Friday, October 12, 2007

Pre-Game Prediction: Kings v. Bruins

I'm not really into making game predictions because who knows how a team will play. And who really predicts 6-0 or 8-1 games? I'm taken aback by some of the scores we've been seeing lately and don't quite know what to make of them. It usually seems like the Kings are on the losing end of those games but they did have one or two successful high scoring games last season so it is a possibility. However, I don't see a high scoring game unfolding tonight. I didn't watch the Ducks v. Bruins game on Wednesday but from what I heard it wasn't that enjoyable. Despite the pregame celebration and the banner raising, my source told me that the Ducks looked flat at the beginning of the game. Even though Boston got on the board quickly they didn't maintain a high energy game either. I also didn't watch much of the Kings v. Stars game on Wednesday. I saw enough to see my Kings let in the fifth goal and score one (hooray for Calder and JMFJ getting their first points as a King and for Ivanans pulling ahead of Zeiler in points). It seemed like the Kings had a fairly strong third but couldn't really put much together and what solid plays they did have were stifled by Turco. I thought LaBarbera was going to get pulled after the fifth goal but I'm sort of glad he stayed in the game. I'm sure Crow didn't want to feed li'l Bernier to the wolves so late in the game. Also, from what I read of the post-game report, the Kings had several giveaways and I'm inclined to attribute their loss to the players rather than LaBarbera's Cloutier-like play. Regardless, here's my prediction for tonight's game:

October 12, 2007: Kings v. Bruins
Kings: Even though tonight's game will only be the second home game of the season I don't expect to see a sell-out crowd (it's the Bruins and a family night out package can only do so much). Look for Bernier in net tonight. Crow will give LaBarbera a mental and physical rest tonight after receiving little help from his teammates as he watched 5 pucks get behind him in Wednesday's loss to the Dallas Stars. In the last game JMFJ and Calder both notched their first points as a King, an assist and a goal, respectively. Hopefully these Kings career markers will induce some confidence and spirited play.

Bruins: I know next to nothing about the Bruins. Here's hoping they don't score within the first few minutes of the game and that they formulate a losing streak during their time in Southern California.

Prediction: Kings 2, Bruins 1 in shootout

Post-Game Update:
That game was absolutely ridiculous. Bernier started (and played the whole game) and the game did not sell out. Those were the only two predictions I got correct. There are so many things I want to write about but instead of a full-blown post-game analysis here are some key points of the game that I feel like bringing up. And of course, it's a list, because I like lists:

  • Bernier was outstanding in the first period, especially during the penalty kill

  • The Kings either need to stop taking a lot of penalties or at least have a decent penalty kill. While the first goal was technically an even strength goal, the Kings were unable to clear the zone during the (I think) entire 2 min. penalty and then coughed up the puck when they tried to clear, leading to Kessel's first goal of the night, which leads me to:

  • How many turnovers are the Kings going to have each game?! Argh!!

  • I realize Boston went up 4-1 in the second period but they did not for a second even try to lockdown the Kings and play a defensive style of hockey. The game should have been over at that point but:

  • I am a bit proud of my Kings for not calling it quits in the second when things looked really shitty. It was quite disappointing that they went down by 3 goals so quickly in the second period considering they played well in the first. There was a lot of groaning on my end and I admit I had started to lose faith and kept saying to myself, "This isn't happening!"

  • I love Patrick O'Sullivan this year. I said it after the first game of the season, but damn, has he stepped it up this year! He's on the PK a lot and has been displaying a lot of heart and hustle and he is winning me over. His line really helped bring the Kings back in the game.

  • Congrats to Brad Stuart and Brady Murray on their first goals in a Kings jersey. Murray showed some great composure and patience on his goal and it looked like it was Kopitar scoring because he deked Fernandez, held onto the puck, skated by Manny, held onto the puck, waited for Manny to dive across the crease, held onto the puck, and then finally shot it into a practically wide open net. Well done, Murray!

  • Cammalleri had another sick goal.

  • Kopitar almost took off Manny's head and then tried to do it during the next play which led to his goal. It's fun watching Kopi shoot like a madman. I'm so used to him creating plays, making great passes, and showing off his finesse moves so it was a pleasant surprise to see him take some great shots (on goal, too!)

  • Overall, not quite sure what to think of this game. Both teams had some questionable defense. Even though Bernier let in 7 goals, I can't exactly say he played a bad game since this game was wide open and neither team really had control (with the exception of Boston during an approximately 10 min time frame.) How many of those should he have saved? I can count at least one (the first goal by Kessel, but it was a quick shot), but I honestly can't remember some of the other goals. Crow mixed the lines up a bit during the game so it's obvious the chemistry isn't there for several lines. Why are we still exhibiting poor decisions on the breakout and why do they seem to happen so frequently? It's frustrating but this was only the fifth game of the season. It's a long season and that's what I have to keep reminding myself. Anything can happen between now and April.


CKim said...

I watched that game on Wed and I don't think I've ever rolled my eyes so many times. I honestly thought LaBarbara was gonna get pulled after that third soft goal went in. As it turned out there were some other games going on that night. Thoughts:

1) The Rangers looked solid while the Islanders looked feisty.

2) Teemu's Stanley Cup ring was fucking huge.

3) I need to write something about that ring because that made me roll my eyes too. Not Teemu's specific ring, but the ring in general....

4) The Ducks' banner are ugly. On a purely aesthetic note, the colors killed it.

KMS2 said...

OMG, I can't even explain how much I hate that the Ducks are orange. I liked them so much better when they were teal and burgundy (it definitely wasn't purple). And I hate it even more that orange only shows up in their jerseys as an accent stripe. I don't understand why they couldn't have just accepted being black. They could have been black and gold (not yellow, but gold). I saw that banner and wanted to vomit, purely because of the color. Seriously, I've accepted the fact that they won the Cup before the Kings and I've moved on. But I just cannot move away with complaining about them being orange. Which leads me to another complaint: why in the world would San Jose add orange to their jerseys!? No, no, no, no!! Aafjdajfldas!!! That's how I feel about the color orange.