Put it on the board, ‘bebeh’.
If you’re going to start on a foot, do it on the right one. The slipper fits thus far.
And it’s a Kings victory, giving them a hand on the St. Louis Blues with a 1-0 series lead, while sniping home advantage from the second seed’s hands.
The Kings’ offense was provided by some unlikely names, with Vyacheslav Voynov opening LA scoring, and Matt Greene notching the game-winner on yet another Kings postseason shorthanded tally – their third in six games.
Dustin Penner deposited the victory, potting a bank-shot clearing attempt into St. Louis’ empty net with just 14.1 remaining.
Then there’s Jonathan Quick‘s stalwart stance in the crease, yet again. His play has been nothing short of unfathomable it’s been so stellar, peppered with a heavy barrage of shots to start the game – six within the first three minutes of play. The Blues would bury their eighth shot on Quick, but many teams – and goalies, would come out of that opening sequence down 3-0.
And then, this:
Initial this one. Two V’s = W
Dustin Penner will be momentarily remembered for his unique empty-net goal from last night’s victory. But, take another look at Vyacheslav Voynov‘s goal above. Penner’s pass might very well be the giver of the playoffs thus far. Phenomenal patience and placement, and that’s about as good as it gets.
Speaking of assists, soon after his goal, Voynov fed Jeff Carter one of the best set-ups you possibly can on a 2-2 rush. Carter needs to wake up, and fast. Botching that opportunity doesn’t mean ankle soreness, it means not being ready, your head isn’t there.
He made another sh*tty play later, but I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe because it was so sh*tty.
Look, ankle injury or not, this guy was acquired to produce, and even if he’s not putting up numbers, there’s got to be some sort of presence from Carter. There’s not, and if it doesn’t start to happen sometime soon, I’m taking the screenshot below into literal matters when talking about and maliciously and wrongfully judging Jeff Carter.
Is this a coincidence? Ehhh…
Meanhwile, Voynov’s dropping dimes somewhere
- Game 2 Outlook -
Absolutely no time or room to settle, something you’re learning not to expect from this Kings roster, which has maintained a seriously humble attitude during their playoff success so far. I guess this is the real growth we’ve been waiting for. What they can’t do, is let the Blues flip the switch like they did in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks.
After losing Game 1 to the Sharks, the Blues pulled off four consecutive convincing victories to nail their series in five games. They did so by outscoring the Sharks 12-5 in the final four contests. The Blues are almost a guarantee in home confines, losing only their eighth game in regulation at the Scottrade Center to the Kings Saturday night. They’ve played 45 games in their building this season. A Game 2 victory will be a monumental feat for the Kings.
Like I mentioned in a previous post, the biggest offensive factor between these two clubs is who can score two goals in a game. That was the case Saturday, Matt Greene‘s #2 tally tabbed as the game-winner. Dustin Penner, just for insurance reasons.
Quick but it ain’t easy
I don’t have much to say, there aren’t too many words that can justifiably describe Jonathan Quick‘s play. However, the Kings have maintained uncanny defensive presence to help his cause. We’re not seeing defense from just the defensemen, however.
It’s called offensive defense, it’s about attacking both blue lines. See: Dwight King.
The Kings are putting pressure on he Blues before they can hit the neutral zone, much like their strategy against Vancouver. The Kings are allowing very few options for opposition to create any momentum coming out of their own zone. And if they do break a lane or two, it’s rushed, and the Kings are well-positioned because that usually means three Blues players are still looking to find a way to support the puck.
Special teams will continue to be a major factor, especially in such a tight match-up that is the Kings and Blues. Although the Kings went 0-5 on the man-advantage Saturday, they nipped a combined eight shots to couple with some pretty decent puck posession. They made their statement on the penalty kill, which is better than a powerplay goal for more reasons than you may think.
The Kings are staying aggressive when shorthanded, that’s ‘keying in’ in it’s truest form. And it may be an antonym to the aforementioned “agressive”, but the Kings are playing relaxed hockey in special teams situations. That’s absolute gold this time of year.
Pat Riley never had dry hair