Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kings 2, Sharks 1

I can't quite figure out how to accurately describe the way the Kings played tonight. If I have to use one word it would be solid. Jason LaBarbera was deservingly the Number One Star in tonight's game. If it wasn't for his sound goaltending the Sharks would have steamrolled the Kings.

Since I was gone for a week and was practically without access to the interwebs, I completely missed the news about Frolov being injured. I was preplexed when I didn't see his name on the second line and was saddened to hear he has a groin injury. According to the LA Kings website,

Frolov, who is battling a groin injury sustained at Anaheim last Thursday, has not been practicing with the team and only playing games and will take the next couple of days to rest the injury.

Poor Fro, hopefully he recovers quickly. It was nice to see Calder and Ivanans back in the lineup. Calder still isn't at 100% which was evident by his less than stellar slap shot. Bob Miller mentioned that Calder admits he his still recuperating but that he wanted to get out there. I don't blame the guy, he was playing pretty well before he got injured and with Fro out of the lineup the team will definitely need all that Calder can give. Ivanans was on a line with Zeiler and, if I remember correctly, Nagy. Ivanans is wearing a face shield so don't expect any fights from him anytime soon. Actually, considering Thornton is out as well, don't expect any fights at all since the Kings don't really have anyone else who can fight.

Tonight's game didn't start so well on my end. FSN decided to pit the Kings game directly after the WSU v. UW game, which, of course, ran past the start of the Kings game. would have been nice to watch a game between two teams in my state as opposed to two teams in another state, but that's America for you, shunning hockey in favor of college football. I about had a stroke when the football game almost went into overtime (I had flashbacks to LSU's third overtime) but luckily one of the teams squeaked out a touchdown with 31 seconds left. By the time FSN switched over to the Kings game, the Kings had just scored a goal. The replay showed Brown beautifully deflecting a slap shot past Nabokov. Despite neither team peppering the opposing goalie with shots, the first period wasn't half bad.

The Kings capitalized on a power play for their second goal of the game. Kopitar was positioned to the left of Nabokov and fired the puck high. Nabokov actually got a piece of it but the shot went off him and into the net. It was relieving to see the Kings score on the man advantage and take a two-goal lead, but I think I was even more impressed that the Kings were able to kill off all three San Jose power plays. According to Bob Miller the Kings were the least penalized team entering tonight's contest but were 28th in the league on the penalty kill...not a pretty stat.

The Kings were lucky to get out of the second period without a goal against them. I knew the Kings weren't going to get the shutout because at the start of the third period FSN displayed facts across the top of the screen, including one announcing that the Kings have had 5 shutouts against the Sharks. Sure, neither Bob nor Jim said the S-word, but did FSN really have to show that fact? Thanks, FSN. Oh, and one more thing about FSN: they SUCK at broadcasting hockey games. Did anyone else notice how blinding the ice was? Sometimes the puck would get lost in the blanket of whiteness because the lighting was piss poor. You could never see a complete red circle, just red arcs in the defensive zones. FSN just kills me sometimes.

Once the Sharks got a goal the game really picked up. I definitely caught myself holding my breath and almost biting my nails because I wanted the regulation win so badly. The Kings held strong and the best part of the final seconds was when, with Nabokov pulled for the extra attacker, Joe Thornton got the puck in the corner with a Kings defender all over him. He fiercly passed it back to the blueline but the puck was completely out of reach of any San Jose players. The puck went sliding into San Jose's end and with the net unguarded the puck was gliding towards it. The BF and I got really excited and kept saying, "it's going in, it's going in!!" and Bob Miller said, "he might get an own goal!! hit the post!!" and the BF and I screamed, "Ahhhhh!!! Almost!" Seriously, that would have been an awesome own goal. Next time, Joe. Next time.

Well...tomorrow the Kings play Anaheim. Hopefully the Kings can continue their solid play and it wouldn't hurt if they applied a bit more offensive pressure than they did tonight. Regardless, I just want the W. Go Kings Go!!


CKim said...

While the Fro is healing off the ice, Anze tied him last night in point totals for the whole team. Fro's gotta get back pronto.

I was surprised to see Calder doing a LOT of work out there even tho he wasn't 100%. When I heard that Ivanans was going to be wearing a "full face mask" for a while, for some reason I pictured one of those masks that basketball players wear when they have a broken nose. Turns out it's just a bigger shield in front of his face. haha

KMS2 said...

It really sucks that Fro is out because he struggled at the beginning of the season when he was recovering from an injury (groin, too?).

I definitely noticed the "full face mask"! I thought he was going to wear what O'Sullivan wore but I guess Raitis is just a hardass.