Think back on the game, if you watched it.
Aside from Jack Campbell — and we’ll get to him in a minute — were there any Kings who were truly noticeable?
Tyler Toffoli missed on a breakaway; he’s had a much maligned season, particularly for his scoring completely drying up, but he’s at least getting his chances. Whatever reason for the plummeting of his shooting percentage, he’s at least getting the puck to the net. He actually led the team with shots — three of them, three whole shots on net.
Ilya Kovalchuk clanged a puck off the post; whether he’s found peace with his role on the Kings or not, he at least looks like he’s trying to make something of his time here.
Anze Kopitar won a bunch of faceoffs. That counts for something, I guess.
Did you notice anyone else for good reasons?
That’s what I thought.
There’s no real game recap here, because there is nothing to talk about, other than how absolutely disinterested in playing hockey this team looked. Yes, they got into Vegas late last night and were probably tired after a game yesterday in Colorado. Not an excuse. Willie Desjardins in his post-game comments said that the team had no legs, essentially. Again, not an excuse. The Kings went for a span of 17:51 in the second period without getting a shot through to the net. Yes, Vegas did a stellar job of blocking Kings shots. That’s no excuse, either.
So, really, here is your complete list of things that were good about tonight’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights:
When you’re about to give up on a New Year’s Resolution but catch yourself before you slip. pic.twitter.com/UbnbpppygW— LA Kings (@LAKings) January 2, 2019
Jack Campbell. That’s it. That’s the list.
Of all the places you could point fingers over tonight’s loss — or, to be honest, nearly any of the Kings’ losses this season — Jack Campbell, and goaltending in general, is not where you should be looking.
Tonight, Campbell allowed one goal on forty-seven shots. Four seven. 47. That is — absurd. Offensive. Embarrassing, really, that the Kings allowed that many. One goal, 47 shots. A .979 save percentage. The one goal that he allowed was technically at even strength, but came just seconds after the expiration of a Vegas power play. Campbell — like Quick and Petersen before him this season — went above and beyond, doing everything in his power to keep the Kings in the game.
The only reason this game wasn’t 4-0 or worse is that Campbell was a brick wall in net. The Kings’ goaltenders shouldn’t need to have career nights for 82 nights a year in order for this team to be competitive.
This game wasn’t just bad, it was boring, too. It was a “burn the tape” moment in a season that’s already seen 24 other nights just like it.
The trade deadline, if you’re wondering, is February 25.
Just putting that out there.