TRH RECAP 9: YOU CAN’T DO THAT!

KINGS 2, FLYERS 3 (OT)

 

Do you remember where you were when it was announced that the Kings had completed a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers? The deal that sent Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second-round pick to Philly in exchange for Flyers captain Mike Richards. I was being picked up from a VA meeting place in Panorama City. The hall where I was donating blood was empty, but there dozens of photos of old members from the 1940s and 1950s, all watching as I was drained of my blood.

I excused myself to use the restroom before my brother picked me up, and went through a door to find myself in a full-on diner. The building, which I thought was semi-abandoned, turned out to be a bustling place where vets could come and have a cup of coffee and pancakes. Or whiskey! I found out about the trade on Twitter as I was standing at a urinal.

HELL YEAH!

HELL YEAH!

It’s inevitable that the storyline surrounding every Kings-Flyers matchup will revolve around Mike Richards. Yes, his partner-in-crime Jeff Carter was shipped-out of town at around the same time, but under different circumstances; Mike Richards was the captain of the Flyers. A proven winner at every level, Richie was everything a Flyers fan could want in a captain: gritty, undersized, talented, and someone who wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves.

The file was literally named  "Richardssmiles.jpg"

The file was literally named “Richardssmiles.jpg”

For Kings fans, Brayden Schenn was the future. Despite a few minor hiccups in his development, he was touted as a player that had a ceiling on par with a player like Richards. Simmonds was the type of player that Philly loves: a rough-and-tumble forward who gets in thrives in the dirty places, has the ability to put up good numbers, and will stand-up for his teammates.

For the first time this year, the Kings played a game that really kinda felt like a playoff game; not in the sense that there was something at stake, but rather, the style of play. For much of the second period, which featured no goals, the pace could be described as “frenzied.” The Flyers have really transformed their team from a bunch of undersized scorers into a group of fearsome AHL forecheckers, but with a core of legitimate NHL superstars.

Voracek

 

As you may have figured, it was That 70’s Line that opened the scoring (for the Kings).

It was dreadfully apparent that Anze Kopitar wasn’t in the lineup, and to the naked eye, it felt like the Kings’ strategy of “hold on to the puck as long as possible” was replaced by a style more conducive to the roster that they had on the ice (and the bench). Two problems were presented because of this: one, Jordan Nolan and Andy Andreoff would be forced to play without a set line. Because of this, both players fell through the cracks, resulting in a comically low combined ice time of 10:50 (Andreoff played only 4:04). Secondly, Kopitar wasn’t playing. This is presented a challenge for every aspect of the Kings’ strategy, and it certainly looked like it on the ice.

Sexy Mitts

With Kopitar out, and Darryl Sutter forgetting that he had defensive stalwarts (that’s sarcasm) Nolan and Andreoff on the bench, other players were forced to play more minutes than typically expected of them. So, naturally, Dwight King led the Kings forwards with ice time, because he must have sold his soul or something.

DwightApprovesREAL

It was Richards who tied up the game in the third period with a glorious putback off what may be Drew Doughty’s finest whiff ever.

Drew Doughty does a lot of great things on the ice. He’s the best defenseman in the world, and his facial hair makes me chuckle. But I could watch video of him winding up for this shot over-and-over again.

Dewey's reaction when he found out his attempted shot turned into a goal, and not an embarrassing highlight

Dewey’s reaction when he found out his attempted shot turned into a goal, and not an embarrassing highlight.

The game wasn’t decided after 60 minutes, so they had to play a few more. That’s when it happened: former Kings superstar prospect, and current underachieving Flyer of record, Brayden Schenn found himself on a breakaway in OT. He deked; he dangled, and he pushed Jonathan Quick INTO the goal!

YOU CAN'T DO THAT

YOU CANNOT DO THAT.

Violent Precious scene as Doughty and Schenn are unable to come to a gentleman’s agreement.

After further review, the powers that be decided … well, I don’t know what they decided, but they concluded that the goal should count.

Jonathan Quick did not respond well.

I disagree, sir.

That’s Quickenese for: “I disagree, sir.”

And so down went the Kings. They face the Pittsburgh Penguins next. Whether Kopitar or Trevor Lewis return to the lineup is not known, so the Kings might have to use the “emergency player” loophole to call-up a player from Manchester. Word was that that player would be Jordan Weal, but there have reportedly been setbacks in discussions with the league.

…welp.

John Siegel is a lunatic who writes about hockey, east coast bias, and content marketing. He rarely takes anything seriously, there's a good chance he's drinking right now. You can follow him on Twitter @JVNSiegel but you probably shouldn’t.