Howard Roark is a guest writer at lakingsnews.com. He, like Surly and I, breathes and bleeds our hockey team. Here is his quick hits contribution about last night’s game two. Enjoy.

By Howard Roark:

What a game last night.  The excitement is still reverberating.

Is there a better two way player in Hockey than Ryan Kesler?  I first noticed him in the initial showdown between the U.S. and Canada at the Olympics. Kesler always seemed to have a knack for breaking up plays.  He was a relentless forechecker with a great scoring touch as he demonstrated getting the U.S. back into the Gold Medal game.  Last night, the guy assists on both goals and almost puts the game away with a great individual effort.  If you notice on the game winner, who blocked Kopitar’s first shot?  Vancouver got a steal paying him only $5 mm a year for the prime of his career.

As we have watched Drew Doughty develop, all of us have wondered who to compare him to.  There were the Ray Bourque, Scott Niedermayer and Niklas Lindstrom comparisons made at one time or another.  I am going to commit heresy and say that Doughty’s upside most matches a certain # 4 who played in Boston, and I saw regularly at Madison Square Garden, many years ago.  Could a monster contract be in the offing?

As I watched Henrik Sedin in Game 1, I wondered how long it would take Anze Kopitar to hit that level.  After all, Sedin is 29 and has played in the NHL for nine years.  Last night proved it won’t take that long for Kopitar.  He advanced one level in the regular season and another during these playoffs.  One can only wonder how dominant he will be if he gets a taste of victory in his mouth and works out all summer.

Speaking of Doughty and Kopitar, isn’t it amazing how this young core have taken the team on their backs.  Among the Kings’ best players have been Doughty, Kopitar, Quick, Johnson, Greene, Brown, Simmonds, and Richardson.  It is scary how good they could be as they truly develop.

Kudos to Terry Murray.  One of the truisms of sports is that the best players have to play.  This has to be demonstrated between the lines and not based on reputation.  Justin Williams and Randy Jones were not cutting it.  It took balls to make these moves, but they were the right ones.

Please, oh, please, Alain do not pull Alberts from the lineup.  He is a heart and soul guy who deserves more ice time.

Henceforth, the ‘T’ word has been banned from my household.  You know, the one that describes those two softies from Sweden who happened to be born minutes apart.  We don’t need no stinking T’s.  They’re still trying to figure out how Doughty knew what they were going to do before they themselves knew.

I really liked Dean Lombardi’s reaction to the winning goal.  While Hextall was jumping up and down, one could not even discern a smile from our GM.  This is a man who is going to need to see a lot more before he is satisfied.

Can’t wait till Monday- this is fun, ain’t it?

Categories: L.A. Kings News



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