4.17.2010

Game of the Night (Pt. II)


2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 2: LA Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks @ GM Place
3-2 Final OT
The intensity of these two teams continue as the story continues.  Andrew Alberts looks to rewrite a new story for himself, Alex Edler looks to make his tale more than a one-hit, and the defence and goaltending of LA look to rise above the rest.

It didn't get off to a good start for the boys of Hollywood.  Before the halfway point could be hit, the Kings found themselves in a hole.  A hole the size of 2 goals.  That was enough for the Kings and up they woke.  Kings had great chances to lessen the gap, but Luongo was larger than lifesize and shut the down on the crowns.

One scrambly goal changed the momentum of the game.  After the Kings had gotten a scrambly goal, Jonathan Quick made the biggest save of the game (though, not as good as the goal-line save Luongo did the other night).  That huge/timely save allowed the Kings to break out into a 3-on-1 and that levelled the ice to 2-2.  From then on, everything started to settle back down, but nothing lasts forever.

The offensive plays created by the defence in this game were great and at a high!  During the playoffs, defencemen don't usually take risks such as creating these offensive plays, but as of late, they've been joining in on the rushes.  I applaud the defence in this series.  They've been defensively responsible and have created offence in respect to their positions.

Critics talked about Pavol Demitra's play earlier today.  In game one, he wasn't the Demo we've seen from before or the Olympics.  But tonight, he was closer or was exactly what the critics wanted him to be.  Demitra has looked livelier and created more chances for his line than 48 hours ago!  I was surprised to say the least, to see him wake up so quickly.  But I guess everyone has a bounce-back game.

But now is the part I rant.  First off, I like Mike Gillis.  I've liked what he's down with Vancouver and I like the direction that he's been going.  What I don't like is the deal he made during the trade-deadline to acquire Andrew Alberts from the Carolina Hurricanes.

Why don't I like it?  Well, for the past 2 games, he's landed in the sin bin about, oh, 5 times.  First night, the two penalties he took put LA in the game by giving them 2 PPGs.  Tonight, he went in thrice and, lucky him, didn't get punished for it.  Vancouver's brilliant PK bailed his bottom out.

Alberts needs to learn to move his feet.  He can't keep pretending that those penalties didn't happen.  They happened and they almost threw us under the bus!  Once Alberts learns to move his feet and not get caught flat-footed, half of the problems I have with him will go away.  Another thing he needs to learn is to not get caught in sticky situations where he'll have to take a "good" penalty.  Don't get caught behind the play, or ahead of the last offensive threat, and defintely don't stand in no man's land!  I've been caught there before, and it never turns out well.

Now that, that's off my chest... I have to give props to the LA defence.  Even more so for not allowing any goals in during that highly offensive third period.  Vancouver walked into the LA zone many times with great offensive chances, but were limited to 5 official shots on net.  But like most games, the scoresheet doesn't even begin to tell half of the tale.  If LA's defence wasn't as good as it was tonight, the score would've been much different.

LA lived by the man-advantage tonight.  2 of the Kings' goals were on the PP and gave the Kings their win.  They looked confident on the 5-on-4 and found their stride in it as the Canucks PKers slowly ran out of gas in the tank.  A lucky break gave the Kings their GWG (off of Luongo's stick's knob) and gave them the split they needed before the series got Californication.

3 stars (by HNIC):
1) Anze Kopitar
2) Ryan Kesler
3) Drew Doughty

3 stars (by me):
1) Drew Doughty
2) Ryan Kesler
3) Rob Scuderi

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