Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kings lose some tread in Nashville

It was just one of those games.

Since 1996 the Predators building has been called the Nashville Arena, the Gaylord Entertainment Center, the Sommet Center - then for a few weeks it went back to the Nashville Arena...and was recently changed to the Bridgestone Arena. Unfortunately for the Kings, the same ol' Predators play there...the same Predators they had lost five straight games to coming into Thursday night.

The streak continues...and now stands at 0-5-1 vs. Nashville. They'll get another crack at them on Sunday, March 14th...a rare noon start for the Kings on Anze Kopitar bobblehead day.

Things looked good early when Frolov scored in the opening minute of the game, after a face off win by Jarret Stoll. Ryan Smyth picked up his 700th NHL point with an assist on the play. That may have been the highpoint of the night for Los Angeles.

The game did include the debut of two new members of the Kings, Jeff Halpern and Freddy Modin (both were acquired at the trade deadline on Wednesday). Neither factored in the outcome, each playing about 10 minutes.

A fluke goal put Nashville on the board and then late in the second the Kings season long nemesis reared its ugly head again - an EPG. With just seconds remaining until the end of the period Jason Arnott found the back of the net to end things at 2-1 Preds after forty minutes. The goal also continued Arnott's recent hot streak, he had the Preds game winning goal on Tuesday night and started Thursday's game with eight points in his last nine games.

Jordan Tootoo came out half possessed in the third - even willing to fight Matt Greene. The box score said he had seven minutes of ice time in the game, yet it sure seemed like he was always on the ice or in the penalty box for the final twenty minutes. And although the Kings picked up another goal when Drew Doughty scored early in the third, the Preds added two more, including an empty net goal in the final minute.

It was just one of those games. All of the hype coming in surrounded the four Olympic medal winning defenseman that would be featured in the game. Each team had an American and Canadian Olympian on the team, Ryan Suter and Shea Weber for Nashville...and of course, Doughty and Jack Johnson for the Kings. By the end of the game, none of that mattered. In fact, the Olympics seemed much further away at the end of the game than they did three hours earlier.

Reality is upon us. The regular season is ending soon and each night will be a battle for points...much like it has been all year long.

The Kings get a rare visit from the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (note the 7pm start time) and then will host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.

Coach Murray will round 'em up and get 'em refocused for the Habs. For sure.

As an added bonus, the Kings will wear their third jerseys when they return home Saturday night. A little Black Magic certainly can't hurt.

The Mayor

1 comment:

  1. 2011 World Junior tickets on sale today. Who is in? Who got gold in 2010? Oh yea USA!