Dunno what Matt Greene is doing with his face here, exactly. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
So it's about to become May very shortly here and the Los Angeles Kings are still playing hockey. That's really cool, huh? And hey being up 1-0 again isn't bad either, but as others have said we're playing with house money at this point. The year's already a success for doing what no Kings team has done in over a decade; any more rounds or, God help us all, actually winning the damned thing is just gravy.
Now, I can imagine it must be fun for a bandwagoner too because yay playoffs and all that, but as any of you who have also been around since The Rebuild started can attest to, this feels especially good for us. I remember when I first fell in love with a rag-tag bunch of wacky kids and Michael Handzus, playing games at 10:30 out here and losing much more than not. But once in a while Anze Kopitar would do something really cool with the puck, or Drew Doughty would join a rush, or Dustin Brown would absolutely lay a dude out. And you'd be like "Wow, that was awesome! Why can't they do this all the time?!" Obviously it's been a long, winding road getting here, and we've lost a few guys along the way (RIP Alex Frolov), but it's nice to know that the flashes were real and not some kind of mass hallucination on our parts, yes?
Okay, I'm done. Links after the jump!
Game 1 Recaps
- Lisa Dillman at the LA Times kicks us off, as has become customary around these parts. Hitchcock's comments about needing to pay a bigger price to beat the Kings kind of has to make you worry, since if he's saying that to the press he must be giving it to them in the room ten times as hard. Expect a better overall effort from the Blues on Monday, I would think. [LA Times]
- Chris Lund at the Backhand Shelf blog checks in with our second recap. It's nice to see someone admit that the game was largely entertaining after so much hand-wringing from the "experts" in the media about what a terribly dull series this was going to be. Uh, no. Folks, I was at MSG for Rangers-Capitals Game 1, and while being there live for playoff hockey is always entertaining and all that, objectively that game was virtually indistinguishable from watching paint dry for 90% of it or so. There's your actual "most boring series" of the second-round. [BS]
- Rich Hammond has a short "key three" to Game 1, along with a link to a more traditional game recap and his usual smattering of Kings quotes throughout the rest of the blog. [Kings Insider]
- Jon Rosen at Fox Sports West takes Darryl Sutter's awesome "what it takes to win in the playoffs" quote and turns it into something he calls "Sutter's Law". I kind of want that on a t-shirt now. You listening, Royal Half? [FS West]
- Let's turn to the St. Louis side. The dudes at St. Louis Game Time were not impressed with Dwight King's hit on Alex Pietrangelo, as you might expect. [SLGT]
- Still looking through the St. Louis looking glass, here's another recap from a local paper. Not gonna lie, I totally forgot who D.J. King was (and obviously that Dwight King was related to him) until I read it here. I will probably forget again within moments of publishing this. He's not a very memorable guy. [Post Dispatch]
Other Kings News
- Back to the LA Times, Helene Elliott has a more focused look at Matt Greene and the fact that, yes, he scored a shorthanded goal in Game 1. Was there a more perfect moment in the history of the planet earth than the NBC Sports Network feed going dead immediately after that goal was scored? [LA Times]
- Haven't seen an actual article on this yet, but according to multiple sources on Twitter, if Dwight King is indeed suspended for his hit on Pietrangelo (a very real possibility, just given that Pietrangelo could miss Game 2 and King is exactly the type of player they love to suspend; I would expect him to get a game if Pietrangelo is going to miss any time, and a fine if he's not), Kyle Clifford is ready to step back into the line-up to replace him. There's worse news, I suppose.
- Speaking of Pietrangelo's status for Game 2, right now they're being very unclear about him, just stating that he'll be re-evaluated today. Again, multiple Twitter sources are claiming he's going to miss Game 2 already, but nothing concrete yet. [Blues]
Other NHL News
- Here's a really fascinating article from the Puck Daddy blog on teams deciding whether or not to engage in a full-scale rebuild, and more specifically the various psychological issues that come into play. The Calgary Flames are used as the example, because honestly, is there a bigger poster-child for "crappy team that refuses to rebuild even in the face of all discernible logic" at this point? [PD]
- The only other NHL action yesterday was the aforementioned cure-for-insomnia Rangers-Caps Game 1 that I was there live for. Great atmosphere, extraordinarily loud crowd, and a really, really boring game. Boy did the media people miss the mark jumping all over each other to complain about how dull Kings-Blues was supposedly going to be instead of this one. Oh yeah, the Rangers won, by the way. [Blueshirt Banter] [Japers' Rink]
- Two more second-round games come your way today, starting with Game 1 of the #5 Philadelphia Flyers vs. the #6 New Jersey Devils (12:00 pm PST, NBC). Really looking forward to that one, if only to see exactly how many goals this incredibly potent Flyers attack can score when faced with an (admittedly aging) actual NHL goaltender. Game 2 of the #3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. the #4 Nashville Predators (5:00 pm PST, NBC Sports Network) is your nightcap. The Yotes can't possibly continue to win games getting dominated for 60+ minutes every night.....right?
Share any links I missed you feel are relevant in the comments, tell me if links don't work, follow me on Twitter if you like having your brain assaulted (@kinghawkranger), etc. etc.
Can it be Monday night now?