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The Copper and Brie on Game Three (why? because it rhymes)

This is really a great, insightful and thorough look at last night’s game, from the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” club members at Copper and Blue.

Follow the link for the whole thing because it’s worth it. I just want to cut/paste my favorite bits here. [the rest of what follows is quotes; I hate the SBN block quote format thing, so there.]

“Although they were again out-chanced in the game overall, the Kings were leading 20-19 before the Canucks pulled the goalie for the last two minutes and, frankly, with a two-goal lead through most of the period, you shouldn’t expect them to push the play. Teams tend to get out-chanced when they sit back, and teams tend to sit back with the lead so that 4-5 differential in the third period (at EV, both goalies in) is actually very good. Still, it sure would be nice to see the Kings win the chances battle at EV one of these games.

“I’m pretty confident that Alberts is the better player but he was so bad in the first two games that it would’ve been difficult to justify keeping him in the line-up. Nonetheless, Rome looked over-matched. […] On the Kings side, this was another tough game for the Greene-O’Donnell pairing. I know fans in Edmonton sometimes pine for ‘Matt Greene in his prime’ but, good gracious, he still looks bad to me. These guys aren’t a shut-down pairing since they don’t take on the toughs but they’re still getting pilloried.”

[from his three stars:]

“2. Brad Richardson – [eleven of thirteen of his] minutes came against […] the Sedins. Yet he won the scoring chance battle at even strength 6-3. Despite not playing on the power play – he did draw one though – he lead the Kings in shots on goal (5) and scored a goal himself on a nifty steal […]. He didn’t get a lot of time on the penalty kill but when he did he was effective. The one SH chance was actually Richardson’s […]. He was physical. He was fantastic.”

“1. Michal Handzus – […] For the most part, these forwards [the Handzus line] weren’t limiting chances by keeping the Sedins to the outside in the defensive zone (although they did that too) but by making sure the puck was in the offensive zone and working the cycle. They basically out-Sedined the Sedins.”

[from the “reverse” stars]

“3. Anze Kopitar – […] With Modin, Richardson and Handzus providing cover from the Sedins […] the Kopitar line needs to produce. Had they broken even, it would’ve been a disappointment. Getting out-chanced 8-2? Unacceptable […] Anze Kopitar and the rest of his line need to be able to outplay Kyle Wellwood. Just do.”

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