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.