The media will use “road warriors” and similar words to describe our dominance to date in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. And why not? We have earned it, right? We have, but beyond our road record, I share a more macro sized foundation for my enthusiasm. We have gotten progressively better in each series and we still have not played our best. It’s riding the bell curve and still being on the left side. Peak? May the Hockey Gods bless us with its timing.

You saw the game, you saw what we did. The Coyotes had their moments, but we all but dominated for 60 minutes. Smith was giving up rebounds and, a few bounces here and there, and we would have been up 3-0 after the first and more in the second. Rebounds aside, Smith was the only reason we didn’t destroy Phoenix tonight.

Dustin Brown in full beast mode.

Anze Kopitar, a one man wrecking crew. The puck loves him and is drawn to him.

Mike Richards looks dangerous each time he is out there. Carter has a whole other gear he will find but he has terrific chemistry with Richards and Dustin Penner and it shows. Our third and fourth lines stole my heart. They would not relent. Their forechecking was all consuming. King is Kong. Big, strong, smart and soft hands.

Rob Scuderi was aggressive and skating hard. Willie Mitchell is a rock. Slava Voynov has ice in his veins. 22? Wow. Color me excited to see what this kid will become.

Every forward to every defenseman played a terrific team game. Doughty had a gaffe but give the Coyotes credit for a good shift. A center ice goal. Shit happens. Patrick Roy gave up a couple of those in his career. It was a rare mistake. Quick played well in the third, when he needed to and turned away 9 or 10 in the last frame. If I know Jonathan Quick, he knows he had an off game and he will come back strong in game two.

Most importantly, we won. The Kings earned this victory. Let’s earn the next and, with the Hockey Gods smiling upon us, many more.

The Surly & Scribe Podcast Show will be tomorrow night. We have the entire road trip experience to share and want you to live it with us.

Go Kings!