Sunday, May 6, 2012

The LA Kings are Half Way There

With a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in LA today, the Kings won their second round series 4-0 and are half way to being crowned Stanley Cup champions. The Kings are the first team in NHL history to beat a number one and number two seeds in the same playoff season.

Autographed Jonathan Quick Photo - 8x10
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The Kings destroyed the Blues in the series by out muscling them, out hitting them and out goaltending them. The defense of the Kings was too much for the Blues as the number two seed and its stars couldn't produce enough goals to overcome the eighth seeded Kings.

The real story, was Jonathan Quick. Quick was outstanding again today, in game number four. Quick stopped 23 of 24 shots on Sunday afternoon. Quick has proved to be almost unbeatable throughout this series and the playoffs. The Blues witnessed what the number one seeded Canucks saw in the first round. Quick is playing great hockey and that provides a spark to the players in front of him. With a solid defense and great neutral and offensive zone domination, the Kings are proving to be extremely tough competitors.

Quick has a 1.62 Goals Against Average so far in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's tough to beat a goalie who's playing that well. Whoever the Kings face in the conference finals will have a very tough time. It's tough enough to beat a team when they're facing such a great goalie but the Kings are aslo playing a very physical game and are beating their opponents to the puck in all facets of the game.

The Kings have the confidence of allowing Quick to do his job and then countering on the offense and taking it to their opponents. I watched the series with the Blues and one thing was evident as each game progressed; The Kings were wearing down their opponent.

The Blues didn't have much ice to start an attack. Each time the Blues tried to mount an attack from their end of the ice, there was a kings player or two right on that player. They covered the whole ice, which prevented the Blues for gaining any speed and steam.

By the time the Blues entered the Kings zone, the ice had been covered and there wasn't any space for the Blues to mount an offense. When the Blues were in their end of the ice, it was hard for them to move the puck out as the Kings, once again, had the ice covered.

You could see the frustration on the faces of the Blues players. It was the same frustration that could be seen on the Canucks faces. Actually, the Kings seemed to take their game up a notch. That might be hard to believe but the Kings didn't have much difficulty discarding the Blues.

Now the Kings have a lot of confidence and it's going to take a great team to beat them. It will take a nearly perfect performance for their opponents to find the back of the goal. The opportunities are few and far between and it might take a collapse of great proportions by Quick for an opponent to find success in the next round.

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