The Key Three: Dec. 13
Three key aspects of the Kings' 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.
1. HOLIDAY SPIRIT
The Kings, it seems, were in the giving mood Tuesday. From the opening faceoff, there were neutral-zone and defensive-zone turnovers aplenty. If nothing else, given all the turmoil that had taken place in the organization over the previous 24 hours, the Kings figured to play a basic, simple game, one that limited mistakes and allowed them to play intense and smart. Instead, early in the game, the puck was all over the place. An inability to keep track of it directly led to the Bruins’ first goal -- that, and a defensive-zone lapse by Andrei Loktionov -- and throughout the first two periods, the Kings struggled with turnovers.
2. START TO FORGET
Given the emotional day they had, with the firing of Terry Murray and the appointment of John Stevens as interim coach, the Kings could have gone one of two ways Tuesday. They could have come out with a ton of emotion, fire and vigor, and taken the game to the Bruins, or they could have been uncertain and sloppy. Turns out, it was the latter. Just 18 seconds into the game, Slava Voynov got called for interference. The Bruins didn’t score, but they were dangerous and set a tone. Six minutes later, the Bruins were on the scoreboard, and the Kings were in the penalty box twice more in the first period.
3. ANOTHER BRICK WALL
Want to look outstanding these days, if you’re a goalie? Sign up to play the Kings. The Kings have now recorded two or fewer goals in nine consecutive games. In their previous two, they had made winners out of youngsters Matt Hackett (Minnesota) and Richard Bachman (Dallas), both of whom were making their first NHL starts. At least Tuesday’s goalie, Tuukka Rask, is an established goalie who is having a strong season overall. The Kings had a staggering total of 80 shots directed to the net (41 shots on goal, 25 shots blocked, 14 missed shots) but couldn’t put one of them past Rask, who was on top of his game.