And here’s why:
1) I watched the TSN feed. Those guys were effusive in their praise of the Kings in general and of Doughty specifically. There was a great moment when the play-by-play guy said, “Doughty [does something with the puck, I forget what], Nystrom tracks him.” And the color guy muttered, “good luck!”
2) Related to that: Doughty shifted into some extra gears I didn’t know he had. He very nearly took over the game. Even though he didn’t score, it was breathtaking.
3) Giordano clocked Brown twice. It was clear that there would be a response (I mean, besides Raitis granting Calgary a power-play right after the second hit). As soon as that happened, I thought, “too bad Johnson, Simmonds, Stoll, Jones and Segal are not here.” So, who steps up in defense of Brown? Who sends the message?
Moller himself took two or three very hard but clean checks over the course of the game, but the announcers were quick to point out that (a) Moller always made the play, took the hit, got the puck where it was supposed to go, (b) he knows how to take a hit, and (c) he goes right back to the dirty areas. This is exactly what I’ve been saying about Moller for two years now. He can dish it, he can take it, and he’s fearless. (He led the team last night with 2 hits; Brown was credited with three, but I don’t count the one where he almost paralyzed himself face first into the boards.
4) The Elkins goal. First thing, Elkins gets the puck deep and — does what? hang around the half-wall? loiter in the high slot? — no: HE DRIVES TO THE NET. With two guys on him. Second thing, Moller digs the puck out from about 450 pounds of Calgary Flames, gets hauled down, and while falling to the ice makes a perfect pass to the guy who drove to the net, with two guys on him.
5) The celebration of the Elkins goal. Moller attacked Elkins he was so happy. So was I. That was great.
By the way, I don’t think the clock started when the puck dropped on that first Calgary goal. But whatever. Kings lose and drop down to ten games above .500.