There are certain adages about fighting engrained in me.
1. Fighting is stupid. Avoid it if you can.
2. If you must fight, never hit a guy just once. All you do is piss him off.
3. Defense first. If you cannot avoid a punch, you may never land a punch.
4. Hit small, miss small. Sternum, ribs and kidney shots can end fights faster than a head shot.
5. Everyone has a plan until they get hit.
On Thursday night, the L.A. Kings went in with a plan…and they were hit. Hard. And it finally took the better fighters that night in San Jose to back off before the Kings were able to land a few.
Tomorrow, it’s a different fight. We are a little bruised, our egos especially, and our opponents come in with confidence that they had their way with us. If you can break the man’s spirit, you can generally break the man and everyone has a breaking point.
The Kings must not enter Sunday’s game with a plan to compete, play well or any other vague, feel-good intention.
Tomorrow is a fight. It cannot be avoided. It must be bloody. Someone must lose and we must defend well first, counter punch second and, when given the opportunity, break ribs, fracture bones and knock San Jose out, not just down. The Kings must be opportunists and relentless when given it. San Jose must not feel the toe end of their skates.
There cannot be an absent Dustin Brown, a milquetoast Mike Richards and every player to the man must treat Sunday’s game like it’s the last game of their career.
Today, I saw the Columbus Blue Jackets win their first playoff game. I was thrilled. I got chills. Watching the highlights, those boys were playing for their hockey identity and manhood. They didn’t ask, they took. They left it all on the ice and won as a team.
Anything less from our Kings and we may kiss our hope of a second round matchup with Anaheim goodbye.
San Jose has not forgotten about last season’s playoff loss, after a 2-0 lead. The wounds are fresh. We must not let them heal. We must open them wide and make them bleed. Those boys think we’re beat up. They think we’re hurt. Hurt we must deliver. Pain we must inflict.
Surly will write the prayer.
Let’s Go Kings!
Categories: LA Kings Playoff Coverage