While most realistic Kings fans weren’t expecting LA to sweep San Jose (it may have been a fantasy deep down, but logically it was just not going to happen), they were probably also not expecting a rout in Game 1 of the series.

Brief recap:
Sharks jump out to an early 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the first period thanks in part to some heavy zone time.

Not off to a great start, but OK. Only down 1-0. No big deal. Kings nearly escaped the period down by one, but nothing was going right for the Kings at the time. An opportunistic Hertl scored off a turnover and Marleau added insult to injury by scoring 48 seconds later. Kings head to the locker room down by 3. Not great, but not impossible to come back from. A good start in the second period could get the Kings back in the game.

But that didn’t happen. The second was slightly better than the first as they only allowed two goals, though that’s about the brightest spot from the middle frame. Just about seven minutes into the second, Vlasic hit the crossbar and bounced to Torres in the slot who had skated in alone and beat Jonathan Quick for what eventually ended up being the game winning goal. Kings down by 4 now. Three and a half minutes later, Vlasic rubbed some salt in the giant gaping wound formerly known as the LA Kings (not sure what else you could’ve called them at that point) by scoring a power play goal through Quick’s 5-hole. Yeah, things were not going well. Kings went to into the second intermission having given up only two goals that period so, progress.

Martin Jones led the team onto the ice for the third and two minutes in, Kings decided to make things interesting. Kopitar fed Muzzin who beat Niemi. Five minutes later, Slava Voynov decided to join the fun and he scored an unassisted goal thanks to a nice screen from Jarret Stoll. With six minutes to go in the game, Jeff Carter banked the puck in off Trevor Lewis. The Sharks spent most of the period looking to just kill off the clock and didn’t really press for many Grade A opportunities. The ones they did get, Jones was up to the task. Brent Burns sealed the game with an empty net goal after a careless giveaway with 55 seconds to go.

This game was completely out of character for the Kings. In their full 82 game season, they only posted a Corsi For percent below 50 (which is considered average) 18 times (second best Corsi For team, Chicago Blackhawks, had 20).

It was certainly a bad game all around, particularly for Jonathan Quick who allowed five goals. Critics on twitter (so obviously that should be taken with a grain of salt) complained that Quick allowed too many soft goals, though in his slight defense, most of the team didn’t bother to show up until the third period. Unfortunately for Quick, it was too late for him and he was done for the night. Turnovers, sloppy play and seeming disinterest ultimately cost the team a valuable win in San Jose but I wouldn’t expect that trend to continue. They’re only down 1-0 in the series and will look to come out strong in Game 2 on Sunday.

The team has two days between games and has returned to Los Angeles. They’re scheduled to practice Friday at 12 pm local time at Toyota Sports Center.

Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, I sort of grew up an LA Kings fan by default. My dad was into hockey and then my brother got into hockey and I found that I sorta liked this hockey stuff. Go Kings.



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