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San Jose Sharks @ Los Angeles Kings Game 73 Recap: Kings refuse to #LoseForHughes, win 4-2

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Overheard: “If the Sharks can’t beat the Kings, they’re going to have issues come April...”

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Ron Burgundy Night at the Staples Center and if he would have been in the booth the previous 72 games, the season wouldn’t have seemed so bad:

When you wonder how the Kings got into this mess known as the 2018-19 season, remember that this Ron Burgundy quote applied to Los Angeles just eight short years ago (this clip is also the best call of the year.):

105-Word Recap

A game after being eliminated from playoff contention, the Los Angeles Kings assumed the role of spoiler, overcoming a 2-1 deficit and netting three goals in the third period to take down the Stanley Cup hopeful San Jose Sharks 4-2. Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist, Matt Roy scored his first career goal and Jeff Carter snapped a 21-game goalless streak. With the exception of Brent Burns (adding an assist for the third straight game / 76 points on the year), the Sharks looked anything but ready for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, dropping five points behind the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames with eight games to play.

Coach’s Corner: What Willie Desjardins Did Wrong Tonight

Where to start? The list was so long even before the puck dropped...

  • The interim coach went with the ever-lethal 11 forwards / 7 defensemen lineup. No wonder the Kings are 122 goals behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (and 0.66 GF less than the league average - 2.36/gm vs. 3.03/gm). Even the Ottawa Senators have scored 228 goals this season.
  • The 11/7 lineup meant that Willie D. actively chose to scratch Jonny Brodzinski and Ilya Kovalchuk to play Jeff Carter (21 games without a goal), Tyler Toffoli (16 goals without a goal), and Kurtis MacDermid (averaging 6:39 TOI since his call-up). Summer buyout candidate Dion Phaneuf also sat this one out.
  • Willie boldly lies to tells us that he uses the 11/17 lineup to better evaluate players. Instant analysis: If I were Jonny Brodzinski—scratched for the fourth consecutive game—I would evaluate the Kings as an organization who doesn’t want me. As a pending UFA this summer, I would definitely be looking to move on. Nothing would chap me more than being scratched this often for an “11/7 Evaluation Lineup.”
  • You see Willie, 11 forwards become 10 forwards with one LBI:
  • What goes through the head of the interim coach? Look at the veterans’ TOI: Drew Doughty plays 25:02, Anze Kopitar 24:04, Alec Martinez plays 21:38, Carter 20:26, and Dustin Brown 19:55. Now look at the kids: Carl Grundstrom 12:47, Austin Wagner 9:49, and MacDermid 7:24. I thought these were evaluation games where the kids were being showcased? Why would you scratch Jonny Brodzinski to play MacDermid 7:24?
  • Willie, why are you under the delusional belief that these games matter anymore? Playing the veterans, especially forwards, 20 minutes a night isn’t doing anyone any favors. This is where #LoseForHughes kicks in! I mean, can’t you get anything right?

The Game 73 Scoring

Kings 1. Sharks 0.

Kings 1. Sharks 1.

Kings 1. Sharks 1. Ron Burgundy 1. Bean Burrito 0.

Sharks 2. Kings 1.

Sharks 2. Kings 2.
Matt Roy with the first goal of his NHL career!

Kings 3. Sharks 2.

Kings 4. Sharks 2.
Jeff Carter scores the empty-netter shorthanded; his first goal since January 15th.

Next: The Kings host the dreaded Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center on Saturday.

Quotables:

Games Until the Kings are Eligible for a New Head Coach: 9