The last time I saw an L.A. Kings game that shinny in the playoffs was against the New Jersey Devils, in game one of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final – except that was the first period of game one, not the whole game. Shinny games are difficult to put into words because they resemble many things and nothing at all.
The puck bounced everywhere.
Errant passes ended up in skates, boards and opposing player’s sticks.
There was plenty of hitting but it was more hitting for the sake of hitting as opposed to a deliberate attempt to separate the man from the puck in order to gain possession.
It was Anaheim Ducks hockey.
The elation we felt when we tied the game was palpable. The Honda Center erupted to the cheers of thousands of L.A. Kings fans. For those who did not attend, I hope you could hear and feel it. Jacob and I were proud of our brethren. If you have not seen the replay, look again. That was not an easy puck to bat out of the air and time five hole. That play doesn’t happen with Jeff Carter’s forecheck. Cause – Effect.
The overtime goal resulted from a Ducks’ turnover. Gaborik once again showed deft hands. That play doesn’t happen without Anze Kopitar threading a seam. Cause – Effect.
A will to win, to never surrender and never say die by every player on our Kings. Cause – Effect.
I am happy with the result.
There is much room for improvement.
Since we cannot do anything about Anaheim’s ice conditions, let’s focus on what we can control.
- Shorter passes.
- More skating with the puck out of the defensive zone.
- Better support from the forwards in the neutral zone for the alternate pass if they attempt to close gaps on the puck carrier or first pass option.
- Smarter passes. Protect the puck if you don’t have a lane.
- More traffic in front of Hiller by the wings.
- On the defensive side, better rebound control by Quick coupled by better home plate. If not for Alec Martinez’s impression of Rob Scuderi, this game could have ended otherwise.
The margin of error is small in playoff hockey, for every team.
We are a team that minimizes errors and maximizes punishing opposing teams for theirs.
We are a team that Makes Them Pay.
That Makes Them Bleed.
Categories: L.A. Kings Game Reports