Regal Blue

Kings 2, Flyers 3: Two inches from victory!

Posted in Sports by gklarsen on November 19, 2009

…or at least a tie.

This game had a lot of cool stuff in it.  Yet I keep coming back to the last minute when a six man charge produced a ton of pressure on Philly’s net.  The puck slipped past the goalie…and slid just by the goal.  If literally anyone had been there the puck would have been deflected or buried in to the net.  We would have tied (again) and redeemed a night when we couldn’t get more than one shot on a 5 on 3 and yet outshot our opponents 39 to 20, a game without Ryan Smyth or Rob Scuderi.

Yes the loss of Ryan Smyth was felt this night all the more for the loss.  Frolov doesn’t cough up the puck easily to anyone in a road uniform, but doesn’t really give it up to anyone in a Kings uniform either.  Stats say he doesn’t really throw the puck at the net either with only one shot on goal the entire game.  Without the constant threat of Smyth at the net the Flyers were able to team up on Kopitar all night.  Despite several opportunities, Kopitar couldn’t get many opportunities to score near the net.

All is not lost on the premier line, however, as Justin Williams looked fantastic.  The box score only gives him an assist but the dude was all over the puck all night.  Eight shots on the night was a season high.  If he can continue to step up his game it should give everyone a bit more confidence going forward.  Reports say that Smyth could be out as long as a month, so someone’s got to.

The Royal Half has a a fine post on what life will be like without Ryan Smyth and what the Kings might do about it.

***
It’s official:  I hate Philadelphia.  You might say it’s an illegitimate hatred since I’ve only been there once on an eighth grade field trip.  If we can assume, however, that a team reflects any part of the population for whom it plays, than Philly is the worst kind of asshole town.*  As a Dodger fan, I’ve witnessed the Phillies dance merriliy along on their way to the second World Series in a row.  I have seen Cole Hamels heralded as a god and then torn down as soon as he pitched a lousy game.  They love Shane Victorino, who is by all accounts a vastly overrated center fielder and, from his behavior in two years of NLDS’s, a complete tool.

*I recognize it’s a false premise to begin with.

And certainly in hockey it is no better.  They applauded the arrival of Chris Pronger.  One of the NHL’s most notorious douche nozzles, Pronger was viewed as “gritty” kinda of guy that fit in with Philadelphia’s “hustle” style of play.  Yeah.  They talk like that.  They’re that guy.

Jimmy Rollins once complained that Philly fans were front runners and fair weather fans.  As if to tangentially validate his point, Philly fans began to boo him.

***

Okay that’s enough regional bashing for now.

If you’re concerned about baseball awards, the NL Cy Young is announced later on today.  The best choice is Lincecum but the smart money is probably on Wainwright.  Joe Posnanski wrote recently that Zack Greinke’s dominating victory in the vote for AL Cy Young may represent sort of a change of thinking by the BBWAA.  He speaks primarily of the decline of the “win” as a determinative stat.  Let’s see if that holds up in the NL.  If it does, Lincecum should win easily.

UPDATE:  Indeed Tim Lincecum has won this year’s NL Cy Young.  Congrats, Timmy!  Now go get your hair cut and smoke a bowl, hippie.

He was the right choice but the baseball writers had a lot of trouble with this one.  Lincecum didn’t even receive the most first place votes.  In fact, it was Wainwright who did and finished third behind Carpenter.  It was to be expected that it would be a close vote and arguments can be made up and down as to why Carpenter or Wainwright deserved to win.  Undoubtedly there was great weight placed on the fact that Wainwright and/or Carpenter pitched their team to the playoffs or some such nonsense.  You know there was some win-gazing in there.

Yet as far as overall value goes (8.2 WAR! 10.4 k/9! Literally every other statistical measure!), Lincecum is the man and I’m glad he got honored for it.

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