Okay, so we'll start with the Simmonds butt-end. I've seen two different clips, neither of which shows me what I want to see, which is an angle from in front of the players. From the clips I've seen: (1) that's definitely a butt-end; (2) I don't think Galiardi got hit in the, um, jewels; in the gut more likely; that's where you're exposed; (3) There’s no way to know whether Galiardi was embellishing without knowing how hard the butt-end was. You can seriously harm someone with a butt-end, or it can be a love-tap — or anywhere in between; (4) it appears Galiardi is grabbing Simmonds somehow and Simmonds's butt-end may be a response to that; does that mitigate the act somewhat? No, but it explains it; it's still "decapitation as a cure for dandruff"; (5) I think he'll get a suspension, though who knows how long...a game? Five? I don't know. Spin the wheel.
- Richardson rediscovers the benefits of pressure and driving to the net.
Brown scores his fourth goal and I still think he hasn't had the puck on his stick, on those goals, for more than one second total.
- Ponikarovsky looked happy to score.
- Lots of goals (on both sides) with pucks deflecting off skates and bodies. Those count the same as pretty ones. And the pretty plays with no shot, those don't count at all.
Loktionov, for the second time in as many games, generated a goal (this time he got an assist) by putting the puck into a vulnerable scoring area. Is it a pass to Handzus? To Kopitar? I think he's just trying to get the puck into the crease at the same time Handzus and Kopitar arrive there. Perfectly timed. Simple.
Harrold and Drewiske looked good, I thought. Yeah, yeah, the cough-up led to a goal. That wasn't good. Still, I didn't feel terror whenever they're on the ice.
- I do feel it whenever JJ is bobbling the puck on the blue-line during a power-play. Stop that.
- Kopitar needs to not be the center on the power-play for awhile. Maybe he needs to be the body in front of the net. I know that's not ideal. But he needs some kind of jolt. He's just doing the same slow thing over and over again. I believe I can see him thinking. I would like to see Schenn/Kopitar/Loktionov on the PP, with Kopi being the guy without the puck. I believe that would freak out penalty killers. (I'm sure I'm wrong about this, but so what, it's a blog.)
- The Kings and Dallas are tied for first in the Pacific. That's either second in the West (ESPN's standings) or 6th (TSN's). In terms of win%, that's tied for 4th in the league (one point behind the leaders, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Nashville).
- Tampa Bay and Nashville play today. That's some great scheduling.
- Incidentally, three great games today. I'm rooting for Purcell, Stamkos, Hedman and Lecavalier to beat the sort of undefeated Predators this afternoon. Then the soap opera that is Kovalchukornot vs. Boyle, Frolov and Avery. Then the Sharks and Flames. Good stuff.