineup shuffling or tasering therapy or something, because they stink.
They had their moments. Newly signed goaltender Manny Legace did everything he could to stop the onslaught attack of the Kings. Along the boards you could see shadows of the team that pushed the Boston Bruins to seven games in last season’s Eastern Conference Semi-Final. While tough guy Tuomo Ruutu scored 2 goals for the Hurricanes, at one point tying the game, as the Kings learned in their previous two outings, 20 minutes of good hockey doesn’t win games.
The Kings heaped pressure on the Hurricanes from the start, culminating in a power play goal from Ryan Smyth, scored in classic “Smytty” fashion – falling on his face in the crease. There was no let-up throughout the period , and even though they could not score (including 1:50 of a 2-man advantage) while out-shooting the ‘Canes 13-2 in the opening frame, they dominated the Hurricanes in every aspect of the game. Two minutes into the second, Jarret Stoll scored a deflection goal off a shot by Randy “suck it Philly and pay me” Jones, giving him his first point in his first game as a King. Jones was not done, as shortly after Ruutu tied the game in the third, Jones scored a power play goal that would prove to be the game winner. Justin Williams, who added an empty net goal later on, made a beautiful cross-crease feed to a pinching Jones. Wayne Simmonds did a little dance to the front of the net a few minutes after to regain the Kings two-goal lead.
Anze Kopitar continued to steamroll the competition, adding 2 assists to boost his league leading point total to 30. Alexander Frolov also had two assists and played the kind of game that puts my stomach in knots when I think of him wearing a logo other than the crown.
Granted, one can not get overly excited about beating a team that is now 0-10-2 in their last twelve games, but then one remembers losing to Nashville, and then one is allowed to reinstate their excitement.
Usually a win answers questions, but this one creates a few. Did Jones’ play earn him another start? If so, does Sean O’Donnell still sit again or does someone else? Did Ersberg just get himself another game on this road trip? Which one? Did I sleep through the 4:30 the boxscore insists Peter Harrold was on the ice?
A win does answer all questions for a brief refractory period with an abrupt “who cares?” When I wake up tomorrow and remember there is a world outside of hockey, I might care.