Because without Kopitar, they would run us over. They aren't Nashville or Phoenix. They won't let us win games 2-1 over and over. They will beat us into the ground.
Murray should be doing everything in his power to win this game tonight. Kings need it more than the Ducks. Even with a OT/SO loss, Ducks could actually finish 5th/6th because they have the best RoW tiebreaker.
I just got aggravated by the ignorance and posted this on the Isles' board in response to the Haiti/curling comparison...thought I'd share:
Originally Posted by OlTimeHockey View Post
LA is to hockey what Haiti is to curling.
Maybe so 25 years ago but apparently you haven't been paying attention. Southern California is actually one of the hotbeds of hockey in the US. It started with Gretzky's arrival and has continued to build. Two first round picks in last years draft were born and raised in LA (and one second rounder as well) and the area is home to no less than 8 AAA youth hockey travel programs (not counting those up north) and some of the top facilities in the world (check out the Toyota Sports Center). Many top pros (Crosby, etc) live and/or train here in the offseason as top hockey trainer TR Goodman and top agency CAA are based here. The Kings have played to 99.7% capacity this season (higher than even the Rags) and the LA Times is one of the few papers in the country to carry a full time hockey columnist, the nationally respected Helene Elliott. LA is also home to thousands of Canadian ex-pats who move here to work in the film/tv industry and fill local mens leagues to capacity (literally).
Sorry for the rant...I just get aggravated when people continue to overlook a major hub of hockey and one of the few areas of the US that hockey has grown and thrived in over the past 20 years.
By the way, Clifford is a stud. See what he did to Jason Blake after he wacked Quick, how many years have we waited for a player to actually be a bad ass in the crease....It's been years, OD did it in the old days and so did McSorley, but a player that played significant minutes and held the other team accountable...I can't remember the last time.
Yeah, I've got to say, Clifford may not be the most talented of our players, but his play is definitely making him a fan favorite. I'm not sure Doughty and Kopistar are my favorite kings anymore. Kid just plays an awesome brand of hockey.
Honestly, the Kings played well enough to win, but they simply do not have the horsepower or talent to finish. That is what has been holding this team back. They have the blueline and the goaltending to keep games close, but ultimately, with no finish, they are going to let a lot of games slip away, and this was one of those occasions.
It's not a big shocker to me anymore, I'm expecting a quick and silent exit from the playoffs. When your top four centers are Handzus, Stoll, Richardson and Lewis, I don't think you have any business being in the playoffs.
Before Kopitar went down, the Kings were a team with two third line centers and a young fourth line center. Look at most successful clubs, they have a 1A and 1B center, a productive third line center and an experienced veteran centering the fourth line.
Then when you break down the wings, the Kings are slow. After Kopitar and Williams, how many forwards do the Kings have on the roster that are capable of making plays with the puck while moving their feet? Most players on this team are incapable of moving the puck while going at full speed, something we see the Ducks are very capable of doing. That is why teams appear so fast compared to the Kings, it is because they can move the puck quickly and efficiently.
If the Kings connected with more tape-to-tape passes and incorporated more movement in their strategies, then they would look like a significantly faster team. But with their inability to connect with passes, their lack of speed is exposed when they have to play a dump and chase game that they cannot win.
Great post, pretty much exactly how I feel at this point. The Kings just don't have the horses at this point. Once they fell behind last night, I watched the remainder of the game in double speed because I have so little confidence in their ability to score more than one goal, even, as Tik said above, against the likes of Dan Ellis.
The Kings were short on offense before the injuries, but they could make it work, if barely. Without Kopitar and Williams, that already thin margin of error is simply non-existent.