While the Los Angeles Kings have the opportunity to clinch their first ever Stanley Cup Championship with a Game 4 victory, their fans will no doubt be clinching something else up until game time. Get your mind out of the gutter, I meant their fists. The mood and talk around the Kings has been near celebratory. Near. Not yet though.
While Kings fans and the Los Angeles media are thinking about the what if, the players are taking a “0-0″ mindset into tonight’s game. It’s a good thing too, because 2 of the last 3 times the Kings went into a game up 3-0 they lost. The sole exception in these playoffs was the Game 4 second round victory over the St. Louis Blues. The Kings will try to repeat that type of performance tonight.
They’ll also look to Game 3 as a reference as well since their 4-0 victory was their most dominant performance to date over the Devils.
Some keys to Game 4:
-Weather the early storm, but don’t fall into defensive mode. They have to be expecting a desperate Devils team and will try to match their desperation.
-Score first. Not sure who this is more crucial for, but (obviously) both teams want the early lead.
-Easy exits. The Kings have produced a lot of offense by winning board battles in their own zone, then turning the puck back up ice before the Devils can get back to defend.
-Discipline. The Kings’ PK is unreal, however, they can’t give the Devils the kind of chances they got in Game 3.
-Power Play Success. The Kings had it going in Game 3 and can put this to bed with another strong PP night tonight.
-Don’t go “Right Hand Happy”. It’s a boxing/MMA saying that fighters will get “right hand happy” if they connect with a right-cross, then they’ll only throw rights. The Kings have exploited Brodeur’s stick-side high, but he has to be expecting it now. Mix it up.
-Hit. Hit, hit, hit.
I’m really at a loss for what else to say at this point. I think Kings fans are still in disbelief that the team is in this position, not for a lack of faith, just because the circumstances of this season have been so up and down. Yet, even with disbelief, there is belief. I know, I’m not making sense. So I’ll just leave it at this…
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