Is It Too Early To Call A Playoff Matchup?

I refuse to believe that I was the only one watching this game tonight muttering to myself “we’re gonna play these guys in the first or second round this year.” Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking, since after two games, the Kings and the Stars have given us one wonderful defensive struggle and another back and forth high flying offensive showing. I can also feel the hate brewing. Oh wait, that might just be me watching Ribiero skate off the ice. Even with his head hung low in defeat I can’t help but really, really dislike that guy. Although Jamie Benn is starting to give him a run for his money.

If you aren’t a psychopath thinking about April in October, then you’re probably thinking about Russians in America. Needless to say, Slava Voynov, no fuck it, the guy gets his full name written out, Viateslav Doughtycanblowmeslav Voynov didn’t just get his first NHL point tonight, he got three of them. Gaining momentum off a solid assist on the Kings’ first goal by Williams, Slava proved his slap shot is as fast and smooth as his skating. A beautiful read by Brown and an alignment of Stars later and Slava skates off the ice with two goals to his name. OK fine we all know the story, Whiskey is perfect for the7th man role, Martinez is subject to waivers, and Greene is mean and plays with craters of blood and pus in his forehead, so the prudent thing to do is to send Slava back to Manchester once Drew is activated. But does prudent win hockey games? It certainly didn’t win one tonight.

Quite the opposite was true. Fast and furious play, daring passing and an innate refusal to give Kari Lehtonen any breathing room, physical or otherwise, won the Kings tonight’s contest. Everyone made some mistakes and everyone made some quality plays. I suppose this is where I have to credit Scott Parse for his goal. Consider it credited. This game exemplified the highs and lows of playing with your heart and talent on your sleeve.

Going into the third period with a 3-1 lead, you just knew that Dallas was not going to let it end that way. When they tied the game 3-3 after ripping momentum from the Kings like a bitchy nurse rips medical tape off your hairy chest, I felt no pressure, only the coils of my excitement winding more tightly. This game was intense, but never nerve racking. The Kings allowed their side of the seesaw to sway, but never let go of the handlebars.

I was planning on working in how crappy the attendance was in Dallas, but something so pathetically minuscule doesn’t really deserve an intricate weave. Instead I offer you a statement as glaring as the subject it projects upon… Does anyone give a shit about hockey in Dallas?

Let’s see, what else? I don’t really care to single anyone else out. They played as a team. If I am going to single anyone out, I suppose it must be Jamie Kompon. Have you ever seen the Kings move and pass like that on the power play? Was this the first time Kompon thought that might be a nice thing to try? You know, I loved it and I’m just going to assume it was totally by design and expect to see more of it. However, this does not discount that I would not be surprised if we are empirically not the single worst team on the 5-on-3 in the history of the game. I used to scream at players when there was a delayed penalty on a power play, “give them the puck! Stop the play!” Now, after years of being conditioned to fear the 2-man advantage, I was angry at Kopitar for intentionally giving the puck away when the ref’s hand went up. Does he know nothing?

That now ends the requisite griping portion of this post.

It also ends the post. Voynov, power play, nod to Parse, scoring 5 goals, shitty attendance, I think that covers all the bases. Greene’s busted face probably deserves another mention. There it was.

Screw Phoenix.


Categories: L.A. Kings News

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29 replies

  1. Let’s look at that “prudent” question. I liked this post from JT/Greatest in the World:

    “I like Greene a lot as a player; always have. But I know that he’s a flawed player. If Voynov shows himself to be the real deal, then Greene should be rotated in and out as the 6th/7th defenseman, depending on the situation and the opponent.

    Or, the Kings could just dress seven defensemen each game.”

    You also liked this thinking. So, if Voynov goes down (not Martinez, and shouldn’t be), then what kind of draft pick can be had for Drewiske, and within what sort of time frame?

    THis is perhaps a case where a new player plays his way onto the team, and a player who has helped but can no longer hold a position should be “recycled” into a future draft pick (as opposed to some other player the team doesn’t need at this time).

  2. voynov should take drewiske’s spot. place him on waivers or trade him for a draft pick.

  3. It was relatively easy for Voynov to attack the net on his first goal. In their own zone the Stars shrink in on themselves like a dick in ice water.

    His second goal was like JJ’s last Saturday night. Who the fuck could see it coming?

    Nevertheless, I like Voynov too. But he’s really gotta be the one to go back to Manchester. Martinez and Drewiske are too useful — and too cheap — to lose in the waiver market. Even if we traded Drewiske for a draft pick, what good would it serve planting Voynov’s ass in the press box, when he should be playing steadily to keep erect and ready for action?

    No: If he replaces anybody up here it’s gotta be Martinez. But I don’t wanna lose him either. Considering how much he improved from the 2009-10 season to 2010-11, I think his upside has yet to be scratched. And while he’s no behemoth, he plays bigger than Voynov.

    So Slava’s gotta be the one to be sent down. My biggest fear is that he’ll escape to some European league in a snit. We must do SOMETHING to prevent that — steal his passport, plant dope in his Buick, or try the old blackmail stand-by — the 8×10 glossies of his dick up a terrier’s ass. (Better make that a sable’s ass. It’s more Russian.)

  4. Voynov had a good game, but overall the prudent thing is to send him back to Manchester. The Kings have the benefit of time with Slava. I wouldn’t give anything away unless my hand was forced, and I believe that is the way the Kings are looking at it also.

    Whiskey, and Greene serve a different prurpose on the ice, and Martinez is doing a great job. Voynov had a great Doughtyesk type game last night, but is in no way a replacement for someone like DD.

    I have every confidence that Voynov is very much in the future plans for the Kings, and will be here permenantly within the next year. He’ll see a lot more call ups this season, and if there’s any major injuries to the defense, we are completely covered.

    Depth is a wonderful thing, and letting anyone go now to bring Voynov in, would mean if there’s any major injuries to the defense, we’re not so covered, but are deep enough to survive. This has to be the deepest defense I’ve ever seen from the Kings, and like the goaltending, I would like to enjoy it for a year or so, and see if we can win a cup with it.

  5. Wanted to put a seperate post about Dallas. I hate Dallas. Not only because they are a rival team, but because they consistantly destroyed us through the 90’s to early 00’s. I think they gave us fits for like 12 or 13 years, and now the time has come, where the hunted has become the hunter.

    The Stars don’t scare me like they used too. I don’t look at the schedule anymore and say “Oh shit! not these guys”. When we play them I say “these guys are fucking toast”.

    Watching the game last night did have me worried though. The attendence was dismall, and a lot could be said about ownership, and management, and the team being sold, and yadda yadda yadda. But the numbers aren’t adding up in Phoenix, or Anahiem either. I haven’t scouted any San Jose games out yet this season, so I can only guess from the past few years that their attendence is still solid.

    Is hockey dying in the Pacific division?

    • Is it the Pacific or the west side of the US in general?

      I remember last season that places like Phoenix and Dallas both had low attendance but nothing like we’ve seen this year so far.

      I will be attending the Kings/Avs game Sunday night and will be curious how things look there as far as attendance but we got our tickets for $6 each so i’m not expecting a huge crowd.

    • Re: attendance, world series game last night featuring a Texas team in a cinch position.

      Dallas may not be the King killers of yore but they remain a point up after having lost to LA twice. They looked damn good, too.

      Funny thing, just as I was thinking we really needed Doughty to have any chance Voynov has his coming out.

    • Dallas became what Calgary had been until ’93.

      I wouldn’t compare it to Phx., where the Roadrunners were a very good WHL team that made it to the WHA (not even Seattle did that, though they should have)but couldn’t make it to NHL. PHX is marginal for hockey, like Atl. In Dallas, it must be ownership. Ironic that this is the same organization that said it couldn’t sell hockey tickets in Minn., where grade-schoolers used to get out early to watch the high-school hockey championship games.

      But, we have a poster from Dallas, do we not?

  6. A Small but loud crowd. Voynov’s first goal could have gone either way. Lehtonen was there, just botched the glove.

  7. Is It Too Early To Call A Playoff Matchup?

    … In a word, yes.

    I refuse to believe that I was the only one watching this game tonight muttering to myself “we’re gonna play these guys in the first or second round this year.”

    … I don’t see it. Everyone was singing Dallas’s praises at the beginning of last season, too – prematurely. The Stars still don’t play much defense, and I don’t see Lehtonen continuing to be near-perfect in bailing them out. It’s way early. Vancouver isn’t going to miss the playoffs. San Jose isn’t going to miss the playoffs. Some of the teams up there in the top eight in the West are going to be bumped off; simple as that. I see Dallas as being one of those teams.

    Viateslav Doughtycanblowmeslav Voynov

    … Can’t you just be happy for Voynov without injecting Doughty Hate (TM) into the discussion? Apparently not.

    Either way, welcome to the Kings, young man.

    • Its more That these two teams are playing eachother like they are already in the playoffs, stepping up against eachother, than it is praise for Dallas specifically. I can see them sneaking in at #7 or 8, if you catch my lofty drift.

      As for the Doughty comment, jeez dude its not Doughty hate, its a joke about Voynov’s attitude towards Doughty coming back ad taking the spot Voynov is clinging to for dear life. Have a sense of humor. Smell a rose. I’m thrilled to have Drew back soon.

  8. Dallas lacks depth and will likely not make the playoffs. Did you notice how few fans were in the stands? Part of it is due to the World Series, but that was a disgrace.

  9. Mark the date, and it comes even before game 10. If we don’t make the playoffs now, we can all point to this ridiculously early blog post about playoffs. Way to go.

    • Lol. Very well, but now I can point to you for cynicism, all year long, regardless of what happens throughout the season. Even I’m Not that superstitious, and I’m pretty damn superstitious.

  10. I was at the game live last night and that’s EXACTLY what I was thinking too during the drive home. Whether the Stars will actually make the playoffs? We’ll see, but I would love to experience Kings playoffs hockey live, especially in a rival city. I’ve been here for 5 years and I’ve been to every Kings vs Stars matchup and last night was the emptiest I’ve ever seen the American Airlines Center but remember, the Texas Rangers were one win away from possibly winning their 1st ever World Series title. The supposed 8,443 fans that were at the game last night, a huge chunk of them were in the Jack Daniels club and the Audi club, which are connected or inside AAC, watching the World Series(STUPID). It’s a love-hate thing watching games in Dallas because majority of the fans here are incredibly ignorant about their team and history, the league in general and the great players who paved the way for most of the current NHL’ers, but at the same time it can be very entertaining. The Kings didn’t exactly play their best game last night but watching Quick make some incredible saves and Voynov play a great game made it worthwhile. GKG!!!

  11. Btw, since I sadly need to point This out apparently … “is it too early to call a playoff marchioness?” Is a rhetorical question. If I was really saying This will happen, I wouldn’t pose it as a question. Of course its too early. It was just a little feeling I had during the game.

    • SJ:

      I am just having fun with you above, it was pretty much a tongue in cheek reply all the way. Just don’t start talking about “Home Ice Advantage” or something specific like that and we will be fine. Am I really seen as a Cynicist? I guess you still need to get to know me then.

  12. I saw a slightly different game. I will admit to not joining until midway through the 2nd. But what I saw in the third was:

    * the forecheck completely and utterly fall apart. We were back to that f’ing “‘shot mentality’ 1-timer slap from the d-man on the point” game. Go Terry, go!”

    * the defensive structure start to fail (start to — we didn’t get all the way to that awful chase mentality)

    I’m afraid we made that “most dangerous lead in hockey” crap come true.

    But there was a recovery which is a good and reassuring thing. Last year the team would have lost this game.




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