I'm not going to go into too much detail here because I was at the game and didn't take notes. However, since I'm not seeing a recap (and it probably was me who signed up for it but forgot), I'm throwing something up.
The first period looked pretty good, folks. Their penalty kill was great, limiting the Kings' ability to get set up. There was a ton of pressure in the offensive zone (I know this because I got to see a lot of action being at that corner of the ice) but Quick was too quick and stuffed every chance.
The second period started slow and got worse. The third period was horrific. By then, I was having major flashbacks to last season. There were a few things that were different, however. The biggest was Gabriel Landeskog. I don't think I've seen a more never-say-die performance. The guy was fighting for every puck, pushing the play at the Kings, and generally being a force to reckon with. Say what you will about wishing the team had drafted another guy, but those intangibles about Landy people raved about were in full view tonight. It's something this team needs.
So given the argument of Stefan Elliott vs. Tyson Barrie that went on yesterday, I spent a lot of time just watching these two guys. I saw Barrie taking the hits and giving them, battling in the corners with the best of them, and making smart decisions all night long. I saw Elliott making solid plays and impressive passes and working in the corners as well. However, Barrie seemed calmer out there than Elliott. I don't think this is a statement about them as players as much as it is about their games last night. Tyson simply had a better game than Stefan. That said, they are both clearly rookies. I really think both would benefit from some time in Lake Erie, even just a month or six weeks. With experience, they are both going to be very good players in the NHL.
I loved the line of Bordeleau - Galiardi - Malone. They were driving the tempo in the first and creating some frustration for the Kings. I have no idea why Gali got the bench treatment last night. Perhaps it was because of the boarding call, but it was a ridiculous call. There were some that were borderline, but that one was absolutely the wrong call. Regardless, they called it, the Kings capitalized, and apparently Sacco blamed Galiardi.
Again, given the arguments yesterday about Patrick Bordeleau, I spent a lot of time watching him as well. I saw a smart, physical player who was doing the little things to help his team win. He played like a grinder, not an enforcer. Yes, the guy can beat the crap out of someone, but the guy has more skills than just that. Of course, he made mistakes and was beaten by better players, but then so was McLeod.
Speaking of Cody McLeod, holy crap what an idiot. His roughing penalty was RIDICULOUS. There was a scrum in front of the net, and right about the time it was dispersing, McLeod comes rushing in on his horse and grabbed a Kings player in a head lock to pull him out of the scrum....except the guy was already backing out of it. It was a dumb penalty, not the only one he had last night. I will take Brad Malone or Bordeleau over McLeod at this point. His usefulness has tapped out, in my opinion.
I'm not really going to comment on the top lines as there is some dissent about them. I will say, however, that I saw players who really did care but were just playing horribly. It wasn't like last year in that they just gave up. They were just scrambling, over playing things, working hard and getting nowhere.
This game does not worry me at all. It's preseason, and there was a lot to learn from it. I believe the players will take something from it and improve their game because of it.