The offence dried up from Friday’s commanding performance as the Kings paid the price for sitting back during the majority of the game and ultimately missed out on a weekend sweep, losing 2-1 (2-OT) to the Grizzlies on Saturday night.
The prevailing comments throughout the game from the coaching staff was that the Kings were sitting back and allowing the game to come to them instead of showing the same push and grit that the team displayed 24 hours prior. A lot of the characteristics we highlighted around the forecheck were not present tonight as the Kings weren’t able to establish their game on a determined Victoria team.
Credit to the Victoria Grizzlies for the bounce back. A largely lifeless group on Friday turned into a team that took chances and were much more aggressive. Grizzlies defencemen were much more active throughout the game, jumping into the rush and creating opportunities. Jacson Alexander’s goal came after some good chances earlier throughout the period for the Victoria blue liners.
Good for Ben Raffler on his first with the Kings. It was a nice glimpse of the characteristics that made Friday night such a success. Forecheck, hustle, some nice hands from Berard and a good pinch down from Raffler to open up for the shot.
There were certainly more chances for the Kings throughout, but despite beating the goaltender on a few occasions, the Kings were unable to beat the red iron. This was highlighted by Carter Turnbull hitting not one post, but two posts and not finding the back of the net in the 2nd period.
In addition to Turnbull’s iron work, the Kings also got breakaways for Kevin Obssuth and Ben Berard that went unconverted. It’s those chances that the Kings cashed in last night, and that just wasn’t the case tonight.
Here’s our live post-game show with Kings assistant coach Brock Sawyer (interview starts at 6:55)
The Kings will practice this week ahead of the season’s first road trip to Vancouver Island. The Kings visit Nanaimo on Friday night, then down to Cowichan on Saturday night. Both games will be broadcast live on 95.7 CoastFM and HockeyTV beginning at 6:40pm with the pre-game show. Puck drop both nights at 7:00pm.