The Reports of Our Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated – L.A. Kings Win Game 3

It was a rough day. Coughing, hacking, trying to stay vertical and shake a fever. Taking my normally healthy diet into overdrive and self-medicating, I knew around 4:30 there was no way I was going to make this game, tempted as I was to attend, somehow jump over the glass and into the St. Louis Blues bench and cough and release contagion on anything that wears a musical note on their chest.

Alas, I nestled on the couch, scowl firmly implanted on my brow and watched a game that was about as loopy as my head.

The neutral zone is the battle ground

The St. Louis like to back check and their defensemen close gaps. That is what, in layman terms, gives the impression they’re all over an opposing team. The L.A. Kings play a similar game which is also why, to quote Willie Mitchell from last season’s playoffs, it is like “looking into a mirror.” Where the Blues have the edge so far in this series is their consistency in doing so, whereas the Kings are not getting the same level of push from their forwards. Fortunately, when they do, L.A. has been good on the transition. If we continue to improve our breakouts and get the puck behind their D (a key component to defeating any team that clogs the neutral zone), a sustained forecheck will let us create and maintain the cycle which will then lead…

To the net boys!

The one goal we scored came from a 3 forward attack to the net. Alec Martinez made a great play and Slava Voynov took a shot that still has me wondering what daylight he saw in the moment he released it. But that shot does not come off his stick unless the center and wings commit to the net when the puck ends up there. It is not enough against any good defensive team to play perimeter. Time is wasted. The net is where all of the action is and the L.A. Kings, for the first time, appeared more committed to storming the paint. Such a commitment pays dividends in every facet of the game, both on O and D.

1. It creates second and third opportunities, which are the stuff of playoff goals.

2. It forces the Blues to collapse which in turn opens up the points when the puck is worked free and, therefore, provides shooting lanes.

3. If the Blues recover the puck, it allows an immediate back check, with shorter gaps to close and hinders the Blues’ ability to get out of their zone and on the counter attack.

Carter and Kopitar

“More” is not what I seek. Different is what I want. Anze Kopitar is not trying to get open and he sure as hell is not looking to use that magnificent wrist shot of his. I don’t know if Kopi had a shot on goal tonight. The same applies to Carter. While he, like Anze, plays a terrific two-way game, we are starving for high percentage shots on goal and I look to these two first for the offense. I don’t want more hustle, more effort or more anything. They already bring that. Just want to see Kopitar and Carter looking to get free for a pass, followed by a wicked release that snaps the twine.

Justin Williams

I don’t care for cats but if I was one, I would have one less life after watching him stop Leopold from putting it into an empty net.

Alec Martinez

Told you.

Perron’s Penalty

What a cluster of poor officiating that was.

Pray with Surly

It was good to read Jacob’s pre-game playoff prayer. It took me to the Cup run. Surly must sustain his faith-based fever, as I try to break my virus related one.

Scribe’s Three L.A. Kings Stars

3. Jonathan Quick

2. Slava Voynov

1. Justin Williams


You already know…


Categories: L.A. Kings News

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17 replies

  1. Bought your ticket from Surly. My first playoff game ever and one of the best if not THE best live sporting experiences I’ve ever had. Get well soon, Scribe.

  2. That was definitely a must win. It was an exciting game, though a bit odd, as you say. The Kings have better get clicking with their offense right quick. Kopi and Carter haven’t been silent at all but they do need to step it way up on offense. Quick was awesome. Williams was fantastic, as he has been of late. There were too many turnovers, however. My heart was racing for quite a bit of the game. Thank jeebus we won.

  3. What an awesome game tonight! My heart was racing. Martinez ! So glad he’s back!

    What are everyone’s thoughts on Sutter playing 7 defensemen? Do you think that will be the norm during this playoff run?

    • 7 defensemen? Wtf. don’t do it again. Either muzzin or ellerby sit. Muzzin was terrible in his own zone tonight. He owes quick a steak fucking dinner or two.

      • I think it was a good idea, only because you can “cycle” defense men over the course of the game if that makes sense? I didn’t notice Ellerby which is a good thing. Muzzin, however, stood out. This is the third or fourth time he shoots the puck STRAIGHT into a shot blocker’s legs leading to breakout.

  4. I TOLD (all of) YOU about Martinez ;)
    In this series what’s become apparent is that it’s more and more like a game of chess. All things being equal, there are two intangibles that will win this series: goaltending (always an intangible), and coaching. Now Hitchcock is the smarter cookie with his ressources, but Darryl (mf) Sutter has a deeper, trusted poole of players hr can bring in to foil mr. Hitchcock’s game plan at any moment (aka Martinez as witnessed tonight, or Toffolli as might be witnessed Monday). Our rookies maybe prone to mistakes (Muzzin, wtf!), but with Sutter, most likely through Lombardi, they’ve been able to see some ice time over the last year that really no team in the NHL can compare to (think of last year’s emergence of King and Nolan).
    Now I know Nolan was benched tonight but Sutter’s movement of the line and adding a 7th defensemen was a bold move. It motivates the troops, keeps the kids on their toes, and yields results.
    1st star goes to Coach Darryl Sutter.

  5. BTW, Muzzin’s out for the next game. Too many give aways. Martinez in.
    Which was the point of the experiment.

  6. Ellerby is fine for now, until Greene is back. Then he’s out too. Martinez has been there and he’s more calm.

  7. Didn’t notice A Mart at all last night, but I noticed Muzzin way too much. Not a good sign….. for Muzzin I mean. The speed of the game seems like something he’s gonna need to get used to.

  8. Feel better…get to watch game tonight…Maddingly I was not able to last night. Wedding/farewell dinner..I ask you wtf is the matter with people having these functions during the Playoffs!!! Thank goodness for my POS phone and NHL app. Most important… a W!
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  9. Feel better Scribe. No one mentioned Scuderi. He has been playing badly this playoffs, although he was a little quicker to the puck last night and made faster decisions. Where does he fit in?

  10. I’ll admit to being wrong on Martinez. I knew what he was capable of, but doubted he would play to that level because of his poor season. But this is playoff hockey and Martinez has risen to the challenge. As has Ellerby, who I thought played quite well for what we want from him last night.

    Muzzin tho… He scares the living shit out of me. The pressure of the Blues has him flustered in every zone. Giveaways up and down the ice. We need to direct him to a suicide hotline as only they are qualified to deal with his passing. I haven’t seen a guy put the puck directly on an attacking forward’s stick directly in front of his goalie since Denis Gauthier.

    Quick… Man, he has decided that he wasn’t good enough last year. Outside of two momentary mistakes, he is playing even better this year. If we find our scoring touch, you are looking at another team ready to do serious damage in the playoffs if we can get out of this first round, which we are really making hard on ourselves.

    On to Monday. On to another win.

    • Agreed on all points.

    • Its been roughly 24 hours and a least 100 various posts on 3 different boards on how Muzzin sucks and this now famous giveaway. Can we please move on thank you

      • He’s young, it’s his first playoffs and he will learn and get better. In the meantime though, this is an open forum for die hard fans so you’re going to get varying opinions. He has heard plenty of praise here too.


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