Remember that absurdly great aerial pass Anze Kopitar made to Dustin Brown back in December, the one that was on all the highlight reels? I believe that was the low point of the Kings' season.
I would have to check my dates, but I think after that beautiful goal, the Kings embarked on their historic slump which very nearly knocked them out of the playoff race.
Or maybe it was that 4-0 win over San Jose back in December (was that the same game as the Brown goal? I forget). That game was repeatedly cited as being a dominant game, a perfect game, a statement game...whatever. In any case, as soon as they made that statement, they proceeded to suck for a month.
Then, of course, they turned it around.
And in game two they made another statement. And they put the exclamation point on it in the first period of game three. With Antti Niemi's help.
Another low point in the season: tonight, when the Kings were up 4-0 at the start of the second. I thought, okay, there's no way the rest of this game will be fun to watch. At best, it will be boring. At worst, well...
The Sharks showed composure when they were down 4-0. The Kings, up 4-0, did not. My thought: the Kings are inexperienced and they allowed themselves to relax. Not a great idea.
The math of that is pretty simple. You play with discipline and as a result you win. But playing with discipline is hard and takes a lot of effort and hurts your brain. It would be so much easier just to do whatever you want and after all aren't I great, I've been great my whole life, I should be able to play "my game." So once you start winning, there's a war going on regarding who gets the credit, the player or the system. And, it's human nature, at a certain point the players let their guard down and allow themselves to feel good about how great things are going.
It's not a real choice. It's not the player OR the system. It's the player IN the system, or nothing.
So, to sum it all up:
- Niemi sucked and the Kings probably took too much credit for the 4-0 lead.
- The Kings wandered away from the system and allowed the Sharks' best players to have at it. Why did anyone think this was a good idea?
- Jack Johnson blew his coverage a couple of times.
- Drew Doughty was not strong on his stick on whichever goal that was.
- Dustin Penner made a great pass and got an assist.
- Then he forgot to back-check.
- Did the power-play score tonight? i don't think it did. That 4 minute penalty was kind of important in retrospect.
- Sharks scored on the power play.
- I hate those stupid home-plate upsidedown-house Medieval Times jerseys. And I don't like the "black out" either. It's ugly.