Well, it's been a long and tedious decade for the Los Angeles Kings and their fans... but last night in Minnesota, the Kings gave everyone the ultimate New Years Eve resolution... a complete victory. There was scoring from all three lines, excellent goaltending and pretty much the Kings controlled the game from the opening faceoff. The Kings end the first half of their season in 8th place in the Western Conference, a mere 2 weeks after being #1 in the West. It's going to be a dogfight from here on out... but on this first day of a new year and a new decade (kinda)... it's looking pretty good to be a Kings fan.
Kings 5, Wild 2
Well, Coach Murray finally pulled the trigger last night and benched Teddy Purcell and replaced him on the first line with Dustin Brown. And the result was Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth were breaking into the zone tonight like they were before Smyth went down with his injury. Blogger Quisp over at Kings Kool Aid, has been arguing that Teddy Purcell is not the problem... that Anze Kopitar is sucking it up on his own and Teddy has nothing to do with it. I agree that Kopitar is in a wicked slump, but I disagree with Quisp's assessment of Teddy Purcell's offensive abilities. Sure, Oscar Moller might get tossed around out there like Swedish Beany Baby... but he shows flashes of stickhandling brillance and offensive awareness that I haven't seen from Teddy Purcell all season. And even though Kopitar didn't have a point last night... he was getting open and driving to the net in a way he hadn't since Smyth was gone. I'm fine with Dustin Brown skating with those 2... because let's be honest here... the only offense this team needs is coming from the amazing 3rd line of Scott Parse, Wayne Simmonds and Brad Richardson.
11 points in the last 5 games played.
Take that Top 6 bitches!
Brad Richardson is like an entirely different player out there from last season and even the start of this season. He's got great offensive instincts, he's responsible defensively and he battles hard in front of the net. How hard, you ask?
It's a Brad on 3!
(This is right before he scored.)
With the way this line has been playing over the last few games... it's enough to make any Christmas Scrooge smile.
Everyone seemed to be in a festive mood last night... with the Kings up by 4 goals at one point... Drew Doughty even lost his poise for a little bit during the game as he planned out his New Years Eve with Wayne Simmonds.
"So getting this Olympic thingy... that's gotta increase my chance with the ladies, right?"
"Yeah, at least by 85%."
"Okay... good talk."
And I have a feeling that the boys out in the Fox Sports West HD truck starting hitting the champagne a little bit early tonight.
The ref just called 2 minutes for the incorrect spelling of a mascot's name.
The New NHL has all sorts of crazy rules.
And I know the Kings have been having a hard time scoring the last few games, so the guys in the truck might have been trying to help out when putting up the goal scoring summary graphic.
Pretty sure Richardson only has 5 goals this season, not 15.
But if Smyth hadn't been injured, he totally would had 94 goals by now.
And Bob Miller was hitting the sauce hard as he and Jim Fox revealed their All-Decade Kings Team.
Really, Bob? Matthieu Schneider over Lubomir Visnovsky?
The Decade of Futility is over. Things are really looking up for 2010 when it comes to the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings are back at home on Saturday for a matinee against some team called the Washington Capitals. The Royal Half will be there. Happy New Year everyone and now go watch the Winter Classic.