A completely heartbreaking loss in regulation, after a valiant Kings squad battled back from another 2 goal deficit to tie the game with under a minute to play, only to give up a goal with 4.5 seconds left. The Player X Ray is first following tradition (click to enlarge) but following that is photographic proof that the Red Wings first goal was a gift from the Linesman.
I will leave the X Ray for you to look over on your own, but first, here is the picture of Pavel Datsyuk clearly offside, before being allowed to continue a near-breakaway for a goal after the obvious offside was not called.
This offside was so obvious, I saw it immediately on TV and I am not a paid professional. Note the perfect position of the linesman at the bottom of the picture. Being there and having his face pointed in the right direction apparently does not mean the eyes are open or the whistle will be blown if it was seen. The bottom of the two is conclusive: the puck is at the precise moment of becoming all the way over the line, while the player is well over the line by a distance of probably 12 inches. That kind of gap is monstrous to the professional linesman, too bad we didn’t get one to work this play in Detroit.
The Red Wings second goal came on an atrocious coverage situation by the Kings. The picture below shows what it was; a 2 on 5 against with a wrist shot from above the faceoff dot. A 2 on 5 and it goes in. It looked like a nothing play, and the Wings had a lazy line change going on behind the play, but it still ended up in out net. The first pic shows the carry, the second is just after the shot was let go.
All six guys on the ice have to share in the blame on this goal; it was fugly as can be.
This game is tough to dissect, because the Kings played so well only to be robbed at first, and then to blow the game on their own in the last 5 seconds of regulation. With a defensive zone faceoff that THE KINGS WON to the corner, something caused our guys to panic. A 2 on 2 battle squirted the puck toward the faceoff dot, where Stoll had his guy completely covered, and instead of just eating the puck into the corner boards Doughty wildly poked the puck off the boards and perfectly to Ericsson at the point. Ericsson took his time and slapped a shot past everyone (you know, the kind of shot that is always blocked when the Kings try it) and the shot nicked Quick before dribbling thru and skimming over the line for a goal.
The disappointment in this loss is magnified by the incredible work done to tie it up. The Kings outshot the Red Wings 15-11 in the 1st and 23-9 in the 2nd period, for a game total of 47-31. Despite 2 penalties in the 3rd, one with 4:09 to go, the Kings still rallied for the tie with just 53 seconds remaining, on a rebound putback by Alec Martinez cruising the crease. Elation turned to deflation however, and just like the Edmonton game on January 24th the Kings gave up a goal with between 5 and 4 seconds to go in regulation time.
This team is starting to come around, though, and carried the play for most of the game. Detroit was strong for the first 8 minutes and the Power Plays they enjoyed in the 3rd helped them just when they needed it most. Even with the linesman in the 1st giving Datsyuk an extra 12 inches of Blue Line, and Jimmy Howard standing on his head, and the usual zilch-zip-nada from the Kings 3 Power Play chances, the game was still there to be had for L.A. until three mistakes on the same play cost them. As it usually is, one mistake leads to another; Doughty poked the puck wildly instead of simply tapping it into the corner and following it in for a time-ending scrum, but then the shot got thru, and Quick just could not make the save. The type of shot that almost always ends up swallowed into Quick’s chest logo instead found a way thru his arms, then dribbled out and barely made it over the line.
Maybe it’s a good thing that we play St. Louis so soon, tomorrow at 4:30 L.A. time. This is not one to dwell on.