KINGS SKATE TO A VANILLA WIN, NO TOPPINGS FOR ISLANDERS

I just finished a free tasty McFlurry courtesy of a last minute 2nd period goal the Kings’ scored a few months ago.

The milky white ice cream was in honor of the vanilla win the Kings squeezed out tonight, one that was desperately needed but just barely executed. Quick looked sharp and was soundly in position throughout several Islander surges, making very difficult saves look easy. Michal Handzus saved several would-be easy goals for the Islanders himself with deft pass interceptions at the goal line on Quick’s weak side. Matt Greene punished everyone who came near him and the forwards controlled the puck for the majority of the game.

It was a win.

But it was also against a pretty sad team. Sorry New York fans, I feel for you, I do, but that is a brutal line-up and despite the immense amount of hard work the mildly talented team puts in, the lack of skill, depth and structure shows. It shows when the Kings have little to no trouble breaking the puck across the offensive blue line and when they pressure the d-men into continuous turnovers for favorable offside calls and it especially shows when the Kings’ control the puck for nearly all 8 minutes of 4 separate power plays.

If only the Kings’ had remembered you need to shoot the damn puck to score.

Richardson remembered when he settled a hard pass from Simmonds and fired a deadly shot from the slot past Dwayne Roloson in the 1st period for the game’s only goal.

Despite the win, the shutout and all the improvements the Kings’ made in their game here tonight, I could not help but walk out of Staples still feeling concerned. Perhaps it is the dread of season implosions’ past. Maybe it is short sighted hyper paranoia. It might just be that Jack Johnson is playing really, really bad hockey for someone who is supposed to be a big impact player. Could be the McFlurry. The Kings’ won, but they did not decisively dominate a team that is decisively worse. This level of play may beat the Islanders, but it does not defeat the Blackhawks last Thursday. It won’t beat Colorado on Monday.

I realize I may be overly morose after a very relieving victory. So, on the bright side, the penalty kill is still kicking ass. The Islanders possessed the puck no more than the Kings did during their own 8 minutes of power play time. This will definitely have a big impact come the post season. There was speed through the neutral zone and less dump and pretend to chase plays. Randy Jones didn’t do any too TMJ inducing. Quick was back to playing the kind of game he needs to play regularly down the stretch. Gingerly rebound control, solid positioning and lightning fast, awesomely flexible legs that would make a wishbone cringe are more responsible for the win than what Jack Johnson apparently considers to be defense. Sorry, he’s really been pissing me off. There I go getting negative again, why’d you have to go and bring up Johnson?

It’s a step in the right direction, so that’s good.

Tavares is a floater and aside from one good pass in the closing seconds did absolutely nothing to impress me. Moulson’s hair was more interesting.

GO KINGS GO!



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