Sports can be many things to many different people, but one of the greatest things about it is how it can serve as an escape. If things are going badly for you right now, you can turn to your favorite team and be given at least a few brief hours of relief. And if you happen to be a fan of a certain hockey team that just went up 3-0 for the second straight playoff series (and only the second time in franchise history)....suddenly your problems can seem awfully far away.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is: thank you, Los Angeles Kings. Not just for finally fulfilling a great deal of your potential this season at the best possible time, but for making this humble blogger forget about his personal issues for a few wonderful hours. It has been a fantastic ride so far in this post-season, and the best may still be to come.
Links after the jump!
Game 3 Recaps
- We've got not one, but two recaps from the ladies over at the LA Times. Lisa Dillman gives us a straight-ahead look at last night's game, while Helene Elliott prefers to take a more general overview of what this win means to a long-suffering fanbase (that's us, in case you forgot). Both articles are well-worth a look; in particular though, some of the quotes from Kings players on what it means to them to finally deliver for the Kings fans in Helene's article almost bordered on touching at times. Maybe I'm just feeling a little sentimental right now. [LA Times] [LA Times]
- Justin Bourne has a recap of both games from last night, starting with Flyers-Devils and then moving on to Kings-Blues. Some quick notes along with video highlights if you missed the game (which would be a shame if you did, because holy crap it was awesome). [Backhand Shelf]
- Rich Hammond has his usual quick-and-dirty notes of various statistics from the game. Did you know Willie Mitchell played 28:44 last night? If this team has an unsung hero (and I mean in mainstream circles because he's been pretty darn sung around the Kings blogosphere, I think), Michell has to be it. [Kings Insider]
- Over at Fox Sports West, Jon Rosen's recap focuses on the major contributions of Drew Doughty & Mike Richards; namely, 3 points and a Gordie Howe hat trick, respectively. Also has some video of Miller & Fox from Kings Live last night, if you missed it. On a related note, thank god for satellite TV, because actually getting to see the two greatest announcers in the world at least do a post-game every night all the way from Jersey is so totally worth it. Of course it'd be better if they were calling all the games, but it's better than nothing. Bob Miller does such a great job staying impartial during his broadcasts, but at this point it looks like you're going to have to surgically remove the smile from his face during these post-games. I'll never get tired of watching it. [FS West]
- Okay, on to the St. Louis perspective. I have a fun experiment for you: put this recap I'm about to link you to from Gallagher at St. Louis Game Time side-by-side with ANY recap from VanCityDan over at Nucks Misconduct (except Game 4, of course) and see if these two polar opposites begin tearing apart the fabric of space-time. I jest with Dan (sort of; at least it resulted in Rudy Kelly's awesome parody recap that may in fact have been the greatest thing ever written), but boy was it weird to go from that in round 1 to "shucks, the Kings were the better team again" in round 2. I guess it helps that we're up 3-0 again, but they're so NICE about it I almost feel bad for them. Almost. [SLGT]
- Sticking with St. Louis, here's your relatively dry newspaper recap. Not much to say about it at all, actually. I skimmed it, nearly fell asleep. [Post-Dispatch]
Other Kings Notes
- Okay, what the hell is this.....a Ducks fan rooting for the Kings?! Well now I've seen everything. [Battle of Cali]
- How about some national press attention from the Canadian media? Yes, you heard me right. The Globe & Mail talked at length about the Kings in the latest edition of their popular roundtable podcast, and Greg Bachman also gives them some love with an article dedicated to their success. Some interesting anecdotes in there about Hitchcock apparently leaving the Kings-Blues 3/22 game (1-0 shootout win for LA, if you don't recall) thinking he didn't want to play them in the playoffs. I guess he's a genius for a reason. [G&M Podcast] [G&M Article]
Other NHL News
- As mentioned earlier, the other game last night saw the New Jersey Devils take a surprising 2-1 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers with a huge OT win in Newark. For the vast majority of our readers who have never been to Newark, New Jersey, let me just go ahead and confirm it for you: yes, it's a total shithole. Then again, so is most of Philadelphia, soooo....yeah. Anyway, recaps. [In Lou We Trust] [Broad Street Hockey]
- Keeping things in the family, the wonderful dudes at Arctic Ice Hockey (that's our Winnipeg Jets blog, for those of you keeping score at home) have a couple of graphs showing playoff OT scoring rates dating back to 1988. It's actually pretty much what you'd expect: for instance, scoring takes a huge dip about midway through the second OT (due to fatigue, I'm assuming) then spikes up again after the intermission. [AIH]
- Tonight's only game sees the #3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. the #4 Nashville Predators (4:30 pm PST/NBC Sports Network) in Game 4, with the Predators looking to even things up on their home ice. And in some news that honestly shocked the hell out of me, the line-up for the Preds will remain the same as in Game 3; meaning, once again the Preds will sit Alexander Radulov (their leading scorer!) and Andrei Kostitsyn. On the Forecheck has the quick-and-dirty on it for you; according to their blog this actually appears to have been something their readership was calling for, which if anything shocked me even more. I think both guys obviously get back in the line-up for Game 5 if they lose tonight, but what happens if they win? [OtF]
That's all for now kids. Per usual, you can follow me on Twitter (@kinghawkranger), you can post any links you like in the comments, all that good stuff. Until next time, if this is all a big collective dream we're having, let's try real hard not to wake up, yes?