What a city. What a game. What a night!
Frozen Fury XIII was fast and, without shame, furious. From the moment I walked into the gauntlet, I saw my brethren in packs of thousands crowding the Studio Walk. Shop owners and employees, hotel guests, and recently married couples in tuxedos and wedding gowns on each side stood and watched with a “who the hell is this mob?” look fixed on their faces. The mob is Los Angeles and we brought Figueroa and 11th to Vegas with a crowd of over 11,000 (a sell out) but with the noise of 20,000 in heat. Within this Studio Walk, we greeted each Colorado fan that shuttered through with a personalized “Hey Avalanche fans, YOU SUCK!” and assorted well intended insults.
Inside the arena, Kings fans united in a chorus of intense boos to the Avalanche skating on the ice. The Kings’ entrance shook the place as the roar of Kings fans drowned out the otherwise blaring arena speakers. We didn’t need songs or drums to get us going. Tonight, our lungs served the purpose.
Here are some thoughts and tidbits that percolate in my still spinning head:
Kopitar was a monster tonight. He was a defensive God out there, not just back checking and hustling, but taking away passing lanes, digging pucks out of the corners to start the play the other way, and bumping opposing forwards off the puck. What a force. What a gem of a first line center we have. He gave all Kopitarians faith in his superstar status.
Schenn can dish it and take a hit…or three. He was rocked a few times but immediately got up unfazed. Brayden also looked for the puck on his stick several times and probably could have and should have had a goal in the second frame but the puck hopped over his stick just left of Anderson.
Speaking of Anderson, he sucks.
Quick…he wasn’t all that great either. The first goal was soft and unfortunately a shot with which he has struggled since the outset. He went down too soon on a wrist shot from the circle, no traffic in front of him, one on one. I grew a gray hair. He was beat again on a similar shot by the same player (Jones) in the third.
The second line struggled to generate offense. They weren’t bad. They just weren’t very good either. Williams had some hustle though. Jarret and Justin had a tough time finding each other out there while Brad was looking for a pass, any pass, so he could put it on net.
Watching an Avalanche forward bounce off Westgarth after he set a pick at the left circle was a hilarious sight. On one penalty kill series, Kevin gobbled up about 30 seconds of time holding on to the puck in the corner and staving off the frustrated Avalanche.
The goals came from Kopitar, Doughty and Smyth. Anze’s goal was on a backhand in the first. He skated around the net, passed to Scuderi at the point, shot, rebound came to Brown who passed it to Kopitar for the goal.
Doughty’s goal was a powerplay goal on a shot from the point…wrist shot? Slap shot? Can’t remember. It was a rocket though.
Smyth’s goal was a wrist shot from just inside the blue line on the left side. He took a pass from Kopitar who was driving the center with speed and dropped it off for Ryan. Smyth just let it go and I am not sure if it deflected but Anderson seemed to never see it because he had a delayed reaction.
For those who weren’t there, you were missed. You will also be missed tonight as Surly and I now seek to conquer this city once and for all.