Okay, so, I’m not feeling great, but I figured I’d blog something hockey-related.
The Kings are currently on their Canadian road trip and…
Today we lost against the Winnipeg Jets on their home turf.
Right as I was about to start typing, this IG post popped up, and Tyler did a good job summarizing how I’ve felt about the team’s offensive issues thus far. Well, actually, defense too. We’re not doing so well keeping the puck out of our zone.
"[Jack's] kept us in both of these games and gave us a chance to win tonight. So I think we gotta do a better job of scoring some goals for him and decreasing some of the chances against." – Tyler Toffoli pic.twitter.com/gci0sTVDKO
— LA Kings (@LAKings) October 10, 2018
We did win the game against Detroit on Sunday, but even then John Stevens’ response to our offensive play was…
“I just thought we were guilty of hanging onto pucks too long where we could’ve put them towards the net, and I think that’s only going to help us when we convince ourselves to do so.”
This is something I was seeing a lot of.
To get this out of the way, I think I’m better off writing about games I was present for. This is unfortunate since I can only watch the Pens via broadcast. But that’ll change in a couple of weeks. 😀
The DETvsLAK match-up is the first game in the season that I didn’t go “stag.” A girlfriend joined (she’s a Red Wings fan so don’t be fooled by her Kings hat lol). Once we were at our seats, I noticed the immediate difference between when I go with a guy friend vs. a girlfriend, seeing that I’ve usually gone to games with a dude.
What the fuck are you guys doing?
Hustle that shit.
Ooh, he’s cute.
Can he slide into my DMs?
I’m in the in-between, somewhere, though, I definitely can’t say I’d want anyone sliding into my DMs. I don’t pay much attention to how a hockey player looks unless it’s blatantly spammed in front of me, e.g., Twitter posting up all the players getting well-groomed for their opening night games, nonetheless with good-looking beards.
Other than that, it’s not the reason I go to hockey games.
I go to hockey games because I like to be stressed out.
Lol, just kidding.
Anyway, so brief sloppy scatter-brained recap!
Quick is Injured
Quick is currently on injured reserve due to a lower-body injury he sustained during practice the day before the game, which put Jack Campbell at goal. Peter Budaj was called down from Reign as the emergency backup. Which, okay, in my head I was thinking, “We’re not having a repeat of 2017, no way.”
Mind you, I don’t mind seeing other goalies come out to play. It would be nice to see Budaj again after he had to do the impossible with the loss of both of our goalies in the 2016-2017 season before he was traded to Tampa alongside Andreoff.
The update to Quick’s injury as of today is that he shouldn’t be out for longer than two weeks, which good.
The Overall Game
So the first period was a no-score-snore. The Kings were doing a lot of chasing back and forth; the puck management was lackluster. Despite the inefficiencies, it doesn’t entirely bother me until I take other things into account.
When I looked up at the scoreboard, I noticed that the Wings were outshooting us by nearly double just in the early 1st period alone. My immediate concern was that meant that Campbell was working double-time trying to save with the underlying pressure of out loss on Friday against the Sharks.
Things picked up in the 2nd period.
The Iafallo-Kovalchuk-Kopitar triumvirate is a good one, and the chemistry has only shown to get better and better since opening night. A lot of people were doubting Kovalchuk due to his age, but he’s done well shutting up the naysayers.
I’m sure Iafallo—who is only on his second season—is having the time of his life being able to play alongside two veterans. He is showing gratitude by his own determination to make sure what he does on the ice benefits his team.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) October 8, 2018
Campbell known to have inconsistency (see a pattern here?) but he’s doing well to overcome his history, turning away 36 of 38 shots against the Wings, and having positive SV% with Reign.
He’s light on the NHL experience, as this game was his eighth game in the NHL overall. He’s yet to find his home in the league. His trajectory in his career is really going to lean on these next games in Quick’s absence. Budaj and Petersen are right behind him; his success in the crease is a workload he’ll have to prove he can handle.
So far in two games, he’s boding well.
I personally enjoyed watching him while I was at the game. Goalies have their quirks—much like Quick has a lot—and I’m still trying to figure out Campbell’s habits and patterns. But I definitely want to see him succeed and nest himself in the NHL.
On that note, despite our loss against the Jets, things are looking on the up-and-up. I say this because Stevens and the team seem to be self-aware of what they need to work on. It does come down to their execution and gaining more confidence on the puck handling outside of their zone and not hesitating to take a shot… and having more spatial awareness when they pass to avoid giveaways.
The Kings will be playing against the Habs tomorrow.