We are just going to go ahead and pretend like the 2-goal or less period of depression never happened.
We’ll conveniently forget that just 4 games ago the Kings didn’t manage a regulation goal for something like 140 minutes.
This team doesn’t struggle offensively. This team scores goals. Goals in bunches, goals every which way. Even Matt Greene scores goals, I almost rhymed right here, but that would be wrong. The best and most amusing part about the recent offensive outbursts have been that when Sutter came in he said the NHL was a “3-2 league”. Well the Kings still haven’t scored 3 goals in a game under Sutter, yet they’ve won 7 games and still only lost 1 in regulation. They’ve scored 4 goals 4 times and 5 once and 2 or less in the rest of the games since his takeover of very serious hugs.
Moving on to the game, our boys struggled a bit in the first period, looking a little lackadaisical once again at the drop of the puck. The Calgary Flames tried their damnedest to put the Kings on their heels, but unlike in the Dallas game the defense held strong. Then in the second, as is quickly becoming the norm under Sutter, the Kings came flying out of the gate. Whatever speech Sutter gives during the first intermission, he should start giving before the game.
Anyhow, said second period soaring was put quickly to good use as Mike Richards picked up a puck all alone at the Flames’ blue line after it hopped over Mark Giordano’s stick. Rick made a fast kick fake and slid the puck under Kiprusoff to take a lead the Kings would never give up. It didn’t take long after that for Matt Greene to send a wrist shot past Mikka, the result of, get this, a strong one on one battle by Penner, followed up by screen in front of the net! Richards and Stoll made strong plays in the sequence as well, but I want to give Penner all the credit here just because I don’t know when I’ll get another chance to so. Pancakes had a strong game all around and his line was the Kings’ best tonight.
Greene’s goal ended up being the game winner, but the back breaker was Anze Kopitar’s powerplay goal to put the Kings up 3-0 in the second. Despite a late second period deflection goal by ex-surfer, current cowboy Mike Cammalleri and the Flames best attempt at pressing in the third period, the Kings made easy work of the home team, ending their 8-game winning streak at the Saddledome. This was exactly the game I hoped to see, where the Kings continued the offensive creativity and finishing without sacrificing the strong defensive play.
If you haven’t noticed over the past, oh, 4 seasons, as Kopitar goes, so go the Kings. Now after consecutive strong games after his sudden onset flapjack backjack spasms, we’ve learned as the Kings go, so goes Penner. Clifford goes as whatever asshole the other team has goes, tonight that asshole being Tim Jackman. Though I don’t want to overlook what an asshole Giordano is, who gave Kopitar the old “I’m in bad position but want to hit you anyway” knee on knee collision, Jackman was a remarkable pest throughout the game. His antics fell short of pugilism however, much like Iginla’s efforts fell short of scoring and Jokinen’s face fell short of being tolerable.
Unfortunately the damn Sharks won, as did the Avalanche even though that’s better than the Stars winning, though Nashville won and Minnesota grabbed a loser point. So overall tonight was somewhat of a wash in the standings, but if the Kings continue the pace they are on and the powerplay woes are truly drawing to a close, the Kings will have no trouble putting more separation between themselves and the rest of the clusterfuck that is the Western Conference.
On to Edmonton, phase 2 in our dominion over the Canadian contingent of the West.
Winning is easy to get used to.
As a final note, it needs to be pointed out that despite Bobby’s affection for country music, it doesn’t belong at a hockey game. If Calgary is allowed to play country music just because their town is a giant frozen rodeo, then the Ducks can just play the soundtrack to Beauty and the Beast, the Rangers will play showtunes and we’ll start hearing Justin Beiber at Kings games. Why doesn’t everyone simply acquiesce to my musical preferences? It would make everything so much easier.
Go Kings Go!