Ryan Smyth may be in his first season with the Kings but his significance to the Kings’ success is unmistakeable. The team missed him tonight. Our boys did play well. We dominated a large part of the game. But Smyth’s front of the net presence, and his chemistry with Kopitar and Williams would have made a difference tonight.
Here are some random games notes. Forgive the frustrated tone.
Flyers got some lucky bounces. Boucher had a horse shoe up his ass as he made four “did I save that one?” saves tonight.
If the Flyers are the elite of this league, they we are right there with them.
We owned the Flyers during the first period.
The Flyers’ tying goal was just over exuberance by Quick on a rebound. The second goal was just silly. A knuckle puck. Nice whiff Richards. Way to show that great shot. Should Quick have had that one? The third goal was akin to the first – once again, Quick out of position as he challenged a bit too far and too soon. It’s hard to fault a goaltender for being too aggressive though tonight, it contributed to two goals.
The Flyers did have control of about 8-10 minutes of the second, starting with about 2 minutes before their first goal. Toward the end of the second, the Kings began to dominate and drew the Flyers into a penalty. Then, while the powerplay appeared to be gaining momentum and it looked like a strong finish for the Kings heading into the locker room, Dustin Brown did one of the dumbest things I have seen in a while – he took a ridiculously obvious boarding penalty with 3 seconds left in the period in the Kings’ offensive zone. It killed the Kings’ opportunity to start the third period at a time they had all the momentum.
At the 10 minute mark of the third, the Kings came alive. It started with a penalty kill (Williams, high sticking). The Flyers’ Jeff Carter took a hooking penalty after the Kings kept the puck in the Flyers’ zone and outworked them for nearly a minute of play. On the ensuing powerplay, Drew Doughty showed why he is a stud by first diving to keep the puck in the offensive zone and then firing a screamer past Boucher from the left point. Boucher never saw it…nothing new for him this game.
In the third, Jack Johnson, wearing his patented smirk, and Scott Hartnell had words before the puck was dropped on a faceoff. The exchange wasn’t on audio, but I managed to read their lips. Johnson nicely told Hartnell that he is the ugliest son of a bitch in the league. Hartnell questioned whether Jack was giving Pronger enough credit. The linesman joined the discussion and weighed in his thoughts. Johnson told Hartnell he may have a point and they went back to waiting for the puck to drop…that’s the way I saw it anyway.
I am more than a little upset we lost this game. I am more than a little upset by Dustin Brown’s play with the puck, his inability or refusal to pass the puck, his consistently ineffective shot and suddenly this season failure to make effective hits.
The Kings have to improve the powerplay. Nearly every game they have lost has been, in whole or in part, on the shoulders of the powerplay. I don’t even know what that two man advantage was that I saw at the end of the first period.
Some call this Justin Williams’ best game of the season. I say he has been excellent all season. He, Kopitar and Smyth have been our most consistent players. Coincidence?
I jumped out of my skin on that “near miss” at the end of the game. I am still looking for body parts around the room.