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The Key Three: Jan. 2

by Rich Hammond / Los Angeles Kings
Three key aspects of the Kings’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche...

The Kings played an outstanding first period, even though they weren’t rewarded with a goal. They forechecked with aggression, won loose pucks and cycled in the offensive zone like rarely seen this season. When they got a goal 94 seconds into the second period, it looked like they were on their way, but perhaps that was the problem. Perhaps things seemed a little too easy for the Kings. Instead of shooting and crashing the net, they tried to finesse things in the offensive zone a bit too much. It wasn’t necessarily that they were sitting back with the lead, but that they perhaps got a little too flashy and confident. They’ve turned things around under Darryl Sutter with hard work and grit. They can’t let that start to slip, ever.

What, exactly, did referee Stephen Walkom see when he so emphatically waved off Justin Williams’ first-period goal and ruled that Williams had deflected it in with a high stick? The way Walkom reacted, immediately and forcefully waving his arms as he skated to the scorer’s booth, one would think Williams stick was 10 feet in the air. At best, it was a 50-50 call, and in a league that his constantly trying to promote scoring, why not let the goal stand and see if it is overruled on video? The on-ice call was marginal at best, and unless Williams grew one foot during that shift, Toronto’s review also could have ruled it a goal.


This is not a recording. The Kings had 7 minutes, 35 seconds, of power-play time Monday night and did not score. Yes, Williams’ goal easily could have counted as a power-play goal. Yes, the Kings did have seven shots on goal while on the power play. But still, a power-play goal did not go on the scoreboard. The Kings shot themselves in the foot a couple times. First, just seven seconds into an early Colorado double-minor, Mike Richards got an offensive-zone interference penalty. Then, with the Kings on a 4-on-3 power play in overtime, Anze Kopitar inexplicably looked to pass instead of shoot from a decent scoring area.
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