(Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Just when I decided to write a post-game recap on how Anze Kopitar has done virtually nothing these past two games, he scored the game winner in overtime. Wait, back track; let me first say that completely scratching Justin Williams (Stanley Cup winner) to move up Wayne Simmonds and add Rich Clune to the lineup was a terrible decision. You could tell in the pre-game interview that Kopitar didn't wholly agree with this change, but you can't argue a coaching decision. That being said, Clune did even less than Kopitar, Williams, and Randy Jones combined! Wait again, I take that back. Clune didn't negatively impact the team like Jones does on a normal basis, so there's that.
This game was a lot better for the Kings compared to Game 1, so there's a huge positive. The Kings only had four penalties while the Canucks took seven, and the Kings outshot their opponent 32-26. Basically, there was a lot going on in this game so I'm going to go with bullet points:
- Once again, the Kings fell behind with an unfortunate goal while Brad Richardson's stick was in the hands of Rob Scuderi. Both players made the correct decision, but the Canucks took full advantage.
- The second goal by Mikael Samuelsson was worse because it was let in by Jonathan Quick on his own volition. But I've seen worse these playoffs, trust me, whew!
- Good thing for the Kings though was how Andrew Alberts was still in the game. Word was he was going to be sat for a more capable D-man, but he was paired with Shane O'Brien and I was definitely relieved. Alberts ended with three penalties and O'Brien had one. If Alain Vigneault keep this pairing again (I don't know why in the world he would) Terry Murray better exploit the hell out of it.
- Do you think Alexander Frolov could play any less soft against this team? He has had virtually zero posession time, which is his thing, because the Canucks are breaking up every single play. Fro, you're killing me.
- Nothing but props for Drew FREAKING Doughty. His stick check to break up the pass by the on-rushing Sedins near the end of the game brought me out of my seat. He played 32:56 and I am damned proud of this kid. I will say his spin move out of the defensive zone was a bit gratuitous, but I'll take it!
Bottom line, the Kings tied up the series 1-1 and they're headed back to STAPLES Center for Monday night's game. For this next one, here's what Terry Murray should do:
- Remove Rich Clune from the line up. Putting in a kid in place of Williams? Let's correct that.
- Either move Peter Harrold at a 4th line winger position or sit him and bring in Davis Drewiske. I know Harrold hasn't played in a long while, but he shouldn't be getting overpowered as easily as he was. Right now, I'd rather Jones have that 15 minutes of ice time Harrold was given.
- I don't mind bringing back Raitis Ivanans if it means he'll contribute at least on one shift and gets Rich Clune off the roster.
- Simmonds played 17:09 last night. Please keep his minutes that high from here on out.