The Los Angeles Kings improved their pre-season record to 3-1-1 last night with a win over the New York Islanders with a score of 4-2. Teddy Purcell started things off with a goal in the first period (and end the night with another assist) with Drew Doughty and Wayne Simmonds (with 2 goals) capping things off.
The key thing to take away from this game however is not the goals and the win. It's the fact that this game was a very chippy one with eight fighting penalties, one match penalty, a 10-minute misconduct and a plethora of aggressiveness. It was a game where everyone on the ice for the Kings were sticking up for each other; something that was missing last season. Could this be the final element needed to make this a playoff team? My heart is with yes. The talent mixed with this tight bond of players should have enough to prove a thing or two. I feel it, the rest of the Kings fans feel it and soon everyone in the NHL world will.
In the meantime, before Oct 3rd comes, there are still 3 more games in store for the Kings during the Pre-Season, one of which is tonight. The game tonight could have featured a return of Ryan Smyth to Colorado for his first meeting with his former club since the trade this past summer, but he apparently has the night off. Instead, according to the Kings official page, Teddy will start on the top line with Kopitar and Williams. Excellent news for Purcell! He'll get to strut his stuff with the best of the best on the team. If he and Kopi can find some rhythm, they could for a very effect line up, especially with JW in the mix. Intriguing.
I'm also very fond of the Clifford (Rookie) - Schenn (Rookie) - Brown (Captain) lineup. It's very impressive that both these kids have stuck around. Better yet, they are earning that keep with very hard work. It's fantastic to watch...
All in all though, this is still Pre-Season. It means nothing. The real fun begins on Oct 3rd.
LA Kings, Hockey, NHL