I'm starting to realize that it's going to be tough for me to keep pace with the rest of the Kings blogosphere with the two-hour time-zone difference between Austin and LA. I'd say it's because by the time the games end it's time for me to go to sleep, but that wouldn't be very truthful. Especially if you know of my social habits, that lie isn't very believable. Weekday games will be more of my specialty.
Anyway, I saved a lot of time last night because I narrowly avoided having to send out an Amber Alert thanks to the two goals scored by Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. About freaking time, boys.
I was afraid that Carter's two front teeth were the equivalent to Sampson's long hair, but that fear was laid to rest thanks to the signature Jeff Carter "Forehand-Backhand-score" deke that got the Kings on the board to cut the Blue's lead in half.
I'll have to start using that one when I play NHL13.
But despite the two leading scorers on the team FINALLY scoring goals, there were some other standouts. First, since when did Kyle Clifford know how to stickhandle AND skate backwards with the puck? He did a good job of grinding down low to give his other O-Men time to get in the zone and try to get a cycle going.
Dustin Penner has once again ramped up his level of play when it matters most, and @mayorNHL John Hoven has used #playoffpenner to describe it. I'd argue that I came up with this hashtag (or a variation of it) earlier this year when the Kings played in Dallas on Easter, but I have no proof of that
But back to Penner, he's really utilizing his size and ablility to throw his body around and flatten the opposition...like a pancake (if the pancake jokes are past their prime, let me know. Then when I continue to use pancake puns I'll know it will be looked at as old news).
However, I'm more of a fan of #playoffmartinez. This guy has 2 points in two games, and was a part of that juicy 3-on-1 that gave the aforementioned #playoffpenner a goal. After looking at his stats from the past two seasons and last year's playoffs, there isn't really a noticeable jump in his play statistically. But if you remember watching earlier this season, although it's been such a while (...oh wait...), he was shaky on the blue-line and wasn't locking it down on defense.
Despite him basically being a non-factor all season (27 GP), I've noticed him upping the intensity. It'll be interesting to see how he does going forward for the remaining 14 games for the Kings. (16-2 anyone?)
Hopefully this last game sticks in Brian Elliot's mind, because before last night he was playing like a madman (and even last night he stopped 25/29 shots). After the Kings' push in the 3rd period he looked very unsure of himself. It seemed after every shot he would freeze and not know where the puck was. But we'll see if that carries over to his home rink.
I wouldn't expect another blog until probably Game 6. Shout out to Professor Seaholm, thanks for the take-home essay final. But until then be sure to follow me on Twitter @SuttersLonghorn for my thoughts, comments, concerns, jubilations, and all things hockey.