The Kings generally dominated the pre-season Stanley Cup favorite Vancouver Canucks, and emerged with yet another victory against last season’s playoff opponent. Despite some disciplinary breakdowns near the end of the game that led to an unfortunate 2-man disadvantage to close out the match, the Kings generally played quite well. The 1st line (or at least Brown) got his scoring touch back, and the Kings continued their strong play to begin the season.
After jumping out to an early lead with a goal on only their second shot of the game by Jarrett Stoll, the Kings extended their lead in the second period with only their first shot of the period for Justin Williams. It looked like it might be dangerous for a minute when Daniel Sedin cut the lead down to 1 with a goal in the third period, before Dustin Brown effectively put the game out of reach with two unanswered goals in the third period.
That’s a simple summary of what happened, but let’s get to the more interesting parts. A couple interesting thoughts on the game. First, Jonathan Quick has continued his strong play. Certainly Quick came to camp in good health this season, and he may be stepping up his game with Bernier right on his heels, but let’s be honest. Who expected this kind of play from Quick? I certainly didn’t, and I’ve been a significant supporter of Quick’s since he seized the starting goaltender position full-time. Quick has allowed three goals in three games (including overtime in one game). That’s a sub 1.00 GAA, and he’s got a .963 save percentage. Yea those numbers are insane, and while certainly aren’t likely to continue at that rate, they’re a major reason why the Kings have started the season 3-1.
The second major thought regarding this game (and the early season results so far) is that the power play is really struggling. Last season the power play was a major strength, and in the playoffs, it was maybe the only true “bright spot” in the defeat to the Canucks. This season? Not so much. The Kings went 0-5 on the power play tonight, which is bad enough. What’s worse? They only managed a single shot. They’re a meager 1 for 16 on the power play this season, and the Kings will need to solve that problem if they want to reach the elite levels of the Western Conference.
So in general I can’t be negative about a second win against a strong player in the Western Conference. The Kings generally played quite well, and Quick in particular played out of his mind. If the Kings can continue this kind of exciting, quality play, Kings fans will be in for a very enjoyable season. Anyone else have interesting thoughts about the game? Excited to see them take on the Hurricanes on Wednesday?
Three Stars of the Game:
1st: Jonathan Quick
2nd: Dustin Brown
3rd: Ryan Smyth