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Halfway There – Road Warriors Edition


 

  Drew Doughty #8 Of The Los Angeles Kings (2nd From R) Celebrates Getty Images

And what else is there to say, really? Still perfect on the road in the playoffs and tying the playoff road record with 9 straight dating back to last season and 7 of those this year. The Kings have been getting contributions from the usual suspects and some unexpected production as well. 2 goals from Dwight King in Game One, a Hat Trick (first for the Kings in the Playoffs since The Great One in ’93) from Jeff Carter, with two in the power play (and another goal from Dwight King) in Game Two, and a shutout performance from Quick in Game Two as well.

 

Every line; offense, defense and special teams were at their playoff best for the Kings.Yes, the Kings power play has finally caught fire and at just the right time. I’ve heard it thrown about in talk radio, NHL Network and a few unexpected outlets (EPSN Sportscenter?!? Now you care about hockey???!???) that the Kings are a team of destiny. Destiny is for gladhanded journalists. This writer recognizes the hard work these guys have put in, especially under new coach  Darryl Sutter.

 

It will be intersting to see what Brendan Shanahan and the league do, if anything, with the Coyotes Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal. Doan was bounced from the game near the end of the Second for Boarding Trevor Lewis who ended up coming away from that dustup with a bloodied nose bridge. Hanzal, same thing after he boarded King captain Dustin Brown midway through the Third. Brown was down for a few moments but appeared later in the game.  Even Coyotes goalie Mike Smith got into the mix, slashing Dustin Brown in the back of his leg. Somehow the zebras sent Brown to the penalty box for what they called diving after he took the hit.

 

The Coyotes started this game better than Game One but couldn’t maintain the intensity. It seemed that once the Kings scored their second goal early in the second, all bets were off and the Coyotes shifted to desperation mode. It was a bizarre transformation to watch in what had been, to that point, a very intense game that could have gone either way. Again, as in Game One, the Kings outshot the Coyotesand kept shot attempts by the Desert Dogs to a respectable minimum, barraging Mike Smith with 40 shots to the 24 that Quick had to deflect.

 

Clearly, the Coyotes lost their composure in this game and that will only help the Kings as they head home for Game Three on Thursday. Stay Tuned!

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