Tommy Lasorda Jinxes the Kings
Tommy Lasorda should be banned from Kings games. Nothing good can come from it, evidenced by the Kings 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.
Tommy was there to help promote the Kings-Ducks outdoor game at Dodger Stadium next month. He wasn't on the ice for very long. He just walked from the penalty box to center ice, waved to the crowd, shook Anze Kopitar's hand, ignored Jamie Benn, dropped the puck and walked away.
The entire appearance lasted perhaps about 30 seconds, if that long. But that was all the time needed to put a hex on things.
Admittedly, perfection cannot be sustained by mortal men. But there was a hope that perfection could be extended for another game.
With his shootout victory against the Colorado Avalanche Saturday afternoon, goaltender Martin Jones started his NHL career a perfect 8-0-0. This tied the mark set by Bob Froese set with the 1982-83 Philadelphia Flyers for most consecutive winning games to start an NHL career.
Everyone was happy as Justin Williams scored just 2:28 into the game. Tommy didn't jinx things, and Jones would get the NHL record. Right?
But that was not to be.
It was early on that it was clear that Jones would have a hard time with things. On the first shot he saw, Jones allowed a goal by Tyler Seguin just 3:48 into the game.
"It was just a pass in front, and he got it up pretty quick," Jones said.
In his previous eight games Jones had not allowed a first period goal. And just over two minutes after he gave up the first, he gave up a second one to Jamie Benn who came into the Kings zone seemingly untouched. Two shots, two goals for the Stars. It was that sort of night.
"Stop the next one, that's all you can do," Jones thought after the 2-1 Stars lead.
Anze Kopitar did admit the team's part in the downfall. "We weren't as sharp as we wanted to be," he said.
For eight games it looked like the Kings were playing some of their defense in front of Jones. In this one, it looked like they let up a little.
"We wanted to manage the puck a little better and control the neutral zone," Kopitar admitted.
Another culprit: penalties. A Jarret Stoll interference call early in the second yielded a power play goal to give the Stars a 3-2 lead.
Despite the Kings outshooting the Stars 32-23, the Stars wrapped things up late in the game with a Cody Eakin goal with five minutes left and an empty-netter by Shawn Horcoff.
Neutral zone, puck control, penalties. That's one way to look at the game.
But I'm telling you, if Tommy Lasorda had never stepped foot at STAPLES Center, we might me singing a different song right now.