Predators punk Kings to puncture streak

Game 17: Predators 3, Kings 1

When I was getting ready to go to work on Saturday, I realized the game was on at 1 p.m. So I turned on Prime Ticket to find Oregon playing Stanford. Then I checked my area code. Yup, still in Southern California. I flipped up a channel to see UCLA playing Washington. At least UCLA's a local team, but still...

I spent 10 minutes, first looking on the TV, then online, to try and find a free feed to watch the game. Alas, my search turned up nothing. The best I could do was tune into Nick and Daryl on an old AM shower radio to listen to the game. Not a bad alternative, mind you. But still, here are the Kings, off to one of their best starts ever, finally producing some truly exciting hockey, and they are nowhere to be found on the TV. More on this later.

Turns out, that wasn't such a bad thing, as the Kings finally lost in regulation in eight games to the Nashville Predators. Perhaps it was bound to happen, as they played at such a high level Thursday against the Stanley Cup champs. Nick mentioned on the radio broadcast that the difference between the level of play, such as the crispness of passes and offensive chances between Thursday and Saturday were immense. Daryl quipped "I just don't see it, Nick." The level of play was apparent to everyone in the building, and maybe it was a little bit of a letdown from the Pittsburgh game. But that's seems highly unlikely, as the Kings have been playing to a different drum this season.

In previous seasons, the Kings would seemingly tailor their game attack to their opponent. This season, they have bought into coach Murray's system, and focus on playing that system, letting other teams adjust to their gameplan. Well on Saturday, Nashville didn't have to adjust very much, as their were able to hold off L.A. from scoring for two periods.

The Kings were never going to go undefeated very long. That's just the ebb and flow of the game. The important thing is to see how they respond against the Chi-Hawks on Monday. Now that game will be "nationally" broadcast, and I say "nationally," because it's on Versus. A lot of vemon has been spewed about the NHL not being on a major network (cough... ESPN... cough), so it's really well-travelled. I will say that The Kings shouldn't have been pre-empted because of an Oregon/Stanford game. It wouldn't have mattered, since all of the key TV production guys were at the Rose Bowl for the UCLA/Washington game. And since there was a Clipper game on Prime Ticket Saturday night, all of Fox Sports TV crew were already going to put in a full day anyway. They aren't gonna pay overtime just because Staples is double-booked. And advertising revenue is higher at night, so televising a day game falls way below a primetime basketball game, even if it's the Clippers.

But still...

• AP: Kings pays for sluggish start
    “They came into the building short-handed with some players out who are important players for them, but they came in with an attitude and a game plan that was based on hard work and grit. And it worked for them,” Kings coach Terry Murray said.
• Listless Kings fall flat against Predators, lose 3-1
    "We have a pretty good team in here, but if we're not going to work, we're not going to be better than any team in this league," said Brown, who scored the Kings' lone goal at 8:25 in the third period on a power play. "It's just about work. We didn't have enough guys or very many guys at all working consistently."
• Team report
    Kings coach Terry Murray knew he had a problem on his hands early -- he called a timeout eight minutes into a scoreless game. Murray had it right, but his team couldn't respond.
• Kings streak snapped
    The Kings were, to varying degrees, off in just about every aspect of the game -- passing, hitting, shooting -- in the opening minutes Saturday afternoon, and coach Terry Murray wasted no time in calling a timeout after approximately eight minutes.
They said it
    "I think those are just all excuses. I think it’s really just taking accountability, personally, individually and preparing yourself to play. That’s something that everyone kind of has to look at themselves in the mirror tonight to realize and learn from." – Dustin Brown, on whether the loss was because of the early start, a hangover from the Pittsburgh game, or a combination of both.
    "No." – Terry Murray on whether there was anything positive to take away from the game
Around the Kingdom

• The Throne Room: Classic letdown game
    These are the games that drive me nuts. Team you know the Kings’ should beat comes in, and the Kings skate half-effort all night and leave the ice with a loss. Last season it was Nashville, Colorado and Phoenix. This season so far it’s just been Nashville, but that’s a trend that has to change as the team improves.
• Press Box Perspective: Will the Kings Finally Get Some Respect?
    If the Kings keep on playing well on their road trip, they’ll start to get recognized as a good team that’s not just getting lucky. I guess we’ll see. The Kings begin a five game road trip in Chicago on Monday with their only nationally televised game of the season.
• Crushed Purple Velvet: Kings 1, Preds 3: I'm bad luck
    Despite making some good saves throughout the game, Quick looked Slow on the first Preds goal.  He also made an ill decision in the third period when he prematurely skated off the ice during a delayed penalty just as the Kings missed a pass at the blueline and the puck went caroming down the rink towards a now empty goal.  He tried to skate back in a hurry and then THREW HIS STICK at the puck, which was fruitless since it went wide anyway.  I stared in complete disgust thinking, "there goes our man advantage" as Quick was assessed a penalty.
• Kings Examiner: 'Eight is Enough' as Kings lose in lackluster effort
    The Kings stumbled through a drearily scoreless first stanza in which both teams resembled a group morning skate as opposed to an energetic contest. The second period started with the Kings on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:58, but they only registered one quality shot during that time.
• PASSION=POWER=PAXIL. Predators defeat Kings
    I don’t mind hard fought 3 periods that results in a loss.  But today’s game has nothing positive to speak of, not from any player, any line, not even a shift that was worth mentioning.  Post Penguin hangover, the low after two emotional highs, whatever the excuse is, it better be dead and buried before the next match.
• Frozen Royalty: LA Kings Suffer Letdown Against Nashville

From across the aisle: the Nashville viewpoint

• Preds on the Glass: Predators Surprise Kings with 3-1 Win
    The Predator defense held firm for the remainder of the game despite the Kings 15 shot barrage during the final period.
• What the Puck?: 11/7/09 - Nashville at Los Angeles: W 3-1
    Surprising that we were able to hold off the Kings from scoring for two periods.
• On the Forecheck: Nashville Predators surprise in 3-1 win over Los Angeles Kings

Peeping the dailies

No soup for you.


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