Good golly miss Molly… 8-3? That’s the biggest win in over a year, and one heck of a way to answer questions about the offensive prowess of the Los Angeles Kings. Not only did the Kings effectively DESTROY Luongo (how wasn’t he pulled? 8 goals is… a lot), but they gave themselves one hell of a confidence boost if they indeed draw the Canucks in the playoffs.
Dustin Brown put up his 2nd career hat trick and added an assist for 4 points, a perfect antidote to the fact that he seemed to be gripping his stick just a bit tightly lately. Maybe it’s reasonable, he’s the Captain on a team that looks like it’s heading to the playoffs, and he’s never played a playoff game. He got the scoring monkey off his back, and hopefully will be able to build on this performance in the upcoming games. Six other players had multiple point games (Kopitar, Doughty, Frolov, Johnson, Smyth and Stoll) and the Kings made a statement in a serious way.
Jonathan Bernier put in a solid performance as well, stopping 27 of 30 shots en route to his third win of the season. So now management has a tough call. Do they send Bernier back to the AHL to tear up the league? Or keep him around to spell Quickers for some of the last games in the season. Frankly I think it’s time to send Bernier back down, and allow Quick to use the final five games to get his grove on for the playoffs. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea to bring Bernier back for one of the back-to-back games to close the season, but one thing is becoming increasingly clear. Ersberg’s time is over.
On a brief side note, I feel for Ersberg, who has played admirably, if not particularly brilliantly since being brought over from Sweden to help a team desperate for goaltending help. I don’t think he ever got a realistic chance to grab the reins, though I can’t fault the Kings. With Bernier and Quick emerging as very solid, potentially spectacular prospects, he was never going to be much more than a stop gap. For my part, I hope he’s able to find a spot to thrive in the NHL. I think he’d be great as a solid 1B goalie in a tandem, or even as a upper echelon backup keeper.
Anyway, the game was one of the most enjoyable I’ve had to watch in while. Let’s just hope they didn’t use up their offense before the Anaheim game this Saturday, where we’ll be ready to destroy the hated Ducks! Go Kings!
Up Next: Anaheim Ducks