Pearson-Carter-Toffoli have it. As do Kopitar and Gaborik, Clifford and Lewis, Stoll and Williams, Doughty and Muzzin, Greene and Martinez and Mitchell and…
A friend sent me a text after the game and asked me if I was starting to become a Jake Muzzin believer. Jake Muzzin played an okay game (and has had a good series). He was reliable although I didn’t care for his stick positioning on Chicago’s second goal. His job there is to tie up Toews’ stick and lean on him. But what excited the hell out of me was that Slava Voynov looked like the silky, smooth Russian defenseman with a North American edge. I missed Slava and I was happy to see a complete game from him.
Of the entire team, Mike Richards struggled (though I appreciated his hard work on the PK) as did Dustin Brown, to a lesser extent. Brownie’s big hit, followed by unpleasant greetings to Toews thereafter are the kind of moments that can trigger Dustin to bigger and better things. I remain hopeful of each from our Captain.
Kopitar and Williams were okay, Anze more than Stick and that is one of the things that we should take away from a win like this. While we play a great 200 foot game from just about everyone, different players are contributing. We have 6 forwards that are a constant threat to generate high quality scoring chances and score goals. And each of them can do it with speed, skill and/or the hard-working and greasy kind. We then have another 6 that don’t hurt us defensively and chip in on an as-needed basis.
On defense, I am content. Greene appears to have found his 2012 form, just in time. He keeps that up and he brings the kind of balance that made us a force.
Did you notice that their top line was taken away the Kopitar-Gaborik line? I told Jacob that I wanted to see Sutter put Lewis’ line on Toews and just have Lewis shadow Toews. That would free up Kopitar and Gabby to do what they do best – bury the biscuit. Looks like they were more concerned about it than we were. Hope they stick with that. Because when you try to stop The 70’s Line, even if that is possible, you get a face full of dazzle from our 1st.
Back to chemistry.
It is often said that some players just have it and you can’t create it. I disagree. While, like in life, we are more compatible with certain people, far more than others, a complementary skill set and an equally fierce work ethic is the foundation for chemistry among hockey lines or defensive pairings. Our men must never forget that last ingredient and while we lead the series 2-1, building upon our work ethic with more of the same is the surest path to continued success.
Categories: L.A. Kings Game Reports