Waiting sucks. A lot. That’s what every fan, Canucks and Kings alike, are enduring right now. A full 4 days in between games (from puck drop to puck drop). So while we wait and marinate for the next game in Vancouver, here are some random thoughts based entirely in my own head and not necessarily backed by any facts or stats.
-The Kings have been thoroughly outplayed for 2 games in a row now and managed to split them. This seems more in line with the Kings play for the majority of the season and not so much how they were playing down the stretch. Hopefully they haven’t cooled down again.
-Discipline, or the lack thereof, was one of the big deciding factors for the Kings in Game 4. Senseless penalties like the one Colin Fraser took cannot happen if the Kings plan to win this series. Fraser did redeem himself a bit with some strong play on the 4th line, which had the most jump of any line in Game 4.
-Aren’t you glad there hasn’t been a sh*t ton of line shuffling a la Terry Murray? I’m not a Murray-hater but man, did he like to shuffle lines.
-Jeff Carter has been frosty ice-cold so far. I don’t know if his ankle is not at 100%, but he doesn’t seem to put up a lot of impressive shifts. Over the course of a regular, uninjured, totally-inside-of-a-vacuum season, Carter should easy lead the Kings in goals. It would be nice for him to have an All-Star type game.
-So far, it breaks down like this to me: Richards owned Game 1, Brown owned Game 2, Quick owned Game 3, the Sedin’s owned Game 4. Who owns Game 5?
-Will the Sedin’s be even harder to deal with when the Canucks control the matchups in Vancouver? I don’t think so since Sutter doesn’t really believe in matchups.
-Doughty has also been quiet, in both the good and bad way. He hasn’t been putting much up in the way of game-breaking offense from the blueline. However, he hasn’t been bad in the “tries-to-hip-check-Logan-Couture-but-totally-whiffs-and-costs-the-Kings-a-goal” kind of way either.
-Kopitar has been good, but he hasn’t been “take-over-a-game” good. Nobody doubts he has that ability but unless he turns it up a notch, he will remain on the edge of “1st line center”, just outside “franchise center”.
-I didn’t really feel like the Canucks played this dirty in the Kings series with them year before last. However, I think the Canucks had a much easier, less frustrating time with the Kings as well.
-Sort of on that same subject, it bothers me that a lot of the dirtiness, not just of the Canucks but of all teams, gets put under the umbrella of what is acceptable in order to win a Stanley Cup. Sure, gristle and grime is necessary, but I don’t think the highly respectable HOF players of the past would stoop to some of the lows we’ve seen in recent seasons. I feel like it used to be a handful of chippy, nasty players did that elbowing, finger-biting, spearing stuff (Claude Lemieux, Avery, Carcillo, Lapierre, old-Cooke, etc.) but not it seems like everyone is doing it. I dunno, just some thoughts.
-I really hope the Kings win the next game. If not that, the series.
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