Regal Blue

Ladies and Gentlemen, your new NHL scoring leader! (Also, Kings beat Coyotes)

Posted in Sports by gklarsen on October 26, 2009
He's so much better than you!

He's so much better than you!

The Kings held off the Coyotes in the third period to win it 5-3 on Saturday night in Phoenix.  It felt good.  It felt like vindication.  We stumbled out of the gate by getting smoked by the Coyotes in the first game of the season which was particularly painful because we’ve always been able to say, “God damn it, we are NOT worse than Phoenix!”  It kept us going.  It’s fine to be bad, but it’s not fine to be the worst.

…and yet we went into the game tied with Phoenix for first in the division.  Who saw that coming?

With this victory we showed that not only are we better than Phoenix, we may have the best player in the league.  Anze Kopitar got three assists and is now the reigning points leader over Alexander Ovechkin!  In your craziest prediction did you honestly think Anze was going to be tearing it up like this?  With the subpar season he had in 08-09, expectations were tempered to some degree.  Instead, we’re seeing a revival of what made him so awesome in his first showings in the NHL.  From Rudy Kelly at BoC:

He’s back to where he was his first season, where he suddenly created opportunities for himself that put defensemen in impossible situations.  He turns them Kopitarded, you might say.  (Wait, I say that.) I’m positive he’ll slow down at some point, but how much?  I was hoping for 80 points out of Kopitar; now, I’m thinking 90 may not be out of the question.

This is just an unsubstantiated observation on my part but Kopitar is playing with a huge degree of confidence.  He’s in the middle of every play when he’s on the ice, he’s breaking up defenders left and right and changing up his timing.  He’s just been a thrill to watch.

There’s other recognition to be had as well.  Dustin Brown scored two, although the second was an open-netter with one (1) second left on the clock.  The important part is that his points are trending upwards from a rather slow start to the season.

Wayne Simmonds continues to impress on the first line with Smyth and Kopitar, scoring one in the third.  Odds are he’ll be back down once Williams comes back but I’ve enjoyed seeing Simmonds in such high leverage situations and if he can keep it up, I don’t see why he won’t be a high line fixture in the near future.

And unlike last game, the Kings withstood a furious assault by Phoenix in the closing minutes to keep it from going into overtime.  The Coyotes managed to put the Kings back on their heels for the latter part of the period but some real nice goaltending by Quick and aggressive defense kept them at bay but for a freakin’ beautiful wrister by Shane Doan.  Holding back Phoenix isn’t typically something to get excited about but they played tough and the Kings responded, so there’s something to take away from that.

Two and row this weekend as the Kings take on Columbus.  The Jackets beat the Ducks last night in the final few minutes on Fydor Tyutin’s first goal of the season (bonus points for bringing Giguere out of the game with an injury), with a Rick Nash empty netter to seal it.

Quick will be in goal for us tonight and Williams is probably out, so Simmonds gets another chance to impress.  Should be a good one.

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