Overtime – A Game Of Force

The last three games have been heart-wrenching.

The Kings lead a Toronto team that looks ready to lose but get stonewalled by a goalie not named Bernier.

The Kings play a neck-and-neck game against Anaheim only to lose on what was essential an own-goal.

The Kings battle back from an early deficit against a Phoenix team fighting for their playoff lives then collapse in the third period.

Besides their frustrating nature these games all share something more important in common. They were one goal losses, all of which gave the Kings ample opportunity to score a tying goal. They had almost 15 minutes to force overtime against Toronto, a period and a half to score against Anaheim after going down and three minutes to tie it up with Phoenix.

The last three games wouldn’t hurt so bad if the Kings could have squeaked out a point. We use to be a team that came out on the winning side of their one goal games.

I’m going to engage in an activity now that you are well aware I typically deplore, statistical analysis. Yuck.

The Kings have participated in 16 overtime this season, 12 of which occurred over the first 34 games where they had a 22-8-4 record. In the second half of the season, dating back to a December 15th loss against Chicago, the Kings have only participated in four overtimes, during which time their record is 16-8-2.

Seven of those regulation losses have been by a single goal, as the last three games have been. Suddenly that recent 8 game winning streak isn’t looking too hot. Obviously the Kings definitely need to win more games, but this whole “built for the playoffs” business has had me thinking lately, not only is the Kings low win record a problem, the lack of overtimes is highly disconcerting.

What interested me was knowing how many times have the Kings scored the goal to force overtime, and how often have they given that goal up. Overall, the Kings are 10-5 in this category (one of the overtime games was 0-0 heading into overtime), meaning that 10 times the Kings have been down a goal and tied it up to force OT, and 5 times they have been ahead only to give up that tying goal. But remember, they have only been to overtime four times over the last 36 games and of those four, only once did the Kings force the overtime. Three times they gave up tying goals.

So is this just a random smattering of stats I’ve compiled? Well, yes, but I think it illuminates something about the Kings that is a big shift away from the team that won the Stanley Cup and went to the Conference Finals the last two years; we are no longer a team that battles through adversity.

Perhaps I’ll look at this “forced overtime” stat for the last two years, but we all know that two years ago the Kings were overtime heroes and it played a big part in winning the Cup. Last year’s playoffs saw several overtime games as well. The best regular season teams don’t just win games, they net points when they lose. The Kings are doing neither lately, and really, are still riding out the success of a strong first 34 games. But remember, the point I’m making here is not how well the Kings do once they get to overtime, it’s how often they can force an overtime when trailing and how often they relinquish a one goal lead.

Now, anytime you say that a team’s record is X-X-X over the last so many games, you are being selective to make a point. I could just as easily say the Kings are 8-3 in their last 11 games, which sounds great, but I wanted to look beyond the streaks.

I don’t want to be too pessimistic here, because the Kings still retain all the potential to finish the season strong and be that team built for the playoffs, but the last three months haven’t shown it.

So what causes this? Does a lack of offense result in this minuscule overtime appearance? Well, scoring more goals than the opposition certainly negates OT and when you are down on your luck and need a game-tying goal, a robust attack is necessary. Defense is also a consideration as a strong defense doesn’t give up game-tying goals very often. I haven’t looked into how often the Kings have let slip any sort of lead. We don’t see this overall stat, though we do often see mention of a record being such and such when leading after the first or second period. I didn’t watch the FSW telecast of the Phoenix game but I’m sure Bob Miller mentioned frequently that it was the first time the Kings lost in regulation this season when leading after the second period.

Offense and defense are culprits plain as day with their hands caught trying to reach into a cookie jar they are too short to reach and too fat to utilize. The third cause for this unsettling lack of overtime is what I suspect to be the Kings inherent issue this season, and that is leadership.

I am not going to say this is Dustin Brown’s fault. I have my issues with him as a captain, as I believe Kopitar deserves the captaincy in every last respect, but this goes beyond Brown. Richards is a leader and has been ineffective. Greene is a leader, wears an ‘A’ and has been frequently scratched. Kopitar is a leader and has too often been a one-man band alongside his co-headliner, Jeff Carter.

Look, I don’t know what is going on in the Kings’ locker room, where the strengths or weaknesses lay. I’m not going to assume or infer. All I know is that something is missing – that something that sparks and motivates a team to overcome the bad bounces, the unfair referee calls and video reviews or their suspect exclusion, the player slumps, Quick misses or defensive flubs. This is not due to a lack of talent. The talent is there. It is not due to bad coaching, Sutter is not a hack. It is not just the will of the hockey gods.

An element is missing on that bench and it is of the ethereal. It is the substance of myth. The attitude that refuses denial is either gone, or it obscured by an over abundance of confidence, eagerness, mere frustration or perhaps at worst, the degradation that bastardized pride brings.

I don’t know. I don’t suspect. I don’t have answers, only my own frustration. I only began with a theory about the team’s ability to battle through adversity and some delving into the game-to-game logs showed a definitive, startling turn in this particular category when viewed through the lens of overtime.

Winning a Cup requires more than outplaying opponents. Without the ability to steal success from the maw of imminent defeat, no accolades will be endowed, no chalice lifted, no lines inscribed.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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77 replies

  1. All of the above that you’ve stated are very valid opinions and points. This team is missing something. Offense, defense, leadership? Shit rolls downhill as we all know. I’m not saying that it’s all management or coaching but some of the blame lies with every individual in the equation. I think the defensive style of Sutter is fine but has the game evolved beyond his coaching style? Maybe.
    It seems to me that the players lack the “killer instincts” part of the game and that’s a byproduct of zero leadership on or off the ice. Just because Brown wears the C on his sweater doesn’t mean that nobody else can’t be a motivational player or take charge and lead by example. Yes that’s Browns job but it’s the teams responsibility to step up and make him accountable (or any other player).
    Maybe there are things happening behind closed doors that nobody knows…..or maybe the players just don’t have the feeling of “trust” anymore.
    The way they are losing is reminiscent of a team who just doesn’t believe in themselves right now.

  2. Well, for what it’s worth, here’s my take. As for ‘One Goal Games’, I heard Denis Potvin talk about them (one goal games) a few years ago on XM Home Ice. I’m paraphrasing here what he said. The gist of it was that at a certain point, for his Islander teams it became harder and harder to win one goal games. To the point where they just couldn’t get it done anymore as they’d been able to earlier.

    I discussed this point with Deirdre. The above added to the fact that playing such a physical brand of hockey, a long season, and extensive travel (not like the Islanders have playing mainly in the east and the other eastern teams). It’s super demanding.

    I link all of that up to the fact that for whatever reason, Dean Lombardi relishes grit and character seemingly above speed and skill. That’s what I see in any case. (And that’s not to say that he should get talented slackers on the team who can contribute from time to time with mercurial talents (i.e. Dany Heatley) who sometimes show up and sometimes don’t).

    But the game has changed pretty dramatically. This from today’s article by Helene Elliottt in the Times about the change in the Sharks structure: ‘ Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson and his staff realized their plodding team needed a new identity and a major infusion of youth.

    “We did the reset/refresh, where we clarified how we wanted to play. We wanted to be a much faster team,” Wilson said.”

    Notice, he said they wanted to be a much faster team.
    But Dean doesn’t seem to put a premium on speed. And the speed the team has is shared amongst players who lack skill: Lewis Clifford and maybe Nolan come to mind. The other fast(ish) players on the team would be Kopi and Carter as I see it.

    My point is that so long as Lombardi is fine with his type of players dominating the lineup, they’ll probably continue to for the most part be immersed in one goal games. And as some posters pointed out in the prior thread……. if one of several things happen (A Quick softie, poor PP, defensive lapses, or good d but then no ‘o’) they’re gonna continue in all probability to struggle.

    To think they can just turn it on enough at the end of the season to sneak into the playoffs and then go on a realistic run every single season for a Cup is making a bit of a deal thats got real shaky odds.

    • It’s not like the Kings are slow. They play their best game when they are quick with puck decisions. That is just as important as foot speed. What we lack is shut down defenders.

      • Well, they’re not fast. Also, while I agree that it’s about the quickness with puck decisions, what I saw in the Chicago series is that the Kings (not sure if it was the defense, or a majority of the skaters) were being ‘beaten’ to the puck by the Hawks. Therefore, it didn’t matter a whole lot how quick their decisions were as they had a hard time dominating possession as they had during the season.

        I read somewhere recently that while their possession during the season was around 52% if not more, it dipped down towards 47% in the playoffs. That would rather substantiate my point.
        And honestly, I don’t think that having Mitchell and Greene (who isn’t quick at the best of times) would have changed that dynamic significantly.

    • I’ve always agreed with you regarding our foot speed, but, adding Gaborik and Pearson changes the speed dynamic a bit…to our advantage, of course.

      I’m telling you all our problem is consistent execution. Over the last three games I’ve seen Doughty and Kopitar miss 3-4 open nets that all of us could have put in. I’m not blaming those two individually, I’m just saying when our top guys don’t finish the deal, it effects the entire mood and mojo of the team.

      And it doesn’t help when Quick is off his game giving up 4 (?) softies in the same amount of time. We haven’t put it all together yet. The pieces are there.

      We have to stop the stupid penalties and start executing.

      I still believe we are built for the big games and have confidence in out present crew, though I must admit or D makes me a bit nervous. But I still believe.

      Please Sutter, keep A Mart in the lineup. Not playing Alec is my biggest complaint against Sutter.

      I will wager anyone, our team will beat any foe in the first round…except Chicago. I’m not even that dumb! :) There’s a catch, though, I have a $5 max per bet and a max total of $25. I’m a poor fuck, so that’s my ceiling. Ha ha!

      Come on guys, some of you act like we’re doomed already.

      Execution. Execution. Execution.

      Oh, and for the record, I’m Sutter fan and hope he goes nowhere! It’s a style that’s not pretty, but highly effective when executed properly.

    • I feel the kings look quicker with the additions of Gaborik and Pearson.

    • I thought Toffoli, Pearson, Vey are young right? Muzzin. Amart too.

  3. The above comments, including Surly’s, are all good. There certainly IS a problem with the Kings.

    As for Drew’s comment on the Sharks, they really are a much improved team. And they’re going to be very difficult to play against in the upcoming playoffs.

    • Well, my transfer of their GM’s comments. I think the point was made (or maybe not) that Wilson was astute enough to ‘make adjustments’. He saw there was a problem and dealt with it.

      I would have to go so far as to call Lombardi poor when it comes to making adjustments. He has an idea about what he wants…. and usually it takes going to extremes (unfortunately the same extremes every time…… not scoring) to react. So he’s then forced to go out and pick up a Penner, Carter and now Gaborik. And even when he reacts (via trade) there seems to be virtually no bend in his overall philosophy. Not the case with the Sharks management.

      And at the root of it, it still doesn’t address what the real problem is. They aren’t a team that is very creative scoring goals. I once heard this famous sports expression…. you are (your team) what your record says you are.

      The Kings record says they’re a poor offensive team. It doesn’t matter if Mike Richards once was this, and Gaborik once was that…. the team as a whole….. and particularly the depth players, really lack any sort of consistent creativity. So they try and win games based on defense and getting just enough scoring.

      • That pretty much sums it up, Drew!

        I don’t expect much from the Kings in their current makeup. Changes still need to be made, but that won’t happen until after their season ends. Hopefully, they’ll make some good changes.

        After the Kings are gone, and assuming Colorado makes it past the first round, I’ll be rooting for them, in the West. I’ll still be rooting for my Rangers, in the East.

  4. Overtime Shmovertime! What the Kings need to do is Lock It Up.

  5. I want to take a very shallow look into DL and his drafts. Its not comprehensive, just looks at the 1st round picks he has had, not an in depth, comprehensive analysis, just a glance because its a pretty significant component of building a team.

    I need to start my post with this: What has Doug Wilson won in SJ other than a Presidents Trophy? Nothing! Under Doug Wilson the Sharks have won 6 Division Championships and 1 Presidents Trophy.

    San Jose is the biggest underachieving, over rated team in the NHL. Every season they are always in the discussion to be a front runner to win a Stanley Cup. To date they have been in 2 Conference Finals and lost when not getting beat in the Quarter or Semi Finals.

    I don’t know if the Kings have any prospects with that speed component to go along with the size and skill. It seems the speed and skill players they do have in their system are on the smaller side and don’t get much opportunity to play in the NHL while with the Kings.

    Where to start with Los Angeles Kings 3.0? Lets start with building a championship team. The draft is where I would like to begin.

    IMO Dean Lombardi is an average scout, and since he hires others to scout for the team, they too are average judges of talent. Scouting like drafting is hit or miss. DL’s philosophy along with a few other GM’s is if the player you wanted to draft at a certain slot/round is no longer available, draft the best player remaining at that time regardless of need.

    Let me add this factoid: DL has had 8 first round selections since he became GM. Bernier, Lewis, Hickey, Doughty, Teubert, Schenn, Forbort, Pearson.

    Bernier great selection
    Lewis not much to say other than there were a few guys taken after him Giroux/Berglund/Foligno.
    Hickey not much to say other than there were a few guys taken after him Gagner, Voracek, Couture, McDonagh, Eller, Shattenkirk, Pacioretty, Perron
    Doughty great selection but when you have the 2nd pick overall kind of a no brainer. I had heard DL really wanted to trade up to get Stamkos.
    Teubert horrible! Players taken after Teubert: Karlsson, Del Zotto, Colborne, Eberle, Carlson
    Schenn not a lot of thought had to go into this pick, regardless he was used to get Mike Richards.
    Forbort was ranked 9th among North American Skaters but he was also viewed as a “project”. I believe it was hoped he would develop some offensive skill to go with his defensive potential. Still considered a “project” Players available at the time: Tarasenko, Bjugstad, Bennett, Sheahan, Tinordi, Kuznetsov, Coyle, Etem
    Pearson: Potential Top 6 LW the Kings lack, still improving and should start to improve the more he is used.

    Like I said hit or miss, as with all draft picks. Lombardi’ strength in the draft has been round 2 through 7. My only critique is if you want a big, physical team, then you should also look for skill and speed in that same package.

    “Defense Wins Championships”, “The Best Offense is a Good Defense”. While there is some truth to these cliches, if you can’t score goals you are going to have a hard time winning games. Lets be truthful the Kings don’t seem to play well with a lead. They seem to take their foot off the gas when they have a lead, especially in the 3rd period.

    This inability to keep a lead has been an problem all season. It almost seems like they are playing a “prevent” defense or try to lock it down in the 3rd when they have a lead, rather than just keep playing as if they are down by a goal, and really pressure their opponent.

    The biggest problem is, you can’t really isolate any specific part of the Kings game as being the sole reason for their inability to keep a lead.

    Maybe its me, but it seems like the Kings have let a lot of games get away from them in the last 5 minutes of the 3rd period. When this happens, they have to start to play with urgency, which usually leads to further breakdowns, resulting in giving up another goal, making it even harder still to mount any sort of comeback.

    This whole misused “built for the playoffs” is a stupid label, that is meaningless. The same can be said of “built to make a deep run”. “Making a deep run” isn’t the goal of teams that make the playoffs, the goal is to win the Stanley Cup.

    There really isn’t any excuse that can be used for the inconsistency of this whole season. If the system the coach believes in and uses is not working, and he can’t make the necessary adjustments with the players he has, then the coach is no longer effective.

    If the GM feels the coach he hired, and the team he has constructed are good enough to win a cup this season, and they fall short (not advancing past the 1st or 2nd round), then maybe its time the GM is replaced.

    DL had a 5 year plan, and he did get the Kings a Stanley Cup a few years beyond the 5 years. If the team is no longer performing well enough to continue to be in conference finals, a cup final it might be the right time to make a change.

  6. I love your post. Yeah, of course because it mirrors my philosophy exactly (putting apart the bit about the Sharks…. who…. we’ll see).

    But all of the rest.

    My very favorite paragraph as follows: “Like I said hit or miss, as with all draft picks. Lombardi’ strength in the draft has been round 2 through 7. My only critique is if you want a big, physical team, then you should also look for skill and speed in that same package.”

    Exactly. If there is a Milan Lucic out there and you’re looking for big, tough to play against, how is it that Boston drafts Lucic And Marchand (yeah, I know he’s small but he plays big) in consecutive rounds of the same draft? Meanwhile, as you point out, Lombardi goes towards Clifford and Lewis. A 2nd round choice and a 1st round choice. The scouts Clearly weren’t looking at any offensive upside when they scouted those guys. If they were then those players must have been dramatically different in juniors then they are at the nhl level.

    And someone else on another blog took issue with the comment I’m about to make and you already did too in your post. But to me, while clearly the draft is far from an exact science, why is it that certain franchises have such an outstanding record in the draft and others not.
    I know Detroit has had some iffy early round picks, but nothing to say about Zetterberg, Datzyuk and Lidstrom all from the third to sixth round. Not good players. Superstars. And they continue to bring good players thru the pipeline in spite of not having drafted high for how many years?

    Well, anyway, I agree with you. I like a lot of aspects of Lombardi, but I think he’s very rigid in his thinking and to keep up, I think he’s gonna have to make adjustments or get passed by. How good he is at doing that I don’t know.

    • Ken Holland and his group have had lots of success, especially in the late, late rounds of the draft. I believe the reason Detroit has been able to take a 5th-7th round pick which usually is a uber long shot to even make the NHL, is because they have done their due diligence. Even with doing all that scouting its still a very small percentage of players that will even make it to the NHL.

      The draft is a crap shoot, however if you have a good scouting framework, and you use a few more resources to really scour the SEL/KHL and other top professional hockey leagues for those gems, then this is why Detroit has been able to use late round picks to draft a Datsyuk (6th Round 1998), Zetterberg (7th round 1999), Jonathan Ericsson (9th round 2002).

      Its becoming more and more difficult now that other teams are investing more money and resources overseas and even harder to compete with leagues that might not be as skilled as the NHL but can pay more money because they have no CAP.

      I think once teams started to take notice of the gems Detroit was uncovering using a late round pick on some player in a league in Europe more and more teams started to put importance on it.

      The one variable that the Kings have not had, has been longevity when it comes to the management of the organization. When you look at the turnover within the Kings organization, from President of Hockey Operations down to the coaches then you can see why they were almost setup for failure.

      Its a very difficult task to keep a team together for multiple years, especially in today’s NHL especially with a salary CAP!

      Lombardi has fixed most of what was broken, now its his ship to navigate with his players and his coaches.

  7. I believe in the Kings. As much as some of Sutter’s decisions annoy me and his severe North and South system is one where you have to sacrifice offense to play defense doesn’t leave a lot of room for creativity. that said, you can’t argue 2 WCF’s and 1 Cup in his 2 yr tenure. We can bitch about how the lose and the backbr4eaking goals and the shitty PP (Payne is stealing a salary. ) , but the fact they remain the number 1 Puck Possession team in the NHL means for the most part, they other team isn’t getting much time in the Kings end. And when it works, it works to perfection But a large reason It works is due to defense pairings and breakout passes. That is an area they’ve struggle with and Mitche3ll and Greene’s play have dropped off and that does cause problems in the Kings end. I don’t see either returning and DL will move other players out to get the $$ to fix that, esp getting DD a top end partner. Just look at how much freer he was in the Olympics.

    As Drew mentioned, we talked about how he Kings hard skating ,physical style is mentally and physically taxing over an 82 game season. Those team that emphasize speed, and the brand a lot of the Eastern teams play , is not as taxing. Travel plays a role too and at one point in Jan they had 9 game sin 13 days, 3 back to backs, that’s a large order. And I think when Quick went down, they threw it into overdrive, into first gear in front of Scrivens and Jones and when Quick came back, they hit a wall. Mitchell was pretty dead on when he said the Kings style is one that causes that slump between game s40-60. But as much as I hate a lot of hockey clichés, their style is one that is built for the playoffs and they are a team that nobody wants to play.

    I believe in Jonathan Quick. When he’s in that zone that we’ve all seen, there isn’t a better goalie in the world. That’s the biggest part of what you need to go deep. I believe in Drew Doughty who for my money is the best young d in the game and doesn’t get the ink he deserves. That is the what connects to the stud goalie in the spine of a champion team. I believe in the core group, Kopi, Richards, Carter and Brown. And more importantly they believe in each other. Despite the fact that Kopi and Brown weren’t very good last playoffs, Richards Carter and JW were outstanding, and what they gave shift in and shift out isn’t something you can teach, you either have that or youi don’t. You add those critical pieces to that spine and you have a true foundation.
    Speed- Agree they need to infuse and I think DL is a student of the game and too smart not to notice how young teams like the Avs and BJ’s are infused with speed and youth. He said after the trade for Gabby that Gabby was the player he’d been trying to get since January. He mentioned his speed. TP and TT are very talented , fast players who will be a part of the future. I expect next year TT to be on Kopi’s RW and TP to be on RIchards LW.
    We’re no different than most fan bases, who bitch, moan and gripe about ‘how much better’ this team could nbe and what ‘I’d ‘ do. Playing Spin doctor is part of what drives the passion in a fanbase. But I’ve been a fan for 40 years and have seen a lot of hockey. This team is special, when push comes to shove, when the money counts in the playoffs, if they stay healthy, there is no reason not to think they won’ t meet the Bruins in the SCF.
    DOn’t worry about the Hawks, who have been struggling since the Olympic break (and don’t think having 10 players in Sochi isn’t a part of that . Historically, teams that have 5 or more tend to struggle post Olympics)
    There is a reason they have not been able to beat the Avs this year , and they won’t beat them in round 1 either. I watched 4 of those 5 games (avs won all 4) and the Hawks struggled to keep up with the speed and attack style of the Avs. And I don’t put much stock in Crawford, Varmalov is just as good ifnot better.
    The Blues are a force, and I like them, but Quick is better than Miller and the Kings as a team are better defensively. And although signing Miller helped them, it didn’t address the glaring issue that they should have address for the last 2 years, they do not have a a Legit #1 center. Love backus, great leader , heart and souil, etc. but he’s a solid #2, not a game changer or game breaker that busts over the blue line in the 3rd period and scares the shit ouf of the goalie. The Kings have better top 6 talent. I just can’t see the Blues getting past the Kings, with Kopi on his game.

    I believe in this team, warts and all, and can’t wait until next month when the road to the Finals begins.

  8. Nice Aricle Surley..no glasses..forgot them..ahhh
    So keep this short..I have been thinking points as well..on same page..and ty for not bashing Brown..see this as a team thing.

  9. Where’s is everybody? How we looking? Just plopped my ass down on the couch and popped me an oil can. I’m ready for some action!

      • “Here”, doesn’t tell me anything. How have been competing?

        Looks like Washington was taken it too us a little. Has it been that way the entire game?

        I like the score.

    • Cross fingers..we look like we came to play tonite..caps made a push end of second..Quick on his game..Let’s have some lockerroom leadership speak and play a strong final 20..Willie-Gabby-Kopi…make you smile/giggle good..:-D

      • That’s good to hear, Jockey! Glad we’re playing well.

        I liked the shoulder Muzzin threw at the end of the period!

        Quick has looked solid from what I’ve seen.

        Lets go boys!

  10. Oh, shit! The first thing I see, BIG save by Quick!

  11. Please tell me Greene wasn’t in the lineup on St Pattys day because of his last name. That’s beyond superstitious. That’s just dumb.

  12. I would like to say that the Kings did play hard. And it appeared that they gave it everything they had. Pearson, Toffoli and Gaborik are steadily improving. I think Gaborik has adjusted well to his line. That’s a very good thing. Will it be enough for the weeks ahead? Brown WAS trying, but will we ever see the Brown of the Championship run again? I’m not going to rehash how the others haven’t been scoring.

    The defense looked very good last night. Regehr was fabulous! An unlucky bounce led to a beautiful top shelf chip into the net by Ward. Other than that goal, Quick was Quick last night. That stop he made on Penner was a awesome reaction save!

    We all wish they could score more goals and cement a lead with solid defense, but that isn’t going to happen with regularity.

    Something was wrong with Ovechkin last night. I’m glad he had a bad game against the Kings!

    Go Kings!

    • He did seem a little off his game but part of that was Regehr, he played a fantastic game against Ovechkin. Miller/Fox said Ovechkin has zero goals against LA in like the past 5 or 6 games. Maybe LA is one of those teams he doesn’t play well againt (doesn’t bother me one bit!)
      I totally agree with you on the Gaborik, Pearson, Toffoli comment. Seems like they are getting better. I saw a little chemistry tween him Gaborik & Kopitar.
      Not gonna lie, I was scared when they tied it……”here we go again” I told my girlfriend (who btw was rocking a Kings hat when I got home!) After the PK in OT I knew we would win.
      2 points in the bank, bring on Luongo and the Panthers.

      • I hope, if you stay together, that she’ll always support your love for ice hockey!! Then, you’ll know you have a keeper!!

        I didn’t realize that Ovechkin hadn’t scored any goals for some time against the Kings! That’s a good thing! If he had shot more accurately last night, we would have had another loss!

        • like how the first time (only time?) Kovalchuk played against us after the debacle summer of no signing..and wasn’t that a blessing in disguise!…how he was the invisable man. I went to that game and he wasn’t even a blip on our radar.
          We played well last night. Still not a solid 60 minutes..which does concern me a lot. Gabby is definately
          getting used to being a King..makes me smile to think of him and Kopi..not harkening back to the triple line days, but who knows :-)
          Since DD is an Elite..we all know that..I let myself isolate him and be critical. That DD does Not play full out an entire shift! I see him stand, and observe. .not acceptable. He is no 50 yard dasher. Bothers me.
          RR was lights out last night..he may not be a 50 yard dasher but he was a 1K ball of hurt. Very Impressive.

          • That makes me think of the “GAG Line,” (Goal A Game), on the Rangers, Hockeyjockey. Sometimes a team will be fortunate to have three awesome players on their number one line.


            Regarding DD sometimes standing around. That doesn’t bother me. Good players will cover their zone. This will save a little energy while protecting their side of the ice. Then, when the play moves to their side, they bust ass. D-men need to pick their spots for moving into the offensive zone. Wingers will sometimes do this. Centers, however, have the hardest job. They’re in on almost everything. A good two-way Center doesn’t get much of an opportunity to stop moving.

          • Thanks for video..Rangers..my E.Coast team :-)
            Understand your point regarding coverage. I know we play part zone and part man. And since DD is an offensive D and has do many minutes on ice needs to conserve when necessary. Still have seen a few times where he is just hanging out. But perhaps he knows how play is unfolding..we know he has intutive insticts.
            Here is to a W today. NHL Revealed had segment on Luongo..got to feel for him being shown all alone ..family still back in Vancouver. .daughter in school..eating a frozen tv dinner…but today ..we put it to him..if he is starting.
            Need those points!

          • I’ve always followed the Rangers, since they were my favorite team when I lived in upstate NY.

            Luongo has family connections in Florida. That’s why he wanted to be traded to the Panthers.

            Here’s hoping that the Kings will get a win streak going!

            Go Kings!

  13. One thing that I’ve noticed with the Kings this year (and probably late last year too) is that they just aren’t locking it down as effectively as they did on their Cup run. To me, it looks like there could be a couple of reasons for this. One, Greene, Mitchell and Regher just aren’t as good now as they were (substituting Scuderi instead of RR) during the Cup run. They all seem to be at least half a step slower nowadays. That’s huge and allows the faster opposing forwards way too much time to generate extra offense. The young guys like DD, Voynov, Martinez and Muzzin just aren’t playing the right style of game if they’re asked to be shutdown guys. Doughty can do it (like he did last year), but that’s wasting his talents.

    Secondly, the Kings don’t seem as tenacious as they were two years ago. They were absolutely ferocious on the forecheck. They seemed to win every puck battle. Cliffy was a one-man wrecking crew. And, that tenaciousness allowed them to nullify a lot of attacks before anything got dangerous. Nowadays, they seem a bit neutered. I see a lot more odd man rushes which leads to dangerous shots or long shifts in the defensive zone.

    Just my two cents. I could certainly be talking out of my ass, but this is what I’m seeing so far this year.

    • Good points.

      It’s too bad DL doesn’t read Surly & Scribe! :-)

    • Definately agree with you regarding our forechecking. That is a major part of our team’s idenity. Probably my most used word screamed at my TV per game..and if things aren’t going well that other word.
      .. f***…
      pottymouth me :-/
      I will be working during game tomorrow so
      let me balance and

      don’t let the pottymouth get used in front of customers…

  14. I just finished reading the news in LA Insider. I like the morning line rushes. Richards needs to be demoted. Maybe this will help Carter score again! I’m anxious to see Pearson, Carter and Toffoli!

  15. OFF TOPIC. ..
    just have to say
    March Madness
    SDSU..GO AZTECS! :-)

  16. I think Richards is showing up drunk again. How about his stellar pass/turnover in the neutral zone that lead to the tying goal?

    Maybe he doesn’t wanna be a King anymore and was really hoping he’d be traded at the deadline to Montreal. Going down to the 4th line so he can play Brown type minutes is fine by me. How this guy was so loved in Philly is beyond me. Maybe he actually Played in Philly. At almost $6mill a season he’s a fucking embarrassment.

    • I tend to agree with you. I’ve absolutely hated Richard’s play this season. He and Brown have both sucked. At least the other players, like Williams, although they aren’t scoring much, are earning their paycheck with their overall sound play and hustle.

  17. When I lived in upstate NY, until 1972, and in Michigan until 1976, I could watch all of the northeastern teams on TV. I watched some fantastic games during those years. I always had a special place in my heart for Goalies. One very special Goalie was Ken Dryden. Here’s a good video on Dryden:

  18. At the game, PR6. If there were three players I could have chosen to score it would have been Trevor Lewis, Mike Richards, and Dustin Brown. In that order. I’m having a good time. GKG \X/

    • I so love these lines!!!!!

    • Nice Job..Great Game to be at..What happened to Brownie :-(

      • Things were a bit jumbled in the third period, after Sutter had to change the lines. They said that Brown has an upper body injury. It looked like, on the replay, that he may have reinjured whatever was bothering him on his lower body. I liked his effort up to the point where he left the game. I hope he’s alright. I really liked the effort and the fact that everyone seemed comfortable playing on those lines. Those lines COULD be the answer that Sutter has been looking for … if Brown can come back healthy.

        • Those lines weren’t permanent and Richards will be centering Pearson and Carter in practice tomorrow most likely. The reason it look good was because all of the forwards played well,, it wouldn’t have mattered what lines they played on. DS moved Richards to send a message and it was received.

          • I hope so. They certainly have NOT been getting it done. Today, I saw not just effort, but completed plays. Although Carter did not pass the puck well today. And what happened to Lewis? His stick handling has been spot on recently. Previously, he couldn’t hit the side of a barn! He’s making good passes and getting quality shots on goal!

          • Hands of stone No More!
            Isn’t it Great! What if the light went on and Louie has figured it out..this could make for a hella good player!

          • From my half ass glimpsing while working you could see Panthers have poor D.
            Three PP goals..that must be a record for us this season yes?
            I did give a YEAH with the 3rd one..Everyone turned and looked..ha! With all the yelling that goes on all day hard to believe they even noticed ;-/

      • Brown diagnosed as ‘chest contusion’

        • In that case, he probably took an elbow or a stick in the ribs. He’ll be fine in a couple of days. He just needs a little rest and ice packs.

          • Actually rest and antiinflamatories are what will help, unless a rib is involved. And given that Brown as 4 kids under 5 at home and 3 are very wild boys, he’d do better traveling with the team, more rest and quiet.

          • An ant-inflamatory will help, but ice will be required for the first 72 hours. The Trainer won’t let him near heat. You can use massage and counter-strain for a strained muscle as long as you follow it up with ice. But if you have an impact injury, you must never use massage.

          • LOL…good idea..just hope it is not cracked/broken..wonder how many guys play with such?
            That is a vunerable place with no protection..the guys bounce around so much sometimes I forget they are not fully protected.

        • TY..he is getting beat up
          will watch game tomorrow

  19. I am digging the way Pearson is playing. I think he’s going to be more of a force than TT. Toffoli’s got a great shot but he’s a little weak on the puck. Pearson is just a bulldog and I love his hustle.

    Richards and Brownie coming through and that’s always good to see. That goal from Richards was just a heads up, no bullshit play.

    Quick was just unconscious playing SC form.

    Couldn’t have wanted a better game from the squad.

    Lewis is starting to catch a little fire here lately! Hopefully that continues. Post season is just around the corner peeps.

    • Pearson and Toffoli have their own unique styles. Pearson IS impressive with his obvious physical strength. They do compliment each other. They just need a good Center to make them better.

    • Pearson the second coming of Dave Taylor?
      This is a reminder to find our patience with our young guys..I was excited watching his highlight video when he was drafted..now his skills are coimg out.
      I know we all want the end result, but a game like today can remind me at least how much I love this Sport and Team. Enjoying for the Love of the game..contentment.. at least for 48 hours.

  20. Another strong game from A Mart who is dangerous every time he gets the puck and joins the rush. His confidence is giving him a whole new edge. Hopefully he’s seen his last days from the press box. I liked him last year and didn’t understand this year when Sutter would bench him, given the team’s record is long on W’s when he plays and his errors didn’t seem as glaring. But that’s water under the bridge. He stays healthy and it will bode well for the Kings in the playoffs.

    • Yes, Martinez is solid. Muzzin is playing better as well. This all bodes well for the playoffs!

    • He’s one of the better skaters on the squad imo. Plus the guy can stickhandle, shoot and play D. His skating ability reminds me Scott niedermeyer. He wears the same number. I wouldn’t be surprised if he said niedermeyer was one of the guys he looked up to.

      Greene’s a warrior but he just doesn’t have it anymore. He’s more suited to the old NHL.

  21. Looks like what cracked wheels were left on the wagon in Edmonton have fallen off. Routed 8-1 and fans tossing jerseys on the ice.

  22. We may see the Noly Stolly Toffoli line


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