Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Kings Gameday: More Like Dour Play, Right? Right?

LA Kings (10-11-4) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (11-11-3)

7:30 PST, Fox Sports West


The Kings' power play feels shitty right now. The numbers don't really back me up (the Kings are about where they were last year, around 17th) but I don't know, I'm still not a fan. There's something vaguely unlikable about it; if the Kings' power play were an actor, they'd be Cole Hauser.* I think the problem I have with it is that it relies way too heavily on the Kings' forwards to move the action. When the Kings get the puck in the opposing zone, they end up passing it back and forth between the forwards while the defensemen just kind of stand there. There's no movement, there's no position-switching to confuse the defense. You kind of kill the man advantage when you allow the defense to stand still. What the Kings need is a small, nimble puck mover, one that can get involved in the play. Maybe pair him with a big, aging asshole with a booming shot. That would work.

*Dude just looks like an asshole, you know? By the way, I've always thought a cool movie would be Hauser and Josh Lucas conspiring to kill Matthew McConaughey so they can get his movie roles.

Another problem with the power play? The top defensive pairing (most of the time) is Doughty and Preissing, while the other is Jarret Stoll and Kyle Quincey. Doughty and Preissing are both Feeders, in that they are usually best at corralling the puck and setting up their other defenseman for a one-timer, while Stoll and Quincey are both Boomers and are best at shooting the puck. I would say the Kings should switch things up but I think the reason the lines are this way is probably because Terry Murray doesn't trust Stoll and Preissing defensively. That's probably a good decision. I don't see this changing until Jack Johnson gets back.


Finally, the Kings have absolutely no one that can deflect the puck on the way to the net. Seriously, it seems like other teams are constantly scoring on deflections and tip-ins while the Kings are busting their asses trying to score nice goals like a bunch of chumps. Dustin Brown and Kyle Calder are the men in front of the net on the Kings' power play, but they usually try to sneak open for shots or try to bang in rebounds. Make them stand in front of the net and deflect pucks like they do in peewee.

Unrelated, but how is this guy good at sports betting?

The Kings' power play hasn't been terrible this season, but it hasn't been great like it should be either. I think the power play will go the way of Anze Kopitar and Alex Frolov; if they're doing well then the Kings will be fine. If not, then they're boned. I still think the Kings should switch it up and give Frolov primary ice time on the power play instead of Kopitar, but that's just me. Either way, a good power play can help a team when they're slumping and it's exactly what the Kings need right now.

***

In case you haven't been paying attention, it's fashionable for Kings' fans to declare Erik Ersberg the 2nd Coming while accusing Jason Labarbera of taking 2nds at the pregame spread. The reality is that they were pretty close, Ersberg was just more consistent and had fewer terrible games, but last night kind of changed that. Labs has been playing excellently of late and will probably get the start tonight. He had 30 saves in 2 periods last night and was only really done in by the shootout, which is his Everest. If you're in want of a good time, go on a Kings' messageboard and read how it wasn't Ersberg's fault last night and how even though Labarbera didn't mess up too bad did you see him in the shootout oh he's fat. It's hilarious.

***

The Kings are playing the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. They played valiantly in a losing effort to the San Jose Sharks last night. Will they be hungry for a win after being denied against the Sharks, or will they be deflated and tired after a game the night before? I'm sure the sportswriters will wait and see how they play and then tell us.

Prediction: Kings win, 4-3. Goals by Brown, Frolov (who is on a 4-game goal scoring streak), Stoll and Calder.

15 comments:

Kevin Y said...

Prediction: Kings win, 4-3. Goals by Brown, Frolov (who is on a 4-game goal scoring streak), Stoll and Calder.

As much as this pains me to say, this is actually a pretty realistic prediction. Gotta be the first of those in a long time.

In case you haven't been paying attention, it's fashionable for Kings' fans to declare Erik Ersberg the 2nd Coming while accusing Jason Labarbera of taking 2nds at the pregame spread.

I guess us Kings fans are having to settle for the team's sloppy seconds.

cristobal said...

Larionov for Kings coach. I think Murray is losing these guys.
What are they doing consistently? The defensive game is falling apart. We need a REAL teacher who's actually won something.
IGOR.

RudyKelly said...

You're suspended.

RudyKelly said...

Wait, dammit, that was funnier if Cristobal hadn't beaten me.

Crisbotal, Lombardi isn't going to fire Murray this soon because that would be admitting he had been wrong with 2 straight coaching hires. Lombardi would probably end up standing next to Terry Murray in the unemployment line.

Kevin Y said...

Crisbotal, Lombardi isn't going to fire Murray this soon because that would be admitting he had been wrong with 2 straight coaching hires.

But he has been wrong with 2 straight coaching hires.. or at least everybody else thinks TM is doing a poor job, even though he's only one game below .500.

When you go 7-0-0 to start the season in games in which you lead after the third period, and then go 0-2-1 in such situations in the very next three overall games, something is up. The Kings could very well be 13-9-3 and in 7th in the West right now if they could've beaten Toronto, Phoenix, and Edmonton. But for us Kings fans, that'd be too good to be true. That just can't happen. We just can't be that good. That's why they had to blow those games.

Kevin Y said...

The Kings are playing the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. They played valiantly in a losing effort to the San Jose Sharks last night. Will they be hungry for a win after being denied against the Sharks, or will they be deflated and tired after a game the night before? I'm sure the sportswriters will wait and see how they play and then tell us.

I really hope the Kings can get a victory, followed by a Ducks win tomorrow night. You know what that means: RAPE!! The Blue Jackets would go 0-for-California.

RudyKelly said...

or at least everybody else thinks TM is doing a poor job, even though he's only one game below .500.

I don't think Murray's done a poor job. The only truly weird thing he's done is latch Calder to Kopitar's hip, but most everything else he's done has been fine. He is trusting his young players, he doesn't get angry at anyone but Frolov, he's using Kopitar and Brown much more effectively than Crawford did, and his defensive scheme is amazing. The Kings won't make the playoffs this season, and if they somehow do they're just going to get rocked by Detroit or San Jose. Murray is building a foundation for the Kings players that will help them make the playoffs in the future.

When you go 7-0-0 to start the season in games in which you lead after the third period, and then go 0-2-1 in such situations in the very next three overall games, something is up.

No team is going to win every game when they have a lead in the third. The Kings have just gotten a little unlucky recently after getting lucky the previous 7 games. It's like when a closer blows 2 or 3 games in a week and everyone wonders what is wrong with him. Nothing's wrong, the ball just wasn't going his way, and usually he's fine the rest of the way. The Kings will be fine too.

Nut said...

I agree, the Kings should replace Frolov with Frolov on the power play. Because the Kings have a 3 game bad stretch they should fire the coach? They haven't been holding the lead because they're worried they are going to lose the lead. If thats all you're thinking about, then its gonna happen. Just like when I used to be scared I was going to have to poo during class, and then I would. The players need to figure that out on there own, regardless of who the coach is. And what makes you think Larionov is a better teacher than Murray?

Earl Sleek said...

And what makes you think Larionov is a better teacher than Murray?

Because Dean Lombardi didn't hire him as head coach.

chris in torrance said...

I don't think Terry Murray is a bad coach and I don't think he's lost the team after 25 games. The Kings are a young team and have to go thru growing pains, blowing 3rd period leads is just a growing pain they have to get over. I don't get Calder on the top line, my guess is that it's some kind of Philadelphia loyalty/familiarity. I'd like to see O'Sullivan there.

While we're talking about games the Kings coulda/shoulda won, don't forget the Red Wings game they blew earlier in the season. I'm still more pissed about that loss than any of these last 3! Chalk up 1 more point the Kings coulda/shoulda had.

Joe said...

If TM doesn't trust Stoll + Preissing to be out there together defensively on a PP, and the current pairs that you want to break up are Preissing/Doughty and Stoll/Quincey, instead of doing Priessing/Stoll and Doughty/Quincey, you could just do Doughty/Stoll, and Preissing/Quincey. Then you have the right combination of players on the point, without creating a situation where you have a defensively irresponsible backend on one powerplay unit.

Bam, problem solved. Now the question is, has TM not thought of that, does TM disagree with RudyKelly's assessment of these player's abilities on the blue line, or is there another reason why TM is continuing to use those lines.

When the hell am I gonna get to be a NHL Head Coach? I'll make Earl Sleek and RudyKelly my assistant coaches, it'll be sweet!

chris in torrance said...

I don't know about making Rudy your assistant coach, Joe. He doesn't handle questions well (see the previous post from last night's game).

cristobal said...

Larionov has been amazing wherever he goes. I don't really know, but I'd be willing to take that leap of faith. I wish Lombardi would have done it before bringing in Murray. Now we're stuck if things really are falling apart.
The defensive commitment is admirable, but it also seems to be MIA right now. Count 'em - 10 goals against in the past 3 games, 18 in the past in the last 5 games.
Also, the physical play has gone missing, for the most part.

RK - Murray's done a good job? I'm starting to think it was early season positivity and vigor that helped the Kings look like a force earlier. They don't seem to be the same team right now. I know Lombardi's not going to fire him, but Murray needs to be careful. This team looked ready to fall apart at the end of the 1st period. The comeback saved them their blushes, but it was a ragged business. Ugly goals except for Stoll's.
Our skilled players are starting to look average - the hallmark of "good defensive teams" that can't do anything else. Larionov might bring a MUCH better defensive scheme that's fun to watch - The best defense is a great offense.

Kevin Y said...

What the fuck is going on.. the Kings win 3-0? Calder makes Rudy look like the smartest man on the face of the earth by actually scoring on the night where Rudy predicts he will?

.500, baby! Nothing better than mediocracy.

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