My Kings home opener celebration began a little earlier than I had initially anticipated because I was so antsy to leave work and get to LA Live. The Husband was starving and the Yard House was packed as usual so we made our way to Lawry's Carvery. They serve overpriced sandwiches but they're tasty (which I can't say about the food at the ESPN Zone) and they have $3 bottled beers, including Blue Moon and Stella Artois.
|hmmm....beer. it makes me happy.|
|Look Ma! It's Magic!|
|Do it. Do it. Do it.|
|brought to you by Ed Hardy|
|why was my husband looking at kids clothes? i don't know....|
I really enjoyed the player intros. I was wondering what this device was:
|What could that possibly be?|
|now that's pretty cool, right?|
Another absence I appreciated? Davis Gaines didn't sing the national anthem!
The game was fantastic as well! I sat in one of the sections behind the goal where the Kings shoot twice. From that viewpoint I was able to clearly see how the Kings break out of their zone. I was impressed with how well they were passing to each other and it seemed like they were really trying to open the game up by playing laterally, making a lot of cross-ice passes, even in tight situations. There were a couple close calls when a defenseman made a cross-ice pass literally a stick's length in front of Quick, but they were confident passes. It probably helped that the Blues were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights (thanks NHL scheduler!) because the Kings looked fresh and fast. Quick was on fire and tracked the puck really well even when there were multiple deflections.
Whenever I'm at the game it always seems like there are a lot of phantom penalties being called since you only get one look at it from one angle. Last night it seemed like several penalties called on both teams were ticky-tacky, but at least it wasn't one-sided. I really enjoyed watching Dustin Brown rough it up with the Blues and draw a penalty. The Captain's got a great talent! During the coaching staff intros, the Husband asked why people were booing Jamie Kompon so I had to explain about how the power play has been pretty terrible the past couple seasons so the majority of the fans blame Kompon. Well, it seems like the fans are going to have to eat crow because the Kings power play is getting the job done. We can't expect the Kings to score on every power play, but so far the Kings have had two game-winning power play goals (thanks, Jack!) and last night the power play looked pretty good most of the time.
Here are some quick and dirty thoughts about a couple players' performances:
Kopitar: Another great game. I can't get over how amazing he looks this season. Is it too early to start the "Anze for MVP" rally?
Brown: He did all the work on Stoll's goal, including setting it up perfectly and drew at least one penalty.
Gagne: He really exploded tonight.
Penner: I saw him in warm-ups and I couldn't help but imagine him whining to Coach Murray that he couldn't play because of some injury and Murray rolling his eyes and telling him to put a band-aid on it. I don't think Penner had that great of a game. I mostly noticed him when he was standing at the blue line and someone would pass it to him and he would just deflect it into the offensive zone and then skate off for a line change. I doubt he's 100% right now, but he still needs to be better because there's no crying in hockey!
Richards: I like him more and more with every game I watch. Do I see a Richards jersey in my future???
Voynov: The kid looks a lot bigger than the 5'-11" he's listed at. He had a pretty solid game tonight. If he keeps it up, once Doughty is healthy Martinez might need to book a flight to Manchester.
Quick: Like I said above, he had a fantastic game. He wasn't tested that much, but there definitely could have been some fluky goal off a second deflection, but Quick was all over the puck.
The only way this game could have been any better is if Gagne had a hat trick. Oh, and also if the hipster douchebags sitting in front of me didn't talk non-stop throughout the game about everything under the sun BUT hockey. Seriously, if you don't know anything about the game, then at least try to learn and if you're not going to pay attention, then LEAVE or at least don't talk so freaking loudly! (rant, done.)
It warmed my heart to see the fans standing through the last minute of the game cheering the Kings for putting on a great show. 5-0 against the Blues? Now that's how you start a season at home!