Monday, May 14, 2012

WCF Game 1 - "Beat LA"? We Don't Think So!

Of all the teams the Kings have faced so far in the playoffs, Phoenix made me the most nervous. For all the comparisons drawn about the similarities between the Kings and their second round opponent the St. Louis Blues, in truth the Coyotes and Kings are more alike, at least this playoff season. Let's review:
  • Game-stealing goalie? Check
  • Good balance of young offensively talented and veteran shut down defencemen? Check
  • Game changing Captain? Check
  • Physical and gritty style of play? Check
  • Underdog no one in the hockey world expected to be in this position? Check
  • Winner of the first game in each of their respective series en route to the Conference Final? Check

Well Phoenix, I guess someone had to be a loser for once.

This is what White Outs do to people. There should be drugs to cure this...

In spite of how even the match-up appeared "on paper," the game was pretty lopsided, dominated by the Kings and close in score only because of two mistakes. Yeah, Quick let in a weak goal. It's going to happen once in a while. But he's a competitor and doesn't let that stuff get in his head, which is good because the press wouldn't let him forget it in the post game Q&A. And Drew Doughty continued to show his increased maturity, acknowledging his error that led to the Coyotes second goal and giving credit where it was due to a quick Coyotes forecheck. Dustin Brown and Justin Williams took a couple of ill-timed penalties, but the PK got us through that as well.

Bottom line? The Kings are so completely in the zone right now that it will take more than some crashing and banging and a good goalie to knock them off their game. Not the that Coyotes won't try in Game 2. But they're going to have to find a way to get the puck and get some shots off in less than 7 minutes to have a chance.

They're going to need a lot more than "Beat LA" t-shirts and chants to survive The Men in Black!

On to Game 2!


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