Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Congratulations to the Kings

You have to hand it to Los Angeles and new coach Terry Murray, who managed to pull out their first win of the season against Anaheim tonight despite icing a defence core that looked like so (with minutes played):

Tom Preissing 23:56
Sean O'Donnell 22:03
Peter Harrold 17:55
Matt Greene 16:06
Denis Gauthier 15:56
Drew Doughty 15:52

Doughty apparently left this one with flu-like symptoms, which at this point could mean absolutely anything. In case you missed it, Jack Johnson's out for quite a while with a bum shoulder, so this is going to be the crew going forward.

You also have to feel pretty good for Jason LaBarbera, who has been phenomenal so far this season despite the fact the Kings came into this one winless. There was an awful lot of nonsense written in the off-season about how Los Angeles needed better goaltending than he provided last year, but that's simply not the case.

It was the backups that let this team down in 2007-08. LaBarbera posted a save percentage (.910) equal to Vezina finalist Evgeni Nabokov last year and remains one of the league's most underrated backstops.

The Kings' team save percentage was just .900 last season but is at .919 after three games.



At 2:06 a.m., October 15, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Expect waiver wire pickup Kyle Quincey to work his way in and out of that lineup as well. I think Gauthier is the guy that has the most precarious hold on a full time job in there, though Harrold was the #7 before Johnson went down.

I think the Kings will compete this year. They'll still be sellers, but I have a hard time thinking with all their high end young talent they'll keep to the basement, though obviously injuries seem to be working against them already.

At 4:01 a.m., October 15, 2008, Blogger Chris Kontos said...

The Kings sure looked competitive tonight. But the Ducks looked horrible. Just horrible. They were all over the place defensively and couldn't stay out of the box. Harrold is an up and comer. He hasn't really had a chance the last few years but with Johnson out, he will get it now.

At 11:37 a.m., October 15, 2008, Blogger RudyKelly said...

I can't decide if I should feel proud that the Kings won with that defensive core or terrified because that's what we're going to roll with for the next 2 months.

Terry Murray said he was going to ride Jason Labarbera and give him around 65 games this year. Hopefully he can stay healthy so he can go sign with a Canadian team next year and suddenly lead them to glory while everyone wonders how the Kings could have gotten rid of him.

I think Harrold will sit once Quincey gets his legs under him because Gauthier can bring a physical element that Tom Preissing needs.


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