Kings Escape with Point, Balance Restored to Hockey Universe

I am trying to make sense of this game. We were badly outshot although the forecheck was working. We just could not get the puck to the high percentage scoring areas and pick up rebounds.

Ben Scrivens was marvelous. We should have trailed at least 2-0 by the midway point of the third period. I sure as hell cannot fault the defense as they came up big on the penalty kill and also did as well as you can do against a very fast Colorado Avalanche team.

So, what do we make of this game?

We simply chalk it up to our inability to finish. The offense let us down again, just as it did last night. There were a few decent chances on rebounds but they were far between.

Simply, we miss Jeff Carter. I love watching the kids play and we are seeing the future in many respects but the goalscoring touch of a 40 goal scorer like Carter cannot be replaced by potential. Potential does not have his wrist shot. Potential does not back off the defenders. Potential does not bury the puck often enough.

Potential is gravy, it’s not the turkey.

I take some positives out of this loss and the one last night. Jake Muzzin has looked competent. He is calming down in the defensive zone, I am seeing patience with the puck and more poise on the breakouts.

We’ve already talked about The Professor but he deserves more than one mention for his performance tonight. That was Jonathan Quick-like in some respects.

Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov are playing some great hockey. While the offense is not necessarily there with them as much as I would like, every player on the team had to be more defensively responsible as a result of Colorado’s sustained attack.

In the game against New Jersey, we deserved more than one point. In this game, we are lucky to have gotten one point. What is life if not a test of balance? What is hockey if not life?

Go Kings



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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33 replies

  1. Scrivens did look a little like Quick tonight. The guys been a solid addition.

    Colorado is a fast, aggressive team and it looked like the boys had some issues with that.

    How bout Cliffy? The guy was junkyard dog on a mission. Was hoping he’d bury one.

    Be nice to get Carts back no doubt. Gotta look at the positive with at least a point. Shitty way to lose off that bounce but shit happens.

  2. Well Bobby, glad to see Scrivens gets a pass. For me, (and I’m not in US at the moment so I’m just reading about the games) the person who I would call into question would be the GM. Soon as Carter goes out, the total seeming inability to get a rare goal from the bottom six really comes into play. I was thinking about Fraser’s opening goal in Gm 1 of the finals. That was huge. Unfortunately that sort of thing happens far too rarely for the Kings and really shows how Lombardi has structured the forwards (in spite of the obvious good moves he made acquiring JW and MR in trades).

    The draft I believe is where you’ve gotta come up with some forwards who are capable of scoring 12-15 goals for you. And so far there are six or seven bottom six forwards who are at a pace that would take them to 4-5 goals for the season… Trevor Lewis from what I hear is on a pace to end up with zero points for the season. We all love Trevor Lewis and he’s probably indispensable in certain regards, but you expect at least a tiny bit more offensive punch from a first round draft pick. Seven years in I’d like to think that the bottom six and difficulties on left wing would have been better addressed by now because imo those things contribute to the scoring difficulties.

    • Two hours later… just looked at the Chicago Vancouver result. Hawks get two goals in nine seconds in the 3rd to win 2-1. Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw get the goals. That’s exactly what I’m referring to. On the extremely rare occasion that we get two goals in a game from the bottom six, it’s inevitably in a game that isn’t tightly contested one way or the other.

  3. At game last night..could not finish. .that sums up why we did not get the W.
    Hight light was Defense starting with the Professor. Friend who went with was saying..your goalie is not too fast…I replied ‘you are correct he is not Quick, however he has been playing lights out’. This statement was repeated quite a few times during g the game. Finally in the Third with Scrivens best save he said ‘ I guess he is pretty decent’ Gee ya think I replied.
    People who are not pure fans of the sport :/
    We were at the end where King’s shoot twice and I have to say Varlamov was Very good. The one time
    Richards was planted at the net and Varlamov keep doing push ups on his back with his stick was excessive as Surly pointed out in his witty way on Twitter.
    We sure do miss Carter..and with too many penalities yet again, he might have gotten us a shorty. Also missed Lewie’s speed. Had some parts of game where Avs seemed to back us off at the blue line. More Forechecking and physicality needed I thought.
    Oh well..moving ahead.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  4. I noticed these last two games that the Kimgs haven’t been crashing the net as often when we’re in the offensive zone.. We’re not using our size to clear out the D and screen the goalie. Anyone else think the 33-27 D pairing is kinda weak? Last night they had an off game.

  5. Some thoughts…

    Colorado has been showing us that, with Patrick Roy, they are, possibly, turning into one of the stronger teams of the NHL.

    The Kings played well, especially Scrivens (he was outstanding), but we still have the problem of getting players in front of the net. Even when we get a lot of shots on goal, we have difficulty getting bodies in front of the net on a consistent basis, and then timing the screen with the shot.

    Even when we get Carter back, he isn’t going to get a goal every single game. The rest of the team needs to score on occasion!

    The only goal Lewis will get, if he gets one at all, will be a lucky bounce, because he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

    I must say that Muzzin, Regehr and Voynov have definitely been playing much better, and Mitchell has settled into his normal quality play. That’s a good thing!

    It was good to see Clifford out there hustling again. But hustle isn’t enough. I hope he will be able to contribute a few goals to help out on our weak left wing.

    Dwight King’s improvement continues to impress me. I’d like to see more of him as a screen in front of the net. He’s showing us that he has good hands, but he’s not fast on his feet. He would be very useful as a pain in the goalie’s ass in front of the net. With his good hands, he could get a few more goals from deflections.

    It was interesting how the King’s couldn’t figure out how to get past the four men that Colorado liked to play at center ice. They’ll need to work on that one.

    • good points.. I too noticed we were not able to plant a guy(s) in front of net for some screening.
      Also that a few times esp in the 3rd period the Kings tried the extra pass insead of shooting..all that did was allow Colorado time to get in better defend position and take away the quality shot.. that frustrated me …a lot!!!
      GO KINGS GO!!!

      • I agree. When you need to get some goals, you shouldn’t be thinking about fancy plays. You should be getting shots on net, and have one or two bodies in there as screens. Then, hopefully, with some effort, you can either get a deflection or tap in a rebound. That’s why teams like to have several forwards who are big and strong. The Kings do have some big guys. They should be using these bodies not just for forechecking, but for strong work in front of the opposition’s net!

  6. Much has already been pointed out and duly noted.

    Here is my take on what has happened the past 2 games. Where are our Top 6 forwards? Forget about who is not there, and look at who is. Too much inconsistency and really no team effort to make the oppositions goaltenders job difficult.

    I openly admit I don’t like Dwight King, never have. Yes he has already had a career high in goals this season, but he is Dustin Penner 2.0. Dwight King should not be a perimeter wing. A guy his size should be a “power” forward, but he isn’t a “power” forward. I am not saying Dwight King isn’t a decent wing, but for a guy who is 6ft 3in and 230+ he really doesn’t use his size nor is he physical. If only King had the aggressive tendency of Jordan Nolan, then perhaps he could be a legit “power” forward but I don’t see that enough in his game. Dwight King needs show up every night, not just once in a while.

    I don’t think Sutter has been using the young guys enough. I don’t care if Vey and Pearson are just getting their feet wet. You have them up for a reason and I think they are not be used enough or with the right guys.

    Pearson has Top 6 potential, but if you aren’t going to use him with players who can compliment him, he’s not going to be much more than a 4th line checking wing.

    Vey has shown that maybe he should be kept up for the remainder of the season. He might not be physical like Fraser, but he has so much more value to this team than Fraser. Vey can be used to kill penalties, and he can also be used on the powerplay. He is getting some of those opportunities, but not enough to make a difference.

    Ben Scrivens has been pretty much lights out. Unfortunately for the Professor a bad bounce off Stoll in OT prevented him from getting his 4th shutout of this season. Even with that one goal, his GAA is sick at 1.37 and a save percentage of .946 which might only reflect 11 games but still he’s kept this team in every game he has started. Maybe one game he got lit, but you expect a few of those for a goalie in a season.

    Muzzin has really improved his defensive play with the absence of Greene, but I don’t think he should be paired with Doughty. I don’t trust him to be that guy who you can rely on if Doughty makes one of his rushes. I just think he is better to be paired with Regehr, just like I think Voynov should be paired with Mitchell.

    This leads me to what has happened in OT the past 2 games. Sutter has the wrong guys playing defense in these OT’s, I just don’t like seeing Doughty and Muzzin together, especially in OT. I don’t care if Muzzin might have some offensive upside, you still need a generic stay at home defender to hang back in case something happens. Fluke or questionable goals which the goalie should have saved, the Kings need to work on their 4 v 4 play because it has broken down at the wrong times, costing them the additional points.

    FUCK CORSI our Top 6 guys have got to figure out how to score goals regardless of who they are. The bottom 6 can chip in also, but the team needs to start driving to the net or playing in front of the net causing traffic and confusion. You can make end to end rushes that can wow everyone in the process, but it doesn’t mean anything if the end result isn’t a goal.

    Our offense needs to become physical, not passive. If you are going to take penalties in the offensive zone, they better be for being over aggressive or physical.

    Maybe I am wrong, but this is what I have seen.

    GKG

    • The bottom line, Modcoop, is that the Kings need to use their size effectively in front of the net. And that is something that is NOT happening. Can they do this? I don’t know. Can King help with this problem? I don’t know. He does seem to be a gentle sort. So … who WILL do this?

      I also like Vey. He would be a quality Center, IF Sutter would permit it.

      Frazier is a little like Lewis. They work hard, but we don’t see results.

      What you said about Pearson, Toffoli and Vey. The reason they got the goals that they have gotten is because they DO compliment each other! But Sutter doesn’t want to pull Toffoli away from Richards.

      • Colorado is not a small team so size v size usually does cancel itself out.

        • To some degree, yes. Then, you get into technique and leverage, like when Mitchell sent that Colorado forward flying behind the net when he was trying to get in front. But generally, as we have watched in King games, they haven’t had enough of this kind of work in front of the opposition goal. That’s the point. They can be strong along the boards, but if they aren’t willing to work hard to get good screens, they won’t get the shots to hit pay dirt. Again, generally, they’ve been getting a lot of shots through to the goalie, but the goalie sees most of those shots. Some hard work in front of the net will pay off in more goals through screens, and more rebound opportunities. Even if there are less actual shots on goal, this should equate to more goals, because of the shots that the goalie can’t see until it’s too late.

  7. I saw an article in the Ottawa Sun today by the local “sportswriter” claiming that Lombardi was eyeing Ryan Miller with Quick out. He says that even though Scrivens is playing well, he’s not a long term solution.

    I’m just wondering when this guy, Bruce Garrioch, was going to take a peak at the Kings’ cap situation. Unless the Kings were going to send a fair amount of money back to Buffalo, there’s no way they can even contemplate picking up Miller (and personally, I don’t think they are even debating it). And, the price to pick up Miller would probably include at least one of Vey, Pearson or Toffoli plus draft picks and other players.

    • If there is any truth to this rumor it makes me more nervous regarding Quick than Scrivens.

      Is Quick’s injury more serious than previous reported? As an athlete I know how bad and painful groin injuries can be…I couldn’t imagine being a goalie with a groin tear. OUCH! This injury made me nervous from the beginning.

      I’m like you, Canuckle, it’s hard for me to imagine how Miller would fit in financially and what we’d have to give up to get him. Scriven’s has been playing more than solid, so the only thing that comes to mind, is Quick far away from coming back. That would suck!

  8. I don’t care what anyone says about RR, he’s playing his ass off. I’d take him on my team any day.

    • In between fights have time to say..
      RR..I remembered him from Calgary and I for the most part I know only elites/ assholes/ or former Kings. I knew there was a reason..He was a good strong D man. Last season I was disappointed as I thought oh no he has lost a step or two. Then we hear hurt..He has surgery..now seems to be back to the RR I knew and respected. And he is such a nice guy as well.
      GO KINGS GO!!!

  9. What a great game! I’m having fun watching it by my lonesome.

    • It’s like a playoff game! It’s very tight! The Kings need to watch their penalties. One goal will probably be the difference!

  10. I was wondering … after they took so many bad penalties! But they maintained their focus, kept working hard, and were ready to capitalize on opportunities! And that’s exactly what they did! They took advantage of sloppy play by the Canucks! Go Kings!!!!

    • That was beautiful! I’m still grinning.

      Scrivens is probably thinking, how hard do I have to work to get a victory? Haha! He played another solid game. He has my full respect. Nice game, Professor!

      Did you hear Anze’s dad talk? They sound exactly the same. What a trip.

      • No, I didn’t hear his father. But I’m very impressed with Ben Scrivens. He’s been forced to work hard because of the mistakes that have happened in front of him. We can only hope that the Kings will eliminate some of those mistakes.

  11. The Canucks are still our Bitchnazzez! Yes I’m happy and apologize to any female dogs for my comment.

  12. Did not see blog after Van game? Boys busy peeping for holiday/ practiccing Turkey carving skills ?
    Just read and had to comment
    Penner..20 games played..7 Goals 11 assists! Whaaaaaat …
    where was that Guy on the Kings? ..that is the Guy I was excited to have..conflicted emotions here..want him to play well but why didn’t he for Us..did he not fit our system..don’t get it.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  13. On Penner – You aren’t the only one who is disgusted about Penner. Why did he come to LA, and accept a paycheck, if he didn’t want to play? He only cared about his pancakes! Screw Penner! I hate the Ducks anyway! I hope he falls on his ass! I have no respect for that guy!

  14. Re watching King/Van game while Turkey prepping. .
    got to say..2nd period when nucks started showing their frustration and true colors. .The cycle where first Brown gets leveled twice..Richards..then whistle brown, there’s Kopitar and those lowlifes taking pot shots at him..Kessler..Bieska..Really despise those jerks.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

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