Saturday, December 17, 2005

Kings 4; Sucks 3 (F-Shootout)

The Kings were fantastic for the first 18 minutes. Then they figured that this was a game where they would play well, and they figured that would carry them through. They were not good for the last 42 minutes, but they had Mathieu Garon behind them, who was absolutely outstanding. And that's without taking the shootout into account. He made big save after big save in the second and third periods and kept them in the game long enough for Peter Kanko to bank in the tying goal in the third period. Congrats to Kanko on his first NHL goal in his first NHL game, and congrats to Giuliano on his first NHL point. Youth was served, as Dustin Brown added a power play goal.

Things that concern me: First of all, there's almost no puck support by the Kings. If one guy has the puck roll off of his stick, of battles to a draw on the boards, there's always an opponent on the puck, and never a King. When you aren't getting the bounces, and for the most part, the Kings aren't, that's a killer. They relied far too much on Garon all night. And has anyone seen Frolov, Demitra, and Conroy? I keep hearing their names, but I can't seem to find them on the ice.

Garon was incredible, and the shootout was just the icing on the cake. He got a bit of a break when Selanne lost control of the puck on his chance, but Scott Niedermayer made a great move, and Garon absolutely stoned him. From the TV angle, I could have sworn he scored, but man, what an awesome save.

When you win without playing your best, you take what you get, because you figure that sooner or later, you're going to start playing well again. Well, sooner is gone, and later is on its way out of the building. It would be nice to see the Kings start playing decent hockey again. But I'll gladly take the two points.

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