Dancing in the Reign: On All Cylinders
Solid Seven: There’s little to complain about when looking back at the Kings’ first seven regular season contests, a seven-game start that has claimed a 5-1-1 record sitting on a wealthy 11 points. In fact, if you could dive into a negative aspect regarding the Kings’ start, you’re referring to a non-issue at this point. There are no glaring heroes carrying the club, everything is seeming to click in all aspects of the Kings’ game, and their roster.
Not only are the top players feeding off of new acquisitions, but the depth needed to maintain those top roles are shaping the strength of this team. The Kings have an offense averaging 2.4 goals per game, a stalwart blue-line allowing just 1.3 goals per game, all in front of Jonathan Quick. This wall is sporting a 5-0-1 record with three shutouts and a disgusting .973 save percentage, simply the backbone to the threatening core the Kings have developed.
Shattering the Books: In result of another absolutely stellar performance Saturday night, Jonathan Quick became the first goalie in Kings history to record three consecutive shutouts. This is elite status, folks. Quick hasn’t allowed a goal in the last 188 minutes and 10 seconds of live-play. That sets another Kings record, Rogie Vachon now down to second on the list, his former streak of 185 minutes and 55 seconds set during the 1975-1976 campaign topped.
Quick’s playing a sound game, his positioning cuts angles like corporate cuts jobs. He’s rarely out of position, and when he purposely does so to play the puck, it’s a little easier on the nerves than in the recent past. Regardless of the streak Quick’s riding, Jonathan Bernier will get the start tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils. I like this move from Terry Murray, an Eastern Conference opponent, much-needed action for Bernier, and early rest for Quick.
Deserves a Look: Don’t ignore the defensemen who have subdued primary scoring opportunities, shooting lanes, and the opposition’s use (or lack there-of) of the offensive zone slot. They’re keeping everything along the boards and to the outside, this develops angles that are friendly to Quick’s positioning while reducing traffic.
Jack Johnson has been the highlight star among the group, netting three game-winning goals with two coming in OT. Johnson seems to be more open with his shot this season, directing a puck toward the front of the net whenever the opportunity arises. Also, he’s developed what may be a continuing role/position on the powerplay, where his usual threat atop the zone with his shot is uniquely positioned low in the zone for secondary looks.
The absence of Drew Doughty, who is set to return either Thursday in Dallas or Saturday in Phoenix hasn’t really been an issue, Slava Voynov‘s impressive debut at the NHL level has filled the role rather nicely. However, chances are Voynov will return to the Manchester Monarchs upon Doughty’s return. Since Davis Drewiske would have to clear waivers in order to be assigned, Voynov will most likely be paying another visit to central New Hampshire and the AHL.
Electric Bill: Consider the importance this organization stressed about having a dependable “Top Six” in the offensive department during the past couple of off-seasons. Now, look at the players headlining the Kings’ statistical output. Albeit Dustin Penner with his lone assist and trudgy stride, Anze Kopitar (10), Simon Gagne (7), Justin Williams (7), Mike Richards (6), and Dustin Brown (4) are leading the Kings’ roster in the scoring department.
Someone give Jamie Kompon a get-free card for the next couple of weeks, the Kings’ powerplay ranks 6th in the NHL with a success-rate at %25. Now, if Kompon was still pulling ugly results, this would be a different story. With Richards and Gagne, the options should be near countless when drawing up a system. A successful powerplay shouldn’t be a common acclaim for this club, it should be expected. This is good for now, but struggles similar to those seen the previous two seasons on the man-advantage shouldn’t be tolerated.
“Ahh.. so this must be what it’s like to play at Jobing.com Arena. *Sigh…”
“Hey sweet cheeks… I can last longer than Halak”
(50 Bucks says that’s at an Applebees or something. Maybe a Chili’s)
My friend spotted Jonathan Quick hanging out in public the other day, and he was able to snap a sweet candid pic!! Look at that smile.
“Eww I just touched Brodeur! He’s so old!! And mediocre!! And hurt!!”
It’ll be ‘The Moose’ for the Devils tomorrow night.
The Brodeur Cure: Quite ironic, actually. I’m well aware of Johan Hedberg‘s background, and know that his nickname derives from his 16-game stint with the International Hockey League‘s (IHL) Manitoba Moose in 1998. Well, not his 16 appearances exactly, but the “lucky” helmet he wore while tending for Manitoba and thereafter in his transition into the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Manitoba Moose, an organization that successfully tenured 15 seasons in the difficult market that is minor league hockey (IHL, AHL) were forced to relocate to St. John’s, Newfoundland when the Winnipeg Jets confirmed relocation from Atlanta. The majority of Hedberg’s NHL career took place with the Atlanta Thrashers, housing the crease for the now defunct NHL club in 136 games from 2006-2010.