KINGS – 6, SHARKS – SUCK
A ha haha.
Tonight the Los Angeles Kings took another step towards becoming a top team in this league as they absolutely destroyed one of the top teams in this league.
Drew Doughty led the Kings to victory with 4 assists, good for 1st star of the game and some extra square footage in the already large portion of fans’ hearts reserved for him. The true star of this game, however, was Jonathan Quick. The recent USA Olympic Team selection stopped 45 of 47 useless shots by the San Jose Sharks, only giving up 3rd period shut-out-ruining goals to Douglas Murray and Patrick Marleau. That’s all that will be said about anything the Sharks did right, since by that time Murray put the only stain on this magnificent victory, the Kings had already won the game.
Quick was an animal, and while I am well aware it is widely accepted that Jonathan will ride Olympic pine through February this year, this fan is confident he is going to force Team USA to start him for some games over Tim Thomas and Ryan Miller. Out with the old, in with the new.
This level of domination over the Sharks is new.
Who better to start off a routing of the sea creatures than the god himself, Michal Handzus.
Zus, who I think has a movie about him coming to theaters soon… something about a Lightning Thief, kicked off the scoring 15:37 into the 1st period when he took hard pass behind the net from Rob Scuderi, took a step to his left and stuffed a wrap around goal past Evgeni Nabakov. The goal was the first the Sharks had given up in an opening frame in 9 games. They were also on an 8-game winning streak. Tonight, the only streaks they have to brag about can be found in their underwear.
At this point in this game, with a 1-0 lead, many fans felt relieved. Up until only a few minutes prior, the Sharks had carried the play to the Kings with their signature brand of high-skilled possession hockey. A lesser goalie than Quick would have been chased by the time Handzus broke the scoreless tie. However, not to be content with a meager 1-goal lead, Oscar Moller rifled home a one-timer from the right face-off circle just 3 minutes later on a power play. It only took 30 seconds for the Kings to further embarrass the home team as Anze Kopitar took a perfect no-look pass from Drew Doughty to give the Kings a 3-0 lead on another power play, his first goal in far too long. This power play came at the expense of Marleau, who apparently thought no one would notice when he threw his stick 5-feet across the ice to Dan Boyle, who had lost his, only moments before Moller had scored. Thanks Patrick. I would love for you to be a King next year, but for tonight, you will fill the role of whipping boy extraordinaire.
The Kings could have stopped there. Some shaky defense aside, Quick stood strong and stopped 17 shots in the second period while the Kings padded their lead. Ryan Smyth tipped in a shot by Kopitar (the Kings 3rd, and final power play goal of the game) and Wayne Simmonds parked the Night Train in front of Nabakov as he slammed in a pass from Brad Richardson. The goals came only 13 seconds apart.
Going in to a 3rd period 5-0 against any team is an exciting prospect. Against the Sharks, it is ominously reminiscent. Only a few months ago the Kings relinquished a 4-0 lead in the final period to the team in teal. This time, the Kings had something else in store for the Shark Stank.
With Thomas Greiss relieving a belaboured and porous Nabakov, Scott Parse smelt blood in the water and suck on Rob Blake’s stick. Blake sent a clearing pass directly on to Parse’s tape 13 seconds in, which ‘Scooter’ promptly buried for his 7th goal of the season. Do you need nails for an aquarium doubling as a coffin?
The Kings actually scored 7 goals this game. The only one not on the boxscore was scored off a beautiful power-forward move to the net by Dustin Brown. Unfortunately, Douglas Murray had already interfered with Ryan Smyth causing the net to dislodge moments before Brown made Nabakov look silly.
Jarret Stoll played his first game since December 14, and even though he did not figure into the scoring, the Kings’ playboy was a welcome addition to the lineup, giving Oscar Moller a real hockey player to skate with on the 4th line.
Somehow Jack Johnson ended up a minus-1 in the game. Don’t ask why or worry how. He was a rock.
The only mar on the game happened sometime in the 1st period, when Davis Drewiske suffered a dreaded upper-body injury and did not return for the game. Rich Hammond reports that Murray classified it as a shoulder injury, one that could be long-term. Hello Randy Jones. Goodbye 3 defense pairings capable of playing defense. I hate to say it, but the dark side of me is hoping Jones’ forgets to take his aspirin tomorrow and prospect Viatcheslav Voynov gets his first taste of NHL action against the Red Wings on Thursday. Wait, I forgot Peter Harrold is still considered a defenseman. Damn.
The Kings now sit in a 3-way tie for 5th place in the Conference, only 1 point behind 3rd and 4th place Colorado and Phoenix. With 25 victories in the books, only the Sharks and Blackhawks boast more wins than the Kings in the West, with 27 and 29 respectively.
All wins are fun. All wins are worth celebrating. Some deserved special praise.
So do yourselves a favor tonight. Find a Sharks’ fan and walk up to him. Get real close.