Just a Walk in the Park Kazansky…Kings Beat Panthers 3-0
The State and the team.
They have crocodiles, swamps, hurricanes and Jeb Bush. The State, not the team.
The team had plenty of excuses to lose and we obliged. Three games in something like three to four nights. A top six that is closer to a top two. A porous defense. Tim Thomas in the locker room but not on the ice.
But who gives a hell about that?
Ben Scrivens got a shutout and I have found a kindred spirit in Shakespeare. His crown is called content and content he should be with a performance that saw him make a few big saves and keep rebounds away. He also benefited from a good team defense that kept his crease clear.
Nolan and King need a smart center that plays 200 feet. Stoll is exactly that and his veteran leadership is a good glue for these two. Remember when the same duo previously found some success centered by Mike Richards? Same reason. I am still not sold that King has channeled Kong but he is building momentum from a successful preseason and one of his best games as a King against Ottawa.
Meanwhile, Jordan Nolan hasn’t just lost 10 pounds but has gained a greater hockey IQ in the process. Hope it continues because an effective third line goes a long way in rolling four.
Speaking of four, if you had told me Lewis centering Clifford on the left and Frattin on the right would play well together, I would have said whoever put that line together was a bleeping genius…think about it. All three of those players are, at their worst, fourth liners and, at their best, quality third liners on a Cup contending team. Therefore, when you put each of them in their natural positions on a fourth line where they are not under the pressure to produce offense and also do not have to take on the opponent’s better players, the margin of error for mistakes is low and, productivity, high. Low risk. High reward. It also acts as a confidence builder.
I speculate Sutter did this to bring balance to the four lines and so he could bring down the top two’s minutes and increase that of three and four. The same move also balances out our defense because each line has a defensively responsible center, with speed, and wingers that compliment a forechecking game.
Overall, as much as Daniel Carcillo playing with Richards and Carter still spooks me and though I still believe we are a top 6 left wing away from being the best team in the league, I like these lines and, but for seeing King shift up to the second from time to time as Carcillo shifts down, we may see them intact.
Meanwhile, Anze Kopitar is on pace for over 80 points…and I still want more goals damn it!
Onto another Florida team…fuck them too.