The Kings got pinned to the floor by the Ducks last night in a VERY boring affair that ended 1-3. Eric “Bergie” Ersberg got the start to successfully work his way back after suffering a mid December groin-strain. The Kings in front of Bergie, however, appeared to be the ones with the “Balls” problem. Of course they’re being lead by the balls on offense by coach Terry Murray who doesn’t have the Ducks team in purple that he truly desires.
The worst part about this game is that it highlights the bloated schedule and the watered down talent level in the bloated NHL. Add to this the media-driven demand for commercial timeouts and its a wonder that some of these games aren’t used for nap-time. It also doesn’t help seeing such an intense and impassioned bout between Sweden and Canada in the WJC’s the previous night.
Bobby Ryan and Sammi Pahlsson scored to give the Ducks enough to beat the Kings and Scott Neidermeier added a long range empty-netter that would have made a Russian jealous had they seen it. Of course even if this game were broadcast in Russia, the channel would have been turned prior to the last minute of play.
Tonight was one of those games where I wish I’d checked the Inside the Kings blog before watching on DVR. There wasn’t even a bout between Parros and Ivanans, but that might be due to the fact that Murrays 4th line continues to top out at 6 minutes a night. Not a bad way to earn thousands of dollars if you ask me. And I continue to expect Brian Boyle to get traded if they’re not going to use the kid in any positive way. Oddly enough, the Kings have talked about Boyle playing with energy and ferocity, and though he and Ivanans had the best hits of the night (and there wasn’t much else to be taken from this game besides Boyle’s punishing check in the 2nd), but in this tepid affair Boyle’s minutes decreased from Saturday night against Philadelphia.
Quincey scored the lone goal for the Kings – a long range shot that was nicely placed in the top left corner – but that was about all the Kings could muster besides a few chances that weren’t finished off. Brown was particularly guilty of both taking the night off, and of spurning the best scoring opportunity of the night on a pass that came across the crease too quickly for the Captain to react.
Defensively the club is pacing itself well despite the increased shakiness of both Drew Doughty and Kyle Quincey who appear to be buckling under the strain of top minutes. These are some young guys and we’ll see if all this ice-time makes them even greater in a year or two. They’re getting plenty of time to learn, but the penalties against Doughty lately make me wonder if he couldn’t use more support in trying to carry this defense. Perhaps with the WJC’s in the past we’ll see some new faces on the King’s D before too long.