I would quote the rules of “Too Many Men on the Ice” for everyone, but we all know them. Sure, it stinks that the Canucks lost on a penalty in overtime, which aren’t supposed to be called apparently. However, the Canucks player did touch the puck, intentional or not, and the right penalty was called. You can count that as 51% objective hockey fan and 49% Kings bias.
That powerplay led to an Anze Kopitar game-winner, completing a comeback from trailing 2-0 in the first period. The fact of the matter is that Vancouver’s discipline was lax all night, giving the Kings 6 powerplay opportunities.
They’ll have to suppress that problem if they’re going to beat the Kings at a rowdy Staples Center, anxious to see a playoff game for the first time since 2002. Kings fans have a lot more to look forward to this time around as the organization has built a strong core of good young players through the draft and added some veteran talent to create a roster that should be a repeat playoff team.
The Kings can look to some reassuring numbers as they return to Los Angeles. The first being 8-3; the score they beat Vancouver by in their last meeting in the regular season. The second being 19-20-2; Vancouver’s record on the road. Those numbers mean nothing now expect whatever they do for the Kings confidence.
Los Angeles seized home advantage by splitting the two games in Vancouver. Winning game 2 was crucial as it would either place Vancouver halfway toward the 4 wins to take the series or create a new, 5 game series.
Justin Williams will remain in the press-box as Murray liked Simmonds job playing more minutes and does not want to mess with the chemistry that won him game 2. Williams has struggled since his return from injury after starting the season on one of the hottest lines in the NHL along with Ryan Smyth and Anze Kopitar.
The benching leaves the Kings with one Stanley Cup ring off the ice as Williams won the Cup in 2006 with Carolina. Williams iced that series, scoring an empty-netter in the dying minutes to put Edmonton out of reach.
Incredible Playoff Fact:
-Chicago’s win over Nashville in game 2 of their series placed all 8 series tied at 1-1. This is the first time this has happened since the NHL adopted the 7-game series in the 1987 playoffs. No series between that season and the 2009 playoffs has seen no teams with a 2-0 lead after 2 games in the first round. How about that?
Canucks @ Kings Game 3, puck drops at 7pm PT, Monday April 19th.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney