Going into the 3rd period with a one goal lead means nothing in the Playoffs. Especially if the Sedins are on the other team.
The Kings surrendered their one goal lead to the Vancouver Canucks in the 3rd period, making way for a 4 goal outburst by the visiting team in that final frame. The twins took over, Henrik finishing with a goal and an assist and Daniel with 3 helpers.
Neither goaltender was sharp as Quick saw 5 pass him on 36 shots and Luongo surrendered 4 on 26. If the Kings want to stay in this series they’ll need to put more rubber on a Luongo that obviously isn’t playing his best hockey. On their own end, Quick will need to tighten up or continue to get torched by Vancouver’s high powered offense.
The big concern for the Kings is team defense. How do they contain and counter a team that transitions so well? Maybe they need to look at their match-ups. The usual shutdown, two-way players such as Handzus might not be fast enough to handle the Sedins. This problem will only be harder in Vancouver where the Canucks choose the match-ups.
After 4 games the Kings certainly have a good enough look at the Canucks to address what they can do better in all areas of the game. It’s said time and again, but the Kings best players need to be their best players, and from what we’ve seen so far they haven’t been as dominant as they can be.
Now to address an annoying and persistent issue. Kind of like a gnat in your ear that just won’t go away; the officiating. We’ve heard cries of “foul-play” from several sources, such as Vancouver fans and Canadian media. Seem odd? Of course not, they’re both Canadian! Of course they are going to see things subjectively, or through killer-whale colored glasses (that’s a thing, right?).
Let’s be honest, the Kings don’t have the backing of a hockey-crazed media to thump back at these preposterously biased claims of poor officiating in favor of the Kings, the team and the fans have to do it themselves, so here I go:
Why don’t we look at this like rational, logical adults? What does the league stand to gain from the Kings winning? Nothing. It’s not the most popular team in the league, nor will it ever be the highest grossing market. It’s a non-traditional market that will remain that way. If the Kings win they will gain a few more fair-weather followers that will come to a few more games next season, when the Lakers aren’t playing that is. Maybe they’ll sell some more jerseys. They certainly won’t get a better TV deal because like I said before, the Lakers will always get more viewers and will always trump the Kings.
What does the league have to gain from Vancouver winning? Well they could milk dollar signs out of one of their most lucrative markets, selling tons of merchandise, raising ticket prices, and reaping the benefits of a hockey haven. They satiate a rabidly enthusiastic fanbase that will get jacked up over several potential runs at a Stanley Cup with their strong core team.
Does it make any sense why the league would want the Kings to win? Any sense at all? The Kings are what they will always be; a middle of the pack franchise in terms of money. They benefit from having a huge population to fill their stadium with fans, because the percentage of people in L.A. that care about hockey is low, the real numbers are just average.
The most important thing for the conspiracy theorists, complainers, and subjective “Canucks-only” fans to remember is; your allegations are serious. You’re talking about a league tampering with the validity of its game’s results. That type of fraud can lead to the destruction of the league and hockey in North America as we know it. Do you really think the league would risk that over retribution on Alex Burrows? Or Mike Murphy’s alleged personal rootings (he’s probably a Leafs fan anyway)? Or Gary Bettman’s alleged plan for Southwest hockey dominance that would net him no money? Please, get real.
Kings @ Canucks, Friday 7pm PT.
Go Kings go!
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