Thursday, October 13, 2005

Red Wings 5; Kings 2

Didn't see the first period and some of the second as I was at a Baseball Prospectus event. What I did see was not good. The Kings looked flat. They couldn't keep the puck from bouncing all over place, and they could never get settled in the offensive zone despite numerous opportunities on the power play. They something like seven power plays with about four shots, and two shorthanded goals against.

Despite all this, they still had a chance to escape with at least a point. Jeremy Roenick's goal on a great setup from Dustin Brown drew the Kings even with just under six minutes to play. It wouldn't last long, as Johan Franzen would put the Wings back up under a minute later. It was a bad goal to give up for Garon. Short side, over his shoulder.

Still, the Kings got a power play soon after, couldn't get anything going on the 6-4 after they pulled Garon, and Henrik Zetterberg put it away with an empty netter. After a scuffle in front, during which Avery drew another power play (albeit with only 40 seconds left). Jiri Fischer empty netter closed the scoring.

Unfortunately, Joe Corvo was guilty on the turnover that led the Wings second goal, which meand the LGK swords will be out again, despite his recent solid play. Two steps forward, one step back. I still like the way they're hitting, but they looked like they didn't know what to do with the puck for the whole third period.

I really will try to concentrate a little more on hockey, but it will be tough during the rest of the baseball post-season.


Joe said...

Just gonna repost what I said at LGK:

"In the 3+ years I've been a member of LGK, I've never been critical of the Kings (other than my opinion that Cammy isn't as good as some think) on this board, even when I have felt the need to address something I don't like.

However, after tonight's performance, I really feel compelled to speak up. The Red Wings got several goals late, making the end score not as close as one might think. But the Kings played the entire game like they lost 5-2.

First off, I want to say I think this is a good team. This team is better than the haters think and not as good as some of the myopic members of LGK believe. I think they will finish 2nd or 3rd in the division and finish 7-10 in the conference.

That said, I think there are some glaring problems that I've seen this year so far that were magnified by this game. Some may claim this is a small sample size to start pointing fingers, but I think repeatable signs are a microcosm of what lies ahead for the year if things don't change.


DEFENSE: They play hard and I haven't seen many errors in their end so far. What I do see night after night, and especially tonight, is the defense flat-footed when offenses are penetrating, leaving gaps in the passing lane and chances for skilled forwards to beat them one-on-one along the perimeter. I'm not sure if it's Murray's philosophy or the skill of our defensemen, but I'd like to see them get more physical and play tighter on rushes.

OFFENSE: The Kings added some firepower in the off-season for sure, but where is it? I really like the lines Murray has put together and I think the Kings have the talent to put up three goals every night. But like my criticism of the defense, the offense isn't executing. In four of the five powe-rplays tonight the Kings had ZERO shots. That's awful. Not only are the Kings not putting pressure on the goalie by shooting, but they look like they are playing a pick-up game. There seems to be no game plan or drawn up offense. Also, without looking up stats, it seems like we are losing a lot of face-offs.

GOALIES: I liked the Garon trade and I think he will end up a fine goalie the Kings can depend on all year. I wasn't big on LaBarbera during training camp, but he's stepped it up big. The goalies aren't going to win us a whole lot of games by themselves and let's admit, they will lose a couple for us. For this team to win, it needs to be a total team effort. Both goalies are serviceable, but we can't rely on them to stand on their head every night.


Weaver, Kostopoulos, Brown, Parros, Avery: Young, hungry players who are playing their asses off. Brown is a huge talent, but he's playing every night like he's trying to stay on this team. I love it. What Weaver, TK and Parros lack in skill, they make up for in hustle, grit, and smart play. Avery was all over the ice. When he stays in his role as the pest, he thrives. When he thinks he's a Hart winner or immune to penalties, that's when he sticks out like a sore thumb. So far, for the most part, he's been the former. Hats off to those five players.

Roenick: Almost every game he leads the team in shots, yet I hardly notice him on the ice. What's the deal? He's admitted he's struggling thus far. Hopefully he'll be the J.R. we all love sooner than later.

Frolov: I friggin' love Fro. That said, where is he? He looks slow and lost. Is he hurt? Is he not in sync with his line mates? Is he just in a cold streak? I think the same can be said for Luc.

Corvo: I'm one of the few here that thinks Corvo is a NHL defenseman. He's made me proud this year until tonight. See my critique above for the defense for the way I thought Corvo played tonight.

Demitra, Conroy: They've pretty much been consistent all year. I have no glaring concerns about them.

Visnovsky: -3 tonight? 8 minutes on the power-play and no shots? When we carry the likes of Norstrom, Miller and Weaver, we need Lubo to step it up EVERY night.

Phew. I feel much better now."

Seitz said...

I've been very impressed with Brown, but I agree that Frolov looks like he's coasting. Maybe it's the big contract.

I think it just looked like they were sleepwalking through the third until they got the goal to tie it. Then they fell apart again. The power play was pathetic. On night when the team plays that badly, you hope your goalie can pull your ass out of the fire. No such luck last night.