Just win baby! No the Raiders haven’t moved back to Los Angeles, but the Los Angeles Kings are just owning it now. Under new Head Coach Darryl Sutter, Los Angeles has yet to fall in regulation. Following a 1-0 shutout victory, over the Phoenix Coyotes, the Kings are now 6-0-2, under the stewardship of Sutter.
Before I go on, I’d just like to say to the announcers and commentators out there, to please stop talking about teams “fighting to stay within the top eight,” or “fighting to keep the eighth spot.” It’s just a bunch of nonsense, we’re not even at the All-Star break. Teams are still fighting to push upward in the standings, not trying to hang on for dear life. But I digress.
Speaking of the standings, thanks to the recent resurgence, Los Angeles now sits in seventh place in the Western Conference. At 47 points, they’re just one behind the Minnesota Wild (remember when they were leading the NHL in points, not too long ago?) for sixth and are exactly that much behind the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division lead and third place in the West. Plus, they’re not fattening up on weak sister’s either.
During this stretch, they’ve blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 and throttled the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Two teams both situated atop the Western Conference standings. In doing so, the Kings are also proving that they can beat you in so many different fashions.
Having been keeping a close eye on the World Juniors in Alberta, other than that Russian kid Andrei Makarov making 57 saves in a losing effort in overtime, against Sweden in the Gold Medal game, is there a better goalie going than Jonathan Quick? Is there a better American goalie right now? I know Ryan Miller gets all the endorsements and Tim Thomas is a winner and as tough as they come, but Quick leads the NHL in shutouts with six and continues his roll of late.
Playing in their second consecutive overtime contest, the Kings prevailed over the Coyotes, by virtue of doing in 38 seconds, what neither team could in the previous 60 minutes. Drew Doughty registered his third of the year for the winner, in the extra frame.
It wasn’t an especially sexy game. Each squad had two periods where they only recorded single digits in shots. As one would imagine, neither club broke 30 shots on the night.
In any event, a win is a win, and the Kings have been doing a lot of that lately.