Kings Beat Ducks…God, I Love Writing That!

In honor of Darryl Sutter’s first game, I will supplement Surly’s post game with this (quotes via Rich Hammond):

(The game) “It was a hard-fought game for us. I thought we had a good start and did a lot of good things. We can improve on some of those things, get better at some of those things.’’

The L.A. Kings controlled most of the 60 minutes. I also saw some encouraging signs. 1) The Kings weren’t a slave to the half-boards. Every zone entry did not result in the puck being sent to the point for shot through bodies and sticks. 2) The Kings were looking for one timers. I saw more one time attempts (even the shanked ones) this game than any other I recall this season and not just on the powerplay but 5 on 5 as well. 3) The forecheck was better. Not great, but better. Still want to see that F3 activate more.

(What he liked) “I liked the way our forwards played. I thought they were really good in all three zones. I think we moved the puck pretty good. I know our power play didn’t score, but they certainly had a lot of good opportunities, and that’s a good thing. And then obviously, to kill that power play in overtime, against three or four of those guys that they put on the ice, we did a good job. Mitchell and Greene and Stoll and Richards and Kopitar, they really did a good job.’’

Dustin Brown was a beast. Hitting, passing, shooting and scoring. That pass by Anze Kopitar – Wow – it brought me out of my seat. I was nearly airborne before Brown even touched the puck. Brad Richardson fit well. He is a spark plug. He was going to the net, even providing screens. He fought for pucks in the corners and came away with them. I would like to see Richardson (since he is playing left wing) get himself open for one timers around the left dot. Trevor Lewis drew a penalty. His speed is his most important asset. Simone Gage…meh…Justin Williams…meh…although he was hustling. Mike Richards…that goal was a beauty but I didn’t notice him much in the third period. Incidentally, did Dustin Penner get a shift in the third? I swear if he did, I must have missed it each time. At one point I was trying to find him on the bench.

(Doughty) “He will get better. I think both of those kids, Johnson and Doughty both, have huge upside and we’ve got to work on that.’’

I will get flack for this, but I thought Drew sucked on the defensive side of the game. His coverages, his reads, he looked one step behind. Jack Johnson – I didn’t notice him as much and I will just chalk it up to one of those games where I had a mental block with certain players. Did Jack have a good game? Help a brother out.

(His emotions) “I was pretty focused all day. I was thinking more about how to use your players. It’s like I told them before the game. `You guys better pay attention, because I’ll get Mike Richards and Brad Richardson mixed up. [laughs]’’

This made me laugh. It’s funny because it’s not a joke – it’s Sutting true. Can’t you see Sutter doing this?

(Dustin Brown and Mike Richards) “As I said, I think our forwards were good. I don’t think it’s based on who scores the goals. I think they’ve got to work together. Brown’s goal is a great play by Kopitar.’’

Amen.

(Return to the bench) “There’s nothing like game day. Even when I was sitting upstairs, game day is still the best part of the whole game.’’

I honestly had butterflies in my stomach driving to the game. It felt like I was going to a playoff game. I didn’t calm down until the end of the first period.

(Improved energy on the bench) “It’s no big deal. That’s no big deal. It’s really got nothing to do with me. These young guys, that’s a big reason why I came, these young guys and then the quality of the type of people that we have with our veterans. That’s really important. We’ve just kind of got to edge our way along. If we had lost 3-2 tonight in a shootout, I’d still be saying the same things, and some of us would not be agreeing with me. You’ve got to walk before you can run. Like I said yesterday, it’s a 3-2 league and it was 3-2 again.’’

Darryl can downplay it but there was an energy tonight. He wasn’t sitting there, stoic and aloof. I watched him. He moved back and forth, he was into this game (the classic forward tilt, one leg up, hand on chin pose), he was talking to the players. Sutter was involved on the bench.

(How he picked the players for the shootout) “That’s who they used in Toronto, right? It worked pretty good there. I just wanted to confirm with them, because the goalie tonight is a right-hand catcher and not a left-hand catcher, so it does sometimes make a difference to some players.’’

File this under smart. If it isn’t broke…

Two quick points – we damn near lost this game in overtime on the penalty kill. Teemu Selanne does not mishandle too many gimmes like that. Fuck Lubomir Visnovsky. I am so over that punk. I will shit on his cookies and feed it to him. He is forever a Duck to me after tonight’s game.

GO KINGS!



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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18 replies

  1. Now Bobby, tell us how you really feel about Lubo. :-)

    I was glad to wake up to see this headline. Makes going to work a little easier, even if they still can’t score more than two goals. Go Kings Go!!

    • I took the other approach on the Lubo thing: “I wish we hadn’t gotten rid of him”. He was a menace in that game.

  2. I was at a Christmas party but I was able to stray away for a couple minutes to watch the highlights. I’m glad to hear Brown played another great game. Onto SJ! Hopefully we can build on these last two victories and get a nice, long streak going.

  3. Went to the game tonight, overall it was kind of boring (until OT). The crowd wasn’t really into it, neither was I, maybe I needed some coffee. I swear no one had a shot, either team, in the third until about 6 min in. What I did notice though was Sutter really talk to the players, I sit behind the bench so I get to see all the little things that go on. Right after JJ almost cost us a goal on a turnover, Sutter went up to him and said something don’t know what, but JJ didn’t screw up after that. I also noticed at one point he called all the players over to talk, not just the guys going out on the ice, everyone on the bench. He made it a point that everyone huddled up and listened, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Murray do that. They got two points, all that matters. Hopefully they score more than 2 goals tomorrow, I watched the last few Sharks games, whatever funk they were in, they’re out of it now so the Kings better be ready.

    • Interesting how different the home viewing experince was to what everyone who went is saying. On TV that was high energy back and forth intense shit.

      • Drinks are free and plenty at home :) Seriously though, I didn’t find the game boring at all. I am surprised some did.

        • I listened on the radio and was hooked the whole way down to visit the in-laws in San Diego. I’m not sure if it’s because I was experiencing the game in a different medium than I have in the past, because I was excited for Richards to be back, or for some other reason.

          I did watch a little before we left and saw Sutter talking with the players as they came off the ice. He seems to be a better motivator or “coach” than TM but after only one game who knows…

          I’m pretty sure he told Johnson, “What the Sutt are you doing? Get you’re Sutting head in the game!” I could be wrong…

  4. Good team effort, for the most part, the whole team played well and with a sense of unity. Although Richardson did a good job on the first line, this team lacks wingers who can finish. I would like to see Kopi get a top 3 winger for his line, even if it means giving up JJ. Kopi and Brown were outstanding. Mitchell was solid back there, they so miss him when he’s out.
    Richards played the way I expected, good start but by the third I think the three weeks out caught up to him. Also his timing (shooting) was off, a few practices can’t replicate game action and he looked a bit tired. But that will come back with each game. My favorite play by Richards in the third was when he put Perry on his ass behind quick and then glared down at him. I love that glare…his ‘piss and vinegar’ look. Bodes well for the next meeting.
    The PP needs to be a lot better. If they can score 1 PP goal each game, that would be huge.
    The energy, enthusiasm, hustle, forecheck , d men in the ozone contributing all looked good but the fact remains this team can’t scor emore than 2 goals and if they can’t do that against the Ducks, what happens when they play the Sharks tonight and the Hawks next week?
    I’m hoping some of those rumors involoving the Jets, Canes, Sabres and Canadians are true, Kopi nees a top 3 winger.
    I think eventually, Richjards will get Gagne going, they’ve only had 2 games together, and Richards should play stronger ,timing and skating, with every game
    Is Bernier starting tonight?
    I’d love to see a 1st period with them up 2-0 at the end. It’s better than paying cathcup
    And they need to lock down the lead in the 3rdl, 2nd straight game they’ve let the lead slip.
    Pot more goals, have 2 or 3 goal lead in the 3rd…
    Go Kings…go shark hunting…go for a blood kill

    I

  5. Since you asked – I thought JJ played a poor game. Other than the botched one timers and whiffed wrist shot that lead to an outnumbered attack, it was his turnover in Kings’ defensive zone that lead to the Ducks’ late goal. He has been great all year and I expect him to bounce back in a big way tonight.

    • Did you see the same play that I did? It looked to me like Lewis was knocked off the puck like a little rag doll and that is what caused the turnover that led to Lubo’s goal.

      • I just went back and looked at replay. I guess they both had a chance with the puck and got knocked off. Lewis certainly looked like more of a rag doll and was the last one to touch the puck before the turnover, but Johnson had it behind the net, and his indecisiveness ultimately lead to the turnover. It’s not to say that Lewis couldn’t have prevented the turnover by being stronger.

      • JJ had the puck down in the corner with time and space. Instead of moving the puck up off the boards or getting it to an open man, he decided to let the defender come in on him and try and spin his way out of coverage. He ultimately lost the puck behind the net. Lewis may have been the 2nd guy in there and if he was, he certainly had an opportunity to clear too (in fact i though they may have had a 3rd opportunity to clear). But JJ started the fuck up and it cost them.

  6. The L.A. Kings controlled most of the 60 minutes. I also saw some encouraging signs. 1) The Kings weren’t a slave to the half-boards. Every zone entry did not result in the puck being sent to the point for shot through bodies and sticks. 2) The Kings were looking for one timers. I saw more one time attempts (even the shanked ones) this game than any other I recall this season and not just on the powerplay but 5 on 5 as well. 3) The forecheck was better. Not great, but better.

    … This is exaggeration. The Kings played better offense than this in five or six of the last eight games. The Ducks’ D pretty much allowed the Kings to do what they wanted and gave them a lot of space with which to operate. It’s not hard to see why they’re allowing so many goals. Hiller was magnificent and still gave up a couple; with a good defensive team in front of him (like, say, the Kings) he would have had a shutout.

    The Kings’ new lines are going to need time to play more cohesively. There were quite a few moments in the game where players were out of sync, especially on the forecheck, and it cost the Kings possession time. Beyond that, the Kings were held to two goals because of the same old stuff that’s been plaguing them for the last couple dozen games – shanked shots, bad bounces, sub-par execution, etc. I wasn’t happy with the Kings’ PP at all last night – two shots on goal in six and a half minutes isn’t going to get it done.

    Dustin Brown was a beast. Hitting, passing, shooting and scoring. That pass by Anze Kopitar – Wow – it brought me out of my seat. I was nearly airborne before Brown even touched the puck. Brad Richardson fit well. He is a spark plug.

    … Kopitar was brilliant, as always. Brown was terrific. Richardson might be a good fit on that line after all. He’s free to forecheck, he doesn’t need to worry too much about defense with linemates like Anze and Dustin, and if he has any hands for scoring at all, we’ll see it. Can Brad be the missing piece of the puzzle here? We saw some flashes of real offensive ability in last season’s playoffs, and now the question is if that was the real deal or not. Richardson played nearly 14 minutes last night; he’s never averaged that much ice time per game in his entire career. He’s such a hustler, a worker, a go-getter. It’s hard not to root for him.

    Trevor Lewis drew a penalty. His speed is his most important asset.

    … But his hands, his hands. Hell I’m wondering at this point if Westgarth has better hands than Lewis does. Christ.

    Mike Richards…that goal was a beauty but I didn’t notice him much in the third period.

    … Richards scored a goal and did little else. His goal was the only shot he took in the game. He won half his faceoffs; that’s good I suppose. I thought he was rusty, and I also thought he was played too much for someone just returning to the lineup. Over 20 minutes was a bit excessive, and it showed near the end of the game as he was visibly leaking oil.

    I will get flack for this, but I thought Drew sucked on the defensive side of the game. His coverages, his reads, he looked one step behind.”

    … I thought Drew had a pretty good game defensively, actually. Where he struggled in my eyes was with turnovers; frightful ones in his own zone. That has to stop. Otherwise, he played a nice game.

    Jack Johnson – I didn’t notice him as much and I will just chalk it up to one of those games where I had a mental block with certain players. Did Jack have a good game? Help a brother out.

    … At this point, I’m hoping there’s another defenseman ready to step in so that Jack can be dealt. I’m just about at the end of my rope with him. He has his flashes of good solid play, but they’re interspersed with terrible lapses in judgment and focus. Nearly every good chance the Ducks had came with Johnson out there. Getzlaf in particular took him to school, but it’s like Jack has to go back to school after every few games or so. It’s like he forgets what to do out there – like one of those guys who you tell what to do and he goes “yeah, yeah, I got it, OK”, and he goes out there and does something totally different and when he gets back to the bench you ask him “what did we just talk about, man?” and he just throws out that silly half-smiling expression at you in response.

    Greene also struggled, and he’s the one probably most at fault on Hagman’s goal, although Quick was way too aggressive and out of position.

    Beyond that, did you see Voynov out there? He had a very good game. He did everything right last night. For my money, he was the underappreciated star of the game.

    Fuck Lubomir Visnovsky. I am so over that punk. I will shit on his cookies and feed it to him. He is forever a Duck to me after tonight’s game.

    … I can’t do anything but love Lubomir. He’s awesome. He was wrongly done by the Kings and he’s showing that beyond a shadow of a doubt he still can bring the goods. He played almost 27 minutes in the game and was by far their best defenseman out there. Brookbank was terrible, and so was Sbisa. Beauchemin’s overrated; I’ve been saying that for years.

    • Voynov had a solid game. Should have mentioned him. Defensively, he is so smart. There was one play in particular where a Duck player was pressuring him, all over him, he held the puck, deked 5-6 times and played keep away, never panicked, kept his body between the attacker and puck, never turned it over and never lost possession of it. It was actually a nervous moment but he handled it with SKILL (stick handling, skating).

      Matt Greene. I am sour on him for a variety of reasons and my biggest concern is in the playoff (if we make the playoffs) he will get exposed with his lack of speed. His first step is awful. He looks like he is standing still until about the third stride. However, I recognize his physical presence is very necessary and, in that regard, we don’t have a bruising D man other than him.

      Lubo. Fuck Lubo.

      Tonight is the test. Back to back game, a much better team in SJ (my goodness does Anaheim suck, especially their D) and their barn.

  7. Jack was having a average game until he got cute down low in our zone at the end of the 3rd. trying to dance around rather than move the puck up off the boards. He turned it over, and we had another shot or 2 at just clearing the puck, but we didn’t… and they scored to tie it up. They seriously need to drill it into his head to make the quick smart play. Don’t think. Just pass to open man. If there isn’t one, clear high off the boards. He’s just not as elusive as Doughty. He’d be better served really focusing on the quick smart reads, the physical play, and allowing his offense to grow with time spent on the PP.

    I didn’t think Doughty played all that well. He seemed out of position at times (he got burned badly towards the end of the game) and he took a bad penalty as a result. We were lucky to have killed that off. He definitely didn’t deserve 1st star.

    Brown played well. Very well.

    Anze played a good game. Had chances but couldnt capitalize. Played well defensively. Made the smooth pass to Brown for what SHOULD have been the game winner. Was very strong (as usual) on the boards.

    Penner looked slow most of the game. Everyone has been talking lately that he’s looked good, but he seemed to be coasting a bit and made a couple very lazy plays that resulted in turnovers.

    Richards may not have had a tremendous game, but he was down low in the right place to get that goal. He also admitted to be a little tired out there towards the end, which I think is understandable. He did make some decent defensive plays though.

    The Ducks defense is bad, so it’s hard to get a good read, but we saw a couple of very good offensive possessions last night. They spent more time with offensive possession down low than i can remember seeing in quite some time. I’m hoping they can build off what was a pretty good game for them. I would expect to see Lewis and Williams switch spots tonight in SJ. If we had anybody to replace Penner with I would have expected to see him demoted too, but i guess switching him and Clifford doesn’t really help us. I will also admit to being pleasantly surprised with Richardson’s play, but ultimately he will never be 1st line material. He’s definitely helping that line, but he’s not going to ever bring enough to the table to stay there.

  8. On a related note, Stoll normally goes over the pad and under the glove on the shoot out no? Last night he went over the glove under the bar?

  9. Classic first press conference with DMSS (Darryl Motha-Sutting Sutter) ended with him throwing up the double peace sign. All that was missing was him yelling “PEACE OUT BITCHEZ!” to the press corps.

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