Red Wings at Kings: Hold On, Stay Strong
Kings: 1, Red Wings: 0
The truth about win streaks isn’t that you are obviously and unequivocally better than all the teams you’ve played, but that you consistently find ways to win games. And for the latter half of this now eight game win streak, tying the longest win streak in the NHL this season, more often than not the Kings are doing just that: finding a way.
Catching the Red Wings on the second half of a back-to-back, the Kings jumped out to an early lead off of a twice deflected power play goal, their first (proper) power play goal during this win streak. Muzzin’s shot from the point was nicked by Kopitar and then deflected by Justin Williams past Wings’ backup Jonas Gustavsson.
And that was the difference in the game.
The game continued for another 57 minutes or so, long stretches of which were played in the Kings zone, both due to an absurd amount of power plays granted to the NHL’s best power play team (5), as well as the Wings rather impressive ability to keep possession of the puck. But the Kings defense and penalty killing unit, very recently shouldering the bulk of the blame for the (previously) disappointing season, was splendidly stifling.
Same could be said for the Red Wings, who didn’t give up many chances either. The bulk of the game was played in a seemingly impenetrable neutral zone, or kept to the outside once in the zone. Not the most eventful hockey to witness, but for a team clinging tenuously to the last playoff spot in a surprising Western Conference, the two points are really all that matters.
Despite the win, the Red Wings are still a terrifying team with at times jaw-dropping skill, and as Kings fans we should be grateful that the only possible playoff matchup would now be reserved for the Stanley Cup Finals. Hopefully, the will be out by then.
But the Kings have won eight in a row, are in a real live playoff spot, and honestly, what’s to stop them from never losing ever again?
Lowered expectations are so rewarding!