LA Kings beat NJ Devils – One Game Down, Three to Go

Posted on May 31, 2012 by

Super delicious win last night. I finally was able to sleep a bit. Whether that was from relief or exhaustion, I’m not sure.  We won one Kings fans! Can you believe it? There is only 3 wins left to win the Stanley Cup. I know we still have a long way to go but just writing that sentence gives me goose bumps.

The Kings looked OK to me but certainly not their best. The game could have gone either way but thankfully it was ours last night. The Devils will regroup, watch video and come back stronger than ever on Saturday. The thing is, so will we! The Devils have lost the first game twice in the previous two rounds and came back to win them both. The difference with us being we did not play to our best and I think it’s going to be a little harder for them to take this series. I’m hesitantly more confident than yesterday. Typical Kings fan!

Let’s look back to our points and see how we did (today’s notes in bold):

  1. Great Goaltending – We all know we will need Quick to help us out and do his job. Both the Kings and the Devils have great goal scorers so it will be up to the goalies to keep the scoring low. The Devils have Brodeur and he has the experience with 3 previous cup wins. Quick will need to be his usual aloof self so none of the pomp and circumstance around Brodeur permeates him. Boy did it ever stay low scoring! Both goalies played well and both had a few close calls. Not much more you can ask from Quick than what he did last night. They had a few open nets up high and did not capitalize. Quick will watch video and readjust before the next game and that will definitely help. I was getting kinda pissy with all the “shoot high on Quick” talk, but looks like that does fit. Devils shot too high and missed but we probably will see a little more coverage up high on the next game.
  2. Power Play – We don’t really have one. So far that has been ok since we have over powered our opponents and didn’t need to rely on the pp. But the Devils are powerful too so finding a way to score with the advantage I think will be the most important piece to winning this game. The Devils will want to score on their power play as well and the Kings have a great Penalty Kill this season. They need to shut them down and keep a cool head. Same crappy power play. Not sure how to make that work this late in the game but that is something we MUST capitalize on. Again video and reviewing for Saturday.
  3. Forecheck – Continue to do what we have been doing all playoffs. Get the puck through the neutral zone by pure strength if needed and in our opponents zone. This will so crucial tonight because we are playing against a team who has an aggressive forecheck too. The Devils have been playing just like us and we have to win this war to get the puck on net. Our forecheck was our usual great forecheck and the Devils met us with theirs. Both are working but we definitely came out a little faster than them. We keep that up and the confidence will continue. Nothing really to tweak  for Saturday.
  4. Start Hard and Strong – Kings want to continue to come out strong in the first period. The Devils have done the same. Hopefully the rest will serve the Kings well when they step on the ice an unleash all that energy. Let’s see if we can rile up the Devils. It has worked for us so far and hopefully we can worm our way under their skins and have them take unnecessary penalties. Then get a shorty. Now that’s dreaming! If we can come out even harder on them and make them come after us we will win the “start” wars. Again, we did fine even after all the travel and days not playing. So more of the same!
  5. Defense – We have it. We will need it against the Devils surprising 4th line. This line has produced like never before. We need to find a way to stop them and our defense will have to be a wall. Devil’s 4th line meet the Kings 4th line. Colin Fraser wants to win. We shut them down most of the night and Richardson-Fraser-Nolan stepped up. This was really exciting for the Kings. Our lines are all doing well and seem to be at the end of the season “mind-reading’ stage. Don’t move anyone!
Ok, Kings fans. Try to rest up a bit. Read all the news around the internet today and let’s meet back on Saturday for Game 2. When you are feeling a bit apprehensive, remember these three stats I got off of Hammond’s site:
  1. The Kings have won nine consecutive road games during this postseason and 11 consecutive road playoff games overall, dating to last season. Both are NHL records.
  2. The Kings won Game 1 on the road in all four of their series in these playoffs.
  3. The Kings are 3-0 in overtime in this postseason.

And if you are still unsure just remember this one important thing:

Anze Kopitar.

Feel better now?

Go Kings Go!

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Posted in: Stanley Cup