Kings are doing it with mirrors

Posted: 05/04/2012 by bc in Uncategorized

It’s what happens when a team catches lightning in a bottle. Kings are now inside the Blues heads. Saint Lou looks like a beaten team. These 8th seed Kings are now 7-1 in 8 playoff games against the West Conference top two seeds. Snap your garter if you had that before these playoffs began.
Brian Hayward and Brian Engblom were calling exactly what we’ve been on about. The Blues are simply not positioning themselves to take advantage of the Kings many mistakes. Hazy offered Quick coming out too far when challenging shooters. In the third period, Blues parked Chris Stewart who managed to get in behind Quick.
Engblum noted that the Blues are not playing desperate hockey. We talked here about the Blues needing to take the tempo up a notch and force the Kings to miss that first check.
The Blues players have admitted it. Many have fessed up that they flat-out weren’t ready for the intensity Kings have brought to this series.
Early in the third period the Blues executed exactly as has been described here.  They dominated consecutive shifts and scored a goal to bring them within one. Blues need to do it for 60 minutes.
It’s cool that this blog consistently talks about what the experts are saying before the experts are saying it. Props @ czhokej & zseller for their contributions to the conversation.
One interesting aspect of the Kings playoff success is that a California team is still playing hockey while all of the Canadian based franchises are golfing or playing in the Worlds. In the past ten years California’s teams have played in two SCF’s winning one Cup and 4 WCF’s. California youth hockey is now producing 1st round Entry Draft picks routinely.
The Kings current success is great for hockey. The franchise is a decade late getting to the party started by Giguere, Babcock & Company in ’03. Better late than never.
Kings are now all but certain to face off against Phoenix or Nashville in the WCF. Either of those teams will meet their intensity, force errors and the Kings will breakdown. In other words enjoy the ride but don’t drink the KoolAid and take the Kings seriously. They aren’t that good and will be exposed.

BTW, Earl Sleek chokes on “Go Kings”, shows off some flawed logic in an otherwise good read. “No other team to cheer for” really, Earl? Okay, well Ducks at the IIHF Men’s World aren’t other teams worth following.

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Comments
  1. czhokej says:

    bc, do you think Sutter deserves most of the credit for this major turn-around? I did not consider him to be that good, even though his success with Calgary 03-04 was remarkable.
    I remember myself making fun of the Kings two moths back, because they couldn’t score…

    • Ah yeah Sutter deserves credit. How much is anybody’s guess. Everybody associated with the club deserves some credit for what they’ve accomplished this season.
      I’m not convinced they’ve accomplished all that much though. San Jose went to the WCF in two consecutive years and where are they today?
      The Kings have beaten, well nearly beaten, two good teams that obviously weren’t ready for them.
      The key to beating the Kings is defeating them on the very first play. Deny Doughty the first pass. Get mobile so that their checkers can’t line guys up for the big hit. It’s not like hockey people don’t know what needs to be done. It’s just the fact that either St. Lou or the Nucks couldn’t do it says more about them than it does the Kings.
      What happens when these Kings run up against a team that matches their intensity? Forces them into mistakes? Takes advantage of the opportunities that the Kings so readily & willingly give? What happens the next time these Kings need a reset? What happens when these Kings face an opponent less cooperative than the Blues & Nucks?
      These are the questions that get answered on the ice.

  2. czhokej says:

    Maybe it’s my jealousy feeling towards the Kings. But it’s hitting (sometimes extreme), hard work, skating, positioning, puck movement, passion, good goaltending, Did I forget anything. Or is there anything else. Vancouver was soft, but St. Louis looks even worse. But you are right, the Kings make mistakes. And it’s look like my prediction my prediction for the SC final was wrong.

    • Exactly cz, Vancouver was soft, but St. Louis looks even worse. So what exactly have the Kings really proven? None of Kings media gets it. Not the posters on the websites or the bloggers and/or corporate media. When the Kings do get swept aside their fans won’t get it either because they don’t see it now.
      Yeah, let’s cover the Kings playoff run but I don’t take their noise seriously. We’re also covering Ducks at the IIHF Worlds and Team USA.

  3. bbdux93 says:

    CZ asked me to predict the playoff winners, I did and we see how that’s going… I can’t give any of the reasons that BC & CZ give, I can only say the Kings have surprised their opponents and me too. I’m looking for the team that can send them home asap

  4. tearingitup says:

    I thought Earl’s read was funny enough. I haven’t rooted for the Kings since The Great One’s days, but they are playing tough. It seems that each shift is ready to go at 100%….that’s one of the things we, the Ducks,lacked. I think making the NHL take notice of California is a good thing for a fan base that otherwise would be out playing Frisbee golf. I hope Duck’s management takes notice too

  5. bbdux93 says:

    The question now is which of the remaining WC teams can beat them. This is depressing. I couldn’t route for the Kings unless the late and great JC (a religious figure) was on their team

    • I’m hoping for an all-Pacific Division WCF. Phoenix is far and away the more compelling Cinderella story. Dave Poile & Barry Trotz have been patiently building the Preds for far longer than these Johnny-come-lately Kings.
      Imagine the promo if Phoenix wins the Cup:
      Annc.: Hey Shane Doan. You just won the Stanley Cup. Where are you going next?
      Doan: Not sure. North Toronto, maybe Kansas or Seatle.

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