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Devils Down! Kings win again in another thrilling overtime!!

June 3, 2012 Leave a comment

 

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:

Jeff Carter Jeff Carter

Jonathan Quick Jonathan Quick

Drew Doughty Drew Doughty

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One, Two, Three Seeds, You’re Done!

May 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Apologies are due once again. Technical difficulties prevented me from posting this yesterday.

 

The L.A. Kings will await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Rangers and Devils after a hard fought Game Five victory Tuesday night in Phoenix. The Kings earned their first Stanley Cup Finals bid in 19 years in a thrilling game that ended 17:42 into OT on a Dustin Penner goal that squeezed between Coyotes Goalie Mike Smiths pads. The Kings maintained their road perfection and closed out the Western Conference Finals series 4-1

The Kings began the game looking almost as lethargic as they did at home Sunday in Game 4 where they were thoroughly worked over by a desperate Coyotes team. The first half of the 1st period of Game 5 was a carbon copy with the Coyotes fast skating, hard checking forecheck in full effect. As the game progressed, the Kings found their rhythm and their own forecheck which had featured prominently in Games 1 through 3. The Coyotes and Kings traded hits, shots and goals that culminated in a tense 3-3 tie to end regulation.

Overtime became a back and forth, north/south affair as each side traded time of possession and shot efforts to no avail. At around the midpoint of the overtime period, I noted to my wife that it looked like two things were going on: One, both sides were getting tired as the tempo of the game began to slow appreciably. Two, the up the ice, down the ice action reminded me of watching 4 and 5 year olds playing “beehive” soccer – This is the kind of soccer where 20 kids (goalies included) are all swarming around the ball as it goes up and down the pitch and there’s no real structure to the match.

As the overtime period wound down and emotions started to rev up, the tempo started to pick up again and really went next level on a play that I’ll just call “The Hit”. With 2:30 left to play in OT, the Coyotes were attempting to move the puck into the Kings zone when a quick offside whistle was blown. A fraction of a second after the whistle, Kings Captain Dustin Brown collided with Michal Rozsival, sending Rozsival spinning down to the ice awkwardly, where he remained for a few minutes until assisted off the ice by Coyotes staff. Jobing.com arena showered Brown with their distaste for the shot and the officiating crew who did not call a penalty on the play.

After viewing replays for the three or four minutes Rozsival was down, both at regular speed and slow-mo (not to mention the 400 times it was replayed during the post game show), any claims of a designed knee to knee contact appear to be unwarranted in my opinion as Brown hit Rozsival with his entire body. As to the late hit controversy, Brown was already at full speed and was maybe a few feet from contact when the whistle blew. “The Hit” will be and already has been discussed as nauseum since it occurred. As far as I’m concerned, if the league deems it reviewable and punishable, then so be it. It doesn’t help the Phoenix fans ego also that less than 15 seconds after play resumed that the Kings won.

As of this writing at 8:30am PDT on Thursday, no word from the league office on whether “The Hit” will make an impact suspension-wise for the Kings Captain but this writer feels there’s nothing to review or penalize.

Last Team Standing

May 22, 2012 2 comments

This past weekend and last night were a bust for L.A. sports team fans in the throes of Playoff Fever. The Clippers were swept out of the second round of the NBA Playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs (Shocker!), the Lakers all but got swept, losing in 5 to take an early exit from the Playoffs courtesy of a wildly talented Oklahoma City Thunder team who, a few short years ago were the lackluster and floundering Seattle Supersonics.

And then, there was one. The L.A. Kings, who also stumbled Sunday on their path to the Stanley Cup Finals finally saw the Phoenix Coyotes team that the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks both got acquainted with before taking their skates and going home early in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  We knew they were gritty, we knew they were good, we knew Mike Smith was a surprising goalie having a breakout year. Apparently it took having their collective backs against a wall to play all out hockey. Phoenix fans could breathe a sigh of relief and their team gets another shot at drawing closer to evening the series tonight.

The task is daunting in the face of a Kings team that hasn’t lost on the road in the playoffs since their Vancouver series in the 2010-11 campaign. Ask Coach Tippett or any of the other Coyotes and they’ll probably tell you they’re not focused on that and that they’re just trying to win one game at a time until they get to their first ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Kings Defenseman Willie Mitchell was interviewed on ESPN Radio yesterday during the afternoon drive and echoed the sentiment of the locker room that they regretted that they couldn’t close out the series at home and “pop the roof off of Staples [Center].” One way or the other, the Kings are on a mission and will probably wear their loss at home on their sleeves, as a chip on the shoulder and pound the Coyotes into submission as they did in the first three games of the series. They looked flat Sunday and I can almost assure you that Coach Darryl Sutter won’t let that happen again for a second game.

See Also:

http://laforumdemontreal.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/stanley-fit-for-a-king/

http://kingshockeyforwomen.com/2012/05/22/game-preview-kings-vs-coyotes-game-5-errors-corrected/

Today in NHL History – May 10

May 10, 2012 1 comment

 

1970 – Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins) scored a goal to win Game 4, and the Stanley Cup, over the St. Louis Blues. A statue was later created by Harry Weber that depicted Orr flying through the air immediately after scoring the goal.

Bobby Orr flies through the air after scoring ...

Bobby Orr flies through the air after scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal, May 10, 1970. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

2001 – Peter Forsberg (Colorado Avalanche) had his spleen removed in an emergency operation. The operation took place just hours after the Avalanche eliminated the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.

 

 

Todays history brought to you by http://www.on-this-day.com

Today in NHL History – April 18

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Peter Forsberg Colorado Avalanche October 1997

Peter Forsberg Colorado Avalanche (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2002 – Peter Forsberg (Colorado Avalanche) returned to hockey in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Los Angeles Kings. Forsberg had not played since May 10, 2001, when he had his spleen removed in an emergency operation.

 

1999 – Wayne Gretzky (New York Rangers) played his final game in the NHL. During the game Gretzky got his 2,857th NHL point. He retired as the NHL’s all-time leading scorer and holder of 61 individual records.

 

1987 – The New York Islanders beat the Washington Capitals, 3-2, 68 minutes and 47 seconds into overtime. It was the sixth longest game in NHL history

Save of the Week

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Sorry, folks, but I have to go with my home teams goalie and run with a Jonathan Quick save, denying Kessler of a wraparound goal during Game 2 of the Kings – Canucks Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Live Blogging

April 5, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Howdy All! If the internet gods are with us tonight, Justin and I will be live blogging from Staples Center during the Kings final home game of the season versus the San Jose Sharks. The Kings can secure a playoff spot tonight in the following scenarios which we’ve pulled from the LA Kings Insider website written by Rich Hammond:

 

Kings magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one.

The Kings can clinch a playoff spot Thursday by one of the following ways:
—A Dallas loss (in regulation, overtime or shootout) vs. Nashville OR
—A Kings win or loss in overtime/shootout vs. San Jose

—–

The Kings can clinch at least the seventh seed in the Western Conference Thursday by one of the following ways:
—A Kings regulation win Thursday vs. San Jose. (This would give the Kings 95 points and mean the Sharks could only get a maximum of 94 points.)
—A Kings win in overtime Thursday vs. San Jose. (This would give the Kings 95 points and mean the Sharks could only get a maximum of 95 points. However this would give the Kings the tie-breaker in the ROW category: Kings would have 35 ROWs and San Jose could only get 34.)
—If the Kings win in a shootout Thursday vs. San Jose – this wouldn’t clinch the 7th seed. Here’s why: This would give the Kings 95 points and mean the Sharks could only get a maximum of 95 points. The Kings would still have 34 ROWs and San Jose could still potentially get 34 ROW. The next tie-breaker is head-to-head points. In this scenario the Kings would have 7 head-to-head points (3-1-1) and the Sharks would have 5 head-to-head points (2-2-1). San Jose could then win in regulation Saturday to force the third tie-breaker. Both teams would now have 34 ROWs and 7 head-to-head points (both teams would be 3-2-1 vs. each other). The third tie-breaker is goal differential. Right now the Kings are a +17 and San Jose is a +16. If the Kings win in a shootout Thursday the Kings would then be a +18, while San Jose would be +15. Meaning the Sharks would have to win in regulation Saturday by two-or-more goals. So here is the bottom line if the Kings win a shootout Thursday vs. San Jose: The only way the Sharks could overtake the Kings is to win in regulation Saturday by at least two goals.

 

Go Kings Go!