On The Bright Side I Get To Wear New Pants
It is not often that I leave Staples Center after a loss reasonably content. Bobby was livid, but that was truly all that bogus ‘calm’ he spoke of embodying coming back to bite him. He now knows better than to feign tranquility during a playoff series.
I am disappointed the Los Angeles Kings did not sweep, but last night’s 3-1 loss did not put the smallest of dents in my confidence that this team will find itself in the second round of the playoffs this year.
A part of me knew the Vancouver Canucks were likely to win one game and now that they have, the Kings can recommence their game of containing those Canadian pukes without the expectations and tepid overconfidence that a 3-0 series lead against a very good team brings.
It was an interesting game, one the Kings mostly played well. 35-40 minutes of solid hockey does not win playoff games though and the second period proved to be their undoing. Abnormal lazy play, being beaten to pucks, losing board battles, these are the things upon which the scales of fate hinge. Cory Schneider played a strong game, but not a remarkable one. His life was made much easier by the Kings’ trepidation in crashing his crease. This was part of the parcel of Vancouver playing by far their most disciplined game of the series. The Kings can easily undo that discipline, as it is but a shoddy veneer, ready to buckle at the next crushing hit, the next stick in their goalie’s pads a hair after the whistle has blown. The Kings did not do these things last night and so the mental and physical edge they possessed was momentarily lost. Despite strong play by several Kings, Jeff Carter and Brad Richardson stand out, lackluster performances by Mike Richards and Drew Doughty balanced what strength we had.
I have very little to gripe about. I want to see more offense from the defense. Slava Voynov and Alec Martinez have had little to no effect offensively. My eyes tell me that they are having to refocus on their defensive game and their natural instincts to score are a temporary casualty. Outside of that, the Kings just need to shake off that second period and get ready to put Daniel Sedin’s head through a pane of glass, something I am highly disappointed did not happen yesterday.
I wore the same pair of nice pants and shoes for the first 4 games. I finally get to wear some jeans. I wore my new Richards jersey for the last three. The Surly one is due for an appearance. The only real bummer about today is that we have to wait until Sunday. Timmy Love tells me this is because of a series of Coldplay shows in Vancouver. This is not an acceptable reason to delay a playoff game. I might to have riot on behalf of Vancouver.
Speaking of, there’s something amusing about seeing a handshake line in Vancouver, Canuck fans so sad they hardly have the will to set a single car on fire or throw so much as a temper tantrum. Leaving Staples last night, those in blue and white wore only cautionary smiles, their fear profuse.
The time draws only closer.
Go Kings Go!