For the benefit of Ducks fans who may read this article, the snowman refers to the number 8. As in 8 in row…that is 8 wins in a row…and very much at your expense.
One of the pleasures of Staples Center is everything it lacks in common with the rival Orange County arena. For every silicon filled 40 something year old mother of two who hasn’t had a good lay in a decade at Honda Center, there are ten gorgeous 20 something girls at our home who define hot. For every kid with a kazoo or duck call who still lament the name change from the Pond, there are a 100 intense Kings fans who would gladly oblige any similarly inclined Ducks fan to a discussion about the effects of a post concussion syndrome after a good ass kicking.
For all the rivalry, shouting, chanting and good natured fun between our Kings and the whiny kids down the freeway, two things have become clear. The Ducks are yesterday. The Kings are here, now and tomorrow.
There were two different games played in the opening period. The initial ten minutes of the first found the Kings unwilling to protect the center of the ice. The second half saw Los Angeles playing stingy defense and disallowing any opportunities from high percentage areas while, at the same time, attacking the recently signed Jonas Hiller’s net with the puck and bodies. The period ended tied 1-1. The Kings’ goal came from Anze Kopitar after a nice takeaway by Brad Richardson from Scott Niedermayer. Los Angeles had very much taken the momentum.
At the end of the first, I told my fellow writer, Surly, that I expected a 3-1 lead by the end of the 2nd as we were on the cusp of taking over the game. Alas, to toot my own horn, that is exactly what happened as the Kings received goals from Wayne Simmonds and Michal Handzus. Both goals were on shots near the net. Wayne Simmonds picked up the puck on a Kopitar shot. Handzus deflected one from Alexander Frolov.
The third saw the Kings take a 4-1 lead on a Jack Johnson slapper from the left point and just inside the blue line. Handzus, as he did all game, provided the screen. By Hiller’s reaction, he never saw it.
The Ducks did come back to tie the game on a few defensive breakdowns and odd plays. More than a few Kings fans asked why, for the love of the Hockey Gods, is Randy Jones on the ice. We hope our coach asks the same. It was all for nothing however as this game was pre-destined. Dustin Brown scored after Hiller gave up a fat rebound to the long side on an Anze Kopitar shot. Brown saw nothing but an empty net. Then, with under 2 minutes left, the Kings refused to give the puck back to Anaheim and Getzlaf took a penalty that sealed their fate. Kopitar drove in the final nail with 27 seconds remaining.
More post game thoughts, tidbits and stats to follow.
Categories: L.A. Kings News