In a game lazier fans were not even awake for, the Los Angeles Kings made full use of the top left corner of the net, scoring two beautifully accurate goals over Islanders’ backstop Martin Biron’s right shoulder to extent their winning streak to four.
Most Kings’ fans were excited to get their first look at John Tavares today. Unfortunately they’ll have to wait to get that look, because even though the stat sheet claims Tavares played 22:58 of the game, you wouldn’t have known it. Tavares was mostly invisible, Kyle Okposo generating most of the Islander’s offensive chances. In fact, the only time Tavares was noticeable was when he was fanning on or shanking one-timers.
The Islanders came at the Kings with speed throughout the game, testing Jonathan Quick often, but only breaking through once in the contest. Late in the game, Matt Moulson scored a rebound goal against his former team to cut the Kings lead in half. Moulson, who is dating Quick’s wife’s sister and sporting a new head of long black hair, has some good joke ammo for the next family get together, but not enough as his goal did nothing to help New York win their first game of the season.
I don't know what's more encouraging, winning 3 games by scoring a ton of goals, or winning two by a single goal, holding off late surges.
That game was almost as good as NyQuil... I think I dozed off twice...
They can be boring as hell so long as they're on the road and it's a W. I don't expect flashy on the road. I just expect W's against teams they should beat, and the Kings are delivering. Wednesday and Thursday will be BIG tests. NY is on fire and Detroit is Detroit plus it's a back to back on the road.
The wins are especially impressive to me given the new personnel and the fact that they are not getting the line match-ups they'd ideally like due to playing on the road. The Kings continue to hold other team's top lines at bay 5 on 5, and they're winning tight games they would have easily not won last year.
I'll play the pessimist today, since I haven't seen PSP or Squid so far in this thread.
Our PP has turned disturbingly flat during 2+ goal leads over the last couple games. That's something we simply cannot do against experienced teams. They have to keep pressing, even with a comfortable lead late in the game, to continue to build on said lead.
Otherwise, extremely solid defensive game. The Islanders have a fast, young team, similar to Phoenix, but our defense didn't give them a lot of room. Williams flubbed a few fantastic set ups by Smyth/Kopitar. I think he's probably trying too much out there and gripping the stick a little too tight, but nevertheless, our top line remains our most dangerous.
Frolov and Brown had great, quiet games, IMO. Frolov was absolutely fantastic with puck control in the offensive zone late in the game. Brown deserved a point on that Kopitar PP goal.
Exciting times. The boys need to come up big against Gaborik and the Rags on Wednesday. Biggest game of the year so far, IMO. If they can grab a point from that game, I'll be satisfied.
Quick has gotten better and better since the first game of the year. He's going to have to keep this level of play up all season if we want to make the playoffs.
I'll just say one thing about the Kings: Jack Johnson looks like a virtually TOTALLY different player right now as opposed to most of last season (both before and after the injury). And that's a very good thing...
As for the Islanders: I was very impressed with Oskapso <sic?>; much less so with Tavares (yes, I know he's a rookie; just sayin'). I was surprised at how fast Doug Weight looked, at least compared to vs. his brief stay in Anaheim. And I really do miss Moulson (typical game for him; he does virtually nothing of note --either way--, until he finds a seam and then, BANG, goal)...
Why isn't Purcell getting more minutes? IMO he has played quite well despite very little PP time and averaging 14 minutes a game. He should have a chance to step it up with the top line.
I'd guess because Terry Murray is correctly using the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" approach. Everyone here was pretty critical of his constant line changes last year, so this is a nice change.
I'm sure we'll see changes eventually once we falter up a bit, but until then, we're winning so why bother? I'd still rather see Williams/Brown switch places on the 1st/2nd lines, and I'm not a fan of Williams at the point on the 1st PP unit either.