Well, that game went ... honestly, about as well as expected, for this Kings season.
The two goals the Kings scored weren’t exactly beautiful, but they got the job done, and they were the kinds of dirty, up close and personal type goals that are going to be necessary to get on the board in games.
Jack Campbell has certainly done everything asked of him in Jonathan Quick’s absence, making 12 of 13 saves during the first period and coming up big, including saves on (almost all of) the repeated breakaways the Kings allowed.
Jack Campbell did what #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/Gez4rIfuhr— LA Kings (@LAKings) November 2, 2018
But it’s sloppy, disinterested play from the Kings that continues to sink them. They squandered multiple power play opportunities in the game, including an extended five-on-three in the first period. Once again, the team spent more time trying to set up on the power play than actually getting shots through to the net. Despite all those highly paid, uber-talented players on the roster, the Kings only put five shots on net with the man advantage in the whole game, and three of those shots came off the stick of Jeff Carter.
The Kings gave a push in the second period, but Wayne Simmonds’ goal less than a minute after the Kings got on the board — not to mention the “of course that happened” third Flyers goal — felt a little like a punch to the gut, another instance of the team getting sloppy and giving up momentum after scoring a goal.
Derek Forbort was a turnover machine, and if this team had more faith in Oscar Fantenberg (and if Paul LaDue wasn’t injured), it would be a safe bet to say that maybe Forbort sits again in the next Kings game. Rookie defenseman Sean Walker didn’t play at all in the third period, and didn’t see the ice again after his accidental assist on the third Flyers’ goal.
Who was the best King on the ice not named Jack Campbell? Hard to say. Even Drew Doughty looked forgettable, a tough thing to do when you play literally half the game. (Doughty logged 30:19 of ice time, his most of the season.) Dustin Brown led the team with four shots. Tanner Pearson was basically invisible and got bounced around the lineup all night.
The Kings take the ice again against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, a much more formidable foe than the Flyers or Rangers. Buckle up, I guess.
Some observations from last night’s game from the opposition. [Broad Street Hockey]
The Kings are under pressure, but so far are playing a game of “wait and see” while Jonathan Quick is out. [Los Angeles Times]
Sloppy hockey doomed the Kings to another loss last night. [Los Angeles Times]
We know things are bleak right now but we’re trying to spread the love. Come find out about our new project for the month of November. [Jewels from the Crown]
The Kings couldn’t pull off a win during their first Spanish-language radio broadcast, but at least broadcaster Francisco X. Rivera got to make a sweet goal call:
The first LA Kings goal on the @ESPNDeportes broadcast makes for an amazing Call of the Game by @FX_Rivera and @NanoCortes123 pic.twitter.com/bghHP5iSr6— LA Kings (@LAKings) November 2, 2018
Rivera also joined the All The Kings Men podcast to talk about his background and his new hockey gig. [LA Kings]
Alex Iafallo talked to the NWHL about his sister Julianna, who is in her first season of professional hockey with the Buffalo Beauts. [NWHL]
The Reign earned their first home win of the season last night, a 5-3 win over the Texas Stars. Sheldon Rempal and Matt Luff each had two goals; Mike Amadio had three assists. Highlights:
Re-live that sweet, sweet #Reign victory with last night's highlights, presented by United Christian Academy! pic.twitter.com/ftJf5ZTS0L— Ontario Reign (@ontarioreign) November 2, 2018
And some post-game reactions from Matt Luff and Coach Mike Stothers. [Reign Insider]
Elsewhere in the World
Good (?) news about all that losing: the Kings are set up pretty well to get first dibs on anyone who gets put on waivers:
A reminder with regards to Waivers claims.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) November 1, 2018
November 1st sees the 'waivers claim priority' changed from last seasons final standings to the current seasons active standings, with priority awarded to the club with the lowest point percentage at the time of the claim. pic.twitter.com/XCHNTAWMif
The Islanders weren’t supposed to be good. Enter Barry Trotz. [New York Post]
The Canadiens weren’t expected to be good, either, but they sure look like they’re having fun. [Eyes on the Prize]
The Coyotes might be for real this year, and their penalty killing unit is off the charts good. [The Athletic]
The Four Nations Cup begins November 6. The USWNT has taken home gold for the past three seasons. [The Ice Garden]
Ryan Moore is only 5’7” but he’s hoping to be the next success story to come out of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ development system. [The Athletic]
Tage Thompson hoped for a fresh start after going to Buffalo in a trade, but he’s struggled to start the season. [Die By The Blade]
Your Evening Entertainment
Only three games on the agenda today and one’s in the afternoon. If you’re looking for something to do over lunchtime, tune into the Jets/Panthers game in Helsinki, Finland at 11:00 AM Pacific on the NHL Network. Patrik Laine had a hat trick yesterday, so why not, really.
For your evening game-watching purposes, the (surprisingly fun) Carolina Hurricanes take on the (surprisingly fun) Arizona Coyotes at 7:00 PM Pacific. The game can be streamed via NHL.com.