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King of the Road

Posted By Mika Oehling On Jun 2 2012 @ 11:45 pm In NHL | No Comments

The LA Kings continue to be perfect on the road and have taken a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. It wasn’t an easy task; it took overtime to finish with a 2-1 win, and despite scoring early in the game, the Devils did manage a comeback in the third when it seemed least likely to happen.

The Devils can’t seem to get the kind of start that they need to be a factor in this series. They’re always slow out of the gate, playing from behind a much faster LA Kings squad. Through two periods, things seemed easier for LA. Their cycle game worked well, their defense always seemed to be well-placed and Quick has been playing an elite level of game consistently.

It seems that the Devils read the report on Quick and understand what needs to be done against him, but are having trouble executing. They know that they need to get Quick moving, that they need to shoot high and that he likes to stray from his crease; and yet, they’re not shooting or skating fast enough or hard enough when the time comes.

The LA Kings deserve a ton of credit for their high level of play and persistence in the post-season. They seem to never give up on plays and this is part of their dramatic story line of being the team that wills its way to the Cup. They clearly want it more; nobody skates away until a whistle gets blown.

Luck has also been on their side in this series. New Jersey couldn’t buy a goal in the first two periods, and not for lack of trying. It seems that New Jersey is playing with desperation, but not the good kind. They’re sloppy and some of their plays seem to be out of sheer panic. Bad passes and giveaways due to constant pressure from the Kings are what’s destroying their game. LA is playing with the good kind of desperation, the kind that comes with the sudden knowledge that they’re 2 games away from hoisting the holy grail of hockey. It’s motivating them to play hungry and they’ve been starving since April.

New Jersey is all but finished in this series. They’ve lost home ice advantage, they’ve lost momentum and they’re very slowing shedding confidence as this series moves on. Two frustrating overtime losses in games that could have gone either way with a team that is very like-minded in their style and approach might be more than this team can bear. LA has all the momentum and is taking it home with them on Monday night. New Jersey may steal a game, but it will likely be due to how LA plays, not how they play.

This could all be over a lot sooner than New Jersey fans would like. And not soon enough for LA fans.

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