If last night’s Pittsburgh Penguins-New York Islanders game was like driving at 100 mph on a four-lane highway, then Los Angeles Kings-St. Louis Blues represents the traffic-jammed bottleneck. It wasn’t a pretty game – even beyond two egregious turnovers by Blues defenseman Barrett Jackman – but the Kings managed to slip by St. Louis for a 3-2 road win.
Many will highlight one particularly ugly moment in an ugly game, though: Drew Doughty caught T.J. Oshie with a questionable crosscheck in the waning moments of the third period. It’s likely that Doughty will hear from Brendan Shanahan for that one, although it’s anyone’s guess if he’ll face discipline for it. (Stay tuned for video of the hit.)
Mike Richards’ pretty game
There were some pretty elements, with Mike Richards’ hot streak being the most opulent bit. Richards was involved in both of those Jackman blunders, as he recorded an assist and a goal on those two mistakes. His faceoff numbers might be the most staggering thing about his performance, though: he went a ridiculous 15-1 in draws.
Adversity for Ken Hitchcock
The Kings handed Hitchcock his first regulation loss with St. Louis; he’s now 4-1-2. He faces some questions, then. Will he sit Jackman for a game to punish those awful errors? Should he turn to Brian Elliott in net for the next game, being that he is putting up the kind of numbers they’re paying Jaroslav Halak to produce?
Either way, this game showed that the Kings and Blues both bring a lot to the table, but have some ways to go before they can produce a true marquee matchup.
Update: Here are highlights from the game, including that Doughty hit on Oshie.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16