SO CAL v. NO CAL. THE LA KINGS DRAW THE SAN JOSE SHARKS IN PLAYOFF ROUND 1

LA Kings v. San Jose Sharks

So Cal v. No Cal

The Hockey Gods have humbled the Chicago Blackhawks and put their playoff hope at the mercy of the Dallas Stars v. Minnesota Wild. Out of this, we drew our foes to the north.

Excited? I am just glad we made the playoffs and while the prospect of Justin Williams being back for game one does tickle my fan-cy, my expectations are tempered, even with San Jose’s history of cho…cho…ok, a picture…

The Sharks are a damn good team. Youth, veterans and finally goaltending. Able to light up opponents. Hell, our worst loss of the season came at their hands only recently 6-1. They also have a passionate fan base and a franchise I respect. To some extent, I consider them kindred blood. Remember the incredible reception their fans gave to Luc Robitaille? It was April 17, 2006. Luc’s last game. We played the Sharks, won 4-0 and throughout the evening, the sell out crowd at San Jose chanted his name and applauded his career. After the game, the Sharks’ players came out to shake his hand. I got goosebumps that night, have never forgotten it and ever since then, the Sharks have had a nice place in my hockey heart…with the occasional and unintentional mockery or jeer but mostly out of the jealousy that they have been a contender for so many years.

This season, we have lost (6-3), won (4-0), lost (1-0), Won (3-2), Won (4-3) and lost (6-1). 3-3, although two of our wins were in a shootout.

Can we beat them without Anze Kopitar? I looked at how Anze did against San Jose. 1 goal and 4 assists. Not bad, but 3 of those assists were in one game on December 27 when we won 4-0. But Anze was and is more than an offensive force. He is the glue to the forwards’ defense. The center that can do it all. Without him, we lose a huge skill set against a very skilled team.

How about Justin Williams? Two assists. That’s it. He has missed the last two games against them.

So, who has been hot against the Sharks? Dustin Brown has 4 goals and an assist. Not too shabby.

But individual statistics won’t matter here. If the LA Kings want to have a chance in this series, we will need excellent and consistent goaltending from Jonathan Quick, something we have not seen in the past 10 + games. The defense must retrieve and get the puck to the forwards on transition quickly. The passing must be tape to tape. If San Jose has one weakness, it is defense and we have been able to score goals against them. Traffic in front of the net? Of course. Avoiding turnovers and staying the hell out of the box? Without question. Kevin Westgarth no where near the ice surface? I wish. Terry Murray evolving? Come on.

I will do my part. I may get religion, become superstitious like Surly or hell, maybe even watch the games without expectation and just have some fun without thought and analysis for a change…nah…GO KINGS!



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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16 replies

  1. The eternal fan in me believes they have a chance in spite of all evidence to the contrary. I am hoping that they become one of those teams with more heart than skill, with something to prove, that rises to the occasion. The return of Justin Williams might just inspire that heart. That and maybe Penner catches fire for the playoffs.

    GO KINGS GO!!!!!

  2. I don’t know how much of a chance they have. Nothing against the Kings but let’s face it, the Sharks are simply good. Just darn good.

  3. I must admit, I was rooting for 8th after our loses to the %$#&!#$@%. SJ was the last team I wanted to see. We will have to bring everything we have. No mistakes and for the love of —— please figure something out regarding the PP. We have close to zero chance of success without winning the special teams battle.

    Every moment of practice from this point till game one should be design and execution of the PP. Our defense and PK are solid and it’s to late to change 5 0n 5 structure but you can adjust and scheme the PP to help us be victorious. Coaches, we need you to do your job, and players, you need to execute.

    We can do this! Go Kings!

  4. San Jose’s #2 Ranked PP will face LA’s #4 ranked kill

    LA’s #21 Ranked PP will face San Jose’s #24 ranked kill.

    Kingnation13 it would appear that you are right. If LA can focus on the powerplay than they might be able to exploit a sharks kill which is under 80% on the year.

    • Cheers to that. But the PP won’t be the biggest factor. Goaltending will. If they get solid goaltending, we are done. We need some soft goals, the SJ confidence shaken and a gap opening as a result. They say everyone has a plan until they get hit. The Sharks need one right on the nose, right out of the gate.

  5. If you’re the artist/owner of that graphic – do you care if becomes the profile pic for Kings fans? :)

  6. OK, this would be my lineup:

    Poni-Handzus-Brown against against Thornton’s line. These three can shut this line down with matched size and positioning with Browns grit.

    Clifford-Richardson-Simmonds against Couture’s line. What a match-up this would be. I think our speed and desire will win the day here and neutralize their 2nd line. These guys can keep up with that young stud, Couture.

    Smyth-Stoll-Williams against Pavelsky’s line. Veteran line that should be able to control or at least break even against any third line in the league.

    Penner-Lewis-Moller against Desjardin’s line. I’d bench Penner if I could but he’s all we have. Moller’s not a 4th line player but I like him better than Westgarth. Now that I look at it, that’s actually not a bad looking 4th line on paper.

    The bad thing about my thought pattern is that it’s based on shutting them down defensively instead of looking to put offense together. This is where special teams comes into play. We need to win that battle convincingly.

  7. I want Dallas to win and beat out Chicago. All Pacific teams would be great.

    Dallas is down 4-3 in the third.

    Come on Dallas.

  8. What a finish!!! Honestly that game was exciting. And what a day for Chicago fans.

    An empty net, one goal finish in their game against Detroit. And then the same thing for them rooting for the Wild only a few hours after that. Two nail biters to finally find out that they will be making to the playoffs. To play Vancover if I’m not mistaken?

    It was interesting to see how excited the Wild fans were for their team to beat Dallas when they really had nothing to play for. Personally I was rooting against Chicago, as it seems most of us were

  9. I contend that the Goaltending has been solid and that the team has let Quick down in the last 10+ games.

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