The Los Angeles Kings wrapped up their three game road trip Sunday night in Colorado, where they suffered a 3-2 loss in regulation to the Avalanche. Although they were unable to come out with a point, they played 60 minutes of skilled, fast-paced hockey and there were several positives to be taken away from the outcome. The Kings dominated the first two periods outshooting the Avalanche 26-9, but failed to create enough offense in the third. This is the second game in a row where the Kings probably deserved a better fate, but due to a couple of unfortunate bounces, ended up losing the game.
The Avalanche struck first with a shorthanded goal from Chuck Kobasew, but Kings’ left winger Scott Parse demonstrated some serious hand-eye coordination as he batted the puck out of mid-air and past Av’s goalie Semyon Varlamov just 27 seconds later. The next goal came from Milan Hejduk of the Avalanche with an outrageously unfair assist from the boards behind Kings goaltender, Jonathan Quick. Talk about an unlucky bounce! No one saw this one coming.
Anze Kopitar came back to tie the score late in the second period on a 5 on 3 power play, but it was Colorado’s Matt Duchene who slapped one home to give his team the 3-2 lead. This put an end to Duchene’s six-game goal drought and led the Av’s to their first win at home this season. In positive news for the Kings, the power play is drastically improving as both goals were scored during the man advantage. Also, it looks as though someone finally informed Dustin Penner that the season has in fact started. He managed to decently handle the puck and use that enormous body of his to make some smart plays. Congrats Penner, you have earned yourself a one-week pass from my criticisms, keep up the good work.
Varlamov stopped 30 shots, while Jonathan Quick stopped 13. This marked Quick’s first regulation loss of the season, which of course we all knew had to happen at some point, except for idiot who had the nerve to text me last night saying “Quick sucks. Totally overrated.” Oh, really? He’s overrated? Ok do me a favor. Delete my number from your phone, thanks. And while you’re at it, spend some time putting together logical thoughts before you go and run your mouth…or in this particular case, your fingers. Quick was in net for all three games of the road trip and is still ranked in the top three of every goaltending category. In fact, why don’t you try typing his name into youtube? The very first thing that comes up is “Jonathan Quick controls puck with his mind,” followed closely by “Jonathan Quick is supernatural.” So take that, person who shall not be named for the sake of your life. Ok, just kidding…sort of.
Moving on, the Kings will be back at Staples Center on Thursday to face former teammate Ryan Smyth and the Edmonton Oilers, who are currently ranked at the top of the Western Conference with help from outstanding rookie and number one draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Kings’ left winger Simon Gagné is still out with an injury, but will hopefully be back in time to face the Oilers. Gagné has seven points on the season so far and has proven himself to be a big offseason pickup for the Kings, just as long as he can stay healthy. Game time is 7:30 pm, you won’t want to miss it.
Click here for highlights from Kings vs. Avalanche 10/30/11