My first recap. Connie did them last year. I don't like recaps. I liked them when I was 8, because that's how you found out what happened in the games. Since there wasn't any (1) cable, (2) hockey games on TV except once a week if you were lucky, (3) TV or radio news coverage, other than to run-down a list of scores, (4) access to out-of-town papers, other than maybe the New York Times, which gave you the hockey scores a couple of days late (in the National edition).
Now, I'm not even sure what the point of a traditional recap is. As a fan, I feel the best way to re-visit a game that just ended is to:
- Read Rich Hammond's several post-game stories.
- Watch NHL "On the Fly". Their highlights are big and fat, not just the goals.
- Check the comments sections of whatever blogs you read, for the "at the bar after the game" effect.
- Listen to "Kings Talk."
- And if you're up at three in the morning: check the blogs of your opponent. That's always good for perspective, if bad for blood pressure.
Having said all that, here's my recap of last night's game:
- Brayden Schenn, good.
- Schenn could have had a hat-trick easily last night. Holding his stick too tight maybe. But looked great. Nice poke-check. Great hustle. Keep him on the power play.
Anze Kopitar demonstrated for my six-year-old why whining about a hang-nail is silly.
- Drew Doughty took a rookie penalty and spit on himself. Regressing? No way. (Seriously, no way; but it was funny.)
- I was not a fan of Kevin Westgarth being handed a spot on the team before camp, and he made a lousy pass that could have cost us, but in general I thought he looked like a better deterrent than Ivanans.
Kyle Clifford looked tentative in his first NHL game, and won't be skating after pucks bent over with his head down anymore. Actually, that was weird, wasn't it? That hit developed awkwardly, I thought.
Jonathan Quick looked mostly great. There was one moment when he did the old "premature butterfly" to defend against a shot targeting high glove side, and almost got burned, but didn't. Spectacular save in the shoot-out, which came about a minute after my son asked why Quick was stretching like that. And I got to say, "that's why."
Brad Richardson doesn't belong on the second line. Jarret Stoll doesn't belong on the second line either, and that's not making Richie look any better. 30-20-10 (at best) is not the goal-output you want from a top-six line.
- Powerplay: shoot the puck. 0-for-infinity is not a good conversion rate. And, therefore (because of this point and the last one):
- Andrei Loktionov. Put him on the second line and second unit power play.
- Stoll: hit the net please.
- Kopitar: shoot.
Dustin Brown: still trying to do too much. Give it to Kopitar and crash the net.
Jack Johnson: best player on the ice for most of the game. I never got that uh-oh JJ feeling, not once. Only the post-Olympic JJ feeling.
- Alexei Ponikarovsky: those were some weird penalties. He must be doing something to garner that much attention, but I didn't think either of those interference/trip/hook calls were his fault. Terry Murray after one of them (reading lips): "What game are you watching?"
- I read some comments that Poni looked slow. The Sedins make everyone look slow.
Justin Williams: nice goal. An excellent Philly-type goal actually.
Jake Muzzin: nervous, I think. Who wouldn't be?
- Quick's mask: work of sublime genius. The ears! I wish they had painted hair coming up over the top of the mask onto his forehead. That's the closest I ever expect to get to my dream of having goalies wear big fully-encompassing masks that are big replicas of their actual heads. By fully-encompassing, I mean they go all the way around. Like a mascot head, but super-protective. People called me crazy, but I now consider that dream partially realized.
- Bob Miller said the jerseys took him right back, but for me -- more than the jerseys -- it was Quick's brown pads.
- I loved the purple and gold jerseys. Sorry, there's no such thing as forum blue. I think a modern version of those jerseys (more streamlined, with names obviously, not quite so doofussy in the way it's cut, etc.) should be what they wear all the time. And then do a Chevron black/silver for the third jersey and call it a day.
- Maybe the Kings could institute a "third pants" trend and go all yellow.
- Brayden Schenn looks like somebody. Some celebrity. Can't quite figure it out though.
That's all I got. Consider yourself recapped.