For The First Time These Playoffs, Is It The L.A. Kings’ Series To Lose?

In 31 32 years of being a Kings fan, Surly is the only person I have met or known who is more intense than me while viewing a game. It’s fun to watch. He’s out of his mind. That may be why he was surprised when I told him before game 1 and confirmed it through that and game 2 how calm I was about this series. “It’s Vancouver’s series to lose”, I told Jacob with a grin and I meant it. Why the hell would we be nervous? Nobody expects us to win.

Funny thing about pressure. It generally causes one of two reactions – focus or fold. While the Canucks have played well at times during this series, they have not played their best on a consistent basis and their lack of discipline started them off on the wrong skate.

Those words to Surly seem far less relevant today. They became less relevant right after Dustin Brown scored the game winning goal in game 3. Suddenly, my eyes widened, my heart rate increased and, as the game went on, my fervor pitched to Surly’s “still calm, you fucker?”

A 3-0 series lead will do that. Why? Because not only are we ahead, you can count the number of teams that have come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NHL playoffs to win on one hand. If memory serves me correctly, you could lose two fingers from that hand and still cover that number.

Uh oh.

Is this suddenly the L.A. Kings series to lose?

Yes.

The Kings are expected to close this bitch out. Game 4 should be the last game. 60 minutes. Done. The fat lady sings. We stick an apple in Ryan Kesler’s mouth and roast that pig. That comes with pressure. Pressure to perform. Pressure to win. If for one moment you think that it is not probable the Vancouver Canucks can come back, tie this series and take it game 7, ask yourself how probable it was for the Kings to take a 3-0 series lead.

From Drew Doughty:

The next game is going to be the toughest of them all. Vancouver took it to us last night. They played their best game of the series, and now it’s our turn to play our best game. We can’t treat it as if we’re up three-nothing. We just have to win one more. We have to play our hardest game yet, and just take it as if we’re down a few.

When did this kid mature? Love Drew’s defensive acumen in this series. I hope he gets a goal and assist in game 4 and we walk off the ice with victory earned.

GO KINGS!



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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23 replies

  1. I think Drew started to mature when Sutter came to town . . .

    • Exactly! He still needed guidance and now he is getting it. He needed to be told to listen to Willie, Scuds and Greener and he is. He needed to be reminded that his job is defense first.
      He’s reminding me of why you lock him down for seven years.. BECAUSE THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST YEAR!

      Suck on that everyone else in the NHL.

  2. This series is reminiscent of the year we beat a very heavily favored Edmonton Oiler team. They had Gretzky, Messier, Coffey and we were pretty much pronounced dead before we started. The Oilers did not imagine a scenario where they could lose. I also remember the year the Islanders came back from 3-0 to Pittsburg. I suppose my point is it isn’t over yet, and all it will take for the Canucks to get back in is to win the next one. So as my Surly son would say…”let’s kill these fuckers!”

  3. Of all the positive changes Sutter has made, Doughty is the most significant. You can measure his growth since the coaching change and i think Sutter recognizes how much potential Doughty has and is applying just the right guiding hand to help mold him. Sometimes you get lucky that way, a coach just has that kind of effect and it’s working with Doughty.
    As for Game 4, I think a team who wants it, wants to be recognized as a true contender has to have killer instinct. You have to have a go for the juggler approach. This team has some seasoned vets who’ve been down the road before and know what it takes to win. That’s crucial for a young team.
    By the comments made by the key players, the leader core, you get the sense they are not getting giddy or complacent with the 3-0, I think they know they have not played their best yet. I also think sutter is the kind of coach that knows that and he’ll have them ready. They need to come out and be aggressive and if they get a lead, they need to keep the pressure on.

  4. I just had to put this somewhere…

  5. So that other Sedin dickhead might play tomorrow.

    That scares me a little, but if the Kings can come out like the first game of this series, I think we’ll be seeing some handshakes at staples tomorrow

    • What scares me more is that we get a commanding lead and those Vancouver goons go apeshit and try to kill a few of our players. Seriously, the way things have been going around the league…

      • Yeah that sounds about right.

        That sounds like the Canuckleheads

        Our boys need to be tough and skate with their heads up and win this fucking thing!

  6. Interesting points in this preview of game 4.

    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/04/17/la-kings-eager-to-finish-off-canucks-at-home/

    Among other things, this was commented on:

    There’s more: Ryan Kesler hasn’t scored a goal in 15 games, David Booth has one goal in 14 games, and playmaker Henrik Sedin has one goal in 24 games.
    “Pucks haven’t been going in lately, and it’s been hard to score,” said Booth, who hasn’t scored in the first three playoff games of his career. “It’s intense, though. It’s been really exciting, so much fun to play (in the postseason).”

    Even though the Cansucks won the President’s trophy, they have had several team issues that have been unresolved since January, such as troubles on the PP, and some top players sputtering.

    Perhaps it can be righteously said that their own unresolved team sub par performance issues came to haunt them with this series. There troubles carried over for another 3 games into the post season.

    It is interesting to note that the Cansucks are giving out statements from yesterday and today that they had a wonderful time in SoCal, soaking up some sunshine, team brotherhood time, a love feast, and a retreat like atmosphere. Some players are saying that they are relaxed, feel good that they are the better team in reality, and they have the Kings were they want them now. Some of the comments are to the effect they just have to run off 4 wins in a row like some other teams have done in the past. So, they say that if other teams did it, they can too.

    On the other hand, several of the King players are saying that they have to play better and fix some specific defense and offense issues. It is said that they are playing a team that is rich in talent and skill and taking it to them, so that the Kings have to address that in the next game.

    I point this out, that on the eve of game 4, in essence, the Cansucks are saying they can pull it off 4 wins in a row, and the Kings are saying that they have to play better and respect the power of their opponent.

    For my money, and for whatever it is worth, the Kings are talking a storyline that will be much more effective for them, versus the talk that the Cansucks are spreading among themselves. I really question if the Cansuck really believe they can pull off 4 wins in a row after they have had the various team deficient performance issues ever since January. Sounds to me like a bunch of window dressing.

    Boiling it down to the most common denominator, the Kings are saying they have to step up their game to beat a strong and powerful team, and the Cansucks are saying that they are such a strong and great team that they can pull off 4 wins in a row just as other teams have done in the past.

    Therefore, I say that the Kings clearly have the better psyche talk to get the job done.

    GO KINGS GO!!

  7. Should be an interesting night tomorrow:
    Final at 3 Wednesday
    Final Thursday at 9am
    Final essay due Thursday at 4
    Kings game 7 Wednesday

    I may flunk everything

  8. The kings will win this series yet it wil be in 5 not 4!! i have how to bet all the games on wednesday on my blog though!! so come and enjoy and make soem cash! http://hockeyreflections.com/2012/04/sports-betting-strategy-for-wednesday-nhl-playoff-games/

  9. I have been following this team since I was a child in the 70’s. I hate to be the downer in this thread, but, as any long time Kings fan knows, if there ever was a franchise that can fuck up a dominant 3-0 lead, its the L.A. Kings. I pray that this team has gelled, and they are ready to make a run, but deep down, I am terrified. Just saying…

  10. I’m a season ticket holder stuck in Phoenix this week for a work conference. Couldn’t be more pissed. Although on Sunday I had the pleasure of being the only Kings fan in a room of 15 ‘nucks fans. It was glorious. I didn’t talk shit or taunt them after we won. One ‘nucks fan actually said, “I might cry.” Let’s finish this off tomorrow so I can tell these yahoos what I really think of their crap squad while I watch them cry and rub salt in the wound.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  11. You summed it up for me, Bobby. But as the Kings have won, my insanity has increased right along with my happiness. I think my coworkers are looking for me to run screaming through the hallways (although that wouldn’t be TOO unusual in my job, just not from one of the employees), my kids are tiptoeing around me and spending a lot of time outside, and my husband – who works a different shift than I do – doesn’t even ask what I’m doing when I’m sitting in the corner laughing quietly to myself, he just leaves the room until he has to go to work. (It isn’t my fault there have been some damn funny blogs spawned by this series, and he should pay attention and see if I happen to be holding my tablet.)
    So today, I’m just going to dress in my purple gear and try to stay positive and confident all day. But really, I feel like puking.
    I love my LA Kings. And as a long-suffering fan, I know that means accepting defeat (and defeat, and defeat, and defeat…). I want to believe this is their year. Their year to go all the way…TO THE SECOND ROUND!!!

  12. Great article as usual.

    I think when you really worry is when you feel like you’ve stolen the first three games, when you know you’re not the better team, but somehow have come away with the first three or two games. Then it’s like, we’re in a great position, but can we escape with the series? Can we steal the final game/s? Because it’s much easier to steal a game, or even three games, than a series. It’s hard to win a series when you’re not the better team, barring great fortune.

    I don’t think the Kings have to worry about that. With Carter in the lineup, playing like this, while the Canucks play like that, the Kings are the better team by a significant margin. Getting Daniel Sedin back has to make you worry more, like it could shift who the better team is, but watching the Canucks, I think their problems run deeper than missing Daniel. Then again the Kings looked like a totally different team, unable to hold a lead, before Carter came back.

    But the Canucks, Bieksa and Hamhuis both look injured to me, and that’s the heart of their entire defense. Edler may be hurt or just playing the worst hockey of his career.

    That’s just the defense. On offense, their strengths were always their 1st line, and having depth, i.e. their 3rd line. They are getting their 1st line back with Daniel Sedin, but losing Hodgson buried that third line. It’s just not the same with Pahlsson in the middle, he’s been so bad. The playoffs are being played at too high a level for him physically is what it looks like to me. He was better-than-expected to close out the regular season, but the pace just isn’t the same. Pahlsson has been a black hole in the middle of that Vancouver third line, even Colin Fraser is playing much better than him (Fraser may not have any skill, but at least he has some physical strength to play long the boards. Not Pahlsson).

    So the Canucks defense, should be their strength, looks like a weakness. Their forward depth, should be a strength, looks like a weakness. Their second line, always a weakness besides Kesler, does not even have Kesler going, he just hasn’t been the same since hip surgery in the offseason. There goes line two.

    All they have is their first line intact now, although Daniel may not be at his best, and their goaltending. Could they come back and win 4 in a row? It could always happen, but I think the Kings are the better team, and hopefully you can trust that.

    I will say, I’ve always appreciated Henrik Sedin as a player, and I’ve just gained further respect for him this series. The knock on him has always been that he can’t stand up to physical play, and that seemed to show against Boston last year, but whatever happened there, I can’t remember specifically, it seems to be the opposite now. Henrik just looks stronger to me, he is protecting the puck so well, you can’t take it from him even if you do get very physical. So I’ve been impressed with him, he’s basically the only Canucks player who has lived up to their reputations.

  13. There is some probabilit6y that the shmucks play well enough to win tnights game. However, gimick moves to provide incentive to players to play beyond their abillities, or provide emotional lift to “get after it” rarely succed. Schnieder in g3, despite the contention kings were out played or dominated, did not result in a win. Now, the other sedin may get a few minutes on the p

    • ower play is clearly (to me) another vain attempt to provide motovation to rest of the team. Not only do I give a high chance of failing, igive it a profoundly stupid. Really, what are the chances he takes a hard clean check and is done for 6 months ala gagne. Why risk such a disturbing outcome? Why risk a rusty, (guessing) out of shape star player, whose potential for errors\turnovers is only going to create more scoring chances for kings. The kings will dominate this game. Smucks get a goal 2 maybe? The real game changing motivation belongs to the kings. This is the game that gets noticed back east.. this is the game that stamps us finishers in every respect. This is the game every king knows they must win for themselves, for the team, for us, the true fans, who have won, and m9ostly lost the decade. The time has come. Kings win in a blowout.

  14. …been a nervous wreck since i woke up yesterday morning. I have high hopes and will be screaming my lungs out tonight at the game but the thought that we may not win.. makes me sick. Praying to the hockey gods for a clean sweep so I dont go gray at 24 =/

    On a positive note, our boys have been playing very well consistently in this series, seems like Vancouver is trying different things to come up with a solution to their many issues, or to throw us off but….pressures on. Kings must be on top of their shit tonight and handle the puck like a boss…

    Nervous, yet excited. Letts go Kings!!!

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