Well, Matthew Barry posted two blogs tonight. The first was removed and then there was a second one where he announced his retirement from this website. That one has also been auspiciously removed. What's going on here? If they need a new Kings blogger...here I am.
If Matthew Berry did quit, then I hope Terry Murray takes good advice and follows him out the door. After yet another lackluster performance at Staples Center with TeMu at the helm, the Kings have slipped below .500 at home. (8-8-1)
The boys opened the game in tragic fashion, by surrendering a goal on the first shot of the game before the late LA crowd got off the 110 freeway. Mikko Koivu buried a wrap around between Quick's legs at the :24 second mark and I had an inclination of what I was getting into tonight. The first period ended and to no one's surprise, the Kings posted a goose egg in the score column.
The second period started and before most of the crowd returned from their booze binge to forget about the first period, Minnesota struck again. Darrell Powe banged one home to make it 2-love only at the 1:25 mark.
Dustin Penner then chopped a Minnesota player in face a la Paul Bunyan and drew a delayed penalty. Before the Kings could touch up for the whistle, they decided to forego the powerplay and just allowed Scandella to stand in the slot and whistle one right by Quick for goal #3. Magic number 3 means the Kings are guaranteed a loss because TeMu's squad can't put up more than 2 a game.
They went to intermission and I can only hope TeMu or Dustin Brown lobbed a trash can across the room, punched a hole in the wall, and ripped into the guys. Something happened because the Kings came out with something that looked like an offensive strategy. They crashed the net, created rebounds, and Dustin Penner buried his second goal in 3 games (and of the entire season) to bring a little bit of hope to the nearly silent crowd. But the hope was snuffed out when some guy named Almond snuck an uncontested shot between Quick's legs to re-establish the 3 goal lead. Trent Hunter accidentally scored his first goal as a King and 100th career goal, but it was too little, too late.
The Kings managed 44 shots on goal (18 in the 3rd period, down 2-3 goals) against a rookie in only his second appearance in his short career. Did the Kings put early pressure on and test the young kid? No. Did the Kings battle hard in front of the net to create traffic for the new goaltender? No. They did what they always do. They played around the perimeter of the zone, until they passed it up high to a D-man. Then said D-man takes a shot with no screen in front. The Minnesota defense parted and Hackett sees it the whole way, covers it up for a faceoff...which the Kings can't seem to win. So in essence, it's just a big turnover. Even if they do win a faceoff, they repeat the above pattern and never look dangerous.
A couple high spots in the game to note.
He looked like the Dustin Brown from 3 years ago. Brownie hit everything in a God awful green,white, and red sweater.
Kopitar stepped up and dominated the entire third period. He dangled, swooped, dipped, spun, and tried to set up anybody within 200 feet of the Minnesota net, but unfortunately he mistakenly believed somebody could actually finish what he started.
Despite the heckling from the less-than-intelligent fans in my section, Penner played his 3rd good game in a row. He's registered 2 goals and 1 assist in this time and has honestly never looked better in a Kings sweater. Still doesn't make up for the last 40 games where he didn't do crap, but you have to start somewhere.
Another game where the Kings can't muster more than 2 goals. Jon Quick has lost 12 games this year. In those games, the Kings have only managed to light the lamp 19 times. A stomach churning stat for a team with 6 players who have scored 30 goals in a season.
Almost invisible on the ice. No physical presence, no grit, not the same player we all loved last season. Picked up an apple on the final goal of the game in garbage time...that's it. 4 points on the season. I like the kid, I just wish he'd show that last year wasn't a fluke for what he could bring to this team.
In the time it took me to type this blog, I've watched the Red Wings score 5 goals in the first period of their game. Do you know how many times the Kings have managed to score 5 goals in an entire game? 4 times. And two of the games featured an empty net goal.
Ugh...but I'll be back for more punishment this Saturday night against Dallas. As least we can get our lunch handed to us in the steez vintage purple sweaters.
Hopefully by the time I wake up tomorrow, the Kings have announced a new coach or the remainder of my season seats may be up for sale.