Big Game Hunters

Well it’s simple to understand why the San Jose Sharks have been able to win 8 games in a row… they haven’t played the Los Angeles Kings since December 9th. But even easier to understand is how the Kings were able to completely dominate the Sharks tonight… you just stuff your net full of players so the Sharks can’t get the puck in! Simple as pie.

4 kings

4 of a kind.

And if putting 4 Kings in the crease doesn’t work… try harder!

5 kings

Full house.

 

Kings 6 (!), Sharks 2 (!), 2010 Perfect

As young teams mature, the question of whether that team can step up for big games becomes prevalent as games get more and more important. As the NHL heads into its 2nd half… every game from here on out is important. On Saturday, the Kings beat the Washington Capitals, the NHL’s #1 scoring team. And tonight… the Kings took on the NHL’s #2 scoring team. Saying the Sharks are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league is like saying Tiger Woods does just alright with the ladies. Saying the Sharks are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league is like saying America is having a small debt problem right now. Saying the Sharks are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league is like saying the iPhone is kinda popular. Saying the Sharks are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league… oh you get the drift. They are really good.

sharks 1st line

Oh and this line just happened to ALL make the Canadian Olympic team.

The Kings showed up for this game and they showed up in a big way. For the first 10 or so minutes, the Kings looked shaky overall, but for the 2nd game in a row… goaltender Jonathan Quick kept his team in it. How do I know that Jon Quick played an amazing game tonight? Because the front page of NHL.com only has a clever pun when a player does well, duh! NHL.com headline? Or what I look for in woman? YOU DECIDE!

quick_pun

This headline has been approved by the NHL Commissioner of Puns.

So a few minutes of Quick standing on his helmet to keep the Sharks out of the net and then… an explosion of King goals! Michal Handzus… Oscar Moller… Anze Kopitar… Ryan Smyth… Wayne Simmonds… Scott Parse. Or to put it in layman terms… 6 unanswered goals.

moller shortie

Oscar Moller. Tall enough to score NHL goals…
Not tall enough to ride The Matterhorn at Disneyland.
I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for Oscar Moller over the last season and a half. I think he has the offensive skills to be a Paul Karyia type player in the NHL… he just has the body of a Swedish Beany Baby. He’s been playing very well over the last few games and even though he’s been stuck on the 4th line… he’s been getting some quality time on the 2nd powerplay unit with Michal Handzus.
zeus and scar
“Zeus, I don’t know what Purcell is talking about… this is really easy.”
Sure, Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist tonight (after Mayor’s Manor called him out!) and Ryan Smyth scored a power play goal and Michal Handzus continued his goal scoring streak. (3 games and counting!) But for me… the real catalyst tonight was once again Brad Richardson. I wish there was some way I could graphically represent how hot this guy has been.
bradgfx
Well… I guess that works. I just wish it had more pictures and less text.
Pretty much the only guy from the Top 3 lines that didn’t have a point tonight was Alexander Frolov. Oh.. and Teddy Purcell. And with 3 wins in the 3 games that Teddy has been a healthy scratch, I think Coach Murray has finally found the best position for Purcell on this Kings team… sitting in the Press Box. I mean, even Matt Greene couldn’t believe what he was seeing out on the ice tonight.
green o face
But even with all the goals and the 45 saves by Jon Quick… the real story tonight was Drew Doughty and his 4 assists. If 3 goals scored in a row is a natural hat trick… what is 4 assists in a row called?
king dough
Satisfied with his play on the ice, Drew Doughty spends the remainder of the game
working on his Elvis Presley imitation.
Sure you can cue all the “Doughty for Norris” talk that you want… the real story will be when Doughty DOESN’T win the Norris Trophy because of old-fashioned East Coast Bias.
piece of dough
“Scuds, we’re both Olympians! We’re gonna get so many chicks in Vancouver.”
“Shut up.”
“Hey guys! I was a Jr. Olympian for Sweden! Cool, huh?!”
How impressive was Doughty’s night tonight? Well, consider that in the past 10 games the Sharks hadn’t allowed a 1st period goal. Doughty had 3 assists… in the 1st period. His play tonight even got Anze Kopitar thinking about making a switch on the top line.
kopidough
“So, you ever considering maybe playing right wing?
Could really use you up here.”
DOUGHTY+1st+card+nhlentrydraft2008COM

“Oh, I guess you have played Right Wing before.”
20-year-old Drew Doughty and the rest of the Kings made fast work of all-world goalie Evgeni Nabokov tonight, chasing him out of the net for the 3rd period.
nabby sits
I’m always amazed at how non-threatening NHL goalies look like when they don’t have their masks on.
89855081
Yup, that’s about right.
3 games into 2010… and 3 victories… including 2 against the best in the NHL. These Kings are looking very strong. And how can you tell that a team is tight? By how they support each other.
fro zu
“Zeus… can you teach me how to score again?
Shhh, go to sleep, Fro. Put your head back down.”
The Kings start a 7 (!) game home-stand this Thursday at Staples Center. The Royal Half will be there and I’m just glad it’s against one of those lame non-playoff Western Conference teams.
wings
Shit. This never ends well.
As always, check out the awesome Fear the Fin and the incorrigible Couch Tarts for all the San Jose news and rumors that is fit to print.
The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.