Regal Blue

Beating the Oilers, yet losing to the Sedins (Canucks, whatever)

Posted in Sports by gklarsen on November 28, 2009

While we were on vacation, the Kings beat the Oilers (Yay!) and followed it up the next day with a loss to Vancouver (boo!).  The Oilers game was remarkable because of the premier of Andrei Loktionov.  Coincidentally, it looks like it might also be his only appearance of the season.  That dislocated shoulder was so nasty that trainers couldn’t replace it.  Instead, he had to be taken to the hospital.

This is awful news for the Kings and especially for Loktionov.  Can you imagine how painful that whole process must have been?  First to get it dislocated, then taken to the trainers where they mess around with it and yet can’t get it into place, then off to the hospital where they mess around with it some more.  God damn.  I’ve not read any reports regarding Loktionov since the incident so I’m assuming that nothing career-threatening has come up yet.

If nothing else, it gave us all a chance to see Brayden Schenn.  As any Kings fan could have predicted, he wasn’t the key ingredient in our current scoring slump.  Nevertheless, Brayden looked pretty smooth in his limited opportunities.  He pulled off a few moves but looked quite like a teenager in other moments.  Rich Hammond tells us that Schenn will stay up in Vancouver with his junior team.  Hope you enjoyed getting beat by the Sedins, kid!  See you next month when we finally cave and buy your contract.

It would be unfair to simply say that the Vancouver game was just another loss due to poor scoring.  Roberto Luongo was brilliant with 31 saves.  Jonathan Quick tried to do his best to imitate Luongo’s success but collapsed in the third period with the help of some shoddy defense.  The Kings managed 12 shots on goal in the third period but none of them were getting by Luongo.  Thus the boxscore shows yet another third period collapse.

The other big issue in the game was faceoffs.  I’ll let Rich Hammond summarize:

Over the first nine minutes of the game, there were nine faceoffs, and the Canucks won all of them. Two Vancouver faceoff wins led directly to goals, and that played a big part in the Canucks’ 4-1 victory over the Kings before 18,810 at GM Place.

What say you, Anze?

Faceoffs are really important, especially on the special teams. They’re definitely huge. The percentage wasn’t good for us. They’re a good team, but it’s one thing to win it clean, but the other thing is just to battle hard and be there for each other.

Yes, yes they are important, aren’t they?  Well his scoring and face offs suck but at least his media-speak is top notch.

Basically, it looked like the Kings were always defending, even in the Vancouver zone.  By the second period it felt as though getting a whistle in their zone was effectively a rally killer.

The third factor was the neutral zone which was lackluster at best and lazy at worst.  Combine that with brilliant goaltending and horrific face offs and there’s really no way we could have won that game.  Two of those factors, however, were our own damn fault.  We weren’t going to score more than one or two goals no matter what but we could have limited their offensives chances significantly.

***

Things are only going to get worse tonight as the ‘Hawks come to Los Angeles.  Not only are they an awesome team, they’re hot.  Sure they lost to the Ducks last night and thus should be ashamed, but I feel it’ll only fuel their desire to redeem themselves.  The only way the Kings have a shot at this one is if they tighten up their face offs and not make such asses of themselves in the neutral zone.  Maybe get a power play goal.  I don’t want to dream too big here, but I say 2-1 with goals by Wayne Simmonds and Dustin Brown.

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