(4) St. Louis Blues vs. (5) Los Angeles Kings - Part II
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05-03-2013, 01:05 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Brown was the only Kings' forward last night with any kind of zip to his game. That is exactly why he's captain. He also led the team in our Cup run last season in points (tied with Kopitar). There's something to be said for that.
Brown's game will always draw ire and attention because he plays on the edge. I'm willing to give Brown the benefit of the doubt as far as being a "dirty" player goes. I feel like "dirty" players (Cooke circa 2010, Torres, etc.) make suspendable plays in which intent is fairly clear and there's a corresponding history. I've never seen Brown intentionally try to hurt a guy and I've been watching him since he was 18 years old. He's just not that kind of person.
Now, there's a very clear argument to be made for Brown being a "careless" player, which will also result in injuries and suspendable plays. But I think playing carelessly is a completely different thing than playing dirty. To be perfectly honest, and other Kings' fans will back me up on this, the "dirtiest" player we have on the roster is, wait for it, Jarret Stoll. He's constantly getting away with little slashes, slewfoots, charges, etc. There's intent in the way Stoll plays and tries to hurt guys. But there is a very clear distinction in the way Stoll physically engages the oppostion versus Brown. Brown, however, draws the attention because he's the captain and Stoll's a third line center.
As far as the series go, full credit to the Blues. They look exactly like we did last season. The Kings defense is just demonstratively worse than the Blues' right now and there's really no difference. Outside of Doughty, we haven't had a guy that can consistently move the puck out of our own zone and generate a breakout. Once the forwards can actually get set up in the offensive zone, we saw last night that they can cycle and generate some decent chances. But good offense always starts with a good defensive breakout, and the Blues forechecking is just too good for the Kings' inexperienced D. The veteran guys we do have (Regehr and Scuderi) happen to have zero offensive acumen, so that doesn't help, either. Voynov is a second year player with barely 82+ full games of experience, Muzzin is a flat out rookie, and Ellerby has never played games to this magnitude.
The Kings' inexperience on the blueline has been a black eye this series and the reason they're down 0-2.
The series isn't over, but I just don't have a lot of faith at this point. Without a solidified blueline (something we had the best of last season) the Kings can't run their puck possession game to its potential. We also haven't scored a goal 5 on 5 yet, and the Kings are officially 0-5-3 on the road over their last 8 games. Almost the polar opposite of last season.
I suspect that the Kings will make a good series out of this on pride and sheer skill alone, but the Blues have been the better team so far by a fair margin. It is what it is.
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