Good god, what a sorry excuse for a hockey game. Not only did the Kings not look good, they made Tampa look decent.
Pardon? Could you please repeat that?
Yes, Tampa didn't look like a horrible pile of fecal matter. They were actually breaking up passes and shutting the Kings down at their blueline; yet, at the same time, it wasn't like Tampa was tearing it up either. One thing I can say though, it's been interesting to see the Kings play against more east coast teams this season because watching them go up against all these different styles of play is actually telling. To start, Tampa's style isn't exactly... great, obviously, but they clashed severely with the Kings in those terms. I've noticed that the Kings sort of adapt their style of play to what the other team brings in any evening so that they don't really have their own distinctive style from the other 29 teams in the league. The best example I can give is the Philadelphia Flyers, uptempo and in your face every game.
I bring this up because last night was one of the few games where the Kings didn't not adapt to the opposition and tried to play their own game, which failed miserably. Tampa seemed to be moving east/west and the Kings were struggling to stay north/south. Both teams weren't really getting anywhere and the game was pretty boring for the first period. Cue a couple of random goals and Erik Ersberg was pulled. Two goals on four shots, yikes. Vincent Lecavalier's goal was... ridiculously sweet; the media had given him the first star of the game, but I honestly thought Mike Smith stood out more overall than Vinny. Making 29 saves behind a cruddy team isn't too shabby, but it was completely frustrating for the home crowd.
Tampa's EvgenyArtyukhin got his goal of the game, but he also gets the lame-ass award. This guy takes out Drew Doughty along the boards and when Sean O'Donnell tries to engage him, he just skates away. How freaking annoying. Nothing pisses me off more than someone who doesn't defend his own actions. Don't think you're trying to be the bigger person by walking away from the situation; you started it, so deal with it. In the end, Doughty doesn't return for the second half of the game and the other Dmen pick up his minutes.
I'm wondering what it's going to take for the Kings to put together a decent string of games. They're currently sucking ass and it's not going to get any easier on Thursday when they play the Detroit Red Wings. I don't have any answers.