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.
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.