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Wake Up Kings! – CaliSports News

There are certain teams I can’t stand losing to, as we all know by now. Vegas has to top that list. After two successful attempts against them in the past month and four wins in a row, I was tentatively optimistic about the outcome. It was, however, an afternoon game in which the King’s opponent played their backup goalie, so it really could have gone either way. The King’s way was too much to hope for, it appeared.
Based on the first Vegas was going to steamroll the Kings. (Which they kind of did.) While Los Angeles did get off to a good start, it lasted about three minutes. Lots of chances but none really challenging Subban; inevitably the tide turned. 4:55 in Vegas got a few lucky bounces and deflections ending in a goal, similar to the one benefiting us last game. It’s much more fun when it goes our way, for sure. That’s when the Knights took it away. Instead of steeling themselves and showing them this is our house thank you very much, the Kings folded in on themselves and couldn’t handle the puck to save their lives. It was quite pathetic actually. Couldn’t get out of the neutral zone, couldn’t handle it when it was in their defensive zone, and Quick was making me *very* nervous. He looked off-kilter, he didn’t know where the puck was half the time, even when it was in his glove! and the posts were making a few saves themselves. The defense wasn’t helping him out, playing sloppily and confused in front of him. And offense? Please. The Kings didn’t have a shot on goal from 10:41 until 19:54. When it did finally get to that end, they either couldn’t get a shot off or couldn’t shoot straight to save their lives. Their only good play came with 4.4 seconds remaining when Anze Kopitar actually kept a play alive (tenacity, what?) and in the scramble found Subban slightly vulnerable. It was perfect timing to tie up the game, with a wrist shot from the circle, but wow boys please take the time to wake up before the first period next afternoon game! You can’t expect to not shoot for literally half the game then tie it up on two shots within a second of each other. They left the first with only 8 shots on goal, 2 in the last 6 seconds. 


Also please wake up for the second period, that would be great. The Kings settled back into their slumber coming out again, despite having a power play 56 seconds in. Once again we were reminded of just how bad their power play can be, as the puck didn’t make it near Subban at all. Made it close to Quick though – does someone need to remind the Kings a power play means *they* have the man advantage?? Play like it! But just as Vegas we’re doubling shots on goal in the first (6-12 a few plays before that tying goal), they continued throughout the second. 9-18 about halfway through, meaning the Kings had 1 shot on goal for the first half of the period. 1. By the time it was 12-24 the Kings had wasted a huge wraparound chance and another power play. Also, Vegas scored again. Luff had a terrible turnover in front of Quick, which Stasney picked up easily and fed to Tuch. Honestly, it was inevitable and fair – the Kings were not playing good hockey. Quick was still having issues tracking the puck, the offense was nowhere to be seen, and the defense was spotty at best. A McFleurry goal wasn’t going to happen, and the Kings left the period lucky to only be down 2-1.

Any thoughts of a third-period comeback were dashed quickly. It was easy to see the Kings just weren’t going to rally, especially when 3:20 in while the Kings were attempting several shots on goal in a row, something that hadn’t happened all game Karlsson picked up the rebound and went with the breakaway. Perhaps the Kings were confused as to what was happening after all actually having zone time was a different beast for them up until this period. So sure, they weren’t quite ready to react, so Karlsson got his goal and everything felt awful. It didn’t take long, either, to feel worse, when a fourth goal followed. For once, a goalie interference call actually went the King’s way, when it was deemed that Reeves pushed LaDue into Quick leaving him unable to fully play his position. Woohoo, only 3-1! Except that once again the Kings play wasn’t looking encouraging. They were still unable to sufficiently wrangle the puck, and whoa do their passes need work. Badly. It felt like it took forever to put the Kings out of their misery; an empty-net goal with 2:32 remaining still left just enough play to cry through. (Also Kings? Don’t pull your goalie until you’re absolutely sure you have possession of the puck. Just a thought. It might make it harder to score that empty net.) The icing on the cake was an amateur hour ‘delay of game’ penalty with 52 seconds remaining. Seriously Kings? Finally, the nightmare was over, leaving game 5 on New Years Day to be the decider of the series, which currently stands 2-2. Here’s to it being a happy new year for Kings fans, yes?

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