Three Power Play Goals Burn the Kings
I apologize yet again. Baseball distracted me, so there was a minimum of hockey viewing since the last hockey game I covered.
The Kings went on a four-game road trip after their 4-3 overtime win against Ottawa where they went 3-1, a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning the lone blemish. They came home to beat the new-look Dallas Stars 5-2, and that brings us to Monday night.
For the first time the Kings played a divisional opponent: the Calgary Flames who came back to the Pacific Division after defecting to the Northwest Division in the 1998-99 season. The Kings lost 3-2 on T.J. Brodie's power play goal with 30 seconds left on the clock.
Here are some observations:
1. The Kings centermen have no goals this season. Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser have yet to put the biscuit in the basket, so to speak. They were close. In the end of the second period, Jeff Carter and Richards took the faceoff from their own zone into the Flames zone. It appeared Carter made a pass to Richards in front the crease, but it turned out Carter's pass was deflected in by Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman.
2. The Kings allowed three power play goals to the Flames. Before the final goal was scored. NHL.com's Curtis Zupke noted it was the first time the Kings allowed two power play goals since Game 3 of their second round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks last season. The last time the Kings gave up three? February 3, 2013, a 7-4 loss to the Ducks.
"We took some bad penalties, including myself," Anze Kopitar said. It was his hooking penalty on Dennis Wideman in the late stages of the game that gave the Flames the power play opportunity that won the game. "It was a stupid penalty on my part and shouldn’t have happened."
3. The Kings are a work in progress. "I thought we looked fatigued," head coach Darryl Sutter said. Clearly.
I'll be honest. These two games I've seen have been underwhelming. I'm not going to paint with a broad stroke based on only two of the 10 games the Kings have played so far. But asking around the consensus seemed to be that the Kings have some issues to work out.
Here's one: the Kings have scored 11 goals on five-on-five while giving up 16, not a good ratio. The forecheck has not been consistent so far, also not a good sign.
Fortunately it's early in the season. Only five points separate the Kings from the San Jose Sharks who remain unbeaten in regulation with an 8-0-1 record.