Kings Escape the Dodgers Curse
I saw Tommy Lasorda waddling around the Chick Hearn Press Room where they feed the media at STAPLES Center tonight. I wasn't certain, but he seemed to be coming from the vicinity of the bathrooms. I made a mental note of using the bathrooms in the upstairs hockey press box. I've been around Dodger Stadium enough to know better.
It was Dodgers pride night for the Kings where they took to the ice for pregame warmups in Dodger sweaters. With their focus in getting ready for the playoffs, I don't think they have taken notice of the Dodgers play recently. The Dodgers just got swept by the San Diego Padres, and they have scored 2.73 runs per game, second-worst to the Miami Marlins.
Knowing how superstitious athletes and sports teams are, I would have thought the Kings would seek to distance themselves from the blight of bad play. But who doesn't love seeing Lasorda drop the puck, shake Dustin Brown's hand and ignore Jack Johnson's outstretched hand?
Perhaps that sparked all of the animosity in the game since I don't remember a Kings-Blue Jackets game that had this much extracurricular activity. Perhaps it's because the Blue Jackets are actually competitive in April for the first time in what seems like forever.
Regardless the Kings did manage to dodge whatever bad mojo the Dodgers paraphernalia brought them holding off the Blue Jackets intensity with a 2-1 victory.
"We played desperate asgainst a desperate hockey club," Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said. "There was lots going on out there, typical Columbus and LA game right?"
Even he had a larf.
The tone was set early, old pal James Wisniewski and Justin Williams exchanging greetings midway through the first periodsending them off with rough penalties. Twenty seconds later Dalton Prout hooked Jeff Carter, and the Kings scored on the ensuring 4-on-3 power play, a Mike Richards shot cleaned up by Drew Doughty. Anze Kopitar picked up his 300th career assist on the tally.
Of course the first period hasn't been the problem for the Kings in recent games. The Kings seemed to have taken opiates during the first intermission recently allowing the opposition to get back in the game.
The Kings tonight minimized the Blue Jackets scoring chances although they did allow Prout to tie things up in the middle of the period. But they responded a couple of shifts later with a goal of their own, a rebound shot from Kyle Clifford that was the game winner.
"They're a tough team," Jackets head coach Todd Richards siad. "They are a committed group as how they play the game. They're big. They skate well."
Jonathan Quick had 20 saves in the win while Sergei Bobrovsky tallied 21. Of course Bobrovsky does lead Quick in this:
Yes, Sergei Bobrovtree.
Looking at the standings, the Kings remain in fourth with four games left to play. However they are only five points behind the Ducks who have got five games left in the schedule. So it's still possible that they can win the division. It's not likely, but it's still possible.