“That’s your first good hit of the year,” Blackhawks’ Adam Burish yelled to Daniel Carcillo from the Chicago bench. No, it wasn’t a compliment. Burish was agitating opposing agitator Carcillo over the latter’s miss / hit on his teammate Jeff Carter.
Game two of the Stanley Cup was a memorable one. It reminded me what the Cup finals are supposed to be – fast. In every respect. Skating, passing, shooting, hitting and even witty repertoire. Throw in some relatively piss poor officiating (either the zebras couldn’t keep up with the pace of the game or the pre-lock out rule book was implemented with the one page Chris Pronger addendum) and we had one hell of a hockey game.
I also realized or, better stated, reaffirmed a notion with which I had been wrestling since the Kings were eliminated by the Canucks. We’re close. Closer than I expected the team to be by this date. Looking up and down both the Blackhawks and Flyers’ lineup, it’s not difficult to see what the Kings are missing: (1) Speed. Speed kills and we don’t have enough of it especially at the number 3 and 4 defensive positions as well as within our top 9. (2) An experienced number 4 puck moving defenseman who can make plays and take care of his own end. After Doughty, Johnson and Scuderi, nobody on the team fits that mold. No, it’s not Matt Greene. Sean O’Donnell was that player many season ago. Randy Jones…what the hell is the matter with you? (3) One more legitimate top 6 forward. Chicago especially oozes depth in this respect and when I look back at the Kings’ season, nearly every game we lost involved the opponent finding a way to shut down the first line 5 on 5. That doesn’t happen with a certain 6’2″, 230 pound Russian superstar. (4) Repertoire. That’s right. The Kings need to put Surly and I on the payroll. A full season of tutoring and we’ll elevate our boys’ vocabularies and arm them for a wicked assail.
We couldn’t say all this two seasons ago. We couldn’t say it last season. It feels good to say and write it now. Dean is said to be modeling our team after the Blackhawks. We are a few pieces away from being nothing less.