… It’s a tough loss, any way the Kings and their fans slice it. On a night where the Kings directed nearly seventy shots at the Phoenix net and got 38 of them through, they couldn’t achieve the result they wanted against a Coyotes team that hung around and bided their time. Although there might have been a little nudge from Lady Luck to seal the deal, the Kings don’t really have anyone to blame but themselves. A Power Play in OT was as good a chance as any to seal this one up, but the Kings only managed one shot on goal, and – as so often happens in sports – the unfulfilled chance paved the way for their opponents to snatch the game away. Let’s look at the individual players, one by one.
Matt Greene … Unfortunately his biggest weakness popped up – his inability to make full use of the time he had available – and he got hung up behind his own net, a mistake that led to Vrbata’s first goal. Otherwise, he was very solid; he led the Kings in blocked shots and made a nice outlet to Kopitar that led to the rush that culminated in the Kings getting the tying goal in the third period.
Jack Johnson … A rough and unlucky night. He wasn’t really responsible for the minuses he received, but that’s life, and he really didn’t stand out to me as being strong defensively anyway.
Rob Scuderi … Wasn’t to blame on the second Vrbata goal, as he covered the man in the high-percentage area (Whitney) just like he should have. Solid, as usual.
Drew Doughty … Not a bad game at all from someone returning to action. Led the Kings in ice time, as usual, and while he wasn’t his normal self, he was nowhere near a liability.
Alec Martinez … On the ice for the OT goal against, but not at all to blame as he covered Vrbata like a glove and kept him on the outside.
Willie Mitchell … Without a doubt, the defensive star of the Kings tonight.
Anze Kopitar … Great presence of mind on the goal he scored to find the puck and put it away with the backhand. Always with 100% effort in his own zone to boot. It’s a miscarriage of justice that he ended with a -2. Thanks, Mr. Williams!
Mike Richards … Also a very impressive game. Did a nice job of finding open ice on his goal, and took a fine shot. Struggled at times on the draw but ended up winning one more than he lost.
Justin Williams … Just crap. The player most to blame on Vrbata’s second goal, as he just went into vapor lock in the neutral zone and lost track of his check, and he made little effort to get open and give Greene someone to pass to when the Kings were trying to get out of their zone before Vrbata’s first goal. Attempted all of one shot, and missed the net with it.
Dustin Penner … Where in God’s Earth was this man on Vrbata’s first goal? Maybe trying to change up, and was waved off? I couldn’t see him until he glided into the Kings’ zone at the tail end of the play. I’ve defended this man on a number of occasions, but I have no idea where his mind was at that moment. You can’t defend the indefensible, and that was fundamentally indefensible. Maybe there’s more to it than I’m aware.
Dustin Brown … Nice game for the Captain. GREAT gutsy blocked shot late in the third on the PK. Good look and feed to Richards to get the Kings on the scoreboard, as well.
Scott Parse … I think he’s on track. He played efficiently, and played well. He’s not flashy, but he’s practical and just seems to KNOW things that other players never seem to learn. He has a good sense for where he is and who is around him. The penalty he took was a crap B.S. call.
Ethan Moreau … Invisible. He’s the grittiest invisible player on the Kings, I guess. Why in the Blue Hell is he even playing? I’m sure you all will remind me.
Trent Hunter … I see why he’s out there for Murray. He’s Murray’s kind of player – shoot first and ask questions later. In that area of the game, Hunter was a success. He doesn’t have the best shot, but I will say he doesn’t let it bother him too much and it doesn’t seem to affect his willingness to let it fly. He was the personification of “shot mentality” in this one, and he was rewarded with an assist on Kopitar’s goal. Good for him.
Brad Richardson … Was out there hustling and working all game long. Didn’t take a shift off from what I saw. Couple of takeaways, couple of hits, a four-shot game, played 200 feet. Brought his lunch pail and put in the work. Nice job, Brad.
Kyle Clifford … Is his confidence slipping? It’s hard to see what the matter is. His heart’s in the right place, but it doesn’t seem to be coming together for him. I like this young player, like everyone does, but I honestly don’t know what needs to be done for him to turn things around. Perhaps more ice time? Your guess is as good as mine.
Trevor Lewis … He’s still the only King forward without a point to his name. He threw his weight around along the boards, but didn’t have much else to show for his 9+ minutes of action out there.
Jarret Stoll … A really solid game for him. Got his shots on net, did his thing on the draw, played physical. No complaints.
Jon Quick … Welp, he was outplayed by Mike Smith. He was unlucky on the deciding goal, but there was a feeling in my mind that he still should have had that. His toe save with one and a quarter left in OT was awesome. He left a couple of dangerous rebounds out there but got out of those moments without any damage. It was still an OK game for him.
There’s no rest for the weary; the Kings are in Denver tomorrow night. Get some payback, Kings.
Categories: L.A. Kings News