Kings at Penguins: Snoozes and Shutouts
I don’t know if you know this, but the Penguins power play is the best in the league. In fact, it was operating at an astounding 40.6% going in to last night’s game. So the Kings knew exactly what they had to do to be successful, especially with so many elite penalty killers out with injury: stay out of the box. Robyn Regehr even said so himself!
For such a structured team, this would not be a problem whatsoever!
Three penalties in the first 9 minutes of the game, including a 5-on-3, would be all Pittsburgh needed, as the Kings offense was borderline embarrassing, and the game turned out to be so boring, I genuinely do not remember large chunks of it.
Three of the penalties were in the offensive zone, including both of Mike Richards’ penalties, and whatever goodwill he earned by scoring in Philly was quickly erased.
Pretty much after the Penguins went up 2-0 in the first period, the game was a complete snooze-fest. The Kings would allegedly get 36 shots on net, but mostly because they were shooting from the redline, and not because they actually came remotely close to scoring.
There were, however, a few things of note:
– Jarret Stoll successfully talked himself out of penalty in the second period, which I have never seen happen before in my life.
– Justin Williams and Evgeni Malkin decided to wage the first Conn Smythe Winner-on-Conn Smythe Winner fight ever (*extremely unverified), and because of this special place they hold in history, the refs decided to give them 2 minute penalties for roughing instead of 5 for fighting.
Malkin was upset with a Dustin Brown drive-by almost kneeing, so of course, he decided to take it out on the lightest & prettiest player on the Kings. Little does he know that angry Justin Williams is the best kind of Justin Williams.
After that, Chris Kunitz scored one more time. Then, in last minute attempts to salvage some dignity by not letting Marc-Andre Fleury shut them out, the Kings goaltender Martin Jones vacated the net for an extra skater.
Fleury, recognizing his golden opportunity to score his first career goal, took a shot at the empty net, which would have made sitting through this game worthwhile had it gone in, but it was not to be.
Alas. It’s another few hours of our lives we will never get back.
Remember that 6-0 home-stand? Neither do I. The Kings have now been shutout in 3 of their first 10 games, which is…not good? Maybe they are saving up all of their goals for games they will win, which is actually quite efficient, if you think about it.
Help us Trevor Lewis, you’re our only hope.