Game 35: Canucks 3, Kings 1
The past two days have been surreal. Ever since the Kings have bucked the odds and the critics by reaching the top of the Western Conference, my cell and email have been blowing up:
"Dude, we should go catch a Kings game..."
"Matt, Your team has finally come of age. Congrats."
"How is your team doing this? Don't they know they're the Kings?!?"
"I found your underwear behind the couch. Again."
Well, with the exception of that last one, that should be proof that the Kings are finally becoming relevant after years of toiling in obscurity.
It's given me a taste of sweet revenge, no matter how fleeting the success is now. After all, the Kings can't go undefeated the rest of the way.
And that wasn't more apparent than Monday night, when the Kings finally met their nemesis—the Vancouver Canucks. In the past two games of the season, the 'Nucks held the Kings to one goal. And Monday's game was no exception.
Ryan Kesler, he of the hilarious NHL 2K10 commercial, scored a minute into the game for Vancouver after a Drew Doughty turnover. Then, a minute later, Terry Murray called a timeout to focus the team.
After the game, Murray told LA Kings blogger Rich Hammond :
"After the goal, there were a couple more shifts, and we didn’t really jump up to the intensity level of the game. We were kind of waiting around, feeling our way around the game, and seeing how it was going to play out. Vancouver kept coming at us, so we have to get to the attention of the players. I thought, after the timeout, we started to pick it up a bit. I thought, in the second and third periods, there were some good things happening. We had our opportunities on the scoring side of things and we just couldn’t get it done."
The Kings did play better, but failed to take advantage of the chances provided to them. Even with a short two-man advantage, the Kings could only muster a few shots.
Alexander Frolov scored the lone Kings goal in the game, giving Anze Kopitar points in three of the last four games.
This game could have gone either way, and I'm pretty positive had they played again, the Kings would've made it a closer match. In fact, I would like a rematch, Ryan Kesler. I like you, but I'm going to bake you into a lemon bar and eat you.
The Kings lost more than their hold of first place in the West. Jarret Stoll re-aggravated his "lower-body," errrrr, groin injury in the third period.
Man, no one is looking forward to the Christmas break more than me. Well, maybe the Kings training staff. It's starting to resemble a M.A.S.H. unit. At least, I won't have to ask Santa what I wanted the last two seasons anymore.
For an abridged look at more Kings stories, blogs and video...