Kings Can't Tame Wild Sports Day
The Kings continued the strange day of sports in Los Angeles in their 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
The day started with Albert Pujols becoming an Angel. (C.J. Wilson did too.) The CHP released to the media details of James Loney’s arrest on driving under the influence on Nov. 14. Chris Paul was traded to the Lakers in a three-team deal that involved Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. An hour or so later NBA commissioner nixed the deal for “basketball reasons.”
And so the Kings continued this streak of weirdness by getting a season-high 44 shots on goal against the Minnesota Wild yet still losing the game. It didn’t help that it took all of 24 seconds for the Kings to trail the NHL-leading Minnesota Wild. A turnover by Jack Johnson gave way to Mikka Koivu’s wraparound goal. Just to make matters worse in the first five minutes, the Wild had seven shots to the Kings goose egg.
“It’s such a simple behind-the-net play,” head coach Terry Murray said. “There was really no pressure. We made the mistake. We put the puck in our teammate’s feet. It ends up around the boards, they recover and it comes right back and now we’re scrambling.
“Those plays are the ones that are haunting us right now - our own mistakes.”
This sounds eerily like the situation in Anaheim - a team that was getting killed my a few mistakes they made. Fortunately for the Kings, they have more wins on their ledger although their home record leaves a lot to be desired at 8-8-1.
“We’ve got to find a way to be better at home,” Dustin Brown said. For him it comes down to one simple thing: “We’ve got to find ways to score goals.”
Anze Kopitar echoed Brown’s sentiments after doing his best to single-handedly carry the Kings with seven shots and four missed shots.
“It doesn’t matter how, deflections or rebounds, we need to pick the corner. Whatever it is, we are going to have to score more goals.”
Well the first goal the Kings scored was on a rebound by Dustin Penner in the slot to break rookie Mike Hackett’s scoreless streak in his second NHL game. Trent Hunter got his first goal as King late in the game which also marked his 100th in the NHL.
A scary moment came early in the second period when Kyle Brodziak laid a hit on Kopitar sending him on the ice hard into the boards.
“I was worried about that one,” Murray said. “That’s a very dangerous play.”
Kopitar had to be helped up before skating under his own power back to the bench and through the tunnel. Brodziak was issued a five-minute boarding penalty and thrown out of the game for the hit. Murray was especially angry about the hit.
“I watch games around the league, and it’s a concern that it happens as often as it does in the game. I don’t get it. I don’t get the attitude, the mentality of the players today. The lack of respect and the jeopardy they’re putting their fellow [players] in with that kind of an attitude. It makes no sense to me. That never happened before. In my generation that never happened.”
As for Kopitar, he didn’t even miss a shift going back on the power-play. When asked if he was all right after that hit, he had a very succinct reply: “Yep!”
The Kings aren’t a bad team. There’s a very thin line between them and the best teams in the NHL. Sure they can score more, be more effective on the forecheck. Murray was spot on in his assessment of the team at this point in the season.
“I like our team a lot. We’ve got good people, most every game we bring the right attitude with the right competitiveness, but it has to be there for 60 minutes.”
St. Louis Blues defeat Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Karma is a bitch. After Anaheim took Albert Pujols off St. Louis’ hands, the Blues decided to pay the Ducks in kind by giving them yet another loss.
Carson Colts at Narbonne Gauchos. 8:00 p.m. Time Warner Channel 101. Go Gauchos!