They’re climbing the Western Conference standings, and are now traveling North up the Pacific’s coast. The Kings’ upcoming quick two-game road swing isn’t the only regional topic this club is running with.
Anze Kopitar fascinates the National Television audience these days. Embrace it, NBC.
You may think this is something new. Next stop is British Columbia.
The Kings stunned the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday evening in their 2-1 victory at Staples Center with two goals in the final ten minutes of the contest to win their fifth straight game. They’ve totaled seven wins in their last eight games.
It was a dramatic defeat of the team from
Hockeytown the ‘Motor City’.
Consider the Kings rolling.
Don’t sleep on it
Unless you’ve gone sick from seeing it.
The NBC Sports Network televised the Kings’ meeting with the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night as part of their “Rivalry Night” series. At first, labeling this meeting as so seems odd. But then you figure, they were probably:
April 18, 2001. Like noted earlier: Don’t sleep on it.
Can’t stop, don’t stop
Michigan Rush: The Kings’ current run of seven wins in eight contests began after their loss in their first meeting against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on February 10th. When you consider the effects a loss with just :04.5 seconds left in regulation, many, including myself, would see it as a blow to the gut carrying a negative response to linger with the heartbreak.
The Kings, however, turned a momentary disaster into yet another building block.
They’re showing signs of chemistry they consistently posed en rout to their Stanley Cup Championship last season. This beautiful aftermath played out to fuel a suddenly reborn roster, when that heart-wrenching loss to Detroit had all intents of burying this club early.
Rearview mirror: The Kings are climbing the standings. They’ve locked up 14 points in their previous eight contests, which has been a major boost to their current overall total of 22 points. They’ve found their way out of the basement, and have climbed back into a playoff position.
With their 10-6-2 record, the Kings now sit at 2nd-place in the Pacific Division, and at 7th-place in the Western Conference.
It’s been no fluke either. All four offensive lines have been working in full-throttle, and the Kings’ suddenly-young and inexperienced defensive scheme has been absolutely delightful considering the injuries that hit Willie Mitchell, Matt Greene, and Alec Martinez.
Signs are pointing at an imminent return for Alec Martinez. Take a break, Davis Drewiske.
Not to mention, the Kings’ goaltending tandem may finally have a comfortably dependable back-up option. For the meantime, at least.
Bern, baby burn
About Time: The Kings drafted Jonathan Bernier in the 1st Round as the 11th overall selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. It is rare for such an early draft pick as a goaltender – a mightily highly touted one at that, to go so long without tagging himself as an every-day starter in the NHL.
It’s also rare to have a goaltender as good as Jonathan Quick.
But when you’re facing such a unique, heavily condensed schedule, especially after a season that saw Jonathan Quick log 89 games through the middle of June, you’re going to need to lean on your back-up goaltender. It’s smarter than it is safe.
Jonathan Bernier has started four games for the Kings this season, holding a stellar 4-0-0 record when called on by head coach Darryl Sutter. In Bernier’s one other appearance, which was in relief of Jonathan Quick on February 2nd against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center, Bernier was credited with the Kings’ loss.
That, however, was Bernier’s first live NHL action since March 31st of 2011.
Rising value: Jonathan Bernier‘s solid play is important to this club in more ways than one. I’m not talking about just wins. Bernier has the youth and resume to attract a heavy-list of NHL teams come the trade-deadline, and the Kings know that.
They also know they have a very solid netminder to give Jonathan Quick a breather.
Utilize Bernier’s dependability and promise in the crease, and do so while advertising his high trade-value to the other 29 NHL teams.
Darryl Sutter knows the tools he’s working with.
Dean Lombardi also knows what he’s doing.
The Kings, well, you can find them in British Columbia Saturday night.
A Stoll through Vancouver
Just passing by
Puck drops at Rogers Arena against the Vancouver Canucks at 7:00PM PST Saturday night.