Friday, November 6, 2009

A Different Type of Payback

First of all, everybody breathe. It's only one game. Two points, that's all the Kings received for the victory.

Now that said, damn what a victory it was. Sure, people love to brag about beating the Stanley Cup champions...but, two things come to mind. One, you didn't beat them FOR the Stanley Cup. Big difference! Two, in a regular season game things happen. A lucky bounce here, a bad call there. Things happen.

And that my friends is what makes last night's game so special. It wasn't just a lucky win. The Kings were down 2-1 going into the third with the deck stacked against them. Besides playing the defending champions, they were playing a team riding a perfect 7-0 streak on the road this year. Plus, they were facing one of the best goalies in the world right now. The guy that could be starting for Team Canada when the Olympics roll around in February. Somebody must have forgot to tell the Kings though because they came out and took over the game - again. In the last two games they've now outscored their opponents 7-0 in the third period.

The win also provided a payback of sorts. After the Malkin hit on Simmonds last year many fans had circled this game when the schedule came out in July. There was a receipt coming all right. It just came in a different form.

A few other thoughts on the celebratory experience from downtown last night:

  • While it was a team victory, with 10 different Kings getting points in the game... damn that Anze Kopitar is making life fun again in LA. Both goals were pure joy.

  • Marcel Dionne talks about confidence being everything to a player. Well, the Kings must be full of it right now. Proof - last year's team would have folded after going down 2-1 in the second. This team regrouped and ran over their opponent in the third.

  • At the end of the day (an expression I've never heard used more by anybody than AEG executive Tim Leiweke) the 3 Stars of the Game don't mean anything. Yet, I have to strongly disagree with the selections last night. Yes, Dustin Brown had another solid game. However, Jonathan Quick was the #2 star behind Kopi. He kept the Kings in that game time and time again. Just ask Bill Guerin.

  • Former King Dan Blysma ('95-'00) gets a lot of pub the job he's done as head coach of Pittsburgh (and rightfully so). But, who ever saw this coming? Let's be honest, as a player, this was a guy that Barry Melrose would have called a "plumber" or a "pipe fitter." Now he's wearing a ring. Oh by the way, his assistant this year is another former King - Tony Granato.

  • Stat Check: (ONE) Somebody should look up the minutes on Ivanans. It seemed like he played 15 minutes in the first period alone. Wow! (TWO) At the other end of the talent spectrum... Crosby was held to just one shot on goal in the entire game. Sid the Kid began the night leading the team in penalty minutes - because you know, nothing says Captain like leading from the box. He added to his totals with a tripping call midway through the third. Fortunately, the Kings didn't take this game to a shootout, where Crosby is a perfect 4 for 4 this season. (THREE) Pitt d-man Mark Eaton was -3 for the night. Ouch! That'll make a bad night worse.
  • This brief home stand concludes Saturday vs. another Western Conference team looking to battle the Kings for a playoff spot this year, the Nashville Predators. Kings Killer - Steve Sullivan - only has two goals this year in 14 games. Can Quick find a way to shut him down? The game isn't on TV, so get off the couch and get to Staples Center by 1pm for the drop of the puck.

    Monday the Kings head out on the road for a brutal 5 games in 8 days. With the way the team has played this week, maybe the front office should look into extending the dad's trip.


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