Another one in the bag. As the first season I’ve been blogging full-time, I must say that I picked a good one. It’s always more fun to write about a team that doesn’t suck, and is actually putting some points on the board. That was the case again last night, as the Kings took on the Coyotes in their third match of the season. If you recall, the Coyotes thrashed the Kings on Opening Night 6-3, before the Kings exacted some revenge with a 5-3 win just over a week ago.
Which team would show up tonight? Well, it depends on the period… the second period was pretty thoroughly dominated by the Coyotes, but the first and third were all Kings. In fact, after jumping to a 1-0 lead in the 1st, the Coyotes waited (patiently?) until the last two seconds of the first to equalize. The demoralizing goal may have had an impact, since the Kings came out in the second period flat and lifeless. They were run all over by the Coyotes, and gave up two more goal, putting the Coyotes ahead 3-1. Fortunately for the Kings, Smyth pulled one back with under a minute left in the second period. The goal must have had the opposite effect as the one in the first period, because the Kings came out on top of their game in the third. Justin Williams tied it up with a slick move to the front of the net, before Drew Doughty blasted a goal to put the Kings ahead 4-3. Smyth topped it all off with his second of the game into an empty net to seal the game.
In all the game was played well. The Kings are still struggling a bit to put together a full 60-minute game, which is something that will definitely hurt them if/when they make the playoffs. That said, they’ve got a while to mature and get better at putting forth a full effort for the entire game, and if they can pull it off, this team will be dangerous. Anze Kopitar netted a goal and an assist, to put him in control of the NHL scoring race, somewhere few would have predicted him to be when the season began. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Kopitar is a stud, and this is truly looking to be his breakout season. If we see more of this Kopitar, the long-term contract he signed will be that much of a better deal going forward!
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