I use the term “we” loosely. For tonight, I don’t particularly want to associate myself with the brood known as “LA Kings Fans”.
As you well saw, the game was largely a mess. We can talk about Quick giving up perhaps the empirically worst goal of his career. We can talk about Doughty taking a hat trick of penalties, or enjoying a prolonged game of “catch the escaping forward” throughout several of his shifts. We can talk Jake Muzzin’s turnovers, or Justin Williams’, or Mike Richards’. We can talk surprisingly lack of physicality, poor pass reception, puck mismanagement, gap control as effective as a piece of rice paper between David Letterman’s front teeth, an inability to regroup, group, or based on the opinions I heard of the Kings new pregame pump-up video, focus group.
We’ll get to that, but let’s talk about the real disgrace of the Kings home opener, you people.
I missed the first period. Work.
I missed the last 10 minutes of the third. Family.
I sat with beer in hand at the start of the second and wondered why no one was cheering. Ah, yes, we only cheer AFTER we generate scoring chances. The land of the Hollywood liberal sure has a Ayn Randish approach to watching hockey. Used to that.
Then Quick gives up the goal.
Shocked silence from the crowd; business as usual.
A puck drop later, Quick makes a routine save and out comes the sarcastic cheers and applause, and with it, a string of curse words from lips that my mother tried very hard for me not to learn. At best, I can give some benefit to doubt and assume that some of you who Bronx-bullshitted Quick were reacting nervously, akin to someone with a banana-sized lesion on the brain laughing in the middle of Schindler’s List. That good grace of mine is short and thin. The mock cheer is for opposing goalies, not your own. It’s something you do to kick a guy when he’s already down, because ultimately, you want him to stay down. Doing it to your own goalie, whether he is your Conn Smythe and Cup winning goalie or not, is shameful on levels I can’t articulate.
As for the goal itself, Quick doesn’t need your help feeling shitty about it. We all like to pretend that we see things for their reality of suckage that the team or players don’t or won’t, like Fraser, or Cloutier, or Jay Flats. This goal isn’t one of those instances. In fact, if you can’t look at that goal and laugh, since it’s game 3 of the season and not of the Cup Finals, then you should save your hostilities for the other parts of your life you with which you must have trouble coping. Laugh, or swallow a firecracker. Sometimes it’s not worth it and this was a loss the Kings had more than earned several times over before that crappy goal.
As for the game, since that’s two losses in a row and one win where we got mostly outplayed, you’re probably hoping for some speculation as to the clear problem plaguing this team. There must be one, right? 3 games is like, a ton, damn it. I have no such answer. All three losses were different. This one was largely based on individual fuck ups. Your system and your team-wide skill mean little when several players make critical and stupid mistakes throughout a game. The Kings are overflowing with character and packed with enough skill, so these discrepancies will work themselves out. I see nothing systemic to be concerned with just yet.
Though I would like to see Kopitar shoot the puck, the team as a whole throw their weight around, Doughty settle the fuck down, Martinez put in and Carter and Richards split up… For now.
I’d also like to see one whole damn game already. Maybe Wednesday.
On to that one. Bring the good sense with you to Staples that you left the house without tonight.
EDIT: Sutter could not have handled this any better. From Rosen:
On the “mock cheer” Quick received when making a save shortly after he allowed the third goal:
It’s pretty normal. [Reporter: I mean, for what he’s done for this team, is that not a little cruel?] Nope. [Reporter: Did you have a chance to talk to him?] No, there’s nothing to talk about. He dropped his stick. What do you want me to talk about? Tell him not to drop his stick? [Reporter: I don’t know. Put him at ease or something.] Not a chance. It’s his job. Stop the puck. So obviously he thought he didn’t need a stick.
For what it’s worth, I read “it’s pretty normal” as “yeah, people are stupid”.
Categories: L.A. Kings News