It was maybe a little closer than the score suggests. Or, maybe with the ability of the Kings to shut the door but tight - it wasn't all that close after all.
In the first, a couple of goal posts close together could have turned the tide in favor of the home team, but Jonathan Quick took away a lot of the net and also had a bit of luck on the Mikael Backlund and Blake Comeau attempts from close in.
An ugly bounce in the neutral zone saw Mark Giordano over-skate the puck, leading to a 2 on 0 for Mike Richards and Justin Williams - but, Richards didn't need any help and quickly slid it five-hole on Miikka Kiprusoff to give the Kings a one-goal lead. Shortly after, Jarome Iginla would get sprung on a partial break and come very close to tying it up. This save from Quick was probably the turning point of the game.
Matt Greene would score on a screened shot from the point moments after Cory Sarich tripped stepping on the puck on his clearing attempt to make it 2-0 and then Anze Kopitar would find the back of the net after being left wide open right in front of the net by the defense on the PK.
Not hard to find a silver lining in this difficult loss to one of the teams the Flames are chasing for the vaunted 8th spot - Michael Cammalleri with a beautiful deflection on an Anton Babchuk rocket from the point to close the gap to 2 goals but that's as close as the Flames would get as the Darryl Sutter-led Kings shut things down from there. Remember how good the Flames used to be at shutting the door when Darryl was coach? Well, it's a little bit easier when you have the talent that the Kings do, making them a dangerous team down the stretch.- Mark Lee made a comment early in the game on Brent Sutter doing a nice job of line matching up to this point in the game..... I laughed.
- Plain and simply, if the Flames want to go for it - this is exactly the type of game they HAVE to win. Luckily, they'll get a chance to get it back in LA later next week.
- The schedule doesn't get any easier in the next while, outside of a game against Edmonton (in the city of chumps). But, that will be a tough one too as the Oilers would like nothing more than to make things more difficult on the Flames.
- The point blank scoring chances have to start going in. Jarome needs to bury on the partial break and Backlund should have had one at the very least. I know according to some of the stats guru's, this is basically all the luck of the puck - but, these boys need to put the puck in the net or an even game like last night turns lopsided.
1. Michael Cammalleri- He wasn't spectacular, but you could tell he wanted to play well. And, anyone who can make a meaningful deflection on a Babchuk shot has my respect. Honorable mention to his Dad for the awkward two-handed kiss he blew following the goal.
2. Tim Jackman- Why do we have to continually rely on the 4th line to outchance opponents?
3. Anton Babchuk- I don't really have a 3rd star, but Babchuk remains a threat on the PP and didn't do anything to really hurt himself at EV.
Bottom line: In any set of 5 games you take in the remainder of the year - the Flames need to get 6 points. If LA was the start of this set, then getting 6 points out of SJx2, LA on the road and EDM on the road is going to be difficult.
This is a tough loss and gives Flames trolls like Adam Proteau (really, are you keeping up with this guy on twitter? He's taken it to a Canuck-fan trolling level) more fuel.