Monday, February 13, 2006

Stars 5; Kings 6

Alright, so I'm writing about the Kings again, but I did say I'd probably do it when they started winning again, and well, this is two in a row.

I'm gonna come clean. I gave up on the Kings after two periods. After allowing 3 goals in 5 minutes, I quit. I had to do some grocery shopping that I was leaving until after the game, but I figured I'd leave early and get back in time to watch the Olympics. Fortunately, today's television technology allows us to record programs with a touch of a button (and more importantly, delete them with a press of a button, making the whole thing vastly superior to VHS tapes). Anyway, I started recording and left to do my shopping. Decided I'd watch the third period at about 8x speed without checking to see what happened.

Sure enough, the Kings got an early goal on a beautiful three man play on which Frolov passed the puck to Demitra, who made a no-look behind the back pass to a charging Lubo Visnovsky, who slid the puck home to cut the lead to two. Minutes later, Nathan Dempsey jammed home a loose puck from a Demitra pass to bring the Kings within one. Less than a minute after that, Michael Cammalleri made a nifty move on the right wing boards to enter the zone untouched, moved to his left, and hit Luc Robitaille with a perfect pass. Luc, who skated in unseen from the left wing boards, ripped a wrister through an apparently drugged Marty Turco. You couldn't see his face, but I don't think that was necessary to know what Turco's expression was.

Back in the game at 5-5, I watched the rest in regular speed as the Kings finished off one of their best period's of the season. Not content with just being a crappy goaltender in the third period, cheap shotter Turco yanked down Jeremy Roenick as he skated in front of the Dallas net, leading to a power play. The Kings converted, with Derek Armstrong deflecting a Visnovsky shot between his legs. It went under Turco's right arm and trickled over the line for the eventual game winner.

Make no mistake, this is a tremendous confidence boost, and it's a nice way to head into the break. I don't want to make too much of that, because if you go the break on a winning streak, everyone says "what a great way to go into the break", while if you lose on in, people say "the break is coming at the right time." Silver linings, I guess, but it is a nice way to think about the next couple weeks without Kings hockey, and beating a good team, albeit a team they've owned this season, does leave a good taste in the mouth. Still, we should be concerned about the second period, and the fact that they gave up five goals again. Something has to happen on the defensive end to improve, or this team is going to go right back into a slide.

Still, for one afternoon, it was a lot of fun. And I'll probably watch that period a bunch of times over the break. Now let's hope the Americans can acquit themselves well in Turin.

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