Thoughts & Tidbits From Preseason Game 1 of Kings v. Coyotes

Andrei Loktionov played a hell of a game on both ends of the ice. He has a unique skill of vanishing and reappearing behind opposing defenders. On twitter, I dubbed him Loktiwizard. I want to see this kid make the team. He looked great at camp and in this game. I don’t buy the “top 6 or bust” theory with Loktionov.

To the other “ov”, how about Slava Voynov? I knew he had offensive skills, but he was cool and composed out there in all situations. His passes were seamless, his skating fluid, he made good decisions with the puck and I didn’t see the hesitation I expected (and often see from young defensemen) when the puck was on his stick behind his own blue line. Slava was very comfortable out there. He seemed to operate on instinct and not once did I see him force a play. Even when he made a long pass from the red line that was intercepted, he quickly got back into position and ensured the forward stayed to the outside.

Thomas Hickey should have had a goal tonight. Instead, Kyle Clifford was called for interference when he stood 2 feet in front of the blue paint and never touched the goalie. Nice to see NHL officiating picked up this season right where it left off last season. Helene Elliott called it “dubious”. I have a different word. Phantom. It’s one thing to miss a call when it’s close. It’s another when the referee just makes shit up. At his angle, he would have had to be 87 and partially blind in one eye to see Kyle Clifford at or near the blue paint or otherwise interfering with the goaltender. This wasn’t just a bad penalty call. This was a disallowed goal. Those matter. I can’t recall if it was Dan O’Halloran or the other idiot, David Banfield, who made the call but whomever it was better keep that garbage away from the regular season or they may find their name, once googled, filled with unpleasant prose courtesy of Surly & I.

While we are on Clifford, I am annoyed that he fought that scrub, Ryan Hollweg. Kyle is too important to this franchise to pick fights or engage no talent goons like that. The Kings should have a simple rule for Clifford – he can fight in any game he scores a goal. Period, no exceptions.

Darian Dziurzynsk is not a real name. Bobby Dzijertiecrate. See, I can put a bunch of random letters together and call it a name. Surly Drezikconex. Another example. I could do this all day.

Scott Parse was awful. I suppose we can chalk it up to returning after a serious injury and a long layoff in between but if it is more than that and the performance tonight is what we can expect from Parse…you know what, let’s not go there. Instead, let’s see if tonight’s Parse is Sunday’s or if a talented hockey player who isn’t two steps behind the play at all times shows up against the Ducks. Oh, and Scott Parse on the shootout, eh coach?

Jordan Nolan isnt’ ready, but he’s close. One more year of seasoning may do it.

Maybe this Dustin Brown, Mike Richards thing will eventually click. For the record, I have from day 1 that Richards and then Gagne became Kings advocated a line of Gagne – Richards – Williams. I want to see Brown with Kopitar and Penner. A Gagne-Richards-Williams line would tear opposing defenders apart. Moving on…

Anyone else notice Jonathan Quick fighting the puck? He made a couple of big saves but he looked uncomfortable to me and unable to control several rebounds he would normally gobble up. Preseason.

The powerplay…preseason.

On a lighter note, I appreciated the 40 something year old, 4’7″, 235 pound “mom” shaking her ass, dancing (we’ll just stick with that word) and making love to the camera on the big screen. I could only watch 5 seconds of it at a time (the camera operators went back to her three times?) before turning away to avoid nightmares later (I am cursed with being very visually acute and having a long-term & vivid memory of what I see to the point I could replay it for you days or weeks later) but did the cameraman really then have to cut to the dude who was playing air guitar with his prosthetic limb? I mean, come on! You’re just trying to keep me from getting a good night’s sleep now.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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45 replies

  1. Props to Terry Fox and Alec Martinez’s mom on the dance cam!

  2. Honestly, I thought Richards and Brown looked really, really good – moreso in the first half of the game. Brown and RichardSON were all up in each others elbow room, which made it a little disjointed, but overall I liked 10 and 23. Sure, if you put Williams on that line it’ll score more, but the same goes for Kopitar’s line. I think Brown’s smug attitude and physical play is a great match with Richards. The Hickey wave off was ridiculous, and it robbed him personally of having a “good” game, rather than the “not bad” game that Terry Murray described.

  3. The prosthetic leg guy was as amazing as Parse as useless.

  4. Parse looked like a zombie skating with a bad hip, Richardson’s defense is what stood out to me……and Voynov looked great, everytime he touched the puck I told my sister,”look its doughty’s replacement” I know its a long shot, but hey I’m happy I’m saying that instead of “who’s gonna replace doughty if he doesnt sign”

  5. Step into the Loktigon! That’s a little freebie for you.

    I loved how strongly Bob Miller enunciated the ‘son’ in Richardson. Makes you think maybe he read all the bloggers fantasizing about him calling a Richards-Richards-Richardson line all summer.

  6. Agree with your assessment, aside from my thinking that Richardson-Richards-Brown looked pretty damn good. If I’m walking away from that game with any concerns, it’s that the Kings flat out didn’t finish on a lot of their better chances. Pogge and Domingue were both good (If I’m PHX I’d take a long look at having Pogge back up Smith over LaBarbera), but the Kings did make their lives easier than was necessary.

    Oh…also Muzzin. How the hell is this the same kid we saw a year ago? He was responsible for the first goal as he was with Dziurynski behind the net and curiously just stopped moving his feet and let him skate to the corner and set up Werek. Terrible, terrible play.

    Voynov might not be Drew Doughty, but he’ll fill in nicely until Doughty gets here. When that happens, if he looks as good as he did tonight consistently, I think he stands a chance of supplanting Martinez.

    Drewiske just looks like his development has peaked and we’ve seen the best we’re ever going to get with him.

    Will never understand the organizations hardon for Parse. Other than deking Kiprusoff out of his jock two seasons ago, he has done very little to make me think he’s a legitimate NHL player.

  7. Loktiwizard???? I thought Lokti already had a nickname, and it was a good one. Jimmy Neutron”, aka “Boy Genius”. I think he even looks like him:

    If this Doughty signing does not happen soon, hopefully Voynov, Hickey, etc play outstanding, putting a bit of anxiety into the minds of Drew and Don.

  8. Parse was as useless as the guys prosthetic leg scratch him put richardson with cliffy and stoll. Let lokti center Lewis and Westgarth/Ethan

    • Wrong time to scratch him. You want to get more of these games in for him to be ready for the regular season. The timing will take a while because the guys basically sat for over a year.

  9. I thought Hickey should have had a goal also, and I saw a few posts saying that Hickey wasn’t that good. I bet if that goal would of counted, those people would of thought differently about him without even thinking about the stuff they complained about.

    On Quick, I thought he looked good. He faced 13 shots through 2 periods, and maybe 1 or 2 of those were 2nd chance opportunities. Maybe a few went wide, but not a lot off of sloppy play. They were more off of difficult saves to begin with. He didn’t make any glaring mistakes with his puckhandling, and the defensemen seemed to recieve the puck o.k.. Just how I saw it, doesn’t mean I’m right.

  10. Loktionov’s nickname is Loki.

    Mike Richards nickname is officially Mikey from this point forward.

    I like Barry’s idea that Voynov’s nickname is Vito.

    Martin Jones pads look really cool with the black jersey.

  11. Didn’t see much of Quick’s fighting of the puck. Could be attributed to the fact I was working while the game was on. I did get a chance to watch Jones and was impressed with his overall play minus his lateral movement. He had one great save in the shootout moving from his left to right, though.

    Voynov was fun to watch. I thought he did really well and would like to see him get a shot on the squad.

    Other than that, and I know it’s pre-season but some of the players seemed to be moving like fudge on a cold winter’s day. Cliffy looked ready and made a lot of them look like they were standing still and for a guy who’s not that great of a skater by NHL standards, that’s disconcerting.

    All in all, I’m just glad hockey’s back! Wish I could have seen some of the game in Phoenix like the 12 people who actually showed up to that game. From the pictures, Penner looks to be in top shape. That’s good news.

    And Parse?…. Yeah, about that….

  12. I am with you about the Richards line. I would rather see Williams in there over Brown and have Richards lead that line. Richards just has that natural leadership quality.

  13. Hunter…..looked good, puck control and possession along the boards was very strong

    JJ was JJ had a couple rushes end to end, same old backhand no goal.

    Parse was the flat tire on the Stoll line

    Loki is a keeper, ” He is the Wizard King……He ‘Could’ do Anything ”

    Vito….was the best player on the ice, should of pulled the trigger on one play during one power play, but other wise…..making it tough on management.

    Mikey looked like a preseason preformance, giving 80%

    • I remember that play for Vito not shooting. I remember thinking he must have been trying to stick to the Kompon dictum “if it looks too good to be true, pass, don’t shoot”

  14. I think they were waking up after a summer off and working out kinks still….like a Monday morning after a killer weekend…you are there and some are more awake than others.
    Quick being one of those who seemed a tad more sleepy.

    Overall just great to be back at Staples….!

    PS: don’t bring up the dancing please now my eye is twitching again…thanks Bobby :o(

  15. Love the Kudos on Latte nickname for him as he is smooooth…I love his play, really want him on the team. I thought he looked great at training camp as well. Has matured and seemed a lot more comfortable with the team.

  16. I love the look of the new white jerseys on the ice! I was a bit skeptical at first but wow. They sure look good. What do you guys think of them?

  17. “…advocated a line of Gagne – Richards – Williams.”

    Sure, as long as we can call it the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air line.

  18. I’d love to talk about “Game Stuff”with you guys …

    but they’re talkin about FASHION again over at the other blog and I just can’t stay away!

    (oh Brownie would look oh so good in purple!)

    • I’m saving the jersey debate thread for after the vast majority of fans gets to see them on a nice big HD telecast. Photos aren’t enough. Have to see them as a group on the ice in motion for a whole game, THEN we can adequately debate their merit.

      Quisp can jump the gun and hate the lack of color palette for now. Let him complain that the jersey’s aren’t slimming. If I wanted to have that conversation, I’d bother listening to my fiance before we go out on a Saturday night. There is a good reason I tune certain conversations out at home, so why would I want to have them in my safe haven?

  19. Am I the only one who thinks Brown and Mikey looked OK together? Great? Obviously not. Instant magic? No. But I see serious potential between those two once they get a good read off each other. Not all great lines are born overnight.

    • You aren’t the only one. I thought they read off each other pretty well given the short amount of time they’ve had to get comfortable. I also think they will develop a good bit of camaraderie from their shared penchant for a hard hitting game.

    • From what I saw in camp, Brown, Richards, Gagne have great chemistry. Last night was incredibly different from what I saw in camp. I think they still have kinks to work out and think a few more games a healthy Gagne will speak volumes about the talent that line has.

    • I’m sure I’ll be totally wrong but my sense is that Richards really excels with top talent guys because he’s very much a playmaker mentality. Love the way he skates in, pulls up waits for things to pass by and threads those passes cross ice or wherever the play is. But he’s hella dangerous that way because even though he pulls up he can still turn on the jets and blow by you if he sees that chance. He’s a really smart player.

      Brown, on the other hand, he’s just a train coming at you. He’s not the best of stickhandlers or the best of skaters. He’s not necessarily a flashy dangler. He’s out to punish you. So that’s why I’m thinking Williams is a better fit because Williams just has that natural scoring touch where Brown’s got to work at it more.

      I’m hoping that Richards doesn’t get frustrated with Brown but hell if this is Brown’s year and his game really elevates on a Consistent (key word) basis then I’m sure that combo will do well.

  20. Hey Bobbie, Go to Video Review. Toward the end of the 3rd your dancer held up a sign , I think it was for you.

    Also, alongside from the goal keeping they got Chipchura had a good game for Phoenix last night.

  21. I am laughing for how much pure feces I have received over the past season for saying how NHL ready Slava Voynov (Viacheslav Voynov in Minsk) was and here we are talking about how ready the kid is. He is as projected, a mobile NHL ready defenceman who is smart and quick enough to make up for any shortcomings in his own end that might arise and talented enough offensively that he should be playing in the NHL right now. He is and really should be either for us or someone else at the start of this season or we can expect him to start making plans to slip over to the KHL for a reason. I don’t see that happening but you never know then.

    Hickey also looks really good and would be an ideal #7 for us this year but then for different reasons so would Muzz.

    I like the rest of your write up and think that both squads had solid nights.

    I was particularly impressed with the way that MR handled a few situations. I liked watching one of our team getting pissed off both on the ice and the bench about things. You know that MR is going to bring his heart with him when it comes to playing hockey but I liked watching the people around him start getting pissed or happy with him.

    He is going to be a huge impact player for us in more ways than you could expect and I can’t wait to see what he does with Kopi on the team too.

    If anyone of us think that TM is going to have become a better coach simply because of the amount of talent on the team have been served notice last night. TM is still simply out of touch with todays game and was at times a step behind his opponent. Is he good enough to stay out of the way of his talented team long enough for us to win a cup? I think he is or might be but is he going to be the architect of a game plan that will ensure that we do so? I can’t see that happening. TM should be good enough to let this talented team have a great season without him stepping in and screwing things up, after that he needs a way back machine in order to find a time when he could be THE reason that a team wins a cup.

    Good first games though and another great write up. I guess I was right in challenging what I had heard then eh Bobby? No Drew is good Drew.

    • Terry Murray…”Wait a minute, you’re telling me that two line passes aren’t called anymore? Shit, no wonder why a lot of teams are skating the puck into the zone more often…”

  22. HA! Exactly.

    “Damn it! Another bench too many men on the ice penalty? I just can’t figure out how this happens to me all the time”.

  23. Tell me her ass was heart-shaped…

  24. Do you mean upside down shaped heart?

    3 ?

    Maybe I am getting too old.


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