KINGS KICK FEATHERED TIRES TO CURB, 3-2
As I sit here in the home of an enemy, writing to you on a Red Wings fans’ laptop, I can’t help but smile.
Part of it is because when he graciously, albeit bitterly, granted me permission to write this on his computer against his better judgment, I opened to find the browser opened to a google search for “la kings sucks balls”.
You’ll be happy to know that if you type such a blasphemous thing into google, you are given a list that begins with “Rhino records sucks balls”, a porn site, of course, and some Kings’ fans’ blogs exclaiming how the Coyotes suck balls as well as the Ducks announcers.
All is right with the universe on this night, and the Kings sit in the hockey god’s good graces. The Kings came from behind to dominate the game at the apparently defunct Joe Louis Arena where play was almost stalled indefinitely to start the third as a ceiling fixture was in danger of crashing down on the heads of Red Wings fans’ who, at the time were unaware of their team’s impending collapse. Had they looked harder, they would have noticed a trend that started towards the latter half of the first period. Though the Wings’ led by 2, off goals by Filpulla, a defensive breakdown on the minuscule but mighty shoulders of Oscar Moller, and the always atrocious Todd Bertuzzi, a 2 man advantage deflection goal due to a bad call from the back ref on Wayne Simmonds for tripping, the Kings decided this game was theirs to win.
The Kings brought the play to the Red Wings soon after their 2 goal lead was gained and they never relented. Anze Kopitar’s new line was buzzing with Brad Richardson and Wayne Simmonds demonstrating to our prized star forward the daring and proper way to play the game. Ryan Smyth, Jarret Stoll and Dustin Brown, a line I’ve wanted to see since the Smyth trade was announced, bullied their way into to constant possession as expected. Frolov, Handzus and Purcell generated their share of scoring chances, and though Oscar Moller’s line gave up a goal, they served their purpose with Segal crashing and banging, Moller playing smart (besides the one breakdown) and Parse playing with the reckless abandon of putting the puck on net that has benefited him so much. That attitude was rewarded when he blindly threw the puck to the middle, distinctly aware of Richardson’s presence in front of the net, who scored the game-winning goal by tipping in the telekinetic pass.
Before that occurred however, the Kings had to tie the game. Anze Kopitar got the first of his three points when he took a cue from former linemate Smyth, and jumped into the blue paint where a deflected puck awaited him behind the over active Jimmy Howard. Richardson and Simmonds assisted. Then, after spending the near entirety of the second period in the Red Wings’ zone, the Kings continued that type of aggressive play that defines Terry Murray at his best, until Peter Harrold was rewarded with his first goal of the season. Kopitar started the play, carrying the puck down the left side, miraculously pulling off a pass while laying face-up on the ice, to Simmonds, who fed an open and streaking Harrold. Harrold beat Howard cleanly, because, in the words of my Red Wings’ friend, “way to not challenge the shooter Howard!”
The Wings had a short spurt of life after Harrold’s tying goal, tickling the ample paranoia hairs on the backs of even the most optimistic of Kings’ fans’ necks. However Quick came up big, as he had been all game, and the Kings promptly turned play back in their favor and kept it that way until the final buzzer. The Wings did have a late power play that probably would have made me more tense had the silly Wings’ fan not just skipped forward accidentally only moments earlier, revealing the final score of 3-2 on the tape delayed recording.
While the Wings were guilty of what the Kings oft used to be, namely only playing 25 minutes of good hockey, they do deserve credit for not giving the Kings the middle of the ice for most of the game, despite the constant pressure against them. The Kings, however, deserve all the more credit for never faltering or wavering after a highly unfortunate and partially terrible first 10 minutes of the game.
This game was big. The Kings hold on to their playoff spot and gain a 3 point lead over the encroaching Red Wings.
All I can think now is, screw Toronto.
GO KINGS GO!