The Sharks ended up tying the series with another home-ice win. I, at least, expected the Sharks to take at least one game at home seeing how they've only lost in their home arena twice this year.
The referees are getting a lot of attention this series for their calls causing; a Kings 5on3 powerplay that ended up winning Game 2 for the Kings, A Sharks 5on3 powerplay that led to the Sharks winning Game 3, and a quick whistle freezing play that would have otherwise resulted in a Kings goal that eded up being the difference in the final score.
You can moan and groan about how Tuesday night's game should have gone into overtime, but it really shouldn't have. The Kings only played 20-25 minutes of good hockey.
The shots were even 23-23 at the end of the game. The Kings had 9 shots through the first and second periods. The Sharks had 2 shots in the 3rd period. The Kings out hit the Sharks 53-36, granted the Kings barely had the puck for the first period and registered many of those hits then. But, the Sharks faced a similar situation in the third and the Kings still out hit them.
Imagine if the Kings had played the entire game, or even just two periods, the way they played in the third.
Not to discredit what the Sharks did these past two games. Especially last night, they came out flying, looking like they wanted to win. The Kings on the other hand, looked like they didn't want it.
No forecheck. Losing 50/50 puck battles. Essentially zero offensive zone time. It sure didn't look like the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings (no I never get tired of typing/saying that phrase).
Additionally; Jeff Carter isn't scoring, the Kopitar-Brown-Williams line is being shut down.
Once again, Alec Martinez was NOT in the Kings lineup and once again the Kings lost. 0-4 without Martinez. 6-0 with. If you're thinking, "Come on, enough with the Alec Martinez stuff. The Kings would have lost both those games anyway," I have news for you; I'm not the only person who feels this way about Martinez. Let's take to twitter.
Obviously, Alec Martinez was the problem.
— The Royal Half (@theroyalhalf) May 22, 2013
I wonder when Darryl Sutter will notice that scratching Alec Martinez correlates with the Kings playing horribly.
— Driving Play (@DrivingPlay) May 19, 2013
After Jake Muzzin missed a point blank, wide-open net scoring opportunity...
Alec Martinez would've scored that.
— PumperNicholl (@PumperNicholl) May 22, 2013
SO. I think we know where I stand as far as which defensemen we should use Thursday night.
Who do you take out though?
Matt Greene: on ice for both a Sharks goal and lone Kings goal, 4 hits. Veteran experience. Not much playing time this year. Most likely to sit next game.
Slava Voynov: No. (A few defensive zone turnovers, one which led to a Sharks goal, last night but he's too much of an offensive assest to sit.)
Rob Scuderi: No. I don't understand why he wasn't a Vezina Trophy candidate. (Old video, I know, but he's been making similar plays all playoffs this year)
Instead of listing all of the Kings defensemen and saying why they shouldn't be scratched, I'll just say this: Sit Matt Greene. Put in Martinez. The only issue is that Marinez is a left-handed shot, where as Greene is right. That can cause funkiness as far as D pairings go, but as far as pairings with the "Stay-at-home" and "two-way" offensive D-Men go, they should be fine.
Doughty can play both a stay-at-home and offensive role on defense, and he has been which is why he's leading the team in ice time, and it's pretty evident we need all the offensive firepower we can get.
Stoll's absence is still being felt on the PK. Faceoffs however, Brad Richardson was 50% for faceoffs. Which isn't a terrible stat. Still room for improvement though as the Sharks won the faceoff battle 34-26.
If the Kings put together 3 periods like they did in last night's third period, get their top scorers to be exactly that, and play Alec Martinez, they'll win the series. It won't be easy. I see the series going 7 games, tops.
Unfortunately, it looks like Daryl Sutter doesn't see eye to eye with me on this whole Martinez issue.
#LAKings line combos at practice 13-11-14/25-10-77/74-22-23/15-24-73-71///44-8/7-26/6-2/27-5
— Jim Fox (@JimFox19) May 22, 2013
In other news, Dustin Penner sees some humor in how he got robbed of a goal last night.
“@lakings: WATCH: gets one past Niemi, but the refs blow the whistle - ow.ly/likOs” it's a league smoke youtu.be/K5F9JLfMSYI
— Dustin Penner (@Dustinpenner25) May 22, 2013
*Click on link in Penner's tweet to see his video*
At least he didn't pull out a gun after the call. (If you haven't seen The Big Lebowski I highly recommend it.)
Follow on twitter @SuttersLonghorn for my stream of consciousness during games/random tweets during the day/stupid puns/my new hashtag #lakingsbandnames (feel free to add your own)