Wednesday, February 20, 2008

3 Belated Game Reviews

I am way behind in my game reviews so don't expect a mindblowing analysis of any of the past three games. Quite frankly I only want to talk about the first game since that was the best, but I suppose there are some points to take away from the two games against the Coyotes.

Feb 15th: Kings 6, Flames 3
I didn't think the Kings had a shot in hell of even being competitive with the Flames. The road trip was ok, netted the team some points, but it wasn't as if they dominated throughout the entire trip and just barely lost a couple games. The guys have looked siginificantly better since the 8-game losing streak but in order to be a top team they need to string together some wins, something this team can't seem to accomplish for a second consecutive season.

Lately it's been somewhat frustrating trying to figure out what team will be on the ice what with guys going on and off IR or the scratch list and moving back and forth between LA and Manchester. Before Friday night, Matt Moulson was, for some unknown reason, sent back to Manchester. I guess for Friday night's match Brian Willsie was a better candidate for ice time than Matt Moulson. Go figure... At least Brian Boyle was still in LA. Teddy Purcell was a late recall to replace an ill Cammy. I was also hoping for a defenseman to replace Kevin Dallman but unfortunately he was left in the lineup...or was it unfortunate???

Kevin Dallman surprised the hell out of everyone who watched this game as he proceeded to play the game of his life! He scored the first goal to get the team rolling and never stopped till the horn sounded the end of the game. He hit every Flames player that came his way, didn't turn the puck over, made smart passes out of the zone, created offensive chances, hell he even outplayed every other Kings defenseman. Did Lubo just fail to clear the zone? Oh, there's Dallman to the rescue! Did Phaneuf mysteriously elude a check? No worries, there's Dallman!! Did Barbs just collapse from heat exhaustion? Well, get out of the way 'cause Dallman's going to play goalie and outduel Kipper!!! Dallman was a fucking machine on Friday and when the game was over I turned to ckim and said, "He needs to retire right now because there's no way he's ever going to play a better game." Well, he didn't listen to me and instead reverted back to his true form the next night....that's another story.

The rest of the game was quite incredible. I kept waiting for Kipper to get pulled, especially when we had 6 goals on 17 shots. Iginla tried more than once to receive a long pass but the Kings impeded the breakaway every time. Phaneuf was leveled by Boyle and Brown and, if I'm not mistaken, also by Giuliano, all 5'9" of him. The hit by Boyle was incredible because at first it looked like Boyle was going to become the next Eric Lindros but, instead of getting caught with his head down, he stood up strong and Phaneuf bounced right off of him (see below for the video). Although we were up by 4 goals at the end of the second period, I was still nervous. Hell, even the Kings have had remarkable comebacks this season so of course the game wasn't over. Thankfully the Kings played a very smart defensive game and only allowed one goal in the final segment. Teddy Purcell notched his first NHL goal, Brian "I'm a fucking beast" Boyle got his fourth goal in seven games, Alexander Frolov kept up his points streak, and Kopitar potted one as well. What would have ultimately sealed the night was if Giuliano had scored on his penalty shot....oh well, I guess now we know why he never participates in the shootout. Overall, great team effort: Scoring by Committee!

I know RudyKelly already posted this video when he did his game review but it brings a huge smile to my face every time I watch it and hopefully you'll enjoy it too!

Was somebody a saaaaaaaad panda?

(two more game reviews after the jump...although, let's just pretend those games never happened)

Feb 16th: Kings 3, Coyotes 4
The NHL game scheduler should have made this game come before the Calgary match because the poor guys just came home from an 8-game road trip and after playing one incredible home game had to travel to Dirt City for yet another road game. The NHL schedule never ceases to boggle my mind...

I had high hopes for this game because I couldn't stop thinking of the possibilities! Kevin Dallman could continue his badass streak. Cloutier might play like he did against Columbus. The Crazy Russian can't stop us again, right? Maybe the Kings will begin a winning streak! Blerg....well, I was wrong.

Even though the scoreboard was close I never thought the Kings actually looked like they were going to win. The penalty kill was weak again. Cloutier looked okay but when he let in that sharp shot from the corner all I could do was shake my head in disbelief. How was he not set? Did his skate hit a rut? Then there was another play where a Coyotes player had a semi-breakaway and I thought Cloutier acted too soon, which left the net wide open. As for the rest of the team, I thought the chemistry just wasn't there. Were they not ready to play? Were they tired? What happened to the team that showed up the previous night? We didn't deserve to win with the effort put forth.

Feb 18th: Kings nil, Coyotes 4
This game was a disaster...not like the meltdown against Nashville, but just so very disappointing. I fully expected my boys to jump back from their previous lost to the 'Yotes but no such thing occurred. But before I get into why this game was so painful to watch, can someone please give me a reasonable answer for why Brian Boyle was sent down so that Lauri Tukonen could be called up? I realize the front office probably wants to see Tukonen play, but why now? Is his 19 points with Manchester not telling enough that he probably isn't ready to play in the NHL? All I have to say is Brian Boyle has 5 points in 8 games....when else has a Kings rookie who was called up in the middle of a season produced that many points in so few games? This guy was on a roll and then all of a sudden was sent back to Manchester. How many more games will Kings fans have to endure Tukonen over Boyle or Moulson? I'll give Tukonen two more games to impress me...

There were so many problems with this game...they couldn't connect passes, enter the offensive zone, establish any rythym, or even stay out of the box. Memo to Kings players: your PK still sucks so stop taking so many penalties!! The play that sealed the Kings' fate that night was when Danny Carcillo schooled Kevin Dallman. I don't know what astonished me more: seeing Carcillo pull off a such a slick move and then complete the play by scoring a goal or seeing Dallman react to Carcillo's deke as if it was his first time playing hockey. My heart sank after that play and I just knew there was no chance we were going to eliminiate the 3 goal deficit established at that point.

The only highlight of the game was the Ivanans v. Carcillo bout. If Ivanans lost that fight I would have petitioned for the Kings to revoke his contract extension. He may have been bleeding when the fight ended but Bam Bam definitely got the best of that little punk.

We have two more games against Phoenix this season and I really, really hope the Kings show up for at least one of them. I never thought the season would come when I was praying for just one win against Phoenix.

And if you're a champ and made it this far in my useless game reviews, then I'm rewarding (or punishing) you with a little girly commentary. I just watched the Project Runway 'reunion' episode and could not believe how stuck up Victoria acted throughout the entire time. She was kicked off because her jeans coat and "skirt" looked like crap and she deserved the boot. And why was she so angry about Jack leaving the show? Was it because Chris was invited back onto the show and is now a finalist? Whatevs...Chris deserves it! Girl, get over yourself!

Next Kings game: Thursday against the Blues. Get out your radios 'cause this home game isn't televised! Boooooo! This game better be fierce.

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