Game 3 was a gut-wrenching loss, Game 4 was just disappointing. This is why I was protesting the first round by not buying tickets. But, thanks to the hermano, he gave me an extra ticket to Game 4 so I could witness history being made....the Kings allowing 6 goals in consecutive playoff games.
I hate coming off as a pretentious know-it-all Kings fan, but I'm really frustrated with Terry Murray's coaching decisions in this series. I haven't felt this way since 2006 when Marc Crawford refused to bench Dan Cloutier despite the fact he was letting in an early soft goal almost every single game he started. Dustin Penner has been dead weight all series long, with the exception of his one brilliant play where he fed a perfect pass to Michal Handzus. Last night was the second time this series he was demoted to the fourth line by the end of the game. Really, Murray? It takes you two periods to finally reprimand Penner for being effing worthless in the game? I wonder if Murray refuses to start him on the fourth line because he's giving him a clean slate each game or because he knows Penner won't be able to do much playing alongside Kevin Westgarth. Which brings me to my next point.
Why in the world is Kevin Westgarth still in the damn lineup? He played 7 terrible minutes in Game 4. He occasionally delivers a decent hit, but it's so painful watching him in a playoff game because he's slow, can't backcheck or play defense, and doesn't have the skills to overtake the Sharks on offense. (Wow, that description almost matches Dustin Penner.) Did you notice Westgarth on the ice with about 4 minutes left in the game when the Kings were trying make a last ditch effort? Yeah, I sure did because it made me think Murray had already thrown in the towel and was thinking about Game 5. Does Murray really think it's necessary to have Westgarth in the lineup for insurance in case the Sharks start roughing up the Kings? Sure, the Sharks are a physically big team, but it's not as if the entire Kings lineup is made up of players the size of Marty St. Louis or Nathan Gerbe. I'm sure if some of our players got roughed up, then Kyle Clifford would go after any Sharks player, because he's just that effing crazy....and awesome. Or does Murray really think Oscar Moller is that much less effective than Westgarth? I just don't see it. Moller is small and has had trouble recently getting knocked off the puck easily, but it's not as if Westgarth is all that good at holding onto the puck. At least Moller has speed and skills. Put that Swede in the lineup!
We all knew the Kings offense would have trouble putting in goals, but I've been shocked by how poorly the defense has played in 3 of the last 5 periods (not counting OT in Game 3). It's as if each player at one point is channeling Randy Jones, has a complete brain fart, and forgets how to clear the zone or cover his man. Did you see how wide open Big Ghost Joe Thornton was when he finally scored, and then proceeded to act like an effing twat and blow kisses to the crowd.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that someone as lame as him would blow kisses instead of shushing the crowd like he's Mike Such a Huge Asshole Ribeiro.
While all of these goals weren't Quick's fault, I still disagree with Murray's decision to keep him in the game. He already allowed 6 goals in Game 3, so give the guy a rest and just put in the hot stuff sitting on the bench. The way I see it, goalies are pulled for one of two reasons: (1) they play like shit or (2) to send a message to the rest of the team to wake up and play some G-D defense! A lot has been put on Quick and he's played really well at certain times, especially the first period of Game 4, but when the team breaks down and lets in two or three quick goals, it's time to give him a rest so he can start mentally preparing for the next game, get Bernier some playing time and playoff experience, and hopefully provide a spark to the rest of the team. I thought maybe Murray was going to pull Quick after the third San Jose goal in the second period, and I definitely thought he was going to yank him after the two quick goals in the third period.
Before the playoffs started I was prepared for the Sharks to sweep the Kings. But there was a glimmer of hope in the first two and a half games that the Kings could advance to the second round. However, the last game and a half reinforced my initial belief that the Kings don't have what it takes to be successful in the post-season this year. Most of the guys will be back next year, so this series will be a good lesson in why it's so important to play 60 effing minutes every game. And hopefully the Kings can stock up their lineup so Murray doesn't have to worry about only rolling three lines. Anyone think we can trade Penner in the off-season?