So It Begins…

In the moment, tonight is another playoff hockey game, a win placing our LA Kings closer to winning their second Stanley Cup.

In the bigger picture, one sees a playoff series against two teams separated by a short drive and a heightened level of animosity.  One sees intangible emotions such as bragging rights.

We care not for the bigger picture. It is irrelevant to our moment and the moment is where we live.

Our hatred for Ducks fans does not tickle the smallest curls of our hairy balls compared to the love and pride that swells within our heart and exits our lungs for our Los Angeles Kings. Our aim is on the latter for the latter is where our energy, at it peak or otherwise, from the first moment to the last, will expend.

We go this night to their arena in support of our team.

And our team’s focus is singular.

Win.

Lessons learned in the series against San Jose include several and  those our boys took to heart. It is not coincidence those lessons equally apply to the series against Anaheim for Anaheim’s game mirrors that of the Sharks.

1. Close gaps on trailers and take away the lateral passing lanes: Predictable. That is what the San Jose Sharks were. We pleaded to close the gaps and take away seams available for lateral passes. The Kings did. The Kings shut down the Sharks’ offense.

The Kings need make no adjustments to this strategy against Anaheim for they also rely so very much on cross seam passes to open wingers or defensemen for one time shots. Teemu Selanne has made a career of this. They have set plays, predictable ones, in that regard. Take it away and, just like San Jose, Anaheim must rely on a traditional forecheck for which they are not built. The Ducks do not place great emphasis on a punishing offensive cycle whose focus is to wear defenses down. That is our system and one for which we are built. The Ducks rely on loose pucks, time, space and lanes. An aggressive defense that limits each swallows them whole…

“I think their defense just swallowed us up, to be honest with you.” Joe Thornton after the game 7 loss.

2. Block shots: The Kings started to block shots more often in the last series after game 2, not just any shot but those that could and would otherwise get through to Quick or near him. This made a tangible difference as the Sharks failed to sustain any net traffic and did not have garbage to pick up around the net.

Corey Perry likes to lurk around the net. He likes the garbage goals. This takes us back to cause and effect. To take position next to Perry only creates a double screen. Instead, the focus becomes keeping shots from getting through to the net, specifically those that come if the Ducks have “set up” and have Perry in position. Limit those and we limit opportunities. This forces Perry to move away from the net, where he is least effective and allows our defense to do what it does well – retrieve the puck and breakout.

3. Quick passes, quick shots: What impressed me the most about the L.A. Kings offense in the last 4 games was their willingness to play an up tempo, speed and skill game when the opportunity arose. They did not rely exclusively on a forecheck but rather got the puck up ice, across the blue line and, when the Sharks offered them seams and lanes, the Kings took them. Quick passes, led to one timers or time and space to maneuver and quality chances that sometimes resembled open nets. It is that opportunistic offense mixed in with a strong forecheck that will wreak havoc on Anaheim’s defense.

In a fist fight, it is very difficult to defend against a southpaw who can fight with both a left-forward or right-forward stance. It causes the opposing fighter to hesitate and “think” about the manner of defense. The angles of attack change and often results in punches getting through, sometimes without a counter attack, often with a knockout.

An offense that can both cycle and wear down a defense and find lanes for cross ice passes and one timers is the equivalent of a fighter who can jab with the right or left and comes with a devastating cross. That is who the LA Kings are at their best and their best was on full display against San Jose in games 4 through 7.

4. Faceoffs: Faceoff victories equal possession in the offensive zone and denial of possession to the opponent in the defensive zone. Faceoffs are the ignition for each. Faceoffs during the powerplay, penalty kill and after extended shifts (such as an icing) have a measurable impact on the success or failure of an offensive or defensive structure. We were exceptional at faceoffs against San Jose in the last 4 games, especially when it mattered most. Exceptional we shall remain.

Surly and I will be at the game tonight as well as Monday’s match.

If you will be there, focus your heart, soul, lungs and love for our L.A. Kings. Once we enter their house, all that matters to each of you shall be our boys rising to victory.

We shall bring our best.

We shall Make Them Pay.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

45 replies

  1. When the truth is spoken its weight is undeniable. I would have said something more like: Ducks are gamey loose pond butthole, Kings are unstoppable historically awesome tight butthole. Yours is totally better.

  2. Many people don’t seem to be able to comprehend the difficulty of “properly” playing Sutter’s system. His system has many pieces. If the players buy in to it, and are skilled enough to play it, his system is the “total hockey” way to success in the NHL. With Sutter’s constant line juggling, this season, it’s been extremely difficult to get that system rolling smoothly. We’ve all been frustrated by this. I’ve stated, many times, that all of the line juggling has prevented this team from properly jelling. I don’t know what made Sutter settle in on these basic lines, but it HAS solidified this team. Hopefully, Mitchell will be back soon, and if this team can stay healthy, they have a good chance of being in the Cup final.

    Bobby made some good points. This is all integral to the Kings’ system of hockey.

    The Kings WILL defeat the Ducks!!
    Go Kings!!!

  3. Beautiful breakdown of what needs to be done to secure victory. Good job

  4. Regehr and Voynov better play, and better play good. I’m sick of their lackadaisical shenanigans. Muzzinhas ooutplayed those fuckers as far as I’m concerned. All that other bullshit you wrote can go to hell. Kings must pound the defenseman of the Quaks at every chance and stymie and styffle the big guns of Perry and Getzlaff. Richards is going to have to play his ass of this series. His play is going to be extremely important. Also, Anderson is inexperienced and unproven. Pucks and bodies must come towards him frequently and without remorse. Kill Kill KILL!!!!!!!!

  5. Damn….17:00 can’t come fast enough!!!
    I just replaced the flag of our neon “slow, children at play” plastic man with a kings car flag and fixed that little fucker out in the street!
    GMFKG!!!

  6. Why do I hear the voice of Brian Hayward. We get no Bob and Jim and now have to listen to the insufferable Hayward on NBCSN?

    • I feel the same way! I can’t stand that guy, and I hate the sound of his whiny voice!!!!

  7. Jesus Christ put the local hospital on a stroke alert……..I’m feeling a left sided deficit with this game!!!!

  8. Awesome goal by Gaborik!! We’ve got overtime!!!!

  9. Gaborik does it again!!! We have game #1!!!!

  10. Ducks are so loose butthole.

  11. AAAAAAAAHHHHHH SSSSHHHHIIIITTT!!
    Did you just see what god just did to us!!
    GABORIK!!! GABORIK!!! GABORIK!!!

  12. 3 more than behead an octopus and burn it. Crazy shit tonight.

  13. Martinez had one helluva game. Totally owned every inch of the ice for the 30 plus minutes he was out there. Greene on the other hand….

    Go Kings

  14. Make my CRAP day into A OH SO HAPPY LIFE!!!
    Didn’t see the Scribe on Twitter..he must be hot at Work writing a Great Post for his Bloggers..or hot at work…
    Surly as Well..
    Everyone Celebrate!!!
    I for one watched the seconds tick down..45 or something and I said
    ‘We Can do This’
    I believe..
    look at how they are pressing..I just FELT it..
    knew it was time for one of those pull it out at the final second games.
    So I was delicious but also nodding. .
    ‘I knew it’
    Weird huh?
    Just wanted a chance to get into OT.
    My girlfriend called from NO to me
    screaming into phone…Yap Yap..then said have to go..OT starting.
    Then she called again when we got the Game winner
    I was screaming even worse :-D
    KINGS=WARRIORS
    Least No one Ever forget.
    GOKINGSGO!!!

  15. Nice to hear my fellow Kings fans at the Ponda tonight. Let’s not rest on our laurels. Let us enjoy this win tonight and buy those tickets on StubHub before those mangy chickens can get their hands on them. We will likely be plugging a new defenseman into the line-up for game 2 and the Kings will need our full support in order to head back home with the 2-0 lead in the series.
    I’d like to place a special shout out to my new Kings friends in section 434 at Ponda. I’m pretty sure our GKG chant at the end of regulation directly led to the game tying goal. Good work, my friends.

  16. That was the most exciting game I’ve ever been to! It was also my first time at the pond and that place is pretty bland…

    That 2nd period was brutal, almost gave me a heart attack!

    I’m going to keep wearing my Palffy jersey, not washing it either :x

  17. “We can bend, but we won’t break.” “Resilience is our middle name, if Defense is our first and Opportunistic is our last.”
    These are the Kings mottos, or they should be.
    Good one lads!

  18. What is up with all the “butt-hole” references or obsession? N E way that game was one of better games I have seen from the Kings this season.

    Quick was Quick, and even with 5 defensemen one being Matt Greene, the boys worked their tails off and never
    quit!

    Gaborik what a great 2 goals he scored, not to mention the pass on the 1st goal to Martinez.

    I was using the “Mexicutioner” for AMART but since his ethnicity includes Spainish (Spain) he shall now be refered to as the Spaniard.

    The Spaniard in the movie Gladiator beat up pretty much everyone who challenged him, so Alec Martinez or as some play by play guys refer to him as Alex shall now be referred to as the Spaniard!

    The schmucks tried to throw a lot of rubber at Quick, but our defense was not going to allow it! Even with the extended periods where the schmucks were pressuring the Kings, they came out with flying colors.

    They all gave as good as they got. and finally after some real close games or just poorly played games against the schmucks, the Kings ended up winning,

    Did you notice how they as a team reacted to Gaborik’ goal to win game 1? That looked like the same team that ran the gauntlet in 2012 and won a Stanley Cup.

    I’m not saying they are going to win the cup just yet, but seeing them celebrate together as a whole team, they looked like that confident team that was not going to lose.

    • That last sentence about the Kings being confident and having that ‘we won’t lose’ look and mentality goes hand in hand with Doughty’s post game comments. That with 1 min left, they knew they weren’t going to lose. This is a special group and when they work so hard for each other, shift after shift, it shows. They stole a win on a night where they didn’t play their best at times and were short 1 D (2 if you count Greene) and got a W. Between this win and the reverse sweep, it proves that God is still a kings fan wearing his champagne soaked 2012 Kings jersey.
      I think they’ll be a much more focused group on Monday and will put on a full court press to get that 2nd 2 going home.
      GKG

      • Their teamwork, and “persistence,” is similar to what the Boston Bruins bring. They know they have the skill and abilities to score at anytime. So, even if they are nearing the end of the game, they also know the horn hasn’t sounded yet!

        Yesterday’s game was really special. It was like the 7th game of a Stanley Cup final. The Kings know that they’ve had some poor performances against the Schmucks, and they don’t want that to happen again!

        I also loved to see the team in a group huddle at the end! They knew that they did a good job against their LA Basin Nemesis!

        As for Jonathan Quick, he played another fabulous Quick game! He DID over-commit on the Schmuck’s first goal, but he knows it. I’m sure that he’ll attempt to reign in his aggressiveness in future games. Aggressiveness is a good thing, for his style, but he can get caught when a shooter is patient and skilled with the puck.

        I DO wonder who Sutter will bring in for their 6th D-man. Whoever it is, we can only hope that he buys into the system, and he listens to the guidance that will be given to him. He only needs to camp out in front of the net and protect Jonathan Quick.

        Onward and upward!!

        Go KIngs!! :-)

      • I saw Green on ice for the go ahead goal..
        BUT
        also saw him ballstothewall playing his Heart out.
        And all I was hoping is ‘keep your stick down..no penalty’
        and he did.
        I would rather have Greener then 3/4s of the D men out there.
        Don’t sell him short.
        GOKINGSGO!!!

        • Everyone would love for Greene to play the way he did at his peak. However, due to injuries and age, he can’t. But I think he’s still able to do a Journeyman’s job as a good stay-at-home D-man. He has a big heart. He still has that inner drive to win. If he can give 100% for the remainder of this playoffs run, he will have done enough for the Kings. He just needs to stay out of the penalty box. What will happen with Greene for the next season? We don’t need to think about that now. Let’s just hope that he stays healthy and gives all he’s got, which should be enough.

    • Workaholics. Funniest show on TV. Totally tight butthole.

      • Manny Pacqiao is the Mexicutioner. Because he has beaten so many Mexican fighters. I’d happy to answer any other questions you may have.

    • Schmucks is a good name for those Quacks!! :-)

  19. Brain Hayward apologized for the fanboy coverage of the game last night. He said he said he’s gonna mix it up. First two games he’s gonna cheer for the home team, next two games he’s gonna slant it more towards the away team. So that’s fair.

  20. DEATH to Brain Hayward!

    • Take it easy, Duck Killa! Let’s just wish that Hayward could somehow no longer be a participant in play by play for NBC broadcasts of Schmucks/Kings games! :-)

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