Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Backups Get the Cold Shoulder

Both the BJs and the Kings were playing the second of back-to-back games tonight and both teams elected to play their starting netminders despite both of them playing the previous night.  The decisions shine a light on two things: 1. Neither the BJs nor the Kings can be seen as easy opponents and that playing against either team will not result in an automatic 2 points, and 2. Neither Erik Ersberg nor Mathieu Garon have played well enough in previous start(s) to allow the starters a night off.

Of the two starting goaltenders, Steve Mason definitely looked the most suspect after allowing 2 goals on 2 shots 49 seconds apart.  Jonathan Quick looked solid at the beginning of the game and kept the Kings up by 2 after stopping Rick Nash on a penalty shot.  He looked so calm during the penalty shot and stayed with Nash the entire time, in position to make a blocker save.

There periods of time when Columbus had control of the game, but for the majority of the night the Kings controlled the pace, were disciplined, and overall played very well.  At no point were they scrambling to increase their lead, or playing frantically trying to prevent Columbus from tying the game.  Whenever Columbus got on the board they continued to play smart and were always able to get one back.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

woof....that's....gotta hurt

So about that hit..the Kings announcer, Jim Fox, did mention during the first intermission that Scuderi's hit did fall under the "clipping" penalty in the NHL rule book because as is described in the rule book, Scuderi lowered himself in order to hit an opposing player below the knee.  Scuderi definitely is not a dirty player; it looked like he timed the hit wrong and lowered himself way too low than would normally be expected for a hip check.  It was unfortunate how  Chimera fell head over heels and face planted on the ice.  However, if the BJs are going to respond to such a hit, they can't have someone jump off the bench.  I'm glad with the way the Kings handled themselves in this situation and I'm glad to see that Chimera was ok, especially considering the rash of serious injuries that have occurred in the NHL lately.

The Kings are now on another 4 game winning streak with a couple days off before they face San Jose.  Kopitar is on a hot streak, leading the NHL in points, and the rest of the team is finally scoring as well.  Can the Kings continue their awesomeness?

No comments: