The Kings finally exploded offensively and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. Kings fans attending their home opener on Tuesday night were treated to an offensive flurry and a dominant performance over the St. Louis Blues. Here are my thoughts from last night’s game:
-Top line of Kopitar, Gagne, and Williams looks really good. Originally we were looking at Penner playing on Kopitar’s left side, but I’d expect Gagne to stick around for a while, especially if they continue to click like they did last night.
-If that means the second line is Richards, Penner, Brown then I’m not mad. Ricky (which is apparently what the team has been calling Richards) is a hard-nosed player, as is Brown. Add in Penner and the second line is going to be tough to play against.
-Penner looked alright despite being a question mark before the game. I think some of the heat for him to perform has been taken off by the attention on the new guys and Doughty’s injury, so it may be prime time for Penner to prove he can be a solid contributor to the team. I’m always impressed by Penner’s ability to use his reach and hands to steal pucks from behind, as long as he’s not relying on it and doesn’t stop moving his legs.
-Voynov had a good first game for the Kings. He’s a smart player and defends well positionally, which is usually a shortcoming of rookies. As long as no one is expecting him to be Doughty, Voynov will do just fine. I’m interested in seeing if his puck moving ability will prove itself on the powerplay.
-Quick is seeing the puck very well. His vision and flexibility are his strong suits and they were on last night in his shutout performance. However, Quick still ends up on his stomach more often than I’d like. You just can’t satisfy some people…
-Kopitar looked dominant last night. He started hot last season too then cooled off a bit. Is this the season he gets recognized as one of the best centers in the league? Or will it just be another point per game year for him (what a tragedy that would be)?
-Oh, and Kopitar’s saucer pass to Gagne was a thing of beauty. Gagne’s patience on that goal was great as well.
-As a team, the Kings’ passing was crisp, creative, and unpredictable. It wasn’t just “dump and chase” hockey, it was puck possession, in control hockey and the Kings dominated in that regard.
The Kings head to Phoenix to face-off against the Coyotes(2-2-1) on Thursday.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney