Waking up with the Kings: March 23

What else is there to say? The Kings dominated the run of play, had the better looks with the man advantage and tilted the ice for the entire 60 minutes and lost 2-1 Tuesday night in St. Paul. That the team was without several key offensive cogs probably had an impact in the narrow loss, but if the team demonstrates that type of puck possession proficiency every night over the course of a season, they win about 60 games. This was a loss we’ve seen before, and there’s no cause for concern. Los Angeles is a high-volume shot team, and sometimes those shots just don’t go in. There’s not much else to say about a defeat in which the Kings out-attempted their opponents 74-32. It was a fine effort.

Los Angeles Kings v Minnesota Wild

Devan Dubnyk’s Glove 3, Drew Doughty 0. After the first high-grade power play shot on goal that Dubnyk snared, Doughty cocked his head to the side in incredulity and skated back to the Kings bench. It was during a first period power play in which Los Angeles had generated a bevy of B+ looks while setting up shop in the offensive zone, but Doughty, who is experiencing the finest year of his distinguished career, couldn’t beat the Minnesota goaltender following adroit puck movement that had pristinely set him up for a blast from well inside the left point. Dubnyk made two more strong glove saves on Doughty, and hey, sometimes it’s just not your night. (Or, maybe it was Doughty’s night, considering he registered 13 shot attempts.) Darryl Sutter said that he had liked the Kings’ power play movement in Nashville the night before; if that was the case, he may have been penning an opus about the movement against Minny. Sometimes when you go 0-for-4, luck just isn’t on your side. That was the case on Tuesday, and it has generally been the case since Vincent Lecavalier’s goal against the Capitals. Since then they’re 0-for-20 on the man advantage, even though they’ve slung the puck around quite well on most nights. Expect the drought to end against Winnipeg, should they receive enough power play time (and given that the Jets have the second most minor penalties in the league, they probably will).


Hey, let’s see what happens with another game of Nic Dowd. The rookie was assertive in his debut, strong on the boards in winning battles and finding open teammates and lived up to the characterization that he is capable of making plays. On the other hand, he was serving a penalty taken in the offensive zone when Mikko Koivu scored the game winner on a nice fake around Jake Muzzin after Ryan Suter impressively held two key pucks in at the blue line. Dowd is part of that next wave of prospects coming up through the organization and in the future, should he assert himself well at this level, could ultimately absorb some playing time from other centers such as Andy Andreoff and Nick Shore (though Andreoff’s versatility at wing is an asset, and both Andreoff and Shore are young and should experience an upward arc in their games, as well).


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