Honestly, do I even need to give this picture a semi-humorous caption? I mean just LOOK AT HIS FACE, for god's sake! (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Kings are officially closer to the Stanley Cup than they've ever been in their 45-year history.
Even better, they can now claim to have history on their side. Of the eleven teams who have fallen behind 0-2 by losing both games at home, only 2 of them have come back to win the series. I don't know about you, but I like those odds!
Why are the Kings up 2-0? Well, mostly because of an excellent overtime performance that saw them make up a huge deficit in scoring chances (as we'll get to later) during regulation. The Kings weathered a storm from the best team they've played so far in the 2012 playoffs, entering OT tied thanks to a spellbinding individual effort from Drew Doughty.
Other than hockey, my favorite sport to watch is probably tennis (and the French Open has been excellent this year so far). One of the most oft-repeated tennis announcer cliches is simply saying "too good" after a winner, and that's exactly how I feel about the LA Kings right now. The Devils are the best team they've played and I'm not sure they can be any better than they were through three periods last night. But Doughty in specific and the team in general is indeed simply "too good" for the Devils to handle. They do a far better job than any team before them in shutting down the Kings' top line, and what happens? The Richards line steps up and performs, not just getting the game-winner but driving play and piling up scoring chances throughout the game. LA's amazing depth of high-end players has been the difference so far, and it's hard to see how that changes.
Links after the jump!
Game 2 Recaps
- We begin with no less than three recaps from the LA Times; Lisa Dillman thinks there may have been some divine intervention on the Kings' behalf [LA Times], while her colleagues each focus on one of the goaltenders. Helene Elliott breaks down Jonathan Quick's continued excellence [LA Times], and Chris Foster has the Devils side of it, focusing on Martin Brodeur. [LA Times]
- Rich Hammond has your postgame notes from LA's Game 2 win. [Kings Insider]
- Over at Fox Sports West, Jon Rosen's recap focuses on Doughty's amazing end-to-end rush. Drew himself compared it to similar goals scored by Scott Niedermayer throughout his excellent career. [FS West]
- NHL Numbers has your scoring chance breakdown for the game. LA was largely outplayed through three periods before pounding the Devils by a staggering 7-2 margin in overtime. [NHLN]
- If you like pretty pictures of our ridiculously pretty team, Brigitte Lynne over at One Girl, One Puck has you covered with her recap. [OGOP]
- We've covered text and we've covered pictures, so obviously audio is next. All the Kings Men has their own Game 2 recap. [AtKM]
- Now to the New Jersey side of things. John Fischer over at In Lou We Trust is one of the best recappers around, and he has his usual thorough report of Game 2. Well-worth checking out. [ILWT] He also has a podcast available should you prefer to hear the Devils side of it in audio form. [ILWT]
- From a more traditional source, the Star-Ledger has the Devils side of it as well. [NJ.com]
Other Kings News
- The LA Kings are two more wins away from tying a 1988 Edmonton Oilers record. Yes, that's amazing. [Pro Hockey Talk]
- Back to the Times for a second, Bill Plaschke wants you to breathe. Sure thing bro. [LA Times]
- FS West has another story looking forward to the rest of the series. It is indeed now LA's Cup to lose. [FS West]
- Megalodon at Battle of California, best-known for being the blogger of a crappy team, attempts to redeem himself with a comparison of LA to New Jersey. Guys, I live here. There really is no comparison. LA all day. [BoC]
Other NHL News
- Alexander Radulov may not be heading back to Russia after all; instead, it looks like a trip to Broadway might be in his future. [TSN]
- Tim Thomas has confirmed those bizarre "taking a year off" rumors. Dude knows he's 38, right? At least he made sure to get a couple of shills in (which were subsequently edited out of every single article quoting it). [USA Today]
That's all for today. Post your own links in the comments and as always please correct any incorrect/broken links you find. And on a personal note, if you're going to Game 3 tomorrow night at Staples, please be loud and proud! You're the envy of displaced Kings fans everywhere.