Does Bernier need more seasoning in the AHL? Were the Kings defensemen finally revealed as insufficient for Conference domination? Has Kopitar’s relatively slow start finally caught up to the Kings? These are all questions that could be asked after what can only be described as a tough beat against division rival San Jose Sharks. After surging to an impressive 12-3 record to start the season, the Kings faced what might be their biggest challenge when they took on San Jose, the team that has been the perennial powerhouse in the Pacific.
When it was time to show that the time for the changing of the guard had arrived, the Kings failed to answer to bell. Even after grabbing an early lead, the game was all Sharks with a few exceptions. The Sharks seemed to score in back-breaking bunches, including two quick goals at the end of the 1st period to head into intermission ahead 2-1. It was a tough night, and while Bernier didn’t perform terribly, he also didn’t make the brilliant stops that would have been necessary to pull this game out tonight.
That said, I don’t think the loss was Bernier’s fault. Not at all actually (so relax). Kopitar’s slow start is definitely a bit troubling, but I have faith that he’ll get his game back, and the defensive system will bounce back as well. In the end it seems like one of those hard games that just didn’t go the Kings way. Don’t get me wrong, they played pretty poorly, and better efforts will be necessary if they want to win the Cup this season. That said, a 79-3 record is now officially impossible. New goal? 78-4. Next up? Columbus in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Bring it on Kings!
Three Stars of the Game:
1st: Patrick Marleau
2nd: Joe Pavelski
3rd: Jason Demers