Kings Overthrown by Knights
Similar to when Jerry switches apartments with Kramer (due to the Kenny’s Chicken sign), I had some trouble sleeping last night, so I got around to watching the condensed game against the Knights.
I actually thought it was a good game from the Kings perspective. Honestly, they played 55 minutes of pretty solid hockey...it was that last five minutes or so that killed them.
Looking at it from a pace standpoint, it seemed like LA was right there and holding their own with a Vegas club that we’ve come to know as having a lot of speed and skill.
The Kings offense, which struggled mightily last season, was able to find the back of the net twice and the lead was held at 2-0 late into the third. Quick looked good, too - playing big and being aggressive in his crease.
So what caused the late collapse?
Since I didn’t watch the whole game, I can only go off the condensed version of it, and it seems like defensive miscues led to the loss.
The obvious thing fans jumped on was Joakim Ryan’s accidental goal on Quick. I have trouble dogging him too much on it. In a lot of ways, Ryan was handcuffed in a sense that you’re not, not going to try to break up the pass - any defenseman in the same position is going to try to get his stick on that one. I’ve seen some folks saying he should have just intercepted the pass and not try to redirect it. All I can say to that is that things are moving so fast, your instinct is to break up that pass and try to send it into the corner/anywhere not near the opposition.
It was just seems like a misfortune the play.
The worse play (defensively) came about :54 seconds later when Mark Stone tied the game at 2-2. While you can’t see the whole play develop in the below clip, the Kings got caught pinching and had four guys in deep - leaving one defenseman on the blue line. The Knights winger takes a pass off the board to beat Tobias Bjornfot and make a good pass to a streaking Stone being trailed by Kale Clague - who was completely gassed after pinching so low. Bjornfot looked to slow up on the play, too, as if he was expecting Stone to pass it back, but there was no one near him and he had a clear lane to the net. Just seemed like a combo of a gassed Clague and a poor read by Bjornfot to not jump in a cover for his partner.
And then there was the dagger in OT, where Jonathan Marchassault got in behind the defense and buried the puck top shelf.
Despite the defensive lapses, it seemed like a strong game from the Kings, it’s just too bad they couldn’t hold on for the W.
Nice seeing Brown get on the scoresheet since they’ll need the vets to deliver this year, and the smallish young gun Blake Lizzotte notching a goal was nice, too
I wish I could find the clip, but there was a play where Mario Kempe displayed some incredible hands to work in tight and get around a couple Knights. Awesome stuff.
The Kings pick it back up tonight against the Canucks.
Go, Kings, Go!