The Key Three: Dec. 8
Three key aspects of the Kings' 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
1. STUMBLING START
After a deflating loss to Anaheim, and with the NHL’s top team in town, a team that doesn’t allow many goals, the Kings must have known that a strong start would be needed against Minnesota. So, what did they do? Make a sloppy pass on the first shift of the game and watched the puck end up in their net. Then, less than a minute later, they compounded the error by taking a goalie-interference penalty. The Kings picked up their play in the second half of the first period, but by then the Wild had confidence and a 1-0 lead. Did the Kings learn their lesson? Well, no, because they allowed a goal 1:25 into the second period.
2. POWERLESS POWER PLAY
The Kings caught a couple breaks five minutes into the second period. Anze Kopitar survived a scary crash into the boards, after a hit from Kyle Brodziak, and the Kings had a power play for 3 minutes, 38 seconds, with a golden chance to cut into the Wild’s 2-0 lead. Not only did the Kings not score a goal, but they didn’t even record a shot on goal during the power play. After it ended, the entire team seemed to go into a funk -- other than Kopitar, who returned and turned in some inspired shifts -- and sleep-walked through the rest of the period. The Wild scored a third goal, with four minutes left in the period, and that was that.
3. QUICK CAN’T DO IT ALL
It has rarely happened this season, but historically, when Jonathan Quick gets himself in trouble in front of his net, it’s by being too aggressive, taking himself out of position at times, trying to do too much. That might have been the case Thursday. Who could blame Quick, though, if he felt he needed to take the game on his shoulders and steal it? The Kings haven’t scored more than two goals in a game in more than two weeks. Quick’s game is best when he’s ``quiet’’ and composed in the crease. Giving up the early goal, on a broken play, didn’t help things. Then again, goaltending is the least of the Kings’ concerns right now.