Saturday, February 9, 2008

Kings v. Pens

Ugh, it's a Saturday matinee in Pittsburgh which means a morning game in LA. With ckim out for the weekend I promised her I would do game diaries for today and tomorrow. So here's my attempt of doing a semi-live blog. I'll attempt to give updates on key plays and my opinions as the game goes on and will update this post after every period. However, I do have to be somewhere at noon so I'll do the rest of the game when I return.

In the Pre-game show Bob and Jim talk about the standings. I think it's unreal that Carolina is first in their division with 58 points. I'd be pissed if I was any other team in any of the other two divisions. Crosby is still out with a high ankle sprain and will miss his 9th consecutive game. But it seems like Malkin is filling the void quite nicely.

First Period
As I predicted, Barbs is in net. The Manchester line (Giuliano, Moulson, and Boyle) starts the game but Pittsburgh has the first offensive pressure. Kopitar, O'Sullivan and Frolov are playing on the top line. Ever since Cammy returned Fro and Kopi have played very well together so I'm glad to see Crow has left the two together to make sweet, sweet love on the ice. Heeeey, Laraque got some playing time!! Even though Ivanans was on the ice at the same time no chippiness occurred. We'll have to keep an eye on these two to see if a fight will occur. The Kings finally got their first shot on goal almost 5 minutes into the first.

With 5 minutes into the first, the Pens have the shot advantage, Barbs has come up with some solid saves, but I wouldn't say that the Pens are dominating the Kings. I'm just glad that the Kings were able to get through one minute of play without allowing a goal. Well that didn't take long! Laraque v. Ivanans. Apparenlty one is right-handed and the other is left-handed which is making the fight difficult for both. Laraque had the better start but an all out punchfest never quite developed. Ivanans got a couple hits in before Laraque lost his balance and the two crashed to the ice.

We're at about 11 minutes into the first and now Giuliano is playing Handzus and Calder. At just past the 11 minute mark the Kings take a penalty. The Kings have done so well in recent games in limiting the penalties they take so it's slightly unnerving that they've taken one already. Hopefully they won't make this a habit in today's game and revert back to their old ways of allowing a plethora of PPGs. Oh crap, the Kings are going to be two men short for 34 seconds. This is frustrating because the Kings had two opportunities to prevent the Pens from entering the zone but were caught flat-footed. Shit, Malkin scored at 8:51, 9 seconds left in the 2-man advantage. Barbs made a great first save but Malkin jumped on the rebound, brought it to the slot and sent the puck home.

The Kings did a much better job killing off the second penalty. Although the Pens were able to enter the zone, the Kings didn't let them set up before they cleared the puck. When the Pens finally did set up their cycle towards the end of their power play the Kings read the passes well and didn't let any quality chances get to Barbs.

Jim provided us the fact that since Jan 13th (and including today's game) the Kings have only allowed 3 PPGs. One of the reasons the Kings have had more success as of late.

The Kings will finally have their first power play of the day with just under 6 minutes to go in the first. Cammy, Kopi, and Brown are on the first power play unit. Fro, Army, and Calder are on the second power play unit. Both PP lines were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone, set up the cycle, and get multiple chances. The Kings kept trying to succeed in the cross ice pass to the backdoor but could never finish it.

Second Period
Sheeeeeeeeee-it (Clay Davis style). Ryan Malone scored the flukiest goal ever. Malone shot the puck, it deflected off Preissing who was in front of him, it bounced to the left of Preissing, hit Stuart somewhere on the side or backside and into the net. So the path of the puck went forward, to the side, and then forward again. Awesome. I guess the bounces won't be going our way today.

Malkin scored Pittsburgh's third goal. I'm losing a lot of interest in this game.

The Kings are on another power play and even though they set things up nicely and appeared to have a lot of momentun, they just can''t score. And, of course, as soon as their PP is over they take a penalty. The Penguins apply a lot of pressure and Barbs comes up with a couple huge saves to (maybe) keep the Kings in the game.

fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Pens score their fourth goal with 2.7 seconds in the second.

I have to leave. I'll be back in an hour or so to watch the third and give a recap of it. Can the Kings score 4 goals in the third for the second consecutive game? The Kings don't look so hot in this game and if Cloots was in net we would be down 8-0.

Ohh, and completely off topic, but I'm trying to add the "Read More" function to my template and I cannot figure it out. Can anyone help me?

Third Period
I'm back to watch the third period and see if my Kings can do anything in this game. Bob tells us that on this road trip the Kings have outscored their opponents 9-2 in the third period.

The Kings are applying a lot of pressure early in the third, but no goals yet. Barbs made a key save on the Pens, their first opportunity of the third period. Despite allowing four goals Barbs hasn't looked that bad...or am I just delusional?

Oh snap! Derek Armstrong puts the Kings on the board!! Cammy started the play by moving the puck out of the corner into the slot. He saw Army go to the front and backhanded the puck towards the net. Army batted the puck out of the air and past Conklin's backup...whatever the hell his name is.

The Kings have another powerplay with 16 minutes left in the game. Can they take advantage to get within 2? A minute left in the PP and the Kings have yet to do much with this opportunity. They're having difficulty holding it in the zone and establishing any sort of rythym. The Pens are doing a good job of applying pressure early, intercepting passes, and dumping the puck. With a four goal lead they don't have to take any chances on the penalty kill and try for a shortie.

The Pens continue to make safe, smart plays after the Kings power play ends. They held the puck in the Kings end and while they don't have any quality chances on net they ate up a lot of time on the clock. Fuck you, Pens.

Not too much has happened in the last 5 minutes. I'm having difficulty picking a Kings player that has positively stood out in this game. You know, this game is boring.

Why the hell is Conklin literally not on the bench?? Is there really not enough room on the actual Pens bench? He's sitting near the entrance to the ice with what looks like 3 Pens personnel or trainers. How much would it suck to sit through an entire game without your teammates?

8 minutes to go, the Manchester line is out there keeping the puck in the offensive zone. This would be great if the score was reversed. We're applying pressure but not getting any scoring chances...we just took a shit ton of time off the clock. Awesome.

Awwww, they just showed a pic of Cindy Crosby and his boyfriend Jack Johnson from when they were at St. Mary's together. They look so young and innocent. I should do a "Day in the Life of Cindy and Jack" post.

Alright, the Kings are awarded another power play as former Kings defenseman, Darryl Sydor, takes a penalty. Cammy, O'Sullivan, and Kopi are out on the ice first. They establish a cycle and get a shot off but it's deflected out of play. The Kings squander the remainder of the power play as they can never re-establish their presence.

With just under 4 minutes to go I'm going to call this game over and give the Pens the win. The only thing I want the Kings to do right now is to deny Malkin the hat trick. But with the Pens back on the power play we may not be able to prevent it.

1:32 left and Sir Brian Boyle the Beast scores!!! His 3rd goal in 4 games....whaaaattt!! Frolov kept this play alive after it looked like the puck got loose from him. Fro then stripped the puck from a Pens player, brought it up, passed it Boyle who was streaking down the center and notched another tally! I think Boyle just secured his spot on the roster for the remainder of the season.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Haha, Malkin missed the empty-netter! How the hell did he miss that? In the game against the Islanders Frolov made an empty-net goal from his own end and today Malkin couldn't even make it from the Kings' blueline.

Game over. Kings lose. We need to figure out how to start scoring earlier in the game. Best Kings player of today's game? It was a tough decision since no one looked phenomenal but I'm going with Frolov because he had two assists today and is consistently one of the better players for the Kings. I don't have a good feeling about tomorrow's game but hopefully the Kings will bounce back. They're so close from getting out of the basement...


Kirsten said...

Why the fuck is this game so early? Have they no respect for hangovers?

KMS2 said...

Have they no respect for West Coasters?

Kirsten said...

How about west coasters with hangovers. The league doesn't really seem to care about the west, especially not the west coast. You'd think they would have realized by now that LA is kind of a big deal in the world...

spiker97 said...

You can blame the NHL's deal with NBC for the early Saturday and Sunday games from now through the playoffs.

NBC now gets to pick and choose I believe 13 days out who they want to show. As a result, a lot of Eastern teams are stuck playing these early games that they cannot easily reschedule due to where teams may be playing on Friday and Monday as well. Originally NBC wanted three or four regional interest games {so West Coast games could start at 1:00pt} but that changed after everybody must have set their schedules. But I swear the Kings game was moved from 7:30p to 1:00p because of the Pens-Flyers game on Sunday was also moved to 1:00 for NBC - who are showing Ducks-Red Wings instead.

Pittsburgh, Washington, the Rangers and Detroit seem to be stuck with these the most, but a Pittsburgh-Buffalo game that was rejected by NBC was moved back to 6:00pm by agreement of both teams later in February.

Of course, the early games aren't too cool in the East either if you want to go to them or watch them.

Danny Sabourin played the entire game, not Ty Conklin.

I was kind of disappointed that Kopitar didn't have a great game, I still say he is a rising star. But, in looking at the Kings, they remind me a lot of the way the Pens were back in 2001-2002. They have talent. They need a couple of pieces and a little more time to play together - and a more consistent level of play in goal would help too.

Best Kings player in my bloodshot eyes? Dustin Brown. Needs to shoot the puck more, but he hits. Lots of potential there.

Fun game to see live, though. I get to see the Kings on TV a lot, they can be much more entertaining and much more frustrating then watching the Ducks...

KMS2 said...

Spiker, thanks for the info about the game times. It seems like NBC and Versus love showing Eastern Conference games...but I guess that's where some of the big names are.

I know Conklin didn't play (that's why I said Conklin's backup) but I didn't know how to spell Sabourin's name and was too lazy to look it up.

Kopi has been on and off this whole season. During December my brother asked if he was injured...nope. But somehow he still seems to put up numbers. I think other teams (especially the West) know how to defend against him which is why other guys (Brown, O'Sullivan) have stepped it up and are having breakout seasons. Brown is a machine and it's great to see him become an all-around great player.

I kept thinking that the Pens aren't that different from my Kings. Just a couple more seasons and (hopefully) we'll be having the success that the Pens are currently experiencing.

CKim said...

Thanks for picking up the reigns this weekend. I'm sure you were looking forward to waking up for this game. =P

I absolutely LOVED the picture of Crosby and JJ, I was laughing out loud amongst the men gambling on horse racing. haha

KMS2 said...

anything in the AM is just unacceptable. But of course I'm going to wake up for my Kings.

That picture was hilarious. I wanted to post it but I didn't have any luck finding it.