A Kings Fan In Glendale…Arizona
One of our readers, Ken Wilson, attended last night’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes. He brought us his perspective. You think he had good seats? I think he had good seats. This is from Ken’s email to me:
Tonight I had the pleasure of flying to Phoenix from Omaha, Nebraska to watch my beloved Kings take on the Coyotes from glass seats with my Dad and two brothers.
I will start with the frivolous and move to a more detailed analysis. Jonathan Quick did not wear socks tonight, his white calves were visible behind his pads, Penner looks huge in person and up close and Martinez and Richards took the time during warm-ups to wave at the Kings fans in the front rows (classy move boys).
The first period was well played with the exception of a couple of glaring turnovers which were mitigated by outstanding saves by the sockless Quick!
Defensive problems reared their ugly heads in the second with the poor defensive play of line one, especially Williams.
Williams looked to be at least two steps behind the forward who scored the ‘yotes second goal. I was especially disappointed that Terry Murray shuffled the lines mid-game as line chemistry continues to mean absolutely nothing to our head coach.
The third period offered some quality back and forth play, though we still had way too many turnovers in the neutral zone leading to excellent chances against Quick. Parse’s penalty was ill-timed and broke, what felt like, growing momentum for the Kings. He just seems to be nothing special offensively and consistently a step behind on defense. Overtime, the power play was uninspired and predictable, with not nearly enough movement. And finally, I have no idea how the puck sneaked past Quick as he looked, at least from my angle just above the dot to Quick’s right, to have perfect positioning.
On the positive side, Mike Richards is GOLD. The man has some serious hockey smarts, makes quality decisions with the puck, checks hard and is constantly talking on the ice, keeping his teammates oriented and playing as a unit. Color me impressed and put me in his fan club.
Trent Hunter looked to have a good game after an extended period off the ice in-game situations. I noted no glaring mistake and few minor ones. Drew Doughty had a decent first game back, played well defensively, throwing a couple of good checks and during commercial breaks was, like Richards, communicating well with his teammates.
Our Captain, Mr. Brown, had a very good game in my opinion. The sacrificing of his body to block a quality scoring chance was inspiring. (He went to the ice directly in front of me to block the shot and took the puck directly to his trap and neck.) Most importantly, we managed to gain a point, on the road, from a division rival. Not exactly what I wanted, but I’ll take it.
An idea: I remember the days of Marty McSorley and more recently Peter Harrold switching from Defenseman to Winger as the team needed him. Slava Voynov has the skill and mindset to do the same and excel. And, the Kings could use his creativity, speed, poise, and smart puck-handling on the ice. Just an idea. The last thing I’ll say here is: GO KINGS GO!
-Ken Wilson (A dedicated lifelong Kings Fan)