Kings Off To A Start

I’m a pretty happy guy. The Kings are three wins away from a second Stanley Cup in who-gives-a-fuck-how-many years, it’s a second Stanley Cup.

I’m a pretty lucky guy. I have been to 14 out of 22 playoffs games so far and by the time the Kings have played twice in New York, will have been to 16 out of 25. You do the math, I have stomach lining to make ready for large amounts of amazing pizza.

The Kings are a good team.

The Rangers are a good team.

The Kings are a better team.

All I’ve heard about over the last three days is the Rangers’ speed. After every pundit, broadcaster and writer commented on how fast the Rangers are, I then heard Pierre McGuire say on the radio that not enough has been made of the Rangers speed. And yet, I haven’t heard so much as a peep about the Kings’ ugliness. Come on, Clifford, King and sorry to say, beady-eyed Toffoli, there is just as much big time ugly on the Kings as there is big time speed on the Rangers. Surprisingly, no one seems to talking about it. Weird.

OK fine, the Rangers have some players like Hagelin, Kreider and Pouliot with nuclear reactors baked into their skates. Forgive me for finding myself only mildly concerned. That pony has one trick and smells like glue.

The Kings began this game playing the game they played against the Blackhawks but with tired legs – one-on-one moves, every player looking to make the big play, trading chances. It worked against the Hawks, an intensely strong possession team that looks to hang onto the puck as much as possible. New York is a different animal with better pizza, scruffier hipsters and more trash on the streets. The Rags play a game of “chip and pray”. They do not look to possess and control loose pucks, they look to chip them past onrushing players and pray their speed can get them a scoring chance. Outside of a few sloppy, Anaheim-styled garbage cycles in the first period, the Rangers could not muster any semblance of an offense that wasn’t immediately derived from pressuring a King man-on-man through the neutral zone or roaming high against their own blue line when the Kings cycled the puck to their defensemen.

This was an effective style against:

1) The Philadelphia Run-Amok-A-Schmucks.
2) The Pittsburgh Crosby, Malkin And Then Nones.
3) The Montreal Oops We Dove Agains

I give the Rangers full credit. Lundqvist is an insanely good goalie and has long been one of my favorites. Derek Stepan is an exciting young player in this league. Hagelin, Kreider, McDonagh – fun players to watch. Brad Richards was interesting for about 117 games in his career. Rick Nash was awesome as an overgrown fish in a midget pond. Martin St. Louis will go down as one of the most memorable players to skate NHL ice in about 47 weeks when he shrivels up into 3 foot tall mound of old man grey penis hair. The Kings can not take this group of Rag Tags (is that a compliment or an insult for the “Rags”? I’m not sure) lightly or they will get burned.

However, against Darryl “Fuck You For Asking Me A Question” Sutter’s Los Angeles Kings, their stingy defense, explosive offense, unspeakably mind-boggling resilience and ability to make adjusts on the fly, the Rangers have an uphill battle to climb that does not have the accustomed steel-gated elevator to ride. Once the Kings identified their opponent after a first period in which they were out-skated and forced into some stupid decisions with the puck, the clamps were squeezed and the Rangers were almost entirely incapable of converting anything other than one of their “chip and pray” plays into sustained pressure or a skillfully manufactured scoring chance.

Once again, I want to stress, the Kings do not have an easy opponent.

The series gets interesting from here and the Kings, as they have with every passing game in the 2014 playoffs, need to find ways to be better. So while the overtime win is sweet in so many ways, the Kings are off to nothing more than a start.



Categories: L.A. Kings Game Reports

Tags: ,

12 replies

  1. I have the same feeling that I had in 2012. The Kings are on a roll. While we have not dominated the playoffs the way we did back then, I still feel like our victory is inevitable. That being said, I don’t think we should be overconfident – given what we did to a very good San Jose team. Anything is possible and the Rangers are a good team.

    Really happy with our team, their hustle and their mentality. I am very pleased with the way they play and the exciting hockey they have brought us to date. The Chicago series was the best playoff series I have ever seen.

    Personally, I am happy with the play of the entire team – even though we made some mistakes in game 1, I think this is to be expected as nerves of being in the finals and exhaustion from the Hawks series.

    I believe Richards has never fully recovered from some of his concussions over the past few years. He used to be a great player and sometimes I get frustrated watching him play. However, I think he is a winner and brings a lot of leadership and heart to the team. He even contributes at times, such as the game winning assist to Williams. Therefore, I think he is a great 4th line center, and the intangibles he brings are not measurable.

    Go Kings Go!! Let’s bring home the Cup!

    • Richards is a large part of the Kings success, including this year in a lot of ways. Last night he was a key factor in both the GTG and the GWG. His boardwork got the puck out of the Kings zone and his pass to JW set up the GWG. More important was the play he made on the GTG. When Doughty is moving toward the net, Richards positions himself in front and immediately ties up Stralman’s stick, so DD had a lane and nobody/no stick to intrude.
      He does stuff like that all the time because is IQ is that high.

      He’s not a 4th line center and wasn’t last night or in several games. He played most of his shifts last night with Williams and some with Pearson. He can’t contribute points playing on the 4th line with 4th line wingers and all his points have come when he’s NOT on that line for a reason. He’s too talented and smart (when healthy) to be wasted there. He’s not 100% and hasn’t been for months, and I’d suspect the shoulder (as has been rumored) for a lot of reasons and his lack of fights this year would be one. That motion is something you avoid with a bad shoulder.
      He’s a smarter and far more dangerous player, when healthy, than Stoll/

  2. Everyone should avoid the tendency to take a Stanley Cup Final opponent lightly. The Rangers ARE a good team. They certainly deserve to be in this final. I know this team well. However, the Kings are truly special. As everyone on this blog has acknowledged … they have a unique way of being able to adjust to the methods of their opponents.

    This series will not be a sweep. But I know the Kings WILL prevail!!!

    • I don’t pay much attention to other teams other than the Kings. The Rangers are hella fast. They love to jump into plays and get you caught in an odd man rush. Hagelin, Pouliot, Zucharello and that other speedy fucker St Louis.

      The good thing is that the Kings Will wear them down. A sweep would be nice. :)

      • I try to keep up with a few teams in the NHL. I continue to qualify my words by reminding everyone that the Kings will ALWAYS be my favorite team.

        The Rangers team and organization has always been a class act. Some teams, like the Capitals, in the east, and the Canucks, Sharks and Schmucks, in the west, are dirt-bags. I don’t know why they have always been ugly, nasty and dirty, but they have. I could never call the Rangers rags. I assume that some of you literally hate every other team in the NHL. I don’t. I believe that some teams deserve respect, because they’ve earned it. Detroit is a team that comes to mind when I think of respect.

        Before NY hired Alain Vigneault, they had a very irritating individual by the name of John Tortorella. He attempted, without really trying, to put his image onto the team. Fortunately, Glen Sather finally made the change. Alain Vigneault is a class act. Now, the Rangers are the Rangers again. Yes, I’m a little partial to the Rangers because I’ve been a fan of that team since I was in high school. But I’m cheering loudly for the Kings! LA is a very special organization. It is also an organization that is operated with class. Even Sutter, who can be very annoying, is a class act. I love this team!!

        The best thing I can hope for is a good and competitive series; one where the loser (the Rangers) will still feel proud that they fought a good fight. BUT they WILL still be the dejected ones when they shake hands with the Kings … after the Kings win game four!!

        Go Kings!!!

      • Would you please quit saying Hella?

  3. Man, the Rangers best offense is when they are on the PK. The Kings need to make the Rangers pay for taking so many chances at pressuring at the blue line and get them to back off. It was like in 2012 when the Kings were on the PK and they produced so many shorthanded scoring chances.

    • too bad the Rangers’ power play sucks. ;-) The Rangers press all around, even more than the Hawks did. That will produce odd-man rushes or open shots on Lundquist. So much for the vaunted NY Rangers defense. When the other team presses, it makes our offense look (omni)potent, unlike the regular season. The offset is that Quick is left high and dry when their is a counter-counter punch. So far so good, but the team needs to stop the sloppy defensive breakdowns– it gave life to Chicago, and it made the Rangers look like all-stars. That is when the Kings let close games get away from them. Last round it was Mitchel and Voynov letting uncovered cycling players receive the puck in the low slot. In the Finals it was Voynov slow on the back-check (twice), Mitchel getting snake-bit, and Doughty stick-handling. Thank God for Clifford’s speed or it would not have gone to OT.

  4. THey need to be smarter when Hagelin’s around , fastest player in the NHL and will burn you if you let him. Kings should come out fired up and rested on Sat and get a better start. they need to cut down on the odd man rushes going the other way, and keep hitting the Rags. That physical play and hounding the puck in the O zone, make the Rags D work and wear them down, force icings or penalties. Keep the pressure on.


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