Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Love L.A.

The Randy Newman song title is appropriate after the Preds came away with a 4-3 victory over the L.A. Kings in a game that ebbed and flowed all night. After Anze Kopitar put the Kings up 1-0 in the first, Shea Weber answered with a rocket from the blueline that tallied with 14.2 seconds left in the first. That score seemed to energize the team, which had been outworked by the Kings for most of the first period. The Preds came out of the locker room and controlled play for the first 10 minutes and took a 2-1 lead on Joel Ward's power play goal. One of the keys to success for this team is to get scoring from multiple lines and players, and tonight the Preds were able to do that. After L.A. tied the game, Steve Sullivan put the Preds up 3-2 going into the third with his 8th goal of the year. The game winning goal by Ryan Jones was a thing of blue collar beauty. Jones was parked in front of the net and was battling for position when he was able to corral a rebound and slide it past Ersberg. A gritty goal resulting from battling in front of the net and doing what it takes to win exemplified the team effort tonight. A special mention to Dan Hamhuis on that play to keep the puck in at the blue line and fire it to the net, where Jones was stationed.

INJURY UPDATE: Wade Belak is being sent home to be examined by team doctors for an abdominal injury. Kevin Klein was hit by a shot late in the game, and although able to finish the game, was in some pain. He is being examined by the training staff on the off day.

Some observations from L.A.: A larger and more energetic crowd last night. The Staples Center is cavernous, and a lot of that energy dissipates in the mammoth open spaces. This is an arena designed for entertaining as there are almost as many seats in the three levels of suites as there are in the lower and upper bowls. The Kings have a good group of fans that support the team and there a lot of jerseys in the crowd. This is a good young hockey team, and if they continue to win will draw good crowds. In walking around the main concourse, I found that you could get gourmet food offerings, sushi, as well as standard arena fare. None of it is cheap.

A huge win by the Preds last night. Talking to the guys this morning, they are loose but focused. They understand the task at hand. I like the attitude these guys are displaying. Gotta get some players healthy. Gotta keep up the momentum.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the updates. I think you were on the tv broadcast last night after Ryan Jones goal.