Sharks at Kings: Raise a Stanley Cup banner, lose, regular day
Yesterday I was overwhelmed with joy about the return of the hockey season. Today I’m wishing it was summer again, but that’s partly because the Kings will have actually played well and won something.
It’s not an LA Kings home opener unless they’re embarrassing themselves in front of all of their fans.
— Los Angeles Clippers (@LAClippers) October 9, 2014
And the LA Clippers’ head coach. Doc, no! I hope you left early!
During the Kings’ last banner raising against the Chicago Blackhawks, they had four goals against after two periods. They did the exact same thing against the Sharks this season, except this time they didn’t even bother eventually scoring two pointless goals just to prevent a shutout situation.
Tommy Wingels scored the first goal from a bad angle on a shot that shouldn’t have gone into the net, but Jonathan Quick loves hugging the post low. 1-0. The Kings prevented any more goals against in the first period, but Wingels would continue his reign of terror for the night by drawing a penalty against Kyle Cifford. Disgraced and renewed alternate captain Patrick Marleau grabbed a power play goal. 2-0.
Two-goal deficits were generally surmountable in the playoffs, but instead of coming back, the Kings decided to allow another goal. Drew Doughty’s long shot was blocked and sent out of the zone. He and Brayden McNabb didn’t get into gear fast enough to prevent Wingels from gaining speed and just enough space down the middle to corral a bouncing puck and go forehand, backhand on Quick.
Then, like last season’s home opener, Quick took a prime opportunity to make an unfortunate gaffe. This one wasn’t an own goal. Instead it was a classic case of misplaying the puck behind-the-net, though perhaps Mike Richards and Robyn Regehr also hold some blame for allowing Matt Nieto to score.
“I fucked up.”
Richards looked decent in preseason but that didn’t translate to this first game worth points in the standings. Luckily for him nobody looked outstanding, so there’s nowhere to go but up, but it’d be nice to see the benefits of that personal trainer earlier in the season rather than later.
So, heading into the third period the Kings were down 4-0. That’s exactly how things would stay, too, because the Kings didn’t even get a shot on goal until almost ten minutes into the final period. The numbers say they managed to generate a respectable number of shot attempts. Only Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter finished with negative Corsi differentials, but it seemed like the Kings had trouble with making clean zone exits and didn’t generate a whole lot of rebound opportunities either. Ho hum.
The LA Kings are now 0-2 on Stanley Cup banner-raising nights, which would be a bummer if it weren’t for the fact that they’ve now had two banner ceremonies.
I guess we’ll all live.