I’ve seen this team before. A suffocating defense. An offense not built on the perimeter. Rage against the machine that tries to suck the creativity from your game. Players holding the puck until they have lanes before they shoot and when they shoot, they do so without hesitation. Smyth parked in front of the net. Handzus playing intelligent defense. A team that plays on both ends of the ice as a five man unit.
I have seen these Kings.
They are the team that went 12-3 to start the season. The team that looked like “world beaters”, to quote our GM. A team better than most on a great many nights.
If the Kings intend to get hot, now is the time and this is the way. After a home stand that nearly left our playoff hopes decapitated, the LA Kings, the ones that showed up this game and most of the last, must be omnipresent each period of the next eleven, ten of which are on the road. There is no time for lulls, off shifts, bad games or slumps. Only wins matter now and nothing less is acceptable or tolerable to our aggravated psyche.
Am I excited that Willie Mitchell looked healthy, played exceptional defense, that Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson looked like All Stars, that Quick was better than Thomas and controlled the rebounds, that our forwards finally found the middle of the ice and sought to create opportunities from their God given skill set and our Kings again looked unshaken and impenetrable? Yes. Am I ready to relax? No. Not for a while. Not until we win on Wednesday and then set fire to Minnesota (sorry, Tyler), Edmonton, Calgary, Pittsburgh, Washington, Philadelphia, Columbus, New York, Long Island and burn the damn Honda Center to the ground…The Mayor yelled out between the 1st and 2nd period, “Hey Bobby, smile. We’re up!” as he pointed to the scoreboard. I don’t smile again until we make the playoffs this season and only then long enough to regroup my scowl.