SOBERING UP

I may be referring to the state of my equilibrium; the aftermath of the Kings’ convincing 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks involved many beers.

I’m actually referring to what I’m about to do, which is make a tiny cut in the joy of the win and add to it a grain of salt.

Bobby already took you through the game, so I need not do that.  He sufficiently covered the awesome.

The not awesome?

Well…

Usually two goals is enough for one to have a good game.  I can not say the same for Dustin Brown.

I commend our captain for his efforts in the third period.  His two goals were a result of the power forward being in the right place at the right time, where he is supposed to be in the blue paint.  However outside of those two plays, I did not think Brown had a strong outing at all.  I don’t believe I noticed him more than once until he found himself on the recieving end of a marvelous play by Kopitar.  I saw more hits that resulted in Brown losing his balance and his target skating away than the usual reverse.  I saw Brown losing more pucks than he put on net, the two he scored were his only shots on goal, very unusual for the trigger happy winger.

Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson.  Not up to snuff.  Doughty made some fantastic defensive plays.  They didn’t need to be fantastic.  Had Doughty not been fighting to get back into position at the last possible moment, something his extremely high skill level allows him to get away with more often than most, many of the plays that had the crowd cheering “Dreeeeeeew!” would have gone over like a Scuderi-esque stick check, with polite applause.  As for Jack, I don’t have any condemnations other than a lack of offensive output, which goes for Drew as well.  They need to score and score often.

These two are not playing poorly.  They are simply not playing at the all-star level they are capable of consistently repeating.

This speaks to another sobering moment, one I had during the game last night.  No, its not that Sedin-Sedin-Samuelsson is far and away the single ugliest line in hockey, with faces a mother would be hard pressed to love.

Rather, the lightning bolt moment when I found myself being hyper critical while the Kings were keeping in check and leading the projected Stanley Cup favorite for a second time in the early season.  We have an incredible team.

Its an odd feeling, but a good one.  I’m not even sure when exactly the transition occurred, from searching for a flake of gold in a pit of tar to wanting to buff and polish every last bit of dust off Michelangelo’s David.

With great times come greater expectations.

Gone are the days when I will be satisfied with a solid effort.

Done is the time of simply hoping a bad goal stays out of our net.

Over is the hill that loomed when a ‘better’ team would come to town.

This Kings’ team is taking the next step before our eyes and we should be no happier with anything besides the best than with which we expect the players to be contented.

A goalie cornucopia.  A defensive brigade.

The offense has begun and for that, I will not likely remain sober.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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48 replies

  1. Yeah dude thanks. Almost exactly how I saw things. Douhgthy I’m sure beleives he’s already a star and is at Burger king as we speak. Brown is just a bum has been and always will be. Lets credit the win to those who deserve scuderi poni and our true and silent captain Kopitar.

    • I don’t think Brown is a bum at all, I just didn’t think that was his best game despite the goals, which were exactly the kind of goals he should be scoring.

    • This is a bit obtuse. Hockey is a team game. No one or a few players get “credit” for the win to the exclusion of others. Brown contributes off the scoresheet though his checking and defensive play plenty of nights. Last night, he did both. I don’t expect him to light the lamp every game to have an effective one. Murray has placed him on the first line so he can play the power forward position. He hasn’t done an A job yet, but we are in game 4. My bigger concern right now is the 1st line left wing position.

      • Um then why are there 3 stars at the end of games. Brown is doing a job that as described by you can be done by zeiler for a lower cap hit. His defense is poor at best and most of his hits are poorly tlimed and executed.

        • Defense poor? I don’t agree with that at all. Zeiler and Brown are as similar as an eagle and a featherless pidgeon.

          • I don’t know then we must not be watching the same game. I don’t see the hustle and intelligent play that I’ve seen from kopitar or ponik or some of the other guys I just see a lost bafoon always out of position and thinks he can make things happen beign a battering ram. If you say I’m misguided or whatever fuck it I’m proud of that cause I don’t share the same views as the average idiot oops I mean fan.

        • 3 stars are those that contributed to the win through their exceptional play, not who are “credited” for the win. It’s not a subtle difference. Brown is not in the lineup last night and I am not sure we win. Regarding his defensive play, suggest you watch the games closer. Last season, you had a point. This season, he has been solid on D.

  2. Brown is a north to south player. Expect a skill level commensurate with an elite talent and you blame yourself, not Brownie. The goals he scored last night are what I expect of him. Drive to the net, take players with you, create time and space for your center and left wing to get the shot there. He isn’t Williams and to expect that from him sets you up for disappointment.

    Regarding Johnson, what did you expect Surly? He is an offensive defenseman. He had a laser of a pass to Stoll on Jarret’s goal. He is jumping into the play when he should. Will he make a mistake here or there by pinching too early or too deep? Yes. So did Paul Coffey. So have many offensively gifted defensemen with speed and size. I don’t expect Jack to be Larry Robinson on defense and Mike Green on offense.

  3. You admit to being drunk, and your observations are blurred and misguided I think this time. May be better to analyze sober.

    • LOL. Calling out Jacob. I am grabbing the popcorn.

      • Hey Bobby, I think larva is really Hammond or Quisp trying to do in your blog!

        PS Nice blog. I’ll take this club winning ugly every night. Looks like another fun season to watch.

        But, I have a nagging concern in the back of my mind. The one thing making me nervous is Lombardi’s habit of saving money by plugging holes with “injury-edge” players like Williams and Michell. One wrong bump and the wheel falls off. But it sure is fun for now. Thanks.

    • Shut up dude for once he made a bit of sense.

    • Lol. The drunk came AFTER the game. Though I do wish I had been able to write about it right after the game instead of the morning after with a none too friendly feeling in my head.

    • You may be right though, in terms of my observations being blurred and misguided. Being a fan first I get caught up at games and oftentimes miss segments or plays because of the fun I’m having with the people I sit next to every game, its part of the fun of being a season seat holder. I could be wrong about Brown, but my point was that up until those two goals I thought Brown was not having an effective game and the two goals don’t change the way I felt about the first two periods.

      I feel what I said, but I also think its being taken a bit… skewed, both by those who agree and those who disagree.

      I will say… no one seems to be contesting my points about Doughty and Johnson…

      • No dude beer is making you smarter its letting you see things using a more intelligent and observational side of your brain. Definetly drink more beer and encourage Hammond as well as he’s as boring and worthless as it gets.

  4. While I agree with Surly that we should expect elite levels of play out of players with elite talent, I want them to find ways to win at this stage of the season, and that’s what they did last night. When the Canucks threatened to get back into the game last night, Brownie scored on the next shift to restore the lead, and then finished them off a few minutes later. That’s the kind of leadership that I expect from Dustin Brown, and that’ s what we got last night. And since from all accounts the salute of the fans last night, was at his urging, he also led the team to let those of you lucky enough to be in the building that he appreciated your presence. That is what captains do, and that is what I appreciate from our captain.

  5. The Kings are now at the point in their development where it only matters if they win or lose. I agree with Kopitar, it doesn’t matter how their “fantasy” stats stack up anymore, it is all about wins and losses.

    Who cares if they could have played better? They just beat the conference favorites twice in a week. And all 4 goals last night were scored 5-on-5, their supposed weakness. Now everyone is bitching about the Kings PP. It has to be something with Kings fans, never mind that they have a 75% win percentage and lead the league in GAA and SA%. The Kings are built around defense and goaltending, not flashy offensive excitement. The Kings are going to win a lot of 2-1 and 3-2 games this year, so get used to it now before you get even more frustrated.

    I don’t care about style points anymore, the Kings are winning exactly how they were built.

    Would you rather have Doughty win the Norris and Kopitar win the Hart or the Kings win the Stanley Cup? I know which one I would choose.

    • Who said anything about style points?

      Your last question is severe hyperbole. To my mind, Doughty playing Norris level hockey and Kopitar Hart worthy are bricks in the road to the Cup. Not necessary bricks, but they make the road smoother.

      I’m happy with 2-1, 3-2 wins. Any way they can get them. But I also want to see them win when Quick has an off night, which will happen. I want to see them find ways to win when the garbage goal bounces go against them.

      There is no complaining about the win here. The PP does need to be better. The same way we managed to win some playoff games against Vancouver relying on the PP, we need to be able to win when the 5-on-5 doesn’t get it done. Winning is the goal, but in an 82 WAR its not always enough to win and rest of your laurels… when there is room for improvement there needs to be a focus on improvement, not a contentment to having gotten the job done despite some areas that need work. The Kings have about 20 minutes to be happy about the win, after that its time to work on the PP and for Doughty to get back to Norris level hockey.

  6. “I’m happy with 2-1, 3-2 wins. Any way they can get them. But I also want to see them win when Quick has an off night, which will happen. I want to see them find ways to win when the garbage goal bounces go against them. ”

    This assumes that the Kings can’t win if he has an off night? It hasn’t happened yet because Quick has a GAA average under 1, so how do you know they won’t? I’m sure the Kings will have the odd 5-4 and 6-5 games this season too, but who cares if the goals are garbage goals, lucky goals or highlight reel ones?

    Win or lose, that is all I care about this year.

    • I wanna see when Quick has a night of then 2 then 3 in a row to be replaced with Bernier who’s better and smarter and more capable.

      • I am beginning to think that this guy larva (by the way, how come this guy’s name does not start with a capital letter?) needs a psych eval. Tenacity is a bit scary…

        • My pschychiatrist said to stay away from hockey chat as pseudointelligent blowhards such as yourself are causing my psychosis.

          • You are welcome to your opinion, you are welcome to say anything you want about the team and you are welcome to post here as a fan of any team. I really don’t care and I’m not a fan of moderating comments.

            However I draw the line at getting into personal arguments of bullshit tit for tat. And That goes both ways, for everyone.

          • Sorry dude I’m done for today see you tommorow if in not banished that is. Later.

    • We’re splitting hairs here.

      The main difference is that I want to continuously see improvement from the players on an individual basis and as a team, whereas you are happy so long as last nights boxscore says we won. You can’t take the leap That this means I am not happy we won because that simply isn’t true. Thrilled we won, see areas for improvement. Not mutually exclusive states of being.

  7. surly & scribe- when I saw your website for the first time yesterday, I thought-cool a new Kings site- but after reading today’s way too lengthy juvenile arguing with something called larva, who is obviously a duck or capitols fan I don’t think i’ll be back.

    • Well That’s a shame. Discriminating against us for our lack of discriminating against someone else.

      Its harmless discourse, as ridiculous as it may get at times.

      • BOOOOOORING – no hockey info just crap

        • I would refer you to the plethora of hockey articles, interviews and random musings about the team we all. (Well…most of us) love.

          The lineup card at the top was also updated today, if your appetite for recent hockey info needs whetting.

    • Yes banish like Hammond. Yes I’m a ducks fan my favorite player is Parros. And yes my Bantor is juvenile can’t be like you probably a physics proffesor nuclear engineer but more likely a janitor.

    • Sorry to see you go even though you stayed for a day. Hope you check back again. I am not for censorship. If he gets out of control, we will boot him but if I were to eliminate a reader and commenter because he rubs others the wrong way with his style, then that would make me a bit of an ass for censoring different viewpoints. Think of larva as our Avery or, this will make him happy, our Zeiler.

  8. Drew having a slow start, Jack making a few mistakes, special teams not clicking are all things that happened last year as well. I don’t know if that makes me happy or sad. I know Drew will pick things up. I think he his leaning too hard on Mitchel to cover his fanny. Jack is doing the same will Scuds. I trust the right balance will be found.

    The PK was an issue last year, not so far this year. The PP worries me a bit. It is not the not scoring, it is the not even getting into a system. The other team should not have more shots on your PP. I don’t know if it is trying to be too fancy or not using the right players. Last year we complained that they didn’t do anything new. I would take boring PP of last year that worked over watching Quick make another save off a breakaway.

    As for Brown, I think getting these two goals in the way he did will help him go to the front of the net more. Everybody likes to score and all his chances have come with his toes in the paint. I haven’t seen as many bad angle shots from him with no one there for a rebound.

    One loss in four games I will take that all year long. Quick seems to be in the right place more, maybe Bernier rubbing off on him. I am hoping that there is a 2-1 win soon in which the goalie doesn’t have to be a star of the game.

    It is only 4 games in. Nothing is set in stone yet. This team is going to have line up changes soon, when Greene and when(if) Parse come back and the learning curve will be reset. While I would like a true sniper on the team, having a bunch of work hard guys is doing fine.

  9. I will agree that the boy geniuses could have played cleaner. And they can ‘usually’ cover a sloppy play. Brownie…well can’t be robot man every game.
    We do have an amazing set of individuals.But they are young and not everyone will have a great game at the same time. Could you imagine?
    I was watching last seasons playoff games this week..definately see a difference in playoff vs. regular season intensity.

  10. Don’t underestimate the value of playing together and becoming used to one another. Kopitar and Brown could not be more different players and I don’t believe their styles complement one another. Williams is far more fit at the right wing. However, with the chemistry between Smyth-Stoll-Williams, I am content to let that line be. So, we have to exhibit patience but tonight was a step in the right direction. Watching Brown and Kopitar criss-cross at full speed and never stop skating on that third goal was a thing of beauty. From section 119 (right in front of me) I was mesmerized. I was in mid-jump mode before the puck even went in because that last pass by Kopi to Brown could not have been more money.

  11. Step away from my computer for a few days and I end up missing all this?
    Oh *ucks fans, how you disney drones ruin everything.

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