That is the formula for success between shifts, periods, games and within a series. Momentum = Effort + Luck, squared.
Tonight’s match up could be over analyzed to death. The Kings played big in the offensive zone and small in their own. The first pass out of the defensive zone was non-existent. Greene and O’Donnell were ineffective and looked flat footed against the speed coming at them. Quick didn’t make a big save but, with the exception of the Demitra goal, didn’t give up any soft ones. Frolov…well, what can you write about another squandered breakaway. I cannot remember the last time I have seen a forward get as many break away chances in a couple of seasons and fail at nearly every one. On the other side, Kopitar, Simmonds, Richardson, Modin, Brown, Doughty and Johnson had good games. Simmonds especially was all over the ice on both ends, made smart decisions each time he touched the puck and had a nose for the net that I wish Ryan Smyth would regain in his repertoire.
At the end of the night though, game 4 was all about momentum. Each time the Kings tried to take it by extending their lead to 2, Vancouver came back. Each time Vancouver tried to take the momentum after tying the game, the Kings answered and grasped the lead. Tonight however the Kings’ lead was akin to holding water in the palm of your hand – futile. Vancouver finally took the lead in the third period on a Tommy Salo slap shot. It was a power play goal on a two many Kings on the ice penalty that was all but wound down. The Kings however took the momentum back just over a minute later when Wayne Simmonds bullied his way to the front of the net after taking a Ryan Smyth pass. One could almost sense that with only 6 minutes left and a 4-4 time, the team who touched the puck last may win this one. Vancouver ultimately took the lead for good when two Kings got caught behind the net. Simmonds, who lost an edge and fell, and Kopitar were left behind while an odd man rush orchestrated by the now labeled and defined Sisters (or Gingers if you like). Unfortunately, that goal came with less than 3 minutes remaining and the Kings could not shift the momentum back to tie the game. The Canucks’ Kesler finished with an empty netter.
Remember it. The series is tied 2-2. Who has it now? Perhaps Vancouver, perhaps not. At the drop of the puck on Friday, it won’t matter who had it coming in. What will matter then is who wants it more.