Monday, January 4, 2010

Perfect for the New Year

Two games for the Kings since the calendar flipped to 2010, two victories. Easy enough, right? Not exactly.

On Saturday LA hosted the greatest player in the game, Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals. A team that has scored more goals this year than any other club in the NHL. The Kings held him scoreless and his team to just just one goal.

Tonight the Kings faced the second most prolific offensive team in hockey this year, the San Jose Sharks. Their big line of Thornton-Marleau-Heatley have all been top-20 points producers since 2002-03. Marleau was the only one of the trio to score tonight.

Two amazing games. And Jonathan Quick is the Kings number one star of the moment, no doubt about it.

The Kings 6-2 victory over the Sharks was a strange one. It's a game in which they were out shot 47-20 (that's not a typo).

How do you score six goals on your first 17 shots? They were playing the Sharks, not some weather-named team like the Lightning or the Hurricanes.

It was a game of streaks too.

The Sharks ended their eight game win streak and the Kings now have a modest three game stretch of their own.

Ryan Smith scored in this third straight game. Michal Handzus scored, giving him five points in three straight.

Oh yeah, then there's that little issue about Kopitar's funk. Anze had a goal and an assist in the victory. That's back to games with points for Kopi, only the third time he's done that since mid-November. More importantly, it was his first multi point night in 24 games (since Nov. 11 vs. Carolina).

In other player news Scott Parse scored his third goal in just five games since being recalled from Manchester. Drew Doughty had a career night with four assists. He now has eight points in the last five games. And perhaps the most underrated player on this year's team, Jarret Stoll, made his return to the line-up, picking up an assist.

As a team, the Kings scored four power-play goals for the first time since 2/16/09 vs. Atlanta.

With the win the Kings evened their record to 47-47-14 all time vs. the Sharks, a ledger they'll get the chance to add to soon enough.

In the first 20 games of 2010 - coincidentally, the 20 games until the Olympic break also - the Kings schedule sees them playing the Sharks three times, Anaheim three times and Detroit three times. Forget parity in the league, that's familiarity.

The first of those against the Red Wings will be Thursday night, opening up a 7 game home stand for the Kings. It's been two straight sellouts at Staples Center. Will they get a hat trick?

The Mayor

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