Sometimes, hockey is a game of inches and bounces. If you break this game down, the reason the L.A. Kings didn’t score more than one goal was exactly that. The shots that went off the post. The pucks that hopped over sticks at the worst time. You can’t control that. You can control effort and the L.A. Kings gave that tonight.

The reason the L.A. Kings gave up two goals was Jonathan Quick. We praise him when he does well. He earned the grief today for that first goal. This is the Stanley Cup Final, game 5. Mistakes like that are unacceptable. He played well the rest of the game and stopped some quality scoring chances but that is also his job. Fumbling pucks, poor passes and giving the New Jersey Devils a gift is not.

It’s fitting that, to the naked eyes (before you look at the stats), the Devils played better in the first two games and lost and, in the last two games, the Kings played better and lost. So far, only game 3 has been a scoring anomaly.

“The Kings lost their first road game.” Those types of subplots are for the media and casual fans. We don’t care about that. We care about winning the Cup.

“I am freaking out!’ That is your prerogative. You can also recognize that 4 out of the 5 games in this series could have gone either way. This was always a close series, despite the 3-0 lead. This should not surprise you.

“Martin Brodeur looks really good.” He is a good goalie. He has also been lucky. Jonathan Quick is a good goalie. He too has been lucky.

“I can’t breathe…” Breathe…breathe…

“What is wrong with Dustin Brown?” Perhaps what Surly & I have heard is right. He didn’t look like the same player tonight and in parts of this series. I won’t reveal details because a) I have no idea if it is right and b) this is the Stanley Cup Final and all of us have a responsibility to shut up about such things.

“Slava Voynov…another off him.” Can’t blame Slava for that. I want him to play solid, mistake free defense. Pucks going off him is just back luck. The dunces on NBC can talk about that nonsense.

I like a lot of what I saw tonight. This is how character is tested. The L.A. Kings and New Jersey Devils are both being tested.

Go Kings.