Patrick Marleau wishes so badly he could be involved in that hug. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
-It was kind of cool that in a game with so many established stars, the 2 players that stood out the most were Jason Demers and Alec Martinez. Demers, 22, filled in admirably for the injured Marc-Edouard Vlasic and prevented the Penner-Kopitar-Moller line from tallying a point. Meanwhile, Martinez, 23, had several nice plays, including a beautiful break-up of a 2-on-1 in the 2nd period. He also had 2 assists, both on the power play. Good for both of them.
-Oscar Moller also had a pretty good game. He had a nice burst around Kyle Wellwood for an opportunity in the 1st and overall had a nice jump in his step for most of the game. I was more impressed with him than I was with Dustin Penner last night, anyway.
-Joe Thornton is stupid. Why keelhaul Willie Mitchell 195 feet from your own net when your team doesn't even have the puck? Even if Mitchell hadn't taken a spill, what's the point? What good is that going to do? He's lucky Patrick Marleau bailed him out.
-As is Jarret Stoll. He always does that stupid little slash/hook and acts surprised when he gets called on it. Same thing as the Thornton penalty: even if the other player doesn't fall, why do it? You're getting no advantage out of it.
-Speaking of Marleau, it was kind of cool that Marleau & his awkward doppelganger Dustin Brown were both the heroes for their respective teams tonight. Brown may have come up the victor in the shootout, but Marleau didn't have to give an interview to 18,000 people so I think we all knew who felt like the real winner last night.
-Marleau's first goal was terrible. What the fuck, Quick? Although Brown's 2nd goal was terrible too so I guess it evens out (Well, maybe Brown's goal was terrible. Niemi had to look around Ponikarovsky so he may not have seen the shot as he tried to square up to it. In that case it's not so bad.)
-Terry Murray shuffled up his defense a little bit, double-shifting Rob Scuderi with a combination of Jack Johnson and Thornton Stopper™ Matt Greene. I'm not sure if it was only because Matt Greene possesses the exact skill set one needs to match up to Thornton or if it's a sign of things to come in the playoffs. The Kings did something similar last year, pairing Greene with Sean O'Donnell while Jack Johnson got moved to a pairing with Randy Jones & Peter Harrold.
-Jesus Christ, I wish the playoffs were here already. They're less stressful than this. At least in the playoffs you know you're in and who you have to beat.