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It took another overtime session to get the win, but the Los Angeles Kings were able to get it done with a 2-1 overtime win at the Prudential Center last night. Jeff Carter’s beautiful no look goal (that looked like it was shot like by a laser beam!), beat Marty Brodeur at 13:42 of the first overtime to end the game. The Kings are the first team in history to go 10-0 on the road in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (source; NHL.com).
When asked at the press conference after the game if this was one of Carter’s best goals, Carter had this to say: “Yeah, it’s a pretty special moment, I think,” Carter said. “Obviously, any time you get a chance to play in the Final, it’s exciting. But scoring an overtime goal in Game 2, puts you up 2-0, it’s pretty special.” “I think this is by far the biggest, Carter said. I think it’s my first playoff overtime goal. It’s a huge one. It’s a big one for the team. Gets us a two-game lead here. Gets us where we wanted to be coming in here.”
Added Jarrett Stoll: “He’s been in the media a lot, he’s been in a lot of story lines. He’s a great addition for our team, a lot of offense coming over to us to solidify our lineup. He makes us a lot better team. big goal. Huge goal for our team.”
A couple of quick points on the series to date. The reason the Kings have a stranglehold on this series is simple. The Devil’s cannot get past Jonathan Quick. Anton Volchenkov’s wrist shot in Game 1 bounced off Slava Voynov before it went into the net. Not exactly a clean goal. Last night in Game 2, same situation. Ryan Carter’s shot and subsequent tip-in by Zidlicky was pure luck. I don’t believe that anyone will argue that a goal is a goal. But when your shooting only yields “lucky” goals, you aren’t going to win the Stanley Cup.
Another reason the Kings have been so successful is because the Devil’s best player hasn’t been. “Oh Ilya Kovalchuck, where are yoouu?!” The Devil’s $100 million dollar man has two shots on goal in the series thus far. Kovalchuck has been passing up shots constantly in this series. This is a bit peculiar, especially since Kovalchuck is a pretty good player. It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to shoot the puck!(?) After the game, Kovalchuk called the Devils power play “embarrassing.” Kovalchuck may want to find a synonym for his play as well.
“We played a much better game tonight,” said Devils coach Peter DeBoer after the game. “We spent more time in their end of the ice, got more shots through to the net, got more point shots. We just executed better tonight than we did in Game 1.”
True enough, but it still wasn’t enough to defeat the Kings and I think a huge amount of credit is due to the Kings for that. The Kings continue to beat the best teams in the league and almost make it look ordinary while doing it. All I can say, is that there is nothing ordinary about the Los Angeles Kings. Nor are they having an ordinary Stanley Cup run!!
Stay tuned Kings fans! Game 3 is at Staples Center this Monday Night (6/3) at 5:00 PM PST. Go Kings GOOOOO!!
My Three Star’s of the game:
1948 - The NHL announced that the Art Ross Trophy would be awarded annually to the scoring leader. Elmer Lach (Montreal Canadiens) was the first winner with 61 points in 1947-48.
Todays history brought to you by http://www.on-this-day.com
I’m not even waiting until tomorrow to post this. Kopitar being Kopitar. Maybe I was a little too hasty in my Brown/Quick choice for Conn Smythe!?!
In other news around the league…
- Career Red Wing defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom retired today at the age of 42. Lidstrom played 20 seasons, helped the Wings win four Stanley Cups and was a seven time winner of the Norris Trophy. Lidstrom is the current record holder for consecutive games played on one team with 1564 games. A four time Olympian, Lidstrom, who hails from Sweden, scored the Gold Medal winning goal for his country’s team in the 2006 games. In his career, he had 264 goals, 1142 points and a plus/minus rating of +450.
- The Phoenix Coyotes (read:cry-babies) will not be disciplined for their post-game shenanigans after they lost in OT to the Kings in the Western Conference Finals. NHL executive VP Colin Campbell made the announcement prior to last nights Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals. Campbell laid out to the press what he said to each of the offending parties on the Coyotes roster and essentially said that, beyond a stern talking to, no discipline would be levied.
So, let’s review as I’m sure this won’t be the first or last time this happens in a playoff series ending game: Shane Doan and Keith Yandle go off, positively bonkers in their postgame commentary invoking conspiracy theories, calling out league ownership of the Coyotes, comparing the referees color scheme to the Kings colors and relating this to why the Kings won and they lost…no discipline. Mike Smith throws his stick to the ice in the direction of a ref…no discipline. Martin Hanzal skating aggresively and threateningly to and getting in the face of a ref to yell and scream (I’m quite certain dinner plans weren’t being discussed)…no discipline.
When this happens again, be it this season or next, we’ll see how the league responds.
- The Calgary Flames have hired Bob Hartley as their new head coach after not renewing the contract of Brent Sutter at the end of this season. The former Colorado and Atlanta coach is 329-226-61 in the regular season and 49-35 in the post season, winning one Stanley Cup while he was with the Avs in 2000-01 season. Harley has not coached in the NHL since being fired by the Thrashers six games into the 2007-08 season.