The Expected & The Unexpected Of Round Two

Now that my head swims less in liquor and more in reason, albeit slightly nauseous reason, I want to reflect a bit on what we’ve seen so far, not just in this Kings/Blues series, but around the NHL in round two of the 2012 playoffs.

Starting back East, lines of superiority are being blurred, as they often are so wonderfully in the post season. Washington goes toe to toe with New York and New Jersey finds ways to edge out the preposed juggernaut Flyers. Before the playoffs began there were two team that scared me in the East, New York and to a lesser extent the Flyers.

The Rangers are solid and up and down their roster, with no glaring weaknesses. They possess firepower, defense, a world class goalie and outstanding coaching. Washington, still riding high from ousting the former Cup champs in a dramatic 7 game series, are leaning heavily on their own goaltender. Whoever said after the Blackhawks won their Cup with an average Niemi in net that the era of the goalie-driven cup teams was over, has since been silenced. This playoffs has been all about the tending.

While the Capitals hold their own and are only down a game, ultimately I still see the Rangers taking care of business. Holtby won’t play above his pay grade forever and even if he does, he is still outmatched by Lundqvist and the Rangers superior forward group will win the day. Rags will finish this one up in 6.

The Flyers are down 2-1 against the Devils. Who would have guessed? Not me, since I was praying the Devils would lose their own first round game 7 to the Panthers. New Jersey is proving again that defense and goaltending mixed with balanced offense eventually topple a team built primarily on offense. For all Philadelphia’s rock ‘em sock ‘em ways, they find themselves behind the 8-ball when matched against a team that plays a tight system. I still want the Kings to play the Flyers in the Cup finals, for the sake of the poets, and I do see them righting this ship and taking back control of the series, but I don’t see them getting past the Rangers after that. Universe has a few more solid wins in him, but not enough to make it past the Finals. This one is going to 7 games and Martin Brodeur will simply have to go gently into that good night.

Do the Rangers and Flyers still scare me? The Rangers a little, the Flyers not at all. The orange freaks are a one note team. Granted its a shockingly loud note, but not loud enough to drown a symphony. The Rangers are the conducted orchestra and thus do give me slight pause when I imagine Gary Bettman’s wet dream of a LA vs NY cup finals, but not as much as they did when these playoffs began.

Now Bobby will say I’m getting ahead of myself, but as he is expectedly literal during the season and I predictably superstitious, Scribe has unexpectedly gone paranoid this post season and my typical harebrained beliefs have been stifled. Or perhaps just replaced with the faith that prayer brings.

On to the West.

Phoenix… oh Phoenix. I’ve asked a few people “Do you know the one team left that really scares me?” Nearly all of them have quickly said “Phoenix”.

The Coyotes may have caught the Predators napping, and Nashville will likely come back tonight swinging and are likely to make a real series out of what initially looked like it might be a blowout, but these are both teams that play the complete game. Nashville doesn’t scare me because the Kings own the Predators and Rinne’s name alone precludes him from having real success.

Of the 4, I’ve seen the least of this series but Phoenix, like the Kings, is hot at the right time, has an offense that is balanced, a system that is religiously adhered to and a goalie that can absolutely control a game when called upon. I have the hardest time predicting this series, but whoever wins, I hope its in a bloody mess of a game 7.

And finally the Kings. Oh our Kings. The righteous team. I wanted this series so badly. I knew we could whip the Blues. I knew we matched up against them well. I knew their inexperience would succor them into mistakes and their goaltending wouldn’t hold a candle to ours.

What I did not know was how completely we would be able to unravel their team.

The St. Louis Blues have been undone, in a sense, singlehandedly by Dwight King. This supposedly tough, but clean team was instantly flustered by a questionable hit to their star defenseman. Whereas I once was dismayed by the Kings lack of a response to questionable hits against Kopitar or Doughty, I never once saw the team become unglued because of such a play.

At first the Blues had no answer for Quick, the unsolvable riddle. Then they had nothing to say to our intensity. Next they were wanting for an emotional response from us to their own physical exuberance and finally, as we saw last night, they have shut down completely, gone comatose when asked for the answer. No hand is raised, the wheels stopped turning. The Blues team we played in game 3 was a shell of the team that shocked and awed the league after Hitchcock took over.

The Kings are hungrier, fiercer, tighter and more deadly. Our gap control is out of this world, our star players are stepping up while at the same time our role players are contributing regularly. This is no one player’s team, this is as collective an effort and cohesive a group as I’ve ever seen the Los Angeles Kings deploy. What warms my heart are not just the full 60 minute efforts but the response to adversity. When they do make mistakes, which will inevitably happen, they carry on unfazed. King Kong’s goal last night was testament to this. Drew Doughty’s was so timely it made up for the utter lack of timing with which he negotiated his contract.

Some say the bounces are just finally going our way. Bull.

The bounces are always there, but we have always in the past missed the bounce. No matter how many fortuitous pucks hop off the boards or bodies in advantageous ways, no one says you “got the bounces” if you don’t cash in on those opportunities. Pucks will find their way to your sticks if you play the game with integrity of system, confidence and determination.

We are unflappable.

Sunday we forget our own history as we resign the Blues to nothing but. Sunday we reach the point of no return on our way to the Cup.

Expectations take a back seat to faith.

Go Kings!



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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34 replies

  1. Sunday can’t come any sooner. My confidence in this team has always been high, but they have raised it to a whole new level of HIGH (naturally of course) in the post season. To touch on something you mentioned which I believe to be one of the key things with this team, yes, mistakes are bound to happen; but it’s now to react and handle those mistakes that makes or breaks you. Playing collectively as a team and NOT falling apart after a mistake is huge in keeping the momentum going. Especially when you retaliate with a goal to shut the opposing team up and diminish any hope they had in possibly coming back to win instead of making the sin bin your home for a couple minutes.

    So proud of how this team has overcome adversity and not just learned but GROWN from their mistakes. Lessons learned, it shows.

    As for the ‘yotes or pred… if we play the solid 60 and not fall apart like the blues…we can definitely get through to the finals. Yes, it will be tough, it will be a challenge and will certainly take lots of hard work but this team has shown us what they can do. I truly believe we haven’t seen the best yet. Lets knock out whoever comes our way as we journey down to fairly short and oh so close road to the cup.

    GO KINGS! :D

  2. how we react*

  3. Excellent article!! I agree wholeheartedly.

    ……….Not digging the whole noon start time though Sunday. My Kings, like myself, do not like day games.

    • Great insight! I do feel the Kings can take out STL on Sunday. They just have no answers for our Kings and when they do get a goal we respond right back. That’s just a great sign that our Kings want it and are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Go Kings!

  4. Good synopsis of the series. I was in NYC in Nov and December. Saw quite a bit of the CAPs, Rangers and Philly. The CAPs survived on the mentality that AO could save their bacon but this year he seems to have gone vegin.

    Philly is a very entertaining team to watch but they need 4 or 5 goals a night to make it happen and that’s not happening against the Rangers or in the Finals. I’ve seen the Rangers turn back the best Philly has to offer.

    The Rangers are the real deal. If the Cup round is to feature the two best teams in hockey one of them has to be the Rangers. Tough, balanced and they just don’t give up. Hope the Kings meet them and not one of those three Eastern stooge teams.

  5. Surly, saw you recording some of the crowd after the 3rd game. Are you going to post it up?? GKG!!

  6. When I now watch and appreciate what is ongoing with the Kings, it reminds me of some real powerful weapons that totally blows away opponents. I mean it really causes the opponent to say: I need to run and hide.

    Good comparisons to the Kings:

    You know what I mean, which is that you want to wave the white surrender flag and it is just futile to even try to engage in a contest. You are defeated before you even begun.

    That must be how the Blues must be feeling sulking and dreading that they have to go through the agony of getting their butts kicked all over Staples….

  7. Oh yeah…. Haven’t looked at the video yet. Probably will.

  8. Agree %100. If I had to pick a match-up it would be the Flyers. Bryz sucks, and you’re right a team that plays a tight defensive system can take them. Rangers on the other hand are scary for the reasons you mentioned, they are also well coached. Out west I was hoping we would get the Preds for conference final, we can beat that team. I think they are overrated.

    The Yotes on the other hand are terrifying right now. Smith is a wall, Doan is a great Captain, the wizard one of the best passers in the game, Vrabata having a career year and Yandle one of the best D men in the game. Not to mention the other guys who have stepped up for them. Tippet is a great coach. That team is blood guts and fire right now and it sucks we have to face them. They don’t seem to be fazed by anybody and have been on a roll since the last month and a half of the regular season. They are not gonna get taken out of their game and mentally collapse like the inexperienced Blues. They will come at us like Jason Vorhees. Axe sticking out of their head, covered in blood and shit until they are blown into a thousand pieces. Even then the pieces will still try to kill us.

    • Yes, the Yotes scare me, but don’t mistake that for any real lack of confidence. It just means that we’ll finally be challenged and have to play a full series to win. Our boys are up for it.

      But we get slightly ahead. This round is not over, the fat lady is, however, doing her pre-show vocal exercises.

      • Right dont wanna jinx this, its not over but yeah she’s backstage flicking the bean and she has a King’s tattoo on her ass.

      • Assuming….(knowing that this series is far from settled(regardless of what Helene wrote…it still the Kings) in my mind Phoenix is a bigger concern then any of the eastern teams.

      • Remember too fellas, the things we do best will limit even the Yotes from getting the ops their getting now. They will not get these open slot scoring ops, and with the way Quick is playing along with our “D” they will struggle to score. And if we can continue to get timely scoring from peps the other team isn’t paying attention too, we will come out the victor. It will be a match-up issue where I believe we have the advantage with 4 lines playing well.

  9. All you assholes shut the fuck up!

    It ain’t over til it’s over.

    • Listen bub, (yeah, that’s right, BUB), they don’t come more superstitious than me. But superstition can get in the way of confidence. I ain’t jinxing shit. I know it ain’t over. I know we still have to win one more game. I also know we are going to win that game. We are going to carefully put St. Louis’ skull on the side of the curb and stomp on their fucking neck. This is no different than how I’ve felt the entire round. No different than how I felt before the season ended. If I’m jinxing it, then I’ve been jinxing it the whole time, and it’s worked out pretty fucking well.

      I’m all for superstition – i fucking invented it- but don’t let it cloud your faith in destiny.

      So you shut the fuck up, asshole, and if your gonna open your semen foam filled face then let it be to exclaim how fucking proud you are of this team, how confident you are that we are going to drive a fucking stake through the aspirations of an entire city tomorrow and how goddamn excited you are to do the same thing to whichever team has the misfortune of winning that other series and playing the best, most together, most intense team in the NHL in the conference finals.

      It ain’t over till its over. It’s about to be over.

      • If you fuck up that game tomorrow with your big mouth, your ass is for the king!

        Be thinking about that.

  10. Dude, with all due respect to your fervor, I’m slightly supposititious, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. One win at a time please……

  11. The thing that has amazed me is the Blues inability to get the puck out of their zone. I know they missed their top D-man for a couple of game, but the rest have been giving up the puck left and right. I guess having some playoff experience really hel

  12. In regards to us getting ahead of ourselves, I will simply quote the Wolf:
    “Well, let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks quite yet.”

    Playing goal most of my life, it’s the whole “don’t say shut out” to your goalie thing. It’s not a lack of confidence…more being mindfull that luck and destiny are fickle things. Don’t temp fate…she’s a spiteful bitch. Ask Canuck Nation.

    • And I never say shut out.

      I made the mistake of saying the other S word after game 3 last round. I have not said that word.

      Tomorrow’s game won’t be easy. We will have to fight for it, nothing will be handed to us. But this team has learned from its mistakes. This year demons shall be excised and as we banished the bane of playoff overtime to win last series, so shall we demolish doubts of closing things out in the most timely of manners and the bitch of afternoon games shall be spanked.

      And I was merely speculating in the first place. Making predictions of things to come. There is no superstition that says you can’t theorize. I have no idea who is going to win the other series. I don’t know for fact that we will win this one, merely because it hasn’t happened yet. But I do have a feeling. I do have confidence. And expressing that confidence is not itself a violation of superstition.

      The word sw**p must not be spoken as the word shut out must not during a game either. And so I do not speak it. But I do say that we are going to win this series and advance to the finals and I firmly believe that will happen tomorrow.

      You people are trying to shit a shitter. I’m the superstitious one by nature. You people are telling the pope he needs to remember that Jesus was a pretty cool guy.

      • The unfortunate thing here, is I think most if us are gun shy to really believe. That’s why everyone (including myself) is tip toeing, playing it cool, and taking it one game at a time….trying not to jinx anything.
        It’s like we’re all in shock (and amazed) at the way our beloved team is playing. Nothing during this season, including the final two games, could’ve foreshadowed what’s happening now. Even on the last two games we buckled under pressure when our destiny was in our hands. When did this level of confidence and poise under fire become the norm for everyone on our team? Accordingly, I think we’re all loving this ride and enjoying it immensely, but with bated breath.

        • Yeah I get ya. My feeling has as if I’m living out a dream. I’ve seen it all before so clearly in my head that now that it is unfolding before my eyes, it is incredible, but not surprising.

        • And what if, one month from now, you wake up and you realize that it really is you-know-who lying next to you on the mattress in the soft light of a late spring dawn? Get it while you can, partner. Every jiggling, jolting, jack-hammering, rock-hard-nippled bounce of those beautiful, bountiful, balumptious BOOBS! The time is ripe.

          (You can thank me later for the fantasy fodder.)

  13. Hell’s Ya, Just got 2 tickets on VIP Tickets for Tomorrows game. I can’t wait to walk in The Staples tomorrow ……….. They might have to ask me to leave for being too loud :)

  14. Thursday night game was just awesome!
    I was the luckiest person..given a ticket by Friend..
    Great seat..great Kings fans around me..no enemy blues..one of the best games I have ever seen live..
    Our Amazing Boys..growing in skill..growing in chemistry ..growing in confidence.
    It is a Great time to be a King fan…savoring every second..
    Need to shiut a CONGRADULATIONS to Thoroughbred Trainer Doug O’Neill..huge King Fan on his wimning the Kentucky Derby today with I’ll Have Another!!!
    Nicest guy you would ever want to know…
    and Horray for California

  15. “For the sake of the poets”…

    I sometimes like to fuck my hottest ex on the living room sofa, while my current gf is looking on (in the kitchen, pretending not to notice). But what never fails to transpire is that, always to my amazement, the two of them end up 69ing it on the dining room table like there was no tomorrow, and all I get to do is take pictures.

    Simmonds. Schenn. Richards. Carter. (John Stevens, if you’re kinky.)

    You know what I’m talking about?

  16. Game 4 – GKG! is all I can say! I will be boobs out in section 210!

  17. Sweep. sweepity sweepidity sweeeep
    SWEEP.

    sahhhweeeeep.

    Jinx on the k…gs.
    i have 2 dimes at 1.45.
    no such thing as jinx
    only the delusion of self importance.

    (this is is counter jinx to un-jinx all the crap above).
    brownie don.t read no effing blogs.

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