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LAst Night's Action: Kings Got a Case of the Blues

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St. Louis Blues defeat LA Kings 3-1. Against the team with the worst home record in the league and outside the playoff hunt, the Kings did everything but score goals. The Blues took advantage of the Kings sleeping through their checks when BJ Crombeen scored on a two-on-one rush 3:57 into the game. The Blue extended their lead when Keith Tkachuk’s shot hit traffic and was ricocheted into the net by TJ Oshie 1:06 in the second period. The Kings looked to make a similar comeback as the night before in Colorado when captain Dustin Brown hit an unassisted power play goal 4:38 in the third period. The Kings then went on a shooting barrage in the third period and looked to be on their way to at least tie the game. But a weird play ensued when the puck got behind goalie Jonathan Quick. Although defenseman Randy Jones was there behind Quick and tried to stop the puck with his skate, the puck did squirt ever so slightly through the goal line. The former Mighty Duck Paul Kariya was credited the goal, his fourth goal in his last seven games. Quick saved 23 shots for the Kings while Blues net minder Chris Mason saved 30 shots.

LA Clippers defeat Houston Rockets 99-93. Playing the spoiler for the Rockets slim playoff hopes, the Clippers came into the game losing their last 11 road games dating back to February 2 and haven’t won in Houston since 2006. Improbably the Clippers won despite trailing by as many as 11 in the third quarter to a short-handed Houston team without Shane Battier and Kevin Martin. Craig Smith came up huge for the Clips off the bench leading all scorers with 25 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Drew Gooden also had a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds while Baron Davis added 16 points and Eric Gordon had 14 points. The Clippers also blocked 10 shots.

Notable Notes

  • The new NFL overtime rules for the playoffs just flat out stink. It’s a reactionary move to a bunch of silly fans who want everything in life to be fair and equitable. Now the team who receives the first kickoff in overtime must score a touchdown to end the game. If they score a field goal, then the other team gets a chance to receive a kick off and either tie the game with a field goal or score a touchdown to win the game. But if the team that initially kicks off makes a successful on-side kick, then if they score no matter a field goal or a touchdown they win. And if after the first kick off the defense intercepts the ball and they score a field goal, the game is over.
    This is just about as convoluted as the recent health care reform bill. It means well, but that does not excuse just how inane it is.

    If they wanted to fix overtime, they could have done one thing: move kickoffs to the 40-yard line to ensure more touchbacks. That’s it! Rather than putting the defense in a bind by having the offense start from their 40-yard line because of a good run back, it will force more drives to start from the 20-yard line.

    Now no matter what anyone tells me, no matter what statistic is thrown at me, I will never buy into the premise that it’s necessary for both teams to handle the ball on offense in overtime. If that’s the case, then perhaps they should have just used the college football model of overtime where it becomes a field goal kicking contest. When playing with the big boys if you want to get the ball in overtime you should have to use your defense to stop them from scoring.

  • Dodger fans: we’re in a whole lot of trouble. MLB.com Dodgers head guru writer Ken Gurnick reported that the Dodgers opening day starter is Vicente Padilla. Let that sink in for a minute. A guy who was famous for throwing at batters and being ostracized from the Texas Rangers last season is going to be the opening day starter for the Dodgers joining the likes of Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Ramon Martinez, Derek Lowe and Brad Penny. Granted the Dodgers will be opening up on the road in Pittsburgh, and it will work out that Clayton Kershaw will start in the home opener on April 13. It’s going to be a long season.
  • The NHL officially banned hits to the head after the NHL Players Association approved the rule change. Specifically, “a lateral, back-pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact,” is prohibited. The rule change went into effect with Thursday night’s games where any hit to the head will be reviewed by the NHL Hockey Operations Department for supplementary discipline (aka suspensions and fines.) Starting next season on ice referees and linesmen will assess major or minor penalties on such hits.
  • A big hot steaming stinking pile of turds to University of Florida football head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer confronted Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler after he printed a quote by wide receiver Deonte Thompson about the difference between college quarterback Messiah Tim Tebow and quarterback of the future John Brantley.

    “You never know with Tim,” Thompson said. “You can bolt, you think he’s running but he’ll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything’s with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback.”

    Meyer, obviously taking well to reducing stress in his life after several health scares, decided to confront Fowler on Wednesday about using Thompson’s quote.

    ”You'll be out of practice - you understand that? - if you do that again," said Meyer, while a couple of spectators still sat in the stands. "I told you five years ago: Don't mess with our players. Don't do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel's not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It's yes or no."

    If there’s anyone Meyer should be chapped at it should be Thompson. He’s the one who said the quote. He wasn’t baited, taken out of context, nothing. He said those words.

    And to top it off, Meyer is trying to emulate the New York Knicks methodology of handling the media. If Meyer doesn’t like the media attention his college program gets, then he should go back to cozy anonymity of Utah or Bowling Green.

    You’ve got to be kidding me with this. Deadspin has all the pertinent video and links on this.

Tonight’s Action

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LA Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder. 5:00 pm KCAL9, AM 710 KSPN.

Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers. 6:00 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

Colorado Rapids at Chivas USA. 7:30 pm MLSnet.com, AM 690 XEWW (en español).