The Ugliness Continues for the Kings
That was a painful hockey game to watch. There weren't any fights or broken bones (that I know of). There were no torn knee ligaments. The game just wouldn't end. Not in regulation, not in overtime, not even in the required three rounds of the shootout.
In the eighth round of the shootout Simon Gagne couldn't win it for the Kings. Instead Sergei Kostitsyn did the honors for the Nashville Predators to give them a 2-1 victory, their first shootout victory in four chances this season.
"We would have been mentally scarred if we wouldn't have won that one," Predators head coach Barry Trotz joked.
The Kings should have won this game. They held the Predators to 11 shots on goal during regulation. Hell, he Predators went 18 minutes, 51 seconds without recording a shot on goal.
"We didn't give up much today," captain Dustin Brown said. "We had a couple of breakdowns where they got grade-A scoring chances, and ultimately they didn't capitalize on it."
It came down to one thing for Brown. "Ultimately we've got to find a way to score goals."
That's a familiar refrain for Kings fans.
It was supposed to be a goaltending matchup for the ages. Both Pekka Rinne for the Predators and Jonathan Quick of the Kings were Vezina Trophy finalists last season. Both have made a habit of making superhuman saves a mere common part of their games.
It took a mere 58 seconds before that idea went into the shitter. After an icing call against the Kings the Predators won the faceoff and Brandon Yip scored the goal for the Predators.
That was all it took for the air to leave STAPLES Center, the sold out crowd of 18,118 looking to urge on their team after two straight wins.
There looked to be a spot of hope. On a four-on-three power play Dustin Brown found the puck on his stick in front of the crease off of a shot attempt by Drew Doughty at the top of the left circle that whizzed over the net and off the board. It was simple, just a shot that got Rinne and into the net to tie the game.
But after that it became something quite similar to a 22-inning affair in the dog days of summer between the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates. Brown insists that despite having guys in different levels of conditioning, there is no chemistry problems.
"That's not an issue. All of us have played together for at least a year. Jelling is not an issue for this group."
The issue for Jarret Stoll was not getting down and dirty.
"We weren't good at finishing and getting into the scoring areas more," Stoll said. "We were okay at spurts. We just didn't generate enough."
Despite the point they earn in the standings, there is one big problem with the Kings losing this game: they're about to embark on a five-game, 10-day Grammy road trip.
"These are the games we need to get two points out of, especially at home and especially considering our schedule coming up," Stoll said.
To Anaheim to Columbus to Nashville with a back-to-back at Detroit and St. Louis to close out the trip, it's not going to be easy. It will be a great measure of what sort of team these Kings are.
In most seasons teams play six or seven games in the preseason to get ready for the upcoming season. The Kings have now wrapped up their sixth game of the season. It's time for them to start playing on the same level. It's time for them to play like defending Stanley Cup Champions.