Thursday, October 29, 2009

When One is Enough

They say one is such a lonely number, but there's no need to be greedy. Leaving San Jose with one point last night should be satisfying at this point of the season...and at this point of the team's development.

Check the numbers: The Kings were 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs the Sharks prior to last night, an indication of how tough it's been to play against them. More specifically, LA was 0-3-1 in their last four trips up north. Plus, San Jose was hot, winning four of their last five games - all on the road! - coming into the contest Wednesday night. While the Kings had won four in row themselves, you have to give a slight edge to the home team most of the time...especially to a team that went 20+ games last year without a loss at home.

While it's easy to get excited about the Kings with as much as they've been winning so far this season, fans need to keep the big picture in mind. This team is still figuring out how to win. The last big road trip provided plenty of proof. So, when they play a tough division opponent on the road and it's 1-1 after 60 minutes of hockey, the team is taking small steps forward. Sure, they had PLENTY of chances to win it in the shootout. They didn't though. So, take the point and move on. There is a new war to wage tonight when the Vancouver Canucks arrive at Staples Center. Fortunately for the Kings, the Canucks will be without all-world goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Speaking of injuries, it was just reported this morning that the Pittsburgh Penguins will be without the services of Evgeni Malkin for 2-3 weeks. That means he won't be in the line-up when the Pens come to LA next Thursday. I'd like to believe there were a few Kings players really looking forward to that game after this little ditty late in the game last season...

Oh well. So much for circling that one on the calendar. There's always next year.

Back to tonight - it will be another tough Western Conference match-up, one with playoff implications on the line even though it's only October. In addition to Luongo, the Canucks will also be without high scoring forwards Daniel Sedin and Pavol Demitra; as well as defenseman Sami Salo.

For the most part, the Kings are fairly healthy. Justin Williams is the only key player unavailable tonight. However, the new line combinations have been doing just fine without him.

One will not be enough tonight. Two is the magic number.

The Mayor

1 comment:

  1. Sharks were playing there first game at home after a 6 game road trip. I think it was a game the Kings should have won. They dominated the first period, but didn't score. I think that was the killer. Also, Quick not being able to stop Heatley in the shootout, a guy that was only 3 for 20, wasn't good either.